With 12 SEC players present in the green room of Radio City Music Hall in New York City for the 2012 NFL Draft, the SEC was hoping to break their own record for most players selected from a single conference in round one of the NFL Draft. It was a record they set in 2007, when they had 11 players taken.
Unfortunately, Rueben Randle, Cordy Glenn and Courtney Upshaw were left waiting on Thursday night, giving the SEC nine players going in the first round. However, it was still far and away the largest total of any collegiate football conference with the Big 12 finishing a distant second with five players taken.
Last year, the SEC had an astonishing 303 total players on NFL rosters, which accounts for nearly 18% of the entire NFL. In the first round, the SEC saw eight of its players go in the first 18 picks and the nine players taken overall accounted for over 28% of the players taken on Day One.
The conference pride thing can be silly at times, but the strength of the conference as a whole has been a staple of the recruiting efforts of every team in the league and having players consistently wind up in the NFL is certainly good for SEC football.
Obviously, Alabama was the biggest winner on the day, having had four players taken in the first round. And Nick Saban continues to deliver on his promise to put star prospects into the NFL. Saban has now had 10 players taken in the first round of the NFL Draft in the last three seasons alone.
There is no telling how long the SEC’s dominance of college football will continue with BCS tweaks and a potential playoff seemingly on the horizon, but for now, SEC football is still firmly on top of the world in collegiate sports.