The Southeastern Conference prides itself on the motto, “it just means more.” Pertaining to the 2022 NFL Draft odds, there is a certain truth to the motto. This particularly applies to the first round, where the SEC has attained a certain level of success in recent years. With that in mind, how many SEC players will be drafted in Round 1 later this month?
2022 NFL Draft Odds: How many SEC players will be drafted in Round 1?
When it comes to the NFL Draft, “it just means more” is particularly apt for the SEC. Over the past five years alone, the conference has had significantly more first-round picks than any other college football conference. Even in a relatively down year for the conference, their nine first-round selections in the 2019 NFL Draft were two more than their next closest rival, the Big Ten.
Only the 2019 and 2018 events saw the SEC duck below the 2022 NFL Draft over/under of 10.5 first-round selections for the conference. Last year, the conference had 12 first-round picks. Furthermore, they had an NFL Draft record of 65 total selections, breaking the previous record — of course set by the SEC — of 64 total picks in the 2019 class. Even when they’re not hitting double-digit first-round selections, they’re still dominating.
In 2017, the SEC also had 12 selections. However, neither class compares to the exceptional 2020 class. Led by LSU quarterback Joe Burrow, the SEC tallied a remarkable 15 first-round picks. The CFB National Championship-winning Tigers provided five of those. Meanwhile, Alabama, Georgia, Auburn, Florida, and South Carolina contributed to the tally.
Unsurprisingly, the CFB National Championship can be an excellent barometer of what talent is set to make the leap from college football to the NFL in the draft. With Georgia and Alabama representing the SEC at the peak of college football, the conference is again expected to provide a healthy dose of first-round picks. Can they surpass the 10.5 over/under line as provided by DraftKings Sportsbook?
SEC over/under odds in the 2022 NFL Draft
The current over/under line for the SEC, as per DraftKings Sportsbook, is 10.5 (-135 over, +105 under).
If you’re looking to make some dollars on the draft, where should you put your money? Let’s look at the potential first-round prospects from the SEC. Although the draft process is extremely fluid, and there’ll undoubtedly be movement even at this late stage, the following players fall within the first 32 prospects on the Pro Football Network Top 300 Big Board.
Evan Neal, OT, Alabama
At 6’7 1/2″, a muscular 337 pounds, and boasting 34″ arms, Evan Neal looks like he was made in an NFL offensive tackle laboratory. Versatile with experience at both bookends and at guard, the Alabama offensive tackle showcases excellent footwork and athleticism for his size. With powerful, violent hands, he also plays the game with a low pad level for a player of his size. DraftKings currently offer odds of +1400 for Neal to be the first pick of the 2022 NFL Draft.
Charles Cross, OT, Mississippi State
Mississippi State offensive tackle Charles Cross is the third-ranked OT on the PFN Top 300 Big Board. Furthermore, he’s our sixth overall prospect. He might not have the sheer size of Neal, but the slender offensive lineman plays with equal savagery.
Cross is exceptionally athletic, with fast footwork and lateral agility allowing him to mirror pass rushers with ease. Although the Carolina Panthers are the current NFL Draft odds leader to take Kenny Pickett, PFN Chief Draft Analyst Tony Pauline reports Cross is in play for the Panthers at pick six.
Derek Stingley Jr., CB, LSU
Once considered a top-five pick and CB1 of the 2022 NFL Draft, Derek Stingley Jr.‘s stock has been somewhat complicated by injury during his final season with LSU. As a result, DraftKings offers a line of 12.5 for his 2022 NFL Draft position, with odds favoring the over. Recent draft projections support that assertion. However, at his best, he’s an exceptional athlete with technical superiority and incredible catch-point skills.
Jameson Williams, WR, Alabama
A natural speedster who exhibits excellent after-the-catch ability, the only thing preventing Jameson Williams from soaring up draft boards as quickly as he stretches the field is an ACL tear suffered during the CFB National Championship. Expected to be running before the 2022 NFL Draft, his current odds of being the first WR taken are +850. He’s the WR3 and 17th overall prospect on the latest edition of the PFN Top 300 Big Board.
Kaiir Elam, CB, Florida
Like Williams and Stingley, injury impacted Kaiir Elam‘s final season at Florida. As a result, he didn’t take the step in development we expected to see. That said, Elam’s a physical cornerback who excels as a tackler. He perfectly treads the line between aggressiveness and patience in his play. Additionally, Elam has the size and speed that NFL teams covet at the cornerback position.
Travon Walker, EDGE, Georgia
Although Georgia defensive prospect Travon Walker comes in as the 19th overall prospect on the PFN Top 300 Big Board, reports suggest that he could be in play for the Jacksonville Jaguars with the first overall pick. With odds of +300, he’s the second favorite to be the first selection of the 2022 NFL Draft. A freak athlete with exceptional versatility, Walker would be the ultimate upside and projection pick.
Jordan Davis, DT, Georgia
Big men don’t come much bigger than Jordan Davis. They also don’t come much more athletic than the Georgia defensive tackle. His otherworldly Combine performance backed up what his college tape demonstrated this season. It also likely solidified his standing as a first-round pick for the SEC.
A roadblock at the heart of the defensive line, Davis eats double-teams for breakfast. Furthermore, he has the ability to be disruptive against the run and as a pass rusher.
Nakobe Dean, LB, Georgia
A delicious combination of football intelligence and athletic ability, Georgia linebacker Nakobe Dean can impact the game at all levels of defense. Dean diagnoses and stops the run, and he’s developed as a pass rusher. On top of that, he’s one of the best coverage linebackers in the class. Ranked as the 21st overall prospect on our board, it would be a major surprise to see Dean make it out of Day 1.
Kenyon Green, G, Texas A&M
As we get down this list, the odds of being selected in the first round of the 2022 NFL Draft become less certain. Coming into the season, Kenyon Green was considered one of the top prospects. However, a difficult season has sullied his projection.
Nonetheless, he showcases elite abilities as an interior offensive lineman. With a rock-solid anchor and a savage athleticism in the ground game, Green comes in as our 25th overall prospect. Various mock drafts concur that he should still see a first-round selection.
Treylon Burks, WR, Arkansas
By comparison, Arkansas wide receiver Treylon Burks is a name that has been listed as a possible slider into Day 2 of the NFL Draft. A suboptimal NFL Combine testing performance — combined with some opinion around the scouting community about how his tape projects to the NFL level — have caused pause for a prospect once considered one of the top pass catchers in the class.
Matt Corral, QB, Mississippi
Amidst a murky quarterback class, Matt Corral may or may not make it as a first-round selection. The Ole Miss playmaker currently has +1500 odds to be the first QB selected in the 2022 NFL Draft. With exceptional arm talent, leadership, and creativity outside the pocket, Corral sits as QB2 on our Top 300 Big Board. As a result, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see his name called within the first 32 picks.
Devonte Wyatt, DT, Georgia
The final SEC player within the top 32 prospects on the PFN Top 300 Big Board is Georgia defensive tackle Devonte Wyatt. His NFL Combine performance was even more impressive than Davis’ in many respects. A stout defensive tackle with a good anchor, Wyatt possesses explosion, power, and the length to be a disruptive force.
Hammer the over for the SEC in the 2022 NFL Draft odds
As you can see, there is an embarrassment of riches from the SEC once more. There’s a reason why the odds are -135 for over 10.5 first-round selections in the 2022 NFL Draft. There are 12 players on the PFN Top 300 Big Board that fall within the first-round range. Even if Burks, Green, and Corral were to slide, there are others to take their place.
One such player is Georgia safety Lewis Cine. While he sits just outside the top 32, there are multiple analysts here at PFN with a first-round grade on a prospect who has earned the motto “diagnose and destroy.” Quay Walker, Roger McCreary, Christian Harris, and DeMarvin Leal have all garnered first-round attention. Once again, it seems like the SEC will have more first-round prospects than any other conference.