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LSU, Alabama could break records as SEC expected to dominate NFL draft again

When asked to name his favorite prospect in the draft, Yahoo Sports NFL draft analyst Eric Edholm couldn’t help himself:

“Favorite? Is Joe Burrow too obvious?,” Edholm said in an interview with Fanspeak. “Let’s assume so. I am a bigger fan of K’Lavon Chaisson than I thought I would be after watching five to six games of his back to back.

“And no, I didn’t attend LSU.”

Love ‘em, hate ‘em or indifferent, you’re going to see a lot of Tigers tonight. As many as six LSU players could be drafted in the first round, including presumed first-overall pick Burrow, expected to be Cincinnati’s franchise cornerstone at quarterback.

After Burrow, the next LSU player expected to be drafted is edge rusher Chaisson, who is widely regarded as the second-best pass rusher in this draft next to Ohio State’s Chase Young. Chaisson is expected to be among the first 20 players selected.

After those two, you have a cluster of Tigers vying for the first round, including cornerback Kristian Fulton and linebacker Patrick Queen, one of the youngest players in this draft.

Those four may be the only Tigers selected on Day 1, but two more could sneak in the back half of the round: Justin Jefferson, who one former coach and offensive coordinator called the third-best receiver in the draft, and Grant Delpit, who was considered a potential top-10 pick at the beginning of the season before an ankle injury slowed him down.

That would give LSU six players drafted in the first round, which would tie Miami’s 2004 record.

Even if only three or four LSU players wind up going in Round 1, the SEC is expected to dominate Day 1.

Like LSU, Alabama also could have six players selected in the first round, including quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, offensive tackle Jedrick Wills, wide receivers Jerry Jeudy and Henry Ruggs III, cornerback Trevon Diggs and safety Xavier McKinney.

But Alabama and LSU aren’t the only SEC schools expected to produce a first-round pick tonight. Auburn’s Derrick Brown is the best defensive tackle in the draft, followed by South Carolina’s Javon Kinlaw. Some analysts suggest Florida’s C.J. Henderson may be a better cover cornerback than the presumed No. 1 CB, Ohio State’s Jeffrey Okudah. Georgia’s Andrew Thomas is considered one of the best offensive tackles, D’Andre Swift one of the best running backs. And Brown’s defensive lineman teammate Marlon Davidson is also hoping to sneak into the first round.

Overall, LSU may challenge Ohio State’s 2004 record for most players selected from one school in a single, seven-round draft. Ohio State had 14 players drafted that year.

 

Jake Rigdon (jake@sydwriting.com) covers the NFL draft for Fanspeak and the On The Clock, which is the only NFL draft simulator that allows you to customize and use your own big board while giving you control over trades.



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