- Chris Low, ESPN Senior Staff Writer
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Texas A&M’s Johnny Manziel is obviously the SEC’s big-ticket quarterback in this draft and could go in the top 10 picks.
Even though the SEC might not be known as a quarterback league, this would mark the ninth time in the last 12 years that an SEC quarterback would be taken in the first round -- assuming Johnny Football does indeed get the call on Thursday. That doesn’t count Texas A&M’s Ryan Tannehill, who was a first-round pick in 2012, because Tannehill never played in the SEC.
Granted, just because a quarterback is drafted high doesn’t mean he’s destined for NFL success. See JaMarcus Russell.
By the same token, if a quarterback isn’t drafted high (or even at all), that doesn’t mean he won’t have a successful NFL career. See Tom Brady.
The SEC school that has produced the most drafted quarterbacks, at least over the last 40 years, is LSU. The Tigers have had eight quarterbacks drafted since 1990 and 10 since 1970. Mettenberger would be the 11th.
Not far behind is Alabama, which has had eight quarterbacks drafted since 1970. However, the last Alabama quarterback to be drafted in the first round was Richard Todd in 1976. Unless McCarron goes higher than expected this year, that’s a drought that will continue.
Speaking of droughts, the last Mississippi State quarterback to be drafted, period, was Dave Marler in 1979. That’s the longest such drought in the league.
The only school even close to that drought is South Carolina. The last Gamecocks quarterback to be taken in the NFL draft was Todd Ellis in 1990. Ellis, now the play-by-play man on South Carolina’s radio broadcasts, played for the Gamecocks before they were in the SEC.
Since 1996, the SEC has had at least one quarterback selected in every draft with the exception of 2012. Again, Tannehill isn't included.
Here’s a look at the SEC first-round picks at quarterback going back to 1970:
Cam Newton, Auburn, 2011 (No. 1 overall)
Tim Tebow, Florida, 2010
Matthew Stafford, Georgia, 2009 (No. 1 overall)
JaMarcus Russell, LSU, 2007 (No. 1 overall)
Jay Cutler, Vanderbilt, 2006
Jason Campbell, Auburn, 2005
Eli Manning, Ole Miss, 2004 (No. 1 overall)
Rex Grossman, Florida, 2003
Tim Couch, Kentucky, 1999 (No. 1 overall)
Peyton Manning, Tennessee, 1998 (No. 1 overall)
Heath Shuler, Tennessee, 1994
Bert Jones, LSU, 1973
John Reaves, Florida, 1972
Archie Manning, Ole Miss, 1971
4dGreg Ostendorf and Alex Scarborough