These days the NCAA is the developmental league for the NFL, specifically the SEC - and that can further be narrowed down to just 4 schools: Alabama, Georgia, LSU & Florida. In the last decade these 4 schools combined for a total of 228 draft picks with 52 of those 1st rounders! No other conference with their total draft picks comes close to just these 4 schoolsThe only thing that bothers me are all the naysayers who just dismiss it, and the USFL, saying that the NCAA is the developmental league for the NFL, and that's all the more football any fan really wants. I call BS on that.
Look at this year's presumed 1st rd QBs; Young, Stroud, Richardson & Levis - 3 out of the 4 are from the SEC. And take Bama which is now becoming QB-U. In the last 4 seasons they have 3 QBs drafted in the 1st round; Jones, Tua & Young (presumably the #1 OA this year). And they have another 5-star kid who was the 2nd best recruit in the nation last year (behind Arch Manning) ready for development in their system.
These recruits going to those SEC schools are not signing on for academic reasons. Most will forego their senior year to declare for NFL draft. Their decision to go to these schools is development for a future in the NFL. And these coaches know that when they're recruiting these kids - it's the big selling point to get them to commit.