Three months after winning a national championship, LSU is still dominating the football landscape.
Starting with Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Joe Burrow at No. 1 overall, the Tigers went on to tie the record by having 14 players selected in a seven-round NFL draft, matching Ohio State’s mark from 2004.
The NFL switched to a seven-round format in 1994. The only team with more players selected in the common draft era (since 1967) was Texas, which saw 17 players chosen during a 12-round draft in 1984, according to research by ESPN Stats & Information and the Elias Sports Bureau.
The SEC as a whole had 63 players drafted, one shy of its own record of 64 players in a seven-round draft — which was set last year. The conference already made history by having 15 players selected in Round 1.
The Tigers saw five players selected in Round 1 — falling one short of the record set by the 2004 Miami Hurricanes (Burrow at No. 1, outside linebacker K’Lavon Chaisson at No. 20, wide receiver Justin Jefferson at No. 22, linebacker Patrick Queen at No. 28 and running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire at No. 32).
LSU had two players selected in Round 2 (safety Grant Delpit and cornerback Kristian Fulton), three in Round 3 (guard Damien Lewis, center Lloyd Cushenberry III and LB Jacob Phillips), two in Round 4 (offensive tackle Saahdiq Charles and defensive tackle Rashard Lawrence), one in Round 6 (long-snapper Blake Ferguson) and one in Round 7 (tight end Stephen Sullivan).
Tigers coach Ed Orgeron — who is now tasked with replacing this massive collection of talent — joked earlier this week about the possibility of his school making NFL draft history.
“That and 50 cents will get you a cup of coffee tomorrow,” Orgeron said. “No, it means a lot. It means development. It means recruiting great-character kids. It means a lot with recruiting.
“The reason you come to a school like LSU is you want to win a national championship, you want to graduate and you want to get drafted. … I think it adds validity to your program. I think it enables you to recruit across the country. Obviously, we have a national brand right now. We want to stay in the state of Louisiana with our great players, and we’ll want to continue to win championships.”
The list of historic achievements by LSU and the SEC in this year’s draft is remarkable, according to research by Elias and ESPN Stats & Information:
• Before the SEC had 15 players drafted in Round 1, the previous record in the common draft era was 12 (set by the ACC in 2006 and tied by the SEC in 2013 and 2017).
• Burrow was just the second player in the common draft era to win a national championship, the Heisman Trophy and be drafted No. 1 overall in the span of a year. The other was Auburn’s Cam Newton.
• Burrow and Alabama’s Tua Tagovailoa became the first pair of quarterbacks from the same conference selected in the top five during the common draft era.
• Alabama saw four players selected in the top 15 — tied for the most in the common draft era (Tagovailoa at No. 5, OT Jedrick Wills Jr. at No. 10, WR Henry Ruggs III at No. 12 and WR Jerry Jeudy at No. 15).
• The Cleveland Browns took SEC players with each of their first four picks. That is just the third time a team has made four picks from the same conference within the first three rounds in the common draft era (1988 Rams with the Pac-10, and 1983 Oilers with the Pac-10).