LSU players primed to make history in 2020 NFL Draft

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Joe Burrow
Joe Burrow will be the No. 1 overal pick in the 2020 NFL Draft (Photo: Jonathan Mailhes).

The NFL has been making a great living off of the LSU football program for a long time now.

Since the inception of the draft in 1936, a total of 336 Tiger players have been chosen by NFL teams in the selection process.

Among the 336 players are 42 who have been selected in the first round and two who were chosen first overall (Billy Cannon, JaMarcus Russell). That is about to change as Joe Burrow is poised to become the third LSU player to go first overall this coming Thursday.

Technically, the number is 41 chosen in the first round as Y.A. Tittle was picked twice in the first round, once in 1948 by Detroit and in 1951 by San Francisco after he initially chose to play for the Baltimore Colts of the All-America Football Conference for three seasons before moving to the NFL.

From a historical perspective, the first LSU player to ever be chosen was Dr. Abe Mickal was picked by the Detroit Lions in 1936. Five LSU players chosen have been inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, including Steve Van Buren, Tittle, Jim Taylor, Johnny Robinson and Kevin Mawae.

Without a doubt, LSU ranks among the biggest providers of NFL talent in the nation, along with Ohio State, Alabama, Miami (FL), USC, Florida, Florida State, Georgia, Oklahoma and Texas, among others.

The 2020 NFL Draft will only enhance the stature of LSU with the NFL.

A year after having just three players drafted (Devin White, Greedy Williams, Foster Moreau), Vinnie Iyer of the Sporting News projects that 16 LSU players will be selected in the seven-round NFL Player Draft coming up this week.

Five of those are projected as first round picks, including Joe Burrow (first overall), along with Kristian Fulton, Justin Jefferson, K’Lavon Chaisson and Patrick Queen (whom he has going to the Saints).

In the second round, Iyer projects Grant Delpit and Clyde Edwards-Helaire to come off the board.

K'lavon Chaisson, Travis Etienne, Grant Delpit
K’lavon Chaisson (#18) and Grant Delpit (#7) are among the top rated LSU players in the 2020 NFL Draft (Photo: Parker Waters).

The third round of Iyer’s mock draft takes Lloyd Cushenberry and Rashard Lawrence being selected.

In the fourth round, Saahdiq Charles, Damien Lewis, Thaddeus Moss are projected to go off the board.

The fifth round includes Jacob Phillips being chosen.

In the sixth round, Iyer has long snapper Blake Ferguson being selected, along with linebacker Michael Divinity.

Stephen Sullivan is the final LSU player coming off the board, in the seventh round.

There are a few other Tiger players who cannot be dismissed from possibly being drafted late.

That includes Derrick Dillon, Breiden Fehoko, Adrian Magee and Badara Traore.

Should Iyer’s projection prove correct or should he come up one short and 15 players would be selected, LSU would set an NFL Draft record.

Since the NFL went to a seven-round draft process in 1994, the most players ever taken from one school was 14. That occurred in 2004 when 14 Ohio State players went in that year’s draft.

The projection of 16 is in line with the fact that 16 Tigers were invited to the NFL Scouting Combine earlier this year. Scout Inc. ranked 14 LSU players among its top 200 players.

Bo Nix, Michael Divinity
Michael Divinity Jr. (#45) may be among the late round value picks or undrafted free agents in 2020 (Photo: Jonathan Mailhes).

LSU will easily break its own record for the most players selected in a single NFL Draft.

Nine Tigers were chosen in the draft in both 2013 and in 2014 while eight Tigers were drafted in both 1948 and 2017. Seven LSU players were chosen in 1947, 1951, 1962, 1988, 1990, 2004, 2006 and 2008 and 2018, respectively.

FanDuel Sportsbook has established the over/under for LSU and Alabama first round picks this year at 5.5. Clearly, Delpit is the sixth player who could put LSU over the top and should six LSU players go in the first round, that would tie a record for the most players taken in the first round from the same school.

LSU will almost certainly break, if not tie its all-time record for the most players even chosen in the first round.

The Tigers had four players chosen in the first round in 2007 (Russell, LaRon Landry, Dwayne Bowe, Craig Davis). Three Tigers went in the first round in 2017 (Leonard Fournette, Jamal Adams and Tre’Davious White). LSU also had three players chosen in the first round in 1951 (Tittle, Elbert Van and Kenny Konz).

Both Mel Kiper and Todd McShay of ESPN have LSU with the same seven players as Iyer going in the first two rounds. Some projections have six LSU players going in the opening round, others have five and a couple have four.

Regardless of the outcome, it will be a banner three days for the LSU football program later this week. Ed Orgeron and his staff have done a masterful job of procuring talent, developing that talent fully and utilizing it properly. The fruits of the labor are about to be recognized.

It is truly a great time to be a fan of LSU football.

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Born and raised in the New Orleans area, CCSE CEO Ken Trahan has been a sports media fixture in the community for nearly four decades. Ken started NewOrleans.com/Sports with Bill Hammack and Don Jones in 2008. In 2011, the site became SportsNOLA.com. On August 1, 2017, Ken helped launch CrescentCitySports.com. Having accumulated national awards/recognition (National Sports Media Association, National Football…

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