The Southeastern Conference led the way once again, turning in a record haul of 63 players taken in the 2013 NFL Draft. With a current streak of seven straight national champions, it is no surprise that the nation’s best conference has become a prime breeding ground for the NFL. College Football’s best coaches, recruiters, and players reside down south, so anticipate another SEC-dominated draft in 2014.
Firstly, the consensus top prospect hails from the South Carolina Gamecocks in Jadeveon Clowney. He could be the best defensive draft prospect in decades as he is a supreme game-changer, just ask Michigan RB Vincent Smith. His size, strength, and athleticism are off the charts, making him the best player in the country, from its best conference.
Next, the SEC is loaded with talent once again, which translates to a plethora of future draft choices. Some other top prospects for this upcoming draft include “Johnny Football” himself Johnny Manziel, OT Cyrus Kouandjio (Ala.), OT Jake Matthews (A&M), DT Anthony Johnson (LSU), S Ha Ha Clinton-Dix (Ala.), CB Loucheiz Purifoy (Fla.), QB Aaron Murray (UGA), DE Dominique Easley (Fla.), and WR Donte Moncrief (Ole Miss.). These prospects, along with many other SEC players, will be high on draft boards come April (or May) 2014.
The top-end portion of the draft, or the initial three rounds, are where the SEC really flexes its muscles. Of the first 99 players selected last month, 33 came from the SEC. That percentage could be similar this upcoming year as the players mentioned along with a large contingent of others will undoubtedly be taken in the first 100 picks or so.
The SEC will continue its dominance in 2014 and for many years after. It contains the best resources, the best financial support, best fan base, and the best exposure of any conference in the country. As long as coaches such as Nick Saban, Les Miles, Mark Richt, Steve Spurrier, Will Muschamp, etc. remain in the south, the SEC will continue to rack up national championships and loaded recruiting classes. That leads to the best players enrolling at SEC schools, which maintains the fruitful SEC pipeline into the NFL Draft.