The 15 most interesting stats from the 2017 NFL Draft

Posted by: Chris Vannini on Sunday April 30, 2017


1. For the second straight year, a Big Ten team led the nation in draft picks:

Michigan: 11
Alabama: 10
Miami: 9
Florida: 8
LSU: 8
Utah: 8
Ohio State: 7
Clemson: 6
North Carolina: 6
Tennessee: 6

Last year, Ohio State led with 12.

2. But for the 11th straight year, the SEC led all conferences:

SEC: 53 (3.7 per school)
ACC: 42 (3.1 per school)
Pac-12: 36 (3 per school)
Big Ten: 35 (2.5 per school)
AAC: 15 (1.2 per school)
Big 12: 14 (1.4 per school)
MAC: 11
C-USA: 9
Mountain West: 8
Sun Belt: 5
Independent: 3
FCS: 14
Division II: 7

3. There were 104 players who declared early for the draft with eligibility remaining, and 28 went undrafted.

That’s 26.9 percent, slightly down from 28 percent last year. Every situation is different, and you can certainly make the league (and get paid) as an undrafted free agent, but you also want to make sure kids make the best decisions.

4. For the first time in the Common Draft era, there were no offensive linemen in the top 15.

There wasn’t an OL picked until Garett Bolles at No. 20. There has been vocal concern from NFL teams about less OL development in college, due to new offenses and less practice time. But then again, there were four tackles in the top 16 last year.

“Things are just not quite as clear as they used to be, and that’s my personal belief,” Seahawks GM John Schneider said last week. “There’s not a forest of offensive lineman trees you can run out in the backyard and go.”

5. 2016 Ohio State joined 2001 Miami as the only schools to have three defensive backs picked in the first round.

This year, that included CB Marshon Lattimore, safety Malik Hooker and CB Gareon Conley for Ohio State. The Buckeyes have produced 5 first-round defensive backs in the last four drafts, and 18 of Ohio State’s starters  on the 2014 national title team are now in the NFL.

In the 2002 NFL Draft, the three Miami DB's included CB Phillip Buchanon, safety Ed Reed and CB Mike Rumph.

6. 28 of the first 100 picks were defensive backs, the most in the Common Draft era.

In a time when passing offense is as prolific as ever, teams not only know how important a DB is, but players know the opportunities available on the defensive side. So instead of being a fifth receiver, great athletes are playing defensive back.

7. 19 first-round picks were defensive players, tying a Common Draft era record.

Similar to above, offenses are putting up more points than ever, and the importance is being shifted back to defense to stop that. 

8. These are the longest streaks with an NFL draft pick. All five continued this year.

Michigan / USC (1939)

Michigan State (1941)

Florida (1951)

Nebraska (1961)

In addition, for the first time since 1985, Oregon did not have a player taken. 

9. A QB drafted by the Chiefs hasn’t won a start for the team since 1987.

That was Todd Blackledge, who was drafted by the team in 1983. The Chiefs jumped up 17 spots to grab Patrick Mahomes at No. 10. Alex Smith is still the guy, but could Mahomes finally end the streak?

QB’s drafted by the Chiefs since Blackledge include: Doug Hudson, Danny McManus, Mike Elkins, Matt Blundin, Steve Matthews, Steven Stenstrom, Pat Barnes, James Kilian, Brodie Croyle, Ricky Stanzi, Aaron Murray and Kevin Hogan.

10 Missouri has produced 7 defensive linemen picked in the first two rounds since 2008.

That includes Ziggy Hood, Aldon Smith, Sheldon Richardson, Markus Golden, Kony Ealy, Shane Ray and Charles Harris.

As noted by The St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Missouri’s 2013 team had 15 scholarship D-linemen, and eight were drafted or are under contract in the NFL now.

11. Four of the top 10 picks were in the recruiting class of 2014 out of Texas — but none of them went to Texas.

That includes Myles Garrett (Texas A&M), Solomon Thomas (Stanford), Jamal Adams (LSU) and Patrick Mahomes (Texas Tech).

The Longhorns had just one player picked for the second year in a row.

12. West Georgia had more players picked (2) than Georgia, Georgia Tech, Georgia Southern or Georgia State (1 each).

The state of Georgia led nation in picks with 29 players out of the state, followed by Florida (27), California (26), Texas (24), Ohio (16) and Louisiana (15).

13. The Seahawks have had one first-round pick in the last five years.

They traded out of the first round late Thursday. Few organizations have found more stars in the later rounds in recent years.

On Friday, the Seahawks had 2 second-round pick and 4 third-round picks.

14. Alabama produced 7 of the first 55 picks and 9 of the first 80.

Both are records in the Common Draft era. Alabama already has the most picks among all schools in recent years, and that’s not slowing down any time soon.

The Tide have produced a first-round pick in eight straight years. The record is Miami at 14 years from 1995-2008.

15. LSU has produced a top-6 pick at defensive back three times in the last seven years.

That includes Patrick Peterson (No. 5 in 2011), Morris Claiborne (No. 6 in 2012) and Jamal Adams (No. 6 in 2017).

The Tigers have had five first-round defensive backs in the last seven years. Who is DBU? Ohio State and LSU both can make a case.

Bonus stat: Utah had four offensive linemen drafted.

Chris Vannini is in his fifth year with CoachingSearch.com and serves as its managing editor. He has previously written for the Detroit Free Press, The Oakland Press, The State News, MLive.com, 247Sports and SB Nation.  A graduate of Michigan State University, Chris now lives in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.  Be sure to follow @coachingsearch and send emails to chris@coachingsearch.com.