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Alabama and LSU have continued to power the SEC’s strong showing in this year’s NFL draft. Through the first three rounds of the draft, the Tigers and Crimson Tide combined for 19 total picks, and the SEC dominated the third round with a total of 15 picks Friday night. And that was after already seeing 10 players from SEC schools go to NFL teams in the second round and a night after setting a new record for the most first-round picks from one conference.
LSU tied the NFL Draft record for the most draft picks through the first three rounds by having 10 players picked by NFL teams. The draft started with quarterback Joe Burrow going first overall to the Cincinnati Bengals on Thursday night. K’Lavon Chaisson was drafted 20th overall by the Jacksonville Jaguars, followed two picks later by receiver Justin Jefferson going to the Minnesota Vikings. The Baltimore Ravens locked up linebacker Patrick Queen with the 28th overall pick, and running back Clyde Edwards-Hellaire rounded out the first round as LSU’s fifth drafted player. That set the school record for most first-round draft picks and set the tone for Friday night.
Grant Delpit was taken 44th overall by the Cleveland Browns. Kristian Fulton went 61st to the Tennessee Titans. Damien Lewis headed to the Seattle Seahawks with the 69th overall pick. Lloyd Cushenberry was picked 83rd by the Denver Broncos. Jacob Phillips tied the record mark by being the 97th overall pick of the Browns.
Ohio State set the record with 10 players selected in the 2016 NFL Draft.
Alabama just behind their SEC West rivals with nine players through the first three rounds of the draft (although some will probably try to claim Jalen Hurts too).
2020 NFL Draft Third-Round Picks By Conference
(includes NFL compensatory draft picks)
- SEC – 15
- Pac-12 – 6
- Big Ten – 5
- American – 5
- Big 12 – 4
- ACC – 2
- Conference USA – 1
- Pioneer Football League (FCS) – 1
- Sun Belt – 1
- Independents – 1
With three rounds now officially in the books, the SEC is now in a position to make a run for a new record for most draft picks in a single draft. The current record is 64, and it was set by the SEC last year. The SEC needs just 24 more players in the last four rounds to tie the record.
2020 NFL Draft Picks By Conference Through Rounds 1-3
- SEC – 40
- Big Ten – 17
- Big 12 – 12
- Pac-12 – 12
- ACC – 8
- American – 4
- Mountain West – 3
- Sun Belt – 2
- Conference USA – 1
- Missouri Valley (FCS) – 1
- Pioneer Football League (FCS) – 1
- South Atlantic (D2) – 1– 3 FBS independent draft picks
Maybe Saturday will be kinder to the MAC.
A night after smashing the previous record for the most first-round draft picks in an NFL draft, the SEC once again helped provide some depth at the next level with a strong showing in the second round on Friday night. The SEC had 10 players selected in the second round of the 2020 NFL Draft, the most of any conference.
Clemson’s Tee Higgins started the night heading to the Cincinnati Bengals (Joe Burrow and Tee Higgins should be fun to watch if you are a Bengals fan), and USC’s Michael Pittman was picked by the Indianapolis Colts with the second pick of the night. Then the SEC got involved once again.
Georgia’s D'Andre Swift was the first SEC representative off the board in the second round, courtesy of the Detroit Lions. He was joined by Alabama safety Xavier McKinney one pick later by the New York Giants. LSU added to their draft selections after a program-record five first-round picks Thursday night with Grant Delpit going to the Cleveland Browns and cornerback Kristian Fulton heading to the Tennessee Titans. Alabama later saw Trevon Diggs go to the Dallas Cowboys and Raekwon Davis to the Miami Dolphins.
The Big Ten had a solid showing in the second round of the draft. Highlighted by defensive end Yetur Gross-Matos of Penn State (to former Baylor head coach Matt Rhule with the Carolina Panthers) running backs Jonathan Taylor of Wisconsin (to the Indianapolis Colts) and JK Dobbins of Ohio State (to the Baltimore Ravens), the Big Ten saw seven players drafted in the second round. Iowa’s A.J. Epenesa may have been a bargain at 54th overall by the Buffalo Bills.
Notre Dame was the only independent program to have any players selected in the second round with Cole Kmet going to the Chicago Bears and Chase Claypool heading to the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Southern Illinois got a chance to wave the FCS banner with the final pick of the second round. Safety Jeremy Chinn was drafted by the Panthers just before moving on to the third round.
There was a pick from the Division 2 pool. The New England Patriots selected Lenoir-Rhyne safety Kyle Dugger. Dugger was the fifth pick of the second round, officially putting the South Atlantic Conference on the board in this year’s NFL draft.
2020 NFL Draft Second Round Picks By Conference
- SEC – 10
- Big Ten – 7
- ACC – 3
- Big 12 – 3
- Pac-12 – 3
- Missouri Valley Conference (FCS) – 1
- Mountain West – 1
- South Atlantic Conference (D2) – 1
- Sun Belt -1
(Independents – 2)
As schools around the country are making necessary adjustments to the budgets and pay structures for coaches and other officials due to the financial impact of COVID-19, Wisconsin athletics director Barry Alvarez says Wisconsin is in relatively good shape.
In a meeting with the Wisconsin athletic board, Alvarez reportedly said the university is bracing to take a net revenue drop of $4 to $5 million in the current fiscal year. All things considered, and compared to a number of other universities and programs around the country, that doesn’t sound all that bad. Of course, that only accounts for the athletics department and not the university as a whole, which is likely much more significant.
Regardless, Alvarez credits years of fiscal responsibility at Wisconsin allowing the Badgers to weather the impact the coronavirus outbreak has ha don the financial standing of the University of Wisconsin.
“Thanks to sound management of our finances over the years, we’re well-positioned to withstand a temporary decline in revenues,” Alvarez said, according to Wisconsin State Journal.
That’s always encouraging to see. Perhaps a bit surprising given the headlines involving what’s happening with pay for coaches lately, Wisconsin is following through on paying any bonuses coaches have been eligible for. The board has voted to provide the authority to handle contract extensions and bonuses for winter and spring sports seasons. That group doesn’t impact the football program and head coach Paul Chryst, but it is a somewhat interesting development given Wisconsin recently decided not to grant extra years of eligibility to spring and winter sports athletes…
It’s also worth noting, according to the Wisconsin State Journal report, that Alvarez believes other Big Ten members are doing the same with regard to bonus incentives.
Safe to say the Oregon State experience did not quite pan out for defensive end Charles Moore. Moore is reportedly back in the NCAA transfer portal for the second time in the last calendar year and will begin evaluating his potential options moving forward. News of Moore’s return to the transfer portal was reported by The Oregonian on Friday.
A player who enters his name in the transfer portal is free to have communication with any other college football program interested din recruiting him to their program. Most players do eventually move on to a new school after dipping their toes in the transfer portal, although it is not unprecedented for players too pull their names out of the portal and stay where they are.
It would seem Moore will be moving on from the Beavers after a brief stay in Corvallis. Despite transferring to Oregon State last November, Moore did not participate in any of the four spring practices Oregon State was able to conduct. Orgeon State’s spring practices were cut short once the coronavirus outbreak forced sports and athletic activities to close down from coast to coast.
Moore originally signed with Auburn in the Class of 2019. At the same time, Moore also enrolled with a junior college program to focus on improving a grade requirement to be eligible with the Tigers. Moore left Auburn in the middle of September while continuing on with the JUCO program. Two months later, he made the decision to head to Oregon State.
The former four-star recruit will now look for somewhere to land on his feet and get his football career going.
Minnesota head coach PJ Fleck is not the only Big Ten football coach taking a pay cut in the COVID-19 pandemic. Rutgers head coach Greg Schiano will be among those taking a pay reduction after Rutgers announced a number of financial adjustments in response to the coronavirus outbreak.
Like so many colleges and universities around the country, Rutgers has been faced with an unprecedented financial hit due to the impact of the spread of the coronavirus. In a letter to the Rutgers community on Friday, Rutgers president Robert Barchi says the university anticipates a shortfall of approximately $200 million from the school’s anticipated budget for the remainder of the fiscal year. To address the finances of the university, Barchi has recommended a temporary freeze on undergraduate tuition, which naturally is another financial concern for the university.
To help counterbalance that decision as much as possible, Barchi, chancellors, executive vice presidents, Rutgers athletics director Pat Hobbs, Schiano, men’s basketball coach Steve Pikiell, and women’s basketball coach Vivian Stringer are taking 10% pay cuts. The 10% reduction has become a bit of a standard for schools reducing pay for university officials and the highest-paid head coaches. A handful of other administrators within the university will take pay cuts of 5%.
It was previously reported Rutgers will pay Schiano an average of $4 million annually.