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2015 NFL Draft: Crunching the numbers by college conference

The SEC led the way with 54 total draftees this year, which gives the league a national-best 246 picks in the past five drafts.

Second-most among conferences in the past five drafts is the ACC with 185, followed by the Pac-12 with 160, the Big Ten with 155 and the Big 12 with 120. No other current FBS conference has had more than 55 selections (the Mountain West), and FCS schools have produced 90 picks in that span.

In terms of average picks per member school this year, the SEC was at 3.9, the ACC at 3.4, the Pac-12 at 3.3 and the Big Ten and Big 12 at 2.5 each.

The ACC and Pac-12 led the way in the first round with nine players each. The SEC had seven players, the Big Ten three and the AAC and Big 12 two each.

Over the past five drafts, the SEC has had 50 first-rounders, followed by the ACC with 26, the Pac-12 with 24, the Big 12 with 20 and the Big Ten with 18. No other league has more than the AAC's six.

Some more facts and figures from the 2015 draft:

» Wide receiver was the most popular position in this draft, with 35 selected. Cornerback was second, with 30; that's five fewer than last year, when cornerback was the most popular position. The third-most popular position this year was outside linebacker, with 23.

» Just seven quarterbacks were drafted, half as many as were selected last year. It's the first time since 1998 that there have been fewer than 10 quarterbacks selected (there were eight in '98) and it is the fewest in 60 years, since just six were taken in 1955. Ironically, the overall No. 1 picks in '55 and this year were quarterbacks. In '55, it was Oregon's George Shaw, who has an interesting story. As a freshman cornerback in 1951, he led the nation with 13 interceptions, tied for the second-highest single-season total in NCAA history. Shaw, who also starred in baseball, later moved to quarterback and was the No. 1 overall pick of the Baltimore Colts. He broke his leg early in the 1956 season and was replaced as the starter by a guy named Johnny Unitas.

» There were 17 offensive players selected in the first round this year; that snaps a string of three consecutive seasons in which there were more defenders taken in the first round.

» For the first time since 2010, there were no kickers drafted. But for the fourth year in a row, there was at least one punter picked.

» Eighteen underclassmen were selected in the first round, including each of the first four picks and eight of the top 11.

» There were 11 "Power Five" conference schools that had zero draftees: Arizona, California, Colorado, Illinois, Iowa State, North Carolina, North Carolina State, Syracuse, Tennessee, Texas Tech and Vanderbilt. It was the first time Tennessee didn't have a player drafted since 1963 (Tennessee State had two guys picked). North Carolina, meanwhile, had had a player taken in the first round in four consecutive drafts and in six of the past seven, and had had 21 total picks in the past four drafts.

» Washington's three first-round picks equals the number of first-rounders the Huskies had had in the past 11 drafts. UW had four players drafted this year; it had had 14 players total in the past 10 drafts.

» Iowa offensive lineman Brandon Scherff went fifth overall to the Washington Redskins. He was the first top-10 pick from the Big Ten since 2008, when Michigan's Jake Long went first overall and Ohio State's Vernon Gholson went sixth.

» Wisconsin running back Melvin Gordon and Michigan State cornerback Trae Waynes attended Kenosha (Wis.) Bradford High; they were the first pair of teammates from the same high school's graduating class to go in the first round in the same year since 1997. That year, first-round cornerbacks Michael Booker and Bryant Westbrook had attended El Camino High in Oceanside, Calif.

» Guard Laken Tomlinson, selected by the Detroit Lions, was the first Duke player to go in the first round of the regular draft since linebacker Mike Junkin in 1987.

» Wide receiver DeVante Parker was selected by the Miami Dolphins and was the fourth Louisville player picked in the first round in the past two drafts. Before this two-year stretch, the school had had just eight first-rounders in its history. And Parker is the first Cardinals receiver ever drafted in the first round.

» All hail Gary Pinkel. Shane Ray was selected by the Denver Broncos and was Missouri's sixth first-round pick in the past seven drafts. Before this run, Mizzou had had six first-rounders in the previous 38 years.

» Cornerback Kevin Johnson, taken by the Houston Texans, is just the fifth Wake Forest player ever to be selected in the first round.

» Alabama's streak of having multiple players selected in the first round ended at five consecutive drafts, the longest in history. And while the Tide had seven players selected, it was the fewest for the school since 2011.

» Florida, Florida State and Miami each had an offensive lineman taken in the first round. That's the first time ever each has had an offensive lineman go in the first round in the same year.

» Samford safety Jaquiski Tartt was the first FCS player selected in the draft. He went 14th in the second round to the San Francisco 49ers, who coincidentally took safety Jimmie Ward in the first round last year. Tartt and Ward are former teammates at Mobile (Ala.) Davidson High.

» The top four states in producing draftees (in terms of where they went to high school): Florida had 39 draftees, with Georgia second with 29 and California and Texas tied for third with 26.

Mike Huguenin can be reached at You also can follow him on Twitter @MikeHuguenin.

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