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Which College Has The Most First Round Drafted NFL Players?


According to a study (PDF) done by the NCAA, the odds of an NCAA senior football player getting drafted to the NFL is approximately 1.6% or 2 out of every 125 seniors. Those players fortunate enough to reach the pinnacle of pro football typically come from the top schools in the country.

But which schools have generated the most top end NFL draft picks?

We decided to look at the recent history of the NFL draft to see which schools are producing the greatest amont of NFL talent.

Top NFL Talent Over The Last 10 NFL Drafts

We decided to narrow our search to the players taken in the first round over the NFL draft over the last 10 NFL drafts (2004-2013) to see which college leads the way in producing top end NFL talent.

In looking over the last 10 NFL drafts (first rounds), we found that USC leads all college's with 15 players taken in the first round with Alabama, LSU and Ohio St. following close behind with 14 each. Interestingly, among schools with more than 10 players taken (9 total schools), only two of them have had a player taken first overall (JaMarcus Russell - LSU and Sam Bradford - Oklahoma).

Florida State, who were the 2013 BCS National Champions, are one of the elite talent producing schools in the NCAA as illustrated by the 12 players taken in the first round over the last 10 drafts. However, they have never had a player taken with the 1st overall pick and in the last 10 drafts have only had one player taken in the top 10 (Ernie Sims - 2006).

Two teams that lead the way in producing top 5 talent over the last 10 NFL drafts has been LSU and Oklahoma who lead the way with 4 players each.

Here is a complete look at the first rounds of the last 10 NFL drafts broken down by school and by total first round picks, top 10 picks, top 5 picks and 1st overall picks. 

School First Round Top 10 Top 5 1st Overall
USC 15 8 3 0
Alabama 14 8 2 0
LSU 14 7 4 1
Ohio St. 14 4 1 0
Miami (FL) 12 3 1 0
Florida St. 12 1 0 0
Texas 11 4 2 0
Oklahoma 10 5 4 1
Florida 10 2 0 0
Georgia 8 2 2 1
Tennessee 8 2 1 0
Auburn 7 4 3 1
Boston Col. 6 3 1 0
Arkansas 6 2 1 0
Michigan 6 2 2 1
Missouri 6 2 0 0
Oklahoma St. 6 2 1 0
California 6 1 0 0
North Carolina 6 1 0 0
Wisconsin 6 1 1 0
South Carolina 5 3 0 0
Virginia 5 3 2 0
Baylor 5 2 2 0
Iowa 5 1 1 0
Mississippi 5 1 1 1
Illinois 5 0 0 0
Clemson 4 2 1 0
North Carolina St. 4 2 2 1
Washington 4 2 0 0
Oregon 4 1 1 0
Penn St. 4 1 1 0
Pittsburgh 4 1 1 0
Virginia Tech 4 1 0 0
Boise St. 4 0 0 0
Notre Dame 4 0 0 0
Texas A&M 3 3 2 0
Maryland 3 2 0 0
West Virginia 3 2 0 0
Central Michigan 3 1 1 1
Georgia Tech 3 1 1 0
Nebraska 3 1 1 0
Purdue 3 0 0 0
Rutgers 3 0 0 0
Louisville 2 1 0 0
Stanford 2 1 1 1
Utah 2 1 1 1
Colorado 2 0 0 0
Fresno St. 2 0 0 0
Memphis 2 0 0 0
Mississippi St. 2 0 0 0
South Florida 2 0 0 0
Syracuse 2 0 0 0
Troy 2 0 0 0
UCLA 2 0 0 0
Vanderbilt 2 0 0 0
BYU 1 1 1 0
Texas Tech 1 1 0 0
Wake Forest 1 1 1 0
Ala-Birmingham 1 0 0 0
Arizona 1 0 0 0
Connecticut 1 0 0 0
Delaware 1 0 0 0
East Carolina 1 0 0 0
Houston 1 0 0 0
Idaho 1 0 0 0
Kansas 1 0 0 0
Kansas St. 1 0 0 0
Miami (OH) 1 0 0 0
Minnesota 1 0 0 0
Northern Illinois 1 0 0 0
Northwestern 1 0 0 0
Oregon St. 1 0 0 0
TCU 1 0 0 0
Temple 1 0 0 0
Tennessee St. 1 0 0 0
Tulane 1 0 0 0
West. Michigan 1 0 0 0

 

First Overall Pick By School

Looking at all of the past NFL drafts (since 1936), Notre Dame and USC lead all schools with the most players being the first overall draft pick. Both of the schools have had 5 players taken first overall - the last player for Notre Dame picked first was Paul Hornung (1957 - Green Bay Packers) while the last player from USC was Carson Palmer (2003 - Cincinnati Bengals). 

Here is a the complete list of first overall picks by school:

School First Overall Picks
Notre Dame 5
USC 5
Auburn 4
Georgia 4
Stanford 4
Ohio State 3
Oklahoma 3
Texas 3
LSU 2
Miami (FL) 2
Michigan 2
Nebraska 2
Penn State 2
Tennessee 2
Virginia Tech 2
Alabama 1
California 1
Chicago 1
Central Michigan 1
Colorado A&M 1
Fresno State 1
Illinois 1
Indiana 1
Iowa 1
Kentucky 1
Louisiana Tech 1
Michigan State 1
North Carolina State 1
Oklahoma A&M 1
Ole Miss 1
Oregon 1
Oregon State 1
Penn 1
Rice 1
SMU 1
South Carolina 1
Syracuse 1
Tampa 1
TCU 1
Tennessee State 1
Texas Tech 1
Tulane 1
UCLA 1
Utah 1
Vanderbilt 1
Virginia 1
Washington 1
Washington State 1


Here is a quick recap of the first overall picks for the last ten NFL drafts (2004-13):

Draft Player Position School
2013 Eric Fisher OL Central Michigan
2012 Andrew Luck QB Stanford
2011 Cam Newton QB Auburn
2010 Sam Bradford QB Oklahoma
2009 Matthew Stafford QB Georgia
2008 Jake Long T Michigan
2007 JaMarcus Russell QB LSU
2006 Mario Williams DE North Carolina St.
2005 Alex Smith QB Utah
2004 Eli Manning QB Mississippi


Over the past 10 NFL drafts, each top pick has come from a different school with a total of seven quarterbacks being selected in the top spot. For more on the NFL draft from a position standpoint, check out: Statistics to Know for the 2014 NFL Draft. 



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