The first round of the NFL draft was Thursday, and as usual, the SEC stole the show. Only this time it was more about Laremy Tunsil’s hacked social media accounts than it was the number of players taken on the first night.
But let’s move on from Tunsil for now. The Ole Miss offensive tackle was one of eight SEC players who were drafted in the first round. There also were a handful of prominent prospects with first-round aspirations who must wait until Day 2 to hear their name called, including a trio of players from national champion Alabama.
Here’s a look back at what you might have missed in the first round.
Record night for Ole Miss
After what happened with Tunsil, there’s probably more concern at Ole Miss right now than there is celebration. But the school can still tip its cap to the fact that it had three players taken in the first round for the first time in program history.
Though he dropped out of the top 10, Tunsil was the highest pick of the three at No. 13. Next was wide receiver Laquon Treadwell, who was selected at No. 23 by the Minnesota Vikings. He was the fourth receiver taken in the first round. Defensive lineman Robert Nkemdiche, who some speculated might drop to the second round because of off-field concerns, was taken by the Arizona Cardinals with the 29th pick.
That's quite the feat for an Ole Miss program that had just four players selected in the previous five drafts and none taken in the first round. What matters now, however, is the fallout after Tunsil’s comments.
SEC is still king
Ohio State had the most players (five) drafted in the first round Thursday, but the SEC had more first-round picks (eight) than any conference.
The first SEC player taken was former Georgia pass-rusher Leonard Floyd, who went No. 9 to the Chicago Bears. Of note, this was the lowest the first SEC player has been drafted since Jay Cutler went No. 11 to the Denver Broncos in the 2006 draft. In fact, every draft in between had an SEC player chosen in the top five.
Other first-round picks from the SEC, in addition to the trio from Ole Miss, were Florida defensive backs Vernon Hargreaves III (No. 11) and Keanu Neal (No. 17), Alabama center Ryan Kelly (No. 18) and Texas A&M offensive tackle Germain Ifedi (No. 31).
Best available for Day 2
The biggest surprise from the first round might have been that only one Alabama player was drafted. There was talk that running back Derrick Henry, defensive linemen Jarran Reed and A’Shawn Robinson and linebacker Reggie Ragland could all be picked in the first round. Instead, they will have to wait until Day 2.
They might not have to wait long. Ragland, Reed and Robinson are considered three of the top four best available players on Day 2, according to ESPN draft expert Mel Kiper Jr. Henry also makes the list at No. 22.
Others from the SEC to keep an eye on in the next two rounds Friday include Arkansas tight end Hunter Henry, LSU linebacker Deion Jones, Mississippi State defensive lineman Chris Jones and South Carolina tight end Jerell Adams.