April 29th, 2013 10:43 AM║ Posted By: John Pennington ║ Permalink
║ Schools: Alabama, Arkansas, Auburn, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, LSU, Mississippi State, Missouri, Ole Miss, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas A&M, Vanderbilt
Tags: LSU, MSU, NFL, SEC
With the NFL draft behind us — and 63 more ex-SEC’ers selected to stock professional rosters — we can now take a look back over the past 20 years to see how the league’s current members have risen or fallen in terms of talent. We’ll keep things nice and simple and show you the draft numbers from the past 10 years as compared to the 10 years prior. Some of the changes are eye-popping.
Below you’ll find the picks from this past week’s draft on the left side of the table, just for comparison’s sake. To the right of that, you’ll see the pick totals for each SEC school between 1994 and 2003. Beside that column, the totals from 2004 through 2013 are listed.
Then, on the far right we’ve listed the change in draft numbers from one decade to the next for each school. We warn you, some fans will have a hard time wiping away their smiles… others might just spend the day weeping in the office storage closet.
|2013 Picks||1994-2003 Picks||2004-2013 Picks||Change from 94-03 to 04-13|
|ALA (9)||UT (68)||LSU (61)||LSU +31|
|LSU (9)||UF (56)||UGA (57)||USC +18|
|UF (8)||UGA (48)||ALA (49)||ARK +13|
|UGA (8)||A&M (44)||UF (48)||MU +12|
|USC (7)||ALA (39)||USC (35)||ALA +10|
|A&M (5)||LSU (30)||UT (35)||UGA +9|
|ARK (4)||MSU (30)||AUB (34)||AUB +8|
|UT (4)||AUB (26)||ARK (32)||UM +3|
|MSU (3)||ARK (19)||A&M (24)||VU +3|
|MU (2)||UK (18)||MU (21)||UK -4|
|VU (2)||UM (17)||UM (20)||UF -8|
|AUB (1)||USC (17)||MSU (16)||MSU -14|
|UK (1)||VU (10)||UK (14)||A&M -20|
|UM (0)||MU (9)||VU (13)||UT -33|
* Let’s start with the fastest riser — LSU. The Tigers were middle of the pack in terms of NFL production between ’94 and ’03, but once Nick Saban opened all the valves on the Tigers’ Louisiana talent pipeline… forget about it. LSU has produced 31 more NFL picks in the past decade than it did in the decade prior. That’s three more pros per year on the Tiger roster. Given that players are usually on a roster for four years that number is even more impressive. In terms of a ballpark number, LSU has about 12 more NFL-capable players on its roster in a given year than it did a decade ago. Even when those players are freshman or reserves, they’re still providing greater overall depth. And that even raises the level of LSU’s practices. Kudos to the Tigers. Plus-31 is darn impressive.
* If you’re wondering how Steve Spurrier (and Lou Holtz before him) began to raise South Carolina from the bottom of the SEC to the top just check USC’s roster. The Gamecocks no longer cede the best players in their home state to Clemson and raiding SEC rivals. They now go into Georgia and nab prospects just as Auburn and Tennessee have, traditionally. Carolina has had 18 more players picked by NFL teams in the past decade than in the previous decade. It’s not hard to make the correlation between a more talented roster and more victories.
* Other schools seeing boosts of 10 or more pro picks? Arkansas (plus-13), Missouri (plus-12), and Alabama (plus-10). Hog fans need to credit Bobby Petrino and — though it might make a few of them sick — Houston Nutt for raising the talent level in Fayetteville. Nutt was driven out of town with torches and pitchforks, but he began the Razorbacks’ talent swell. A coach on the hot seat this year is Gary Pinkel, but he’s taken Mizzou from the bottom of the ’94-’03 column and increased the school’s draftees by 12 over the past decade. Whether fans feel he’s worn out his welcome or not, Pinkel deserves many thanks for lifting Tiger football to the point that it no longer lags behind Kentucky and Vanderbilt in terms of talent. Finally, there’s Alabama. As he did at LSU, Saban has turned the Tide into one of the nation’s strongest football factories, cranking out pro prospects in bulk. Anyone think that plus-10 number for Bama won’t grow larger when we run through this exercise again next year?
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