63 players from one conference is an NFL Draft record.
Twelve players from Southeastern Conference (SEC) programs were selected in the first round, which tied the record for most first-round selections from a single college conference
when the sheer number of talented players are drafted from a single conference, there is going to be a reduction in quality, which is what we are seeing this year.
however the main difference between the leagues (and the perception of them) is the quality of players. i'm not a big homer about recruit rankings, I think it is much more telling when coaches go out and get the players they prioritize. however these graphs (credit to Corporal Punishment on TexAgs) illustrate why the sec is rated highly.
consensus of most talented recruits signed by big xii schools.
consensus of most talented recruits signed by sec schools.
in this comparison, the big xii as a whole has less talented (by recruiting services) players going to it, whereas the sec is maintaining it's robust position as the place where the best players in the country go to play.
the poll positions and the mystique of the sec derives from having the best players year in and year out. the nfl draft and recruiting rankings reflect this.