The SEC and first-rounders this decade

Posted by ESPN.com's Chris Low

With it looking like former Georgia quarterback Matthew Stafford will indeed be the No. 1 pick in Saturday's NFL draft, let's take a look at where the SEC's 58 first-round draft picks have come from this decade.

Tennessee has produced the most, nine first-round draft picks since 2000, but has no SEC championships or BCS bowl appearances to show for it. The Vols haven't had an offensive lineman go in the first round since Charles McRae and Antone Davis went with the No. 7 and No. 8 picks in 1991.

Florida, Georgia and LSU have all produced eight first-round picks this decade, starting with the 2000 draft.

While the Bulldogs have eight first-rounders during that span, none have come in the last three years. That drought will end with Stafford.

At the other end of the spectrum is LSU. All eight of the Tigers' first-rounders have come in the last five years. They've produced a first-rounder in each of the last five years, and that streak should extend to six straight years with defensive end Tyson Jackson on Saturday.

Yes, Nick Saban can recruit.

The trenches are where games are said to be won, and Georgia has produced the most offensive/defensive linemen that were first-rounders this decade. Six of the Bulldogs' eight first-rounders were linemen, and a seventh, Ben Watson, was a tight end.

A dry spell will end for Alabama this weekend. The Crimson Tide have gone eight straight years without a first-round pick. Offensive tackle Andre Smith will change that when he's expected to go in the top half of the first round Saturday.

Incidentally, Alabama has had two first-rounders this decade, the same number as Vanderbilt.

Auburn has produced six first-round picks this decade, but four of those came in one year. Ronnie Brown, Carnell Williams, Carlos Rogers and Jason Campbell were taken among the top 25 picks of the 2005 draft. Brown, Williams and Rogers went in the first nine picks.

Mississippi State is the only SEC school without a first-round selection this decade. The Bulldogs haven't had a first-round pick since 1996 when Walt Harris and Eric Moulds were both taken in the first round.

Here's the breakdown of first-rounders by school this decade:

  • Tennessee: 9

  • Florida: 8

  • Georgia: 8

  • LSU: 8

  • Arkansas: 6

  • Auburn: 6

  • Ole Miss: 4

  • South Carolina: 4

  • Alabama: 2

  • Vanderbilt: 2

  • Kentucky: 1

  • Mississippi State: 0

Also, here's a link that includes the all-time SEC first-round selections.