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Monday, May 5, 2014
Auditing the SEC's talent producers

By Chris Low

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.

As we point toward the start of the 2014 NFL draft this Thursday, it's pretty obvious that nobody in the SEC has been better in those two areas than Alabama.

In the past four drafts, Alabama has produced 13 first-round picks and 18 selections in the top three rounds. That's a staggering number.

In terms of first-rounders, Florida is next closest during that span, with six in the last four years. LSU is the only other school in the league to have produced more than four first-rounders over the last four years. The Tigers have five.

Arkansas, Kentucky, Ole Miss and Vanderbilt are the only four schools in the SEC who haven't had a first-round selection in the last four years.

Nine of the 14 schools in the league have produced 10 or more draft choices in that span. The only one of those with a losing record during the coinciding four seasons (2009-12) was Tennessee. The Vols, despite being sixth overall in the league with 13 draft choices during that span, managed just a 23-27 record.

Below is a breakdown of the top talent producers in the SEC over the past four years. Included are total number of draft choices, first-round draft choices, total number of players taken in the top three rounds and overall record from 2009-12 (in parentheses).

The teams are listed in order of their total draft choices: