SEC vs Everyone Else: Betting NFL Draft Most 1st-Round Picks
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College football fans of SEC schools often like to believe it’s their conference vs. everyone else. An NFL betting prop for the 2020 NFL Draft makes it so.
William Hill has posted a line on whether the SEC has more first-round draft picks than every other conference — combined.
NFL Draft Round 1: Which Conference Will Have Most Picks?
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All odds are current as of publication and subject to change. Check out the latest NFL futures betting odds here.
Bookies.com breaks down the NFL Draft landscape and offers a pick on the intriguing prop.
Quantity And Quality
The SEC historically has produced the most NFL-ready players coming out of any college conference and draft results have shown that. That especially includes high-end players taken in the first round. The SEC has led all conferences in first-round draft picks in seven of the past eight years.
In 2019, three of the nation’s top six teams were in the SEC: LSU, Alabama and Georgia. Florida and Auburn were in the top 15. If a prop bet exists about whether the SEC will have half of the first-round picks, we can make the easy assumption the conference will at least lead the way in more picks.
History Says No to 17
But can a conference produce more than half of all first-rounders? It has never happened before. In fact, it has never really been close.
Twice, the SEC has produced 12 of the 32 first-round picks in drafts — that’s the most ever. Last year, the SEC had 10, which led all conferences.
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2020 May Be Different
Looking at first-round potential, we can safely say right now that the SEC should have no fewer than 12 players selected. That’s impressive. But it’s not more than half.
Still, let’s slot the following players in the first round:
- QB Joe Burrow
- Edge K’Lavon Chaisson
- CB Kristian Fulton
- WR Justin Jefferson
- OL Jedrick Wills Jr.
- QB Tua Tagovailoa
- WR Henry Ruggs III
- WR Jerry Jeudy
- OL Andrew Thomas
- DL Javon Kinlaw
- DL Derrick Brown
- CB CJ Henderson
There are seven other players who have first-round potential, but five of them must be drafted for the SEC to hit on this bet.
LSU linebacker Patrick Queen is on the bubble, but his ceiling is too high for every team with a first-round pick to pass him up.
Alabama safety Xavier McKinney and LSU safety Grant Delpit are also on the fringe. They’re the top-ranked safeties in the field. One of them likely will go in the first round, but it’s unlikely both get taken.
Georgia RB D’Andre Swift is one of three running backs vying to be the first one selected, with JK Dobbins and Jonathan Taylor in the running as well. There’s a real chance no running back will be selected in the first round.
Cornerbacks Noah Igbinoghene of Auburn and Trevon Diggs of Alabama have appeared sporadically in first-round mock drafts. But they’re also appearing in the latter half of second-round mocks. The same goes for Crimson Tide edge rusher Terrell Lewis, as injuries and experience push him out of the first 32.
Of those seven players, I see three being selected in the opening round.
We’ll get at least 12 first-round picks from the SEC and probably a few more. That would be the most first-rounders by any conference in draft history.
Expecting more than half of the picks to come from the SEC is a little too much to ask. As many as 19 could go, but the more likely finish is 15.
Take “All Others” as the winner here, with a push being the most likely worst-case scenario.