You just do not see the SEC DPOTY going undrafted. It does not happen. The lowest an SEC DPOTY has been drafted in the last decade was the 5th round. Conference plays a BIG role in NFL scouts determination of talent. being the DPOTY in a great conference is greater than being the DPOTY in a horse**** conference that only saw 17 players drafted in total. Compare that to 49 players taken from the SEC (making them the top conference sending players to the NFL this year).I'm not saying he absolutely would've gone undrafted. But I think it's no less reasonable than saying he'd have gone in the 5th. It all depends on team fit and draft fit....a team that values intangibles over measurable and having the luxury of taking a flier and being there with Sam at the top of their board. But given his poor measurables, tweener status, lack of a track record, and a potential question in terms of the consistency in his senior season...I think it's absolutely reasonable to suggest it would've been just as likely he would've gone undrafted.
Which basically goes back to what you said and I agree....he was basically a 5th to 7th round guy....and a metric **** ton of guys with a 5th-7th round grade end up undrafted by the end of things because there's only so many spots and so many fits.
More defensive players were drafted from the SEC than ALL of the players drafted from the Big 12 (19 to 17). 7 Defensive ends were drafted from the SEC.
Think of it this way, there were two big 12 players drafted in the first round, compared to 11 for the SEC.
Like it or not, who one plays against while putting up their numbers plays a big, big role in talent evaluation. Jeffcoate is simply not comparable to Sam as far as things go. It's easier to put up those numbers in a bad conference than it is to do it in the best conference.