For the seventh time in the last eight years, the SEC led all conferences with the most first-round picks in the 2018 NFL Draft (and the most players taken of all conferences in all seven rounds). They should lead all conferences in first-round picks next year, too.
An SEC player wasn't selected until the Chicago Bears chose Georgia linebacker Roquan Smith with the eighth pick in the first round — and he was the conference's only top-10 pick — but Smith was the first of 10 SEC players selected in the first round, all between picks No. 8 and No. 31.
The conference's 10 first-round selections far outpaced the ACC (six), Big Ten (four), Pac-12 (four) and Mountain West (three), and though the margin didn't grow significantly through all seven rounds, the SEC still finished with 53 total picks, seven more than the ACC (46).
We're 51 weeks away from the 2019 draft and while it's too early to officially proclaim the SEC as kings in 2019, it appears highly likely they'll have the most first-round picks again. For example, 10 players appeared in the first-round mock draft from Bleacher Report's Matt Miller, led by Missouri quarterback Drew Lock at fourth overall.
Both the ACC and Big Ten could challenge if a lot goes right. For both conferences, in addition to highly ranked defensive linemen Nick Bosa, Rashan Gary, Dexter Lawrence and Clelin Ferrell, potential fringe first-rounders like Ohio State offensive tackle Isaiah Prince, Northwestern quarterback Clayton Thorson and Duke cornerback Mark Gilbert need to earn selections along with some of their conference foes.