Evaluating the 2015 NFL Draft Board by Conference

English: Logo of the Southeastern Conference (...

All college football season long, you hear it.  If you are an SEC football fan you chant S-E-C, S-E-C, and think that your conference is the most dominant by far.  If you are the rest of the country, you think the SEC is an overhyped ESPN media machine. And somewhere in the middle is the truth about how good, or overrated the SEC is.

Obviously, there are valid points to both arguments about how good of a league the SEC, and how it compares to other conferences.  People point to non-league scheduling, bowl performance, rankings, and even such things as attendance.  Well, what about draft pick production?  The amount of picks in a given draft year can arguably be a good evaluation of how conference is performing. With that in mind we have analyzed the current top 50 projected draft picks by conference.

Per the CBS Sports current draft board – a breakdown of the top 50 draft prospects looks like this:

So this year – indeed the SEC haters can talk.  The West coast is the place to be for producing draft picks this year – or so is being predicted. They have the SEC beat by 4. And while the SEC came in at 10, the Big 10 and the ACC came in at 9 apiece. This number may surprise folks who traditionally think that the Big 10 is weak.  The ACC was primarily carried by Florida State in representation.

A few other things:

  • Florida State leads the way with 4 players listed
  • FSU’s 4 represented the bulk of the ACC listings.
  • Ohio State only has 1 player in the top 50, Michael Bennett at 43. One has to wonder if this is a record for a national champion, both in the number of draft prospects, and how low the top rated prospect is.  This is also a scary statistic for the rest of the Big Ten for next season.
  • It was refreshing to see some parity and have the “mid” level schools get in with two projected picks from the Mountain West, and one from the MAC

Of course there’s much maneuvering left to take place in terms of these players’ draft stocks. Personal workouts and the combine always have a major impact as these players get evaluated on everything from their vertical leap, to their 40 yard dash time to their Wonderlic test scores. So while these numbers may yet see a pretty dramatic shift, at this point the disparity in talent level between the SEC and the rest of college football doesn’t appear as great as some would lead you to believe.




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