SEC Sets Record with 65 Players Selected in 2021 NFL Draft

Jenna CiccotelliAnalyst IIIMay 2, 2021

Alabama head coach Nick Saban is soaked in a sports drink after their win against Ohio State in an NCAA College Football Playoff national championship game, Monday, Jan. 11, 2021, in Miami Gardens, Fla. Alabama won 52-24. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)
Wilfredo Lee/Associated Press

The Southeastern Conference broke its own record during the 2021 NFL draft as a record 65 players from its member schools were selected.

The previous record was 64 players, set by the conference in 2019. SEC schools had 63 players drafted in both 2013 and 2020, according to ESPN Stats & Information.

In addition to the large volume of players, the conference also was responsible for the majority of the top picks. ESPN's Kevin Seifert noted that 12 of the first-round picks were from the conference. The group was headlined by Florida tight end Kyle Pitts, who went to the Atlanta Falcons at No. 4 overall, followed by Cincinnati Bengals pick Ja'Marr Chase, formerly of LSU, at No. 5.

South Carolina's Jaycee Horn went to the Carolina Panthers at No. 8 overall, while a trio of Alabama products went in the top 10—wide receivers Jaylen Waddle (No. 6 to the Miami Dolphins) and DeVonta Smith (No. 10 to the Philadelphia Eagles) and cornerback Patrick Surtain II (No. 9 to the Denver Broncos).

Perhaps more impressive is the NFL's haul from the defending national champions. Alabama saw 10 players drafted in 2021, bringing its five-year total to 51, which ties the 1973-77 USC program for the most draft picks in that time frame, per Elias Sports Bureau.

The ACC saw 51 players drafted, headlined by No. 1 overall pick Trevor Lawrence.