What the NFL Draft told us about the state of each SEC Program

Mayor of Detroit Mike Duggan announces Ennis Rakestraw Jr., a cornerback from Missouri, as the
Mayor of Detroit Mike Duggan announces Ennis Rakestraw Jr., a cornerback from Missouri, as the / Eric Seals / USA TODAY NETWORK
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The SEC had yet another impressive showing at the NFL Draft with 11 first-round picks without including the selections of future SEC programs in the Oklahoma Sooners or Texas Longhorns. The NFL Draft typically provides a good insight into what programs are succeeding without looking at wins and losses. Here's what direction each SEC program is going in based on the NFL Draft:


While Alabama had a great draft with ten selections three of which were first-round picks, to evaluate Alabama's program we need to look at Washington's draft class. Kalen DeBoer was one of the biggest winners of the draft adding a top-ten quarterback selection to his resume while sending ten players to the NFL three of which were first-round picks.

The majority of DeBoer's selections were on the offensive side of the football which will make things interesting for Alabama considering the fact that DeBoer's offensive coordinator Ryan Grubb departed for the Seattle Seahawks. DeBoer elevated a ton of talent while at Washington making what he does with a higher level of talent at Alabama very interesting.


The results of the NFL Draft didn't make Sam Pittman's seat any cooler as the Razorbacks sent just two players into the NFL. After things looked so promising in 2021, the Razorbacks have gone straight downhill with two lackluster seasons where they went 4-12 in the conference. If the 2024 season starts like the 2023 season the team will likely move on from Pittman as the results have been poor at best.


The Hugh Freeze era is still in the beginning stages however, the NFL Draft was a disappointment for the Auburn Tigers. Freeze saw five players head to the NFL all of which were on the defensive side of the football. All five players went on Day Three of the NFL Draft.

The positive sign for Auburn and its fans is that Hugh Freeze has been recruiting well on the offensive side of the football. The Tigers have now gone four straight drafts without a first round pick which directly correlates with underwhelming seasons. This season will be interesting for Auburn and Hugh Freeze as he'll have the most talent he's had since arriving on the Plains.


Florida did better than some SEC Schools with a first-round selection in Ricky Pearsall however, that would be the end of Florida's draft selections. The Gators' lack of draft day success mirrors the lack of success Billy Napier has experienced thus far.

The 2024 season will be a make-or-break season for Billy Napier as the results have been underwhelming as a whole. If you look at coaches hired in the same year as Napier such as Lincoln Riley, Brian Kelly, or Dan Lanning all three have reached their conference championship game and have had great draft success while Napier is 11-14 finishing under .500 in both seasons.