The SEC has been one of the top conferences in producing NFL talent, but now the conference holds a new draft record to back that idea up. Headlined by early selections of LSU quarterback Joe Burrow (first overall) and Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa (fifth overall), the SEC ended the first night of the NFL draft with 15 players drafted, breaking the previous record for most first-round draft picks by three.
The record for most first-round draft picks by a single conference was 12. The ACC set the record with 12 first-round selections in the 2006 NFL Draft. The SEC later tied the record, twice. The SEC matched the record with 12 picks in 2013 and again in 2017. Now, the SEC has the record all to itself.
Reigning national champion LSU led all schools with five players selected in the first round, including the top overall pick. The five players selected is a new school record for the first round by LSU. LSU bookended the night with Burrow going first overall and running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire wrapping the night as the 32nd overall pick by the defending Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs.
Alabama couldn’t manage to tie the mark for most first-round draft picks set by Miami in 2004 despite some pre-draft optimism the Tide had a shot to make some history. Alabama ended the opening night with four players selected by NFL franchises.
The pick to set the new record came with the 29th pick of the night when the Tennessee Titans drafted Georgia tackle Isaiah Wilson. Then the SEC saw two more players drafted before things drew to a close for the night.
Here’s the rundown of the new conference record for most draft picks in the first round:
- 1st overall: Joe Burrow, LSU (Cincinnati Bengals)
- 4th: Andrew Thomas, Georgia (New York Giants)
- 5th: Tua Tagovailoa, Alabama (Miami Dolphins)
- 7th: Derrick Brown, Auburn (Carolina Panthers)
- 9th: CJ Henderson, Florida (Jacksonville Jaguars)
- 10th: Jedrick Wills Jr., Alabama (Cleveland Browns)
- 12th: Henry Ruggs III, Alabama (Las Vegas Raiders)
- 14th: Javon Kinlaw, South Carolina (San Francisco 49ers)
- 15th Jerry Jeudy, Alabama (Denver Broncos)
- 20th: K'Lavon Chaisson, LSU (Jacksonville Jaguars)
- 22nd: Justin Jefferson, LSU (Minnesota Vikings)
- 27th: Patrick Queen, LSU (Baltimore Ravens)
- 29th: Isaiah Wilson, Georgia (Tennessee Titans)
- 30th: Noah Igbinoghene, Auburn (Miami Dolphins)
- 32nd: Clyde Edwards-Helaire, LSU (Kansas City Chiefs)
2020 NFL Draft First Round Picks By Conference
- SEC – 15
- Big 12 – 5
- Big Ten – 5
- ACC – 3
- Pac-12 – 3
- Mountain West – 1