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How SEC Teams Will Fare in the NFL Draft


With the 2019 NFL Draft quickly approaching on Thursday April 25th, dozens of players from the SEC will have their dreams fulfilled. What follows is an analysis of how each team from the conference will fare in a draft that’s loaded with talent. (Teams are placed in alphabetical order)

Alabama

First Round Picks: 3-4

Total Selections: 10-11

No surprise here, folks. The NFL Draft will be dominated by the Crimson Tide as usual. Alabama has had four players selected in the first round in the past two drafts, and the same result could happen once again this year. Defensive tackle Quinnen Williams and offensive tackle Jonah Williams are locks to hear their names called on Thursday night. There is an extremely good chance that both of these talented athletes will be selected within the first 15 picks.

After the Williams duo comes off the board, expect Josh Jacobs to be picked in somewhere in the mid-20’s (most likely to Oakland) as the first running back off the board. That’s more than likely three guaranteed first-round picks. What will determine rather or not the Crimson Tide matches their quota of the last two seasons is the landing spot of tight end Irv Smith. Smith is rated by most as the third-best tight end in the draft and a borderline first round selection. Keep an eye out for Green Bay at pick No. 30. If Smith gets selected on Thursday night, it will most likely be there.

After that, well-known players like Deiotne Thompson, Mack Wilson, and Christian Miller will all be selected Friday night in either the second or third round. When it comes to Kentucky native Damien Harris, there is a reasonably good chance he will as well. However, don’t be shocked if Harris falls to the fourth round on Saturday.

Arkansas

First Round Picks: 0

Total Selections: 4

The draft will be relatively quiet for the Razorbacks in 2019. While they will most likely have four players drafted, their highest rated prospects Armon Watts and Hjalte Froholdt are day three prospects. This should not come as a huge surprise considering that Arkansas was an embarrassment to the SEC this past season. The Razorbacks only won two games, and they failed to win a single conference matchup. NFL scouts are largely turned off by such a bad year. There is always next season, I guess!

Auburn

First Round Picks: 0

Total Selections: 4

Its true that this a bit of a down year for Auburn in the draft. The Tigers will have zero first rounders, and only four players are projected to draft picks. However, things aren’t all that bad. The trio of Jamel Dean, Darius Slayton, and quarterback Jarrett Stidham will all be picked before the fifth round starts. In fact, I would not be surprised at all if all three hear their names called towards the end of the third round. For what was a pretty disappointing season, three players in the top three rounds would not be a bad haul at all.

Florida

First Round Picks: 1

Total Selections: 6

Offensive tackle Jawaan Taylor is projected to make a big splash early Thursday night for the Gators. While some mock drafts have him going in the 8-10 range, others have him getting selected in the late teens. Besides Alabama’s Jonah Williams, Taylor is the most complete prospect on the offensive line in this draft. Either way, all signs are pointing to a top-20 selection for the 6’5, 312-pound athlete.

Defensive back Chauncey Gardner-Johnson will join Taylor in representing Florida in the first two rounds. The Florida native is a ball-hawking safety with elite playmaking skills. He has the athleticism to play as a consistent starter in the league. It would be a shock to see him slip into the third round. After those selections, the Gators are expected to have four more players picked in what will be a respectable draft haul.

Georgia

First Round Picks: 1

Total Selections: 9

With the exception of Alabama, no other team from the SEC will have as good of a draft as the Bulldogs will. This should come as no surprise considering that Georgia was just as good as the Crimson Tide this season and both teams were among the best in the nation. Their draft class is extremely deep as the likes of D’andre Walker, Riley Ridley, Isaac Nauta, Mecole Hardman, Elijah Holyfield, and Terry Godwin will all be second and third-day selections.

However, the headliner of this class is cornerback Deandre Baker. I’m incredibly high on him as I consider Baker the best all-around defensive back in the 2019 Draft. Not only is he the definition of a shutdown corner, but he is an intimidating tackler in the mold of a young Ed Reed. However, I wouldn’t be surprised if the NFL is a bit low on him due to its infatuation with other more problematic prospects. Mark my words, Baker will be looked back upon as one of the steals of this draft.

Kentucky

First Round Picks: 1

Total Selections: 6

Welcome to national Josh Allen week everyone! In all seriousness, this is going to be possibly one of the biggest drafts in the history of Kentucky football. It seems relatively certain that there will be six Wildcats (Allen, Lonnie Johnson, Mike Edwards, Benny Snell, Chris Westry, Darius West) who hear their names called over all three days. To put this in perspective, this will be the most Kentucky players in the draft since 1979 which saw seven drafted over the course of 12 rounds. Only four players were selected in the first seven that season.

As for the likes of Bunchy Stallings, C.J. Conrad, Derrick Baity, and Jordan Jones, it seems like they will be undrafted free agents. But I think either Stallings or Conrad could potentially sneak into the seventh round where all kinds of chaos happens.

Instead of concentrating on Allen like most will rightfully do throughout this week, I want to talk about Lonnie Johnson and his ascension up draft boards. His rise now finds him squarely as a second-round pick which is just outstanding. The NFL misses on a lot of underrated prospects, but the secret is out on Johnson who is just a prototypical, hard-nosed defensive back.

LSU

First Round Picks: 2

Total Selections: 4         

It will be fireworks for LSU early in the draft as dominant defensive players Devin White and Greedy Williams are poised to become first-round selections. After that, however, only Foster Moreau and Nick Brossette have a reasonable chance at getting drafted.

Williams is viewed by many as the best cornerback in the draft, but I really think that’s Georgia’s Dandre Baker. White, on the other hand, is the unquestioned best true linebacker coming out of college this year. He is a consummate leader and a player that has the speed to play sideline to sideline. If White falls past the top ten, it will be a national travesty. Expect greatness from him throughout his career.

Mississippi State

First Round Picks: 2-3

Total Selections: 7

After a very impressive year defensively in the SEC, the Bulldogs will see at least five of their defensive players all selected over the weekend. The headliners are defensive linemen Montez Sweat and Jeffrey Simmons. Both are guarantees to go in the first round, and both are heavily favored to go in the top 15. I think Sweat is the better overall prospect due to all the many issues that come along with Simmons. Look out for defensive back Jonathan Abram as well. Many have him slotted to go at the very end of first round which would give Miss. State an impressive three first-rounders.

After that, a few of their offensive linemen will join the other defensive players as day two and day three selections. In case you were wondering, quarterback Nick Fitzgerald will not be drafted. While he will get picked up as a free agent, do not be expecting to hear his name called this weekend. It may be surprising that the Bulldogs will have such a good draft, but it makes sense considering its mostly all defensive prospects.

Missouri

First Round Picks: 1

Total Selections: 6

The headline of Missouri’s draft class is obviously quarterback Drew Lock. In a relatively average draft class for quarterbacks, Lock is easily the most divisive of the bunch. While he has a prototypical NFL arm, he is wildly inconsistent and often inaccurate as a passer. His ceiling is reasonably high, but he is most assuredly a prospect. Lock needs to wait a season behind an experienced passer and learn the ropes of the league like Patrick Mahomes did. For his sake, Denver at No. 10 would be the best spot as he learns behind Joe Flacco.

After Lock, Wide receiver Emanuel Hall is the Tigers’ next best prospect. Hall has good hands and great speed. He is most likely an early day three prospect who will later be followed by a few of his fellow teammates.

Ole Miss

First Round Picks: 1-2

Total Selections: 5

Three of Mississippi’s five draft selections will be wide receivers. The Rebels’ receiving core was easily the best of the conference so it makes sense that their top three pass-catchers will all be drafted. Their two best – D.K. Metcalf and A.J. Brown – have a great chance at being first rounders.

Its important to note that the NFL has a very high opinion of Metcalf due to his freakish athleticism. He is a for sure first rounder. What’s crazy is that Brown is the better overall receiver, and he might be regulated to the second round. I really do think he has the best hands in the draft. I’m in the minority on this, but I guarantee Brown will have a better career than Metcalf.

South Carolina

First Round Picks: 0

Total Selections: 3

This is the part of the column where I praise Deebo Samuel for an entire paragraph. While offensive linemen Dennis Daley and Zack Bailey will most likely be day 3 three selections, Samuel is a lock for the second round. Personally, I think he is one of the more underrated players coming out of college this season. Samuel has excellent speed, strength, and most importantly great hands for a receiver. His one knock is that he has had several injuries throughout his career. While this is true, I still think scouts are way too low on Samuel. Remember the name because he will be a dependable NFL receiver throughout his career.

Tennessee

First Round Picks: 0

Total Selections: 0

Yes. You read that right. The Volunteers will have no players selected in the 2019 NFL Draft, let alone any in the first round. NFL.com has two Tennessee players (Micha Abernathy, Kyle Phillips) projected as undrafted free agents who will probably be invited to training camps. Unless one of them luck up and get drafted, this will be the only team from the conference who will not be represented at the draft this year. You hate to see it.

Texas A&M

First Round Picks: Maybe 1

Total Selections: 9

This is going to sneak up on people, but the Aggies are about to have an impressive NFL Draft. First, center Erik McCoy has seen his name fly up draft boards after having a dominant NFL Combine. Despite weighing in at over 300 pounds, McCoy shocked scouts as he ran a 4.89 40-yard dash which is just silly for an athlete of his size. He also possesses the strength to push around NFL lineman which is why many have going in the first round.

After McCoy’s selection, the Aggies are slated to have another eight players selected. While most of these players will be day three picks, guys like tight end Jace Sternberger and running back Trayveon Williams might be called on day two. The sheer number of players does make a little bit of sense. Texas A&M did finish second in the SEC West (people forget that) and Jimbo Fisher is a great developer of talent. Things will start to get really scary once Fisher starts to get his top-rated recruits in Aggieland.

Vanderbilt

First Round Picks: 0

Total Selections: 2

It will be a mostly quiet draft for the Commodores in 2019. However, Vanderbilt will actually make a splash pretty early. Cornerback Joejuan Williams has impressed scouts with his combination of size (6’4) and length which is very desirable at his position. There is a slight chance that Williams will be selected in the second round. If not, then he will be a guaranteed third round pick. Usually Vanderbilt doesn’t make much head way in the draft so its pretty cool to see a Commodore selected relatively quickly. Oh yea, quarterback Kyle Shurmur is a lock to be picked in the last few rounds. He has huge family ties in the league which means it would be a shock if his name is not called at all.

Article written by John Reecer

4 responses to “How SEC Teams Will Fare in the NFL Draft”

  1. cozbob

    Baity has got to be shaking his head if he has to watch Westry and Lonnie get drafted, and he doesn’t. I still think Baity will get picked.

    1. mashburnfan1

      Lonnie will go much higher than Baity but I agree on Westry. He came in highly touted and has the look just never seemed to click after his FR season. Baity will get drafted and Bills may take Bunchy in 7th round.

    2. Gocats30

      Baity was the best corner we had

  2. bcp426

    Should be “fare” instead of “fair” in thread title. C’mon guys.