How many SEC Players will be taken in the 1st round of the 2022 NFL Draft?
It’s no secret that the SEC reigns supreme in college football year in and year out, with five of the seven CFP champions coming from the NCAA’s dominant conference.
This dominance extends to the NFL, as the conference had the most alumni on Super Bowl LVI rosters and continually dominates the first round of the NFL Draft. The 2021 NFL Draft saw 12 SEC players selected on Day 1, and an average of 11 SEC players have gone off the board in the first round over the past six drafts.
The over/under for the number of first-round SEC selections is 10.5, on track with the recent average, with the over being the favorite at -132 and the under checking in at +100.
Oddschecker Broke Down the Odds
“Last year, 12 players came off the board in round one who played for an SEC school. It was the 10th time out of the last 11 years that the SEC led the nation in first round draft picks. In 2021, the SEC also set a record with 65 total selections coming from the conference. In 2020, a whopping 15 SEC players were drafted in the first round. This year, the expectation remains high.
Getting to 11 players may sound like a lot, but with the talent pool coming out it’s really not that crazy. At -132 oddsmakers are implying a 56.9% chance of there being more than 10.5 players from the SEC drafted in the 1st round. Expect a ton of guys from that Georgia defense to come off the board in round one with the likes of Travon Walker, Jordan Davis, Devontae Wyatt, Nakobe Dean, Lewis Cine, etc. Then of course you have Jameson Williams and Evan Neal headlining for Alabama.
Give me the over here, with 11 or 12 players from the SEC getting selected in round one.”
SEC Players 1st Round Near Locks
Players with elite grade and most likely Top 10 picks.
Evan Neal, OT, Alabama
Neal is one of the few players in contention to be the #1 overall pick and is a near-lock to be a top-five selection. The top-ranked player on The 33rd Team’s Prospect Board, he projects as a long-time left tackle in the league who can play at a high level for years to come. Neal is a candidate for the Jaguars, Texans, or Giants.
Charles Cross, OT, Mississippi
The ninth-ranked player in the draft by The 33rd Team, Cross is a candidate to be a top-ten selection and will likely be one of the first three offensive linemen selected. Similar to Neal, he presents as a starting left tackle who is a solid run blocker and outstanding pass blocker. Cross is a candidate for the Giants, Panthers, or Seahawks.
Derek Stingley Jr., CB, LSU
Stingley is the second-ranked cornerback and 14th overall player on The 33rd Team’s rankings. He is a strong contender to be one of the first two defensive backs drafted on Day 1. Still, he comes with an injury risk thanks to a foot injury in his senior season. Stingley Jr. is a great athlete with polished man coverage skills. The Falcons, Seahawks and Jets are all good fits.
Travon Walker, EDGE, Georgia
One of the most physically gifted edge defenders in the draft, Walker is lower in The 33rd Team’s rankings than many other sites as the seventh-ranked edge and 37th overall player. He is a lock for the first thanks to his combination of upside and ability to impact both the pass and run game. He has one of the wider ranges among first-round candidates. Walker fits well on lots of teams, including the Lions, Falcons and Giants.
SEC Players Likely Taken in the 1st Round
Players with clear 1st round grades and should hear their name in the first half of Round 1.
Jameson Williams, WR, Alabama
Next up in what has been a historical pipeline of first-round wide receivers out of Alabama over the past few drafts, Williams checks in as the 12th overall player and second-ranked wide receiver for The 33rd Team. He has outstanding speed and explosiveness, profiling as a dominant vertical threat as a rookie. Williams will appeal to lots of teams, including the Falcons, Eagles, and Saints.
Jordan Davis, DT, Georgia
Georgia’s defense had a significant presence on this list, and Davis is quite literally the largest of these. Measuring at 6’6” and over 340 lbs., Davis is the third-ranked defensive tackle and the serendipitous 33rd overall player for The 33rd Team. His physical stature gives him an incredibly high ceiling, but concerns exist about his ability to be on the field during third downs. Davis is a good fit for teams including the Ravens, Chargers, and Cardinals.
SEC Players 1st Round Possible
Players with near-1st Round grades who may especially fit on 2021 playoff teams.
Nakobe Dean, LB, Georgia
Dean is another Georgia Bulldog that could hear his name called in the 1st Round. He checks in as the second-ranked linebacker and 15th overall player. One of the most productive players on a defense stacked with future pros, Dean projects as a slightly undersized three-down linebacker at the next level. He is a candidate for the Chargers, Patriots, or Packers.
For an in-depth look at Dean, check out his interview with The 33rd Team.
Kenyon Green, G, Texas A&M
Green is a physically imposing lineman and is The 33rd Team’s top-ranked offensive guard & 19th overall player. He is able to use his large frame (6’4”, 314 lbs.) on the interior of the line, and demonstrates a great motor. His biggest concerns are his ability to sustain blocks and footwork in pass protection. A dearth of competent offensive linemen in the NFL gives him a great shot to be a Round 1 selection. He is a great fit for teams such as the Cowboys, Titans, or Buccaneers.
Treylon Burks, WR, Arkansas
Burks had a career year for the Hogs in 2021, a performance that led to his ranking as the sixth wide receiver and 25th overall player for The 33rd Team. He has a great frame at 6’0” and 200 lbs. with 32-inch arms and has already shown impressive body control. Burks needs to work on his route-running and release off the line. He fits well on the Saints, Packers, or Chiefs.
Kaiir Elam, CB, Florida
Elam is a prototypically built outside cornerback at 6’0” and 191 lbs. and is a classic size/length/speed prospect who needs more refinement in his coverage – particularly at the top of routes in man coverage. He is the fifth-ranked cornerback and 26th overall player for The 33rd Team. The Cardinals, Bills, and Bengals are good fits for Elam.
Devonte Wyatt, DT, Georgia
Wyatt was Davis’ partner on the interior of Georgia’s line. He is a borderline first-round prospect in his own right. He is significantly smaller than Davis, at only 6’2” and 304 lbs., but is a superior athlete who demonstrated great instincts. Wyatt is the top-ranked defensive tackle and 29th ranked player for The 33rd Team. He would fill a need for teams including the Chargers, Cardinals, and Buccaneers.
Lewis Cine, S, Georgia
Cine ranks as the third safety and 53rd ranked player for The 33rd Team. He demonstrates the requisite athletic ability and range to play free safety in the NFL, though his frame leads to getting out-muscled at times. Cine fits in a variety of schemes, including the Saints, Eagles, and Lions.
Matt Corral, QB, Mississippi
The 2022 quarterback class is profoundly polarizing. At The 33rd Team, Corral is ranked as the seventh quarterback and 94th overall player – seemingly a longshot for the first round. However, two things may push him into Round 1. First, he has qualities NFL teams will like, such as his mobility. The advantage of the fifth-year option for first-round picks is magnified for quarterbacks. Teams that could look to take a shot on Corral include the Saints, Steelers, Lions, and the Titans.
SEC Players 1st Round Adjacent
Players without 1st Round grades, but with attributes that keep them in the conversation.
Roger McCreary, CB, Auburn
McCreary is the seventh-ranked cornerback and 34th overall player for The 33rd Team. A smooth athlete and adept at press-man coverage, his lack of size and short arms could keep him out of Round 1. Concerns exist about his ability to play outside in the NFL
John Metchie III, WR, Alabama
Metchie looked to be next in continuing the channel of Alabama receivers to the NFL Draft’s first round, but a torn ACL in the SEC Championship put a significant damper on those prospects. The ninth-ranked wideout and 47th overall player for The 33rd Team, his knee injury and smaller frame (5’11”, 187 lbs.) will likely push him towards being a Day 2 selection despite great route-running and solid toughness.
George Pickens, WR, Georgia
Pickens has a similar story to Metchie, and a similar ranking – two spots lower in The 33rd Team’s overall rankings as the 49th overall player and tenth-ranked wideout. He tore his ACL during spring practice but was able to return for four games, compiling just five receptions for 107 yards. He has great speed and uses his body control to win contested catches. Route-running and lingering injury concerns are likely enough to keep him from being a Day 1 pick.
Conclusion: How Many SEC Players Will Taken in the 1st Round?
In total, six SEC players are good bets for the first round. Seven more have a great chance to go. At least three more have an outside shot.
If I were a gambling man, I would take over 10.5 SEC players taken in the 1st Round.
Our friends at Oddschecker.com picked the over as well, with a bet of $132 to win $100.