Want a top prospect? Draft from the SEC, mainly Alabama
(AP) — From beginning to end, much like the first night, the second round of the NFL draft was all about the SEC.
And naturally, Alabama was a major place to go.
Georgia cornerback Tyson Campbell to Jacksonville and Mississippi wide receiver Elijah Moore to the Jets were the top two selections Friday night.
Finishing off the second round, it was Florida’s Kyle Trask, the only quarterback taken — and he headed southwest to Tampa where Trask could wind up as Tom Brady’s heir.
Trask was the sixth quarterback taken thus far. He finished fourth in the Heisman voting after a record-breaking season with the Gators.
Two more members of the national champion Crimson Tide went early: offensive lineman Landon Dickerson and defensive tackle Christian Barmore, the MVP on that side of the ball in the national title game in January.
A dozen SEC players were chosen in the opening round, a record-tying six from ‘Bama. Then four of the first six guys to go in the second round were from that conference. By round’s end, 22 SEC players had been selected.
Campbell, a three-year starter, saw Bulldogs teammate Eric Stokes chosen in the first round by Green Bay. Campbell led Georgia with five pass breakups in 10 starts last season. He also had 29 tackles, including 2½ for loss, and an interception.
He has no qualms about switching to safety if asked.
“I’m versatile and I could learn a new position,” Campbell said. “I trust my feet, trust my hips. I feel like I can run with anybody.”
Moore’s breakout season lifted him to All-America status — and now to a potential regular target for Zach Wilson, the second overall pick. The explosive Moore set a school record with 86 catches for 1,193 yards in 2020.
“Oh, man … he’s got a great arm,” he said of Wilson. “Get ready to catch a lot of touchdowns.”
Not everyone went to SEC schools at the outset of the second round. North Carolina running back Javonte Williams is headed to Denver after the Broncos traded up to the third spot with Atlanta.
Miami went for safety Jevon Holland of Oregon. Then it was back to the SEC — and the Tide.
Dickerson can go at guard or center for Philadelphia, which desperately needs to revamp its O-line. He was injured for the national championship game, yet went onto the field for the final snap of Alabama’s romp over Ohio State.
“You can call it leadership or however you want,” he said. “I care for every single guy I play with. I love being a part of a team, especially a football team. Everybody at this level has a mindset that not only do they want to be the best athlete, player they can be, but we also want to create the best team, a winning team.”
Barmore was the first player at his position taken this year, by the Patriots, who traded up with Cincinnati. Barmore, of course, played with New England’s first-rounder, quarterback Mac Jones, at Tuscaloosa.
The Bears, who made waves Thursday night when they traded up to get Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields, also moved up to seventh in the second round to get a protector: Oklahoma State tackle Teven Jenkins. That was the first player drafted from the Big 12, at 39th overall.
Another Big 12 guy, Trevon Moehrig of TCU, went 43rd overall to Las Vegas and was the first safety taken.
Such powerhouses as Auburn, Texas A&M, which finished fourth in the final AP poll, and Wisconsin did not have anyone selected through 64 picks. But A&M quarterback Kellen Mond went second in the third round to Minnesota.
Three teams made their initial picks in the second round — and they went consecutively. Seattle took wide receiver D’Wayne Eskridge of Western Michigan, the Rams grabbed Louisville wideout Tutu Atwell, and the Chiefs got Missouri linebacker Nick Bolton.