LSU leads the way as SEC dominates Draft

Tyler Kaufman/Icon SMI

Sam Montgomery (99) and Kevin Minter (46) joined Barkevious Mingo (49) as three of the six LSU players -- all on defense -- taken in the first three rounds of the NFL Draft.Much like the past few college football seasons, the first three rounds of the NFL Draft were dominated by the SEC -- 32 of the 97 draftees have come from the SEC, the most from one conference in a single draft (the previous record was 25 from the ACC in 2006).

Last year there were 16 SEC players drafted in the first three rounds of the NFL Draft.

Cornerback Tyrann Mathieu was one of six LSU players drafted -- all from the defense -- the most defensive players ever drafted from one school the first three rounds in a single draft.

LSU’s six players drafted are just one fewer than the entire Big Ten Conference.

The rest of the Day 2 roundup:

• The Cincinnati Bengals chose North Carolina RB Giovani Bernard with the 37th pick. That’s the latest the first running back has been chosen in the Common Draft Era.

• Then Notre Dame LB Manti Te’o was selected 38th overall by the San Diego Chargers, the first Notre Dame linebacker to get picked in the first two rounds since Courtney Watson (to the New Orleans Saints) in 2004.

The last Fighting Irish linebacker to go as high as Te’o was Demetrius Dubose (34th to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers) in 1993.

• With the next pick, the New York Jets chose West Virginia QB Geno Smith. The Jets had a 24.7 Total QBR last season, 2nd-lowest in the NFL (only the Arizona Cardinals were worse). Since drafting Mark Sanchez, the Jets have not finished a season ranked higher than 16th in Total QBR.

It’s the highest a West Virginia quarterback has ever been drafted.

A few things to note about Smith’s college experience:

1) He attempted more than 96 percent of his passes out of a shotgun or pistol formation in his career. Dana Holgorsen introduced Smith to the pistol in 2011, and he threw 42 touchdowns and four interceptions out of that formation.

2) He threw 177 of his 518 passes (34.2 percent) at or behind the line of scrimmage last season, including a BCS AQ-high 112 screen passes. As a result, Smith’s average pass traveled only 7.7 yards past the line of scrimmage, the fewest air yards per attempt of any top QB prospect.

• Boise State has had six defensive backs drafted in the past seven years -- they had six drafted in the previous 40 years combined.

Since Chris Petersen took over as head coach in 2006, the Broncos have had eighth players selected in the first two rounds. Before 2006, Boise State had just two players ever chosen in the draft’s first two rounds.

• If we need more evidence that this is a passing league, there have been 16 cornerbacks selected and 11 wide receivers, the most of any position, and there have been nine safeties taken, tied for fourth-most.

• The 55 defensive players drafted is the most ever through three rounds.

• The 25 defensive backs taken is the most ever through three rounds.

• The six running backs is tied for the fewest through three rounds.