In a lot of ways, the NFL draft is an audit of a college football team’s personnel.
Florida coach Will Muschamp certainly thinks so.
“I’ve always said you find out what kind of football team you have in April,” Muschamp said.
The Gators have produced just six draft picks over the last two years while compiling a 15-11 record. They’re just 3-11 during that span against teams that finished the season with a winning record.
In fact, last week’s NFL draft marked the first time since the 1993 draft -- nearly 20 years -- that Florida had not produced a pick in the first three rounds.
It’s a reminder that signing great players and developing those players are musts if you’re going to win big in this league.
That said, it shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone that Alabama leads the SEC with 20 draft selections over the last three years, including 10 first-rounders.
That’s right … 10 first-rounders.
To put that number in perspective, Arkansas, Auburn, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi State, Ole Miss, South Carolina, Tennessee and Vanderbilt combined haven’t produced 10 first-rounders over the last three years.
The Crimson Tide have had 14 players drafted in the first three rounds over the last three years. The only other team in the league that comes close is LSU with 11 players taken in the top three rounds over the last three years.
Georgia is second to Alabama when it comes to total players drafted over the last three years. The Bulldogs have produced 18 draft picks, but only five of those were in the top three rounds.
Arkansas and Auburn share the top prize for doing the most with the least.
They’re both 15-9 over the last three seasons and have combined to produce 15 total draft choices – eight by Arkansas and seven by Auburn. Moreover, only three Auburn players and two Arkansas players have been selected in the first three rounds over the last three years.
Tennessee has suffered through back-to-back losing seasons, and a major reason why is that the Vols have had just three players taken in the draft over the last two years. This was the second straight year that Tennessee failed to produce a first-rounder. That’s after going five consecutive years without at least one first-round selection.
Below is a breakdown of the top talent producers in the SEC over the last three years. Included are the teams’ overall record, SEC record, 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: 36-4, 20-4 SEC, 20 draft choices, 10 first-rounders, 14 in top three rounds
Georgia: 24-16, 14-10 SEC, 18 draft choices, 1 first-rounder, 5 in the top three rounds
LSU: 33-7, 19-5 SEC, 17 draft choices, 3 first-rounders, 11 in top three rounds
Florida: 28-12, 15-9 SEC, 15 draft choices, 4 first-rounders, 9 in the top three rounds
South Carolina: 27-13, 14-10, 10 draft choices, 2 first-rounders, 4 in top three rounds
Mississippi State: 21-17, 9-15 SEC, 9 draft choices, 2 first-rounders, 3 in top three rounds
Tennessee: 18-20, 8-16, 9 draft choices, 2 first-rounders, 3 in top three rounds
Arkansas: 29-10, 15-9 SEC, 8 draft choices, 0 first-rounders, 2 in top three rounds.
Auburn: 30-10, 15-9 SEC, 7 draft choices, 2 first-rounders, 3 in top three rounds.
Kentucky: 18-20, 7-17 SEC, 6 draft choices, 0 first-rounders, 2 in top three rounds
Ole Miss: 15-22, 5-19 SEC, 6 draft choices, 0 first-rounders, 2 in top three rounds
Vanderbilt: 10-27, 3-21 SEC, 4 draft choices, 0 first-rounders, 2 in top three rounds