April 27, 2009

NFL draft: SEC leads this year's selections

Some leftover facts and figures from the NFL draft:

The SEC led the way with 37 draftees. The ACC was second with 33, followed by the Pac-10 (32), the Big 12 and Big Ten (28 each), the Big East (27, with exactly one-third coming in the seventh round), the Mountain West (16), Conference USA, the MAC and the WAC (10 each), the Sun Belt (two) and the independents (one). There were 15 Football Championship Subdivision (i.e., Division I-AA) players taken, along with six Division II players and one player from a Canadian college.

The SEC had the most first-round picks, with eight. The Big 12 had seven, followed by the ACC (five), the Big Ten and Pac-10 (four each), the Big East (three) and the MAC (one).

USC had the most selections, with 11, giving the Trojans a two-year total of 21. This is the third time in four years USC has had the most selections. Florida had the most in 2007. The schools with the second-most draftees this year were Ohio State, Oregon State and South Carolina with seven each. Cincinnati, Georgia, LSU, Missouri and Oregon had six each, and Maryland, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Penn State, Rutgers and TCU had five each.

USC now has had the most players drafted in history, at 471. Notre Dame, which had one player taken, is second with 466.

USC had four linebackers drafted, the sixth school to have a linebacker quartet taken in the same draft and the first since Penn State in 1987. Cincinnati had three cornerbacks selected and North Carolina had three wide receivers drafted. Oregon State had two cornerbacks picked, and San Jose State cornerback Coye Francies who transferred from Oregon State after his junior season also was selected.

Cornerback was the most popular player, with 39 selected (that's not necessarily the college position, but rather what the NFL teams project them to play). Second was wide receiver, with 32. Linebacker was third with 26.

The Big East, Big 12 and MAC had the most quarterbacks selected, with two each. The Big East and Mountain West each had four running backs taken. The SEC had the most wide receivers drafted, with six. The ACC led the way at tight end with four. The SEC had seven offensive linemen taken. The ACC and SEC each had seven defensive linemen drafted. The ACC and Pac-10 tied for the most linebackers taken, with five. The Big East had the most corners selected, with six. And the Pac-10 had the most safeties, with four.

Forty of the 49 underclassmen who declared were drafted. Those who weren't: Michigan tight end Carson Butler, Boise State wide receiver Jeremy Childs, South Carolina safety Emanuel Cook, Arkansas tight end Andrew Davie, Penn State defensive end Maurice Evans, Wisconsin running back P.J. Hill, West Virginia guard Greg Isdaner, Indiana wide receiver Andrew Means and Virginia wide receiver Kevin Ogletree. These underclassmen probably were picked much lower than they expected: Rice tight end James Casey (fifth round), Ball State quarterback Nate Davis (fifth), LSU defensive tackle Ricky Jean-Francois (seventh), Vanderbilt cornerback D.J. Moore (fourth) and South Carolina cornerback Captain Munnerlyn (seventh).

Miami's 14-year string of having a first-round selection was snapped. The only Hurricanes player drafted was linebacker Spencer Adkins, in the sixth round by Atlanta. Florida State also had just one player taken, defensive end Everette Brown by Carolina in the second round. That means FSU and UM had a combined two players drafted the same number as Division II Abilene Christian (Texas). In all, just seven players who played college football in Florida were selected three from Florida and one each from FSU, Miami, UCF and USF.

Two centers went in the first round California's Alex Mack and Louisville's Eric Wood. It was the first time two centers were drafted in the first round since 1968.

Twenty-one tight ends were selected; it was just the second time since 1992 that that many tight ends were taken.

Seven players who played high school football in New Jersey went in the first round, the most of any state. Texas was second with six.

Mike Huguenin is the college sports editor for Rivals.com. He can be reached at mhuguenin@rivals.com.


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