The USC Trojans are preparing for the 2021 NFL draft, but while USC has its own set of hopes and concerns leading into this three-day event, the Pac-12 needs to obtain specific results as well.
There are genuine correlations between the health of Pac-12 football and its NFL draft performances in recent years. Everyone can see how mediocre Pac-12 football was in 2020, so while everyone is hoping for some pleasant surprises in the draft, one should not expect them.
Jon Wilner of the San Jose Mercury News has studied recent NFL drafts, and this is what he found about the Power Five conferences.
As you could well imagine, the numbers are not good for the Pac-12:
At the moment, the Pac-12’s pipeline needs a plumber.
Too many elite prospects are leaving the West Coast for programs that produce the most College Football Playoff berths and NFL Draft picks, from Alabama and Clemson to Oklahoma and Ohio State.
The Pac-12 hasn’t sent a team to the CFP in five years and claims just two of the 28 total berths over time.
Its success at the mouth of the talent pipeline is lagging, as well”
First round draft picks 2018-20:
Big Ten: 16
Big 12: 9
Total draft picks 2018-20:
Big 10: 121
Big 12: 67
It is true that the ACC has 14 teams, not 12. Therefore, the Pac-12 being just five total picks behind the ACC (100-95) isn’t all that bad. Yet, the gap relative to the Big Ten is still noticeable. Even if you adjust for the fact that the Big…