If you’re looking at the NFL draft through the perspective of a college football fan, what does it tell you about your school?
I’ve always felt that it magnifies two things -- how efficient a school is at acquiring talent and how efficient it is at developing that talent.
Nobody in college football has been better in those two areas recently than Alabama, which just happens to own three of the past four national championships.
The past three NFL drafts underscore just how talented the Crimson Tide have been. They have had 20 players drafted over the past three years, including 10 first-rounders. In the top three rounds, they’ve produced 14 draft picks over the past three years.
Ten first-rounders is staggering. To put that number in perspective, only one other school in the SEC over the last three years (Florida) has produced more than three first-rounders. The Gators have had four.
With the first round of the 2013 NFL draft set for tonight, Alabama could see its total of first-rounders swell to 14 over the past four years. Cornerback Dee Milliner, offensive guard Chance Warmack, offensive tackle D.J. Fluker and running back Eddie Lacy are all projected to go in the first round.
Last year’s draft marked the first time since the 1993 draft -- nearly 20 years -- that the Gators had not produced a pick in the first three rounds.
After Alabama, LSU has the most players taken in the first three rounds (11) over the past three years. Florida is third with nine, and then it drops off to Georgia with five.
This should be a banner draft for the Bulldogs, though, as they could have as many as four or five players taken in the top three rounds this year.
The only four SEC schools who haven't produced a first-round pick over the past three years are Arkansas, Kentucky, Ole Miss and Vanderbilt. Missouri is next to last in the SEC with the fewest total players drafted over the past three years at five, but three of those have been first-rounders.
Below is a breakdown of the top talent producers in the SEC over the past three years. Included are total number of draft choices, first-round draft choices and total number of players taken in the top three rounds.
The teams are listed in order of their total draft choices:
Alabama: 20 draft choices, 10 first-rounders, 14 in top three rounds
Georgia: 18 draft choices, 1 first-rounder, 5 in top three rounds
LSU: 17 draft choices, 3 first-rounders, 11 in top three rounds
Florida: 15 draft choices, 4 first-rounders, 9 in top three rounds
South Carolina: 10 draft choices, 2 first-rounders, 4 in top three rounds
Mississippi State: 9 draft choices, 2 first-rounders, 3 in top three rounds
Tennessee: 9 draft choices, 2 first-rounders, 3 in top three rounds
Arkansas: 8 draft choices, 0 first-rounders, 2 in top three rounds.
Auburn: 7 draft choices, 2 first-rounders, 3 in top three rounds.
Kentucky: 6 draft choices, 0 first-rounders, 2 in top three rounds
Ole Miss: 6 draft choices, 0 first-rounders, 2 in top three rounds
Texas A&M: 6 draft choices, 2 first-rounders, 2 in top three rounds
Missouri: 5 draft choices, 3 first-rounders, 4 in top three rounds
Vanderbilt: 4 draft choices, 0 first-rounders, 2 in top three rounds