Clyde Edwards-Helaire

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LSU leads the way as SEC smashes record for most first-round draft picks in NFL draft

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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

Jonathan Taylor, Chuba Hubbard among semifinalists for Doak Walker Award

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Wisconsin running back Jonathan Taylor is attempting to do something that has only been done twice before by winning the Doak Walker Award in back-to-back seasons. Taylor was one of the 10 semifinalists revealed by the Doak Walker Award on Thursday, putting last year’s top running back one step closer to pulling off the rare feat on the college football award circuit.

Taylor will have some stiff competition for the award this season. Among the other semifinalists for the award include Oklahoma State’s Chuba Hubbard, the nation’s rushing leader with 1,726 yards and 20 rushing touchdowns (Taylor has 1,463 yards and 17 rushing touchdowns in the same number of games as Hubbard).

Darren McFadden of Arkansas is the most recent player to win the Doak  Walker Award in back-to-back seasons, doing so in 2006 and 2007. The only other player to win the award in consecutive seasons, and the only other two-time winner of the Doak Walker Award, is Ricky Williams of Texas. Williams won the award in 1997 and 1998. Taylor joined former Wisconsin running backs Melvin Gordon (2014), Montee Ball (2012) and Ron Dayne (1999) to move Wisconsin into first place for most all-time Doak Walker Award winners. Texas also has four awards won, but by three players (Ricky Williams twice, Cedric Benson in 2004 and D’Onta Foreman in 2016).

The other semi-finalists for the Doak Walker Award this year include LeVante Bellamy of Western Michigan (21 touchdowns leads the nation), AJ Dillon of Boston College, JK Dobbins of Ohio State, Clyde Edwards-Helaire of LSU, Travis Etienne of Clemson, Kenneth Gainwell of Memphis, Xavier Jones of SMU, Zack Moss of Utah.