Three things you can always count on: Death, taxes and SEC players selected in the first round of the NFL draft.
The SEC regularly churns out elite NFL talent, and especially recently. Four SEC programs ranked among the top five of schools to the most first-round talent since 2011. Rivals.com compiled the list.
Alabama led the way by a mile with 14 first-round selections. To put that into perspective, that’s as many first-round picks as the next two schools, Florida State and Texas A&M, combined.
Bama has produced some tremendous talent in players such as Amari Cooper, Julio Jones and Marcell Dareus. However, a player like Dee Milliner didn’t pan out nearly as well. The Crimson Tide should be well represented in the 2016 NFL Draft, which begins with Thursday night’s first round. Linebacker Reggie Ragland and defensive linemen A’Shawn Robinson and Jarran Reed are all expected to be taken on the opening night.
The Aggies were tied for second with seven first-round picks, including Super Bowl MVP Von Miller, although he played for the Aggies when they were still members of the Big 12.
Wide receiver Mike Evans and offensive tackle Luke Joeckel are a couple of other big names taken at the top of the draft. Of course, the most notorious Texas A&M first-round draftee is quarterback Johnny Manziel, who was cut by the Cleveland Browns after two terrible seasons. The former 22nd overall pick doesn’t appear to be close to signing with any team any time soon. Offensive lineman Germain Ifedi is A&M’s only chance at a first-round selection in 2016.
Behind Texas A&M is Florida with six first-round selections. Many of Florida’s first-round picks have come on the defensive side of the ball. Dante Fowler Jr., was taken No. 3 overall last year by the Jacksonville Jaguars, but he unfortunately didn’t play a snap because of an Achilles injury sustained during training camp.
The Gators will have at least one player taken in the first round this year. Cornerback Vernon Hargreaves III is one of the best defensive backs in this class and could be taken within the top 10. Safety Keanu Neal also could be taken later in the first round.
Wrapping up the top five, and tied with Florida, is LSU. The Tigers have had mixed success in the first round lately. Players like Patrick Peterson and Odell Beckham Jr., have been the definition of home runs, while Barkevious Mingo and Morris Claiborne have been complete busts.
LSU likely won’t have a player taken in the first round this year, but that should change in 2017.
Three SEC schools were tied for 10th on the list: Auburn, UGA and Missouri have each had four first-round selections since 2011, the most notable selections being Cam Newton, A.J. Green and Aldon Smith, respectively.