NFL Draft News
May 7, 2015
The first round of the NFL Draft is in the books for 2015. While the focus is on the future, there are a few fun facts worth checking out when it comes to the college and high schools of the players drafted last week.
Florida State led the way with the colleges. Number-one pick Jameis Winston got it all started for the Seminoles who ended up with 11 draftees within the seven round draft. Louisville, surprisingly, was close behind with 10 picks. Next up was Florida who had eight choices despite having a miserable season.
In terms of conferences, the PAC-12 started out strong, but the SEC, with 54 selections, and the ACC, with 47 choices, came back to post more total picks. The PAC-12 ended up with 39 athletes chosen.
Expansion has certainly aided the ACC’s rise with draft picks. The conference can now compete with the SEC and clearly boasts better numbers then the Big 10 (35) and the Big 12 (25).
Here are some oddities regarding individual schools. Did you know that nearby small schools such as Mars Hill University and Newberry College had better numbers than Tennessee. Yes, Mars Hill and Newberry each had one player chosen while Tennessee, a recent power, got shut out. Heck, Tennessee State had two players picked while Chattanooga had one. You know Volunteer Nation is not happy with those numbers.
Notre Dame only had one draftee. I can hear the coaches at Mars Hill and Newberry telling future recruits that they put just as many, or more, players into the NFL than Tennessee or Notre Dame.
Remember the National Championship game that Ohio State won handily over Florida State? Well, the Buckeyes only had five players drafted compared to Florida State’s 11 draftees.
How far has the Big 10 fallen? Quite a bit when Michigan, Nebraska, and Penn State each manage to net three selections.
Jameis Winston to the Buccaneers
Speaking of falling. How about Virginia Tech? The Hokies used to have nice draft numbers. They had two this year, same as Duke.
Back to Florida State. One of this weekend’s subplots was whether the Seminoles could break the all-time record for most picks in a three-year span, the 28 by Miami and USC. FSU topped that by one as it has now had 29 players drafted over the past three years.
I will stick to the first round when talking of high schools. Of the 32 fortunate players chosen in the first round, eight of them came from the state of Florida. Percentage-wise, that means 25% of the first round selections came from the Sunshine State. Georgia came in next with four players, followed by North Carolina and California with three. Wisconsin and Texas came in with two players taken, and single players were chosen from the following states: Alabama, Hawaii, Iowa, Pennsylvania, Washington, Arizona, Kentucky, Kansas, Connecticut and Illinois
The Carolina Panthers had a somewhat surprising draft. The biggest surprise came in the first round where the Panthers took Washington linebacker, Shaq Thompson.
They must have liked Thompson as one would think Carolina is already strong at linebacker with Luke Kuechly and Thomas Davis already in the fold.
Shaq Thompson to the Panthers
What I have read on Thompson, he is very athletic and may even have the skills to be a physical safety. If the position change takes place, I am all for the pick.
Second-round pick Devin Funchess is a tall receiver who brings Kelvin Benjamin, last year’s first-round pick to mind. It definitely looks like general manager Dave Gettleman wants to give Cam Newton some very large targets. Funchess actually has tight end size. The Panthers did address their ongoing issues on the offensive front by taking guard Daryl Williams. A runningback who could surprise is another Cam out of Auburn, Cameron Artis-Payne. Payne is a thickly built back who will add depth while possibly replacing DeAngelo Williams who was not re-signed.