A college football team’s lifeblood is talent. The capacity to recruit the finest players, maximize their skills, and then send them to the NFL Draft has long always been the yardstick by which we assess the quality of any football program.
And, as is customary, that skill tends to concentrate in the hands of a select few. Which schools have produced the most pro football players, and which teams have performed the best in recent times?
Before you check out which colleges have generated the most NFL talent below, you can find NFL odds here.
Number of NFL Draft picks: 366
Nebraska hasn’t produced a first-round pick since Prince Amukamara in 2011, but it’s still among the top in terms of total NFL Draft output. In 1984, Nebraska produced both the No. 1 and No. 2 picks. In the 2022 NFL Draft, the Huskers selected two second-round picks.
Number of NFL Draft Picks: 367
In recent years, Florida has produced two top-five picks, including Kyle Pitts, who was selected fourth overall by Atlanta last spring. In 2015, Jacksonville selected Dante Fowler as the third-overall pick.
In 2021, Florida had a total of eight draft picks, the most in six years. Emmitt Smith, the all-time leading rusher in the NFL, was drafted 17th overall in 1990 out of Gainesville. In 2022, UF had three first-round picks, including cornerback Kaiir Elam.
Number of NFL Draft picks: 369
It doesn’t matter if the Tigers are national title contenders, NFL fans have always relied on the sports program to recruit the fastest and most physical athletes. The LSU boasts of having 17 initial NFL draft picks and even had 5 in the 2019 national champs team in recent years. In 2022, the college came second overall in picks, with Georgia coming first.
Number of NFL Draft picks: 375
In 2021, 6 Penn State football athletes were selected by NFL teams, including talented and top defensive player – Micah Parsons.
Saquon Barkley, the No. 2 overall choice in 2018, was PSU’s first first-round pick in eight years. In 2022, Washington selected Lions wideout Jahan Dotson in the first round and one of their eight picks, the highest mark in the Big Ten.
Number of NFL Draft picks: 391
Alabama had 10 players last spring, and a record of 6 initial round picks in the last year’s NFL draft. Also, the college has a total of 43 initial-round picks from the year 2000.
Number of NFL Draft picks: 392
Michigan is known for producing great talents in the NFL world, and most notably is Tom Brady, coming from their ranks. They have also produced 19 other exciting picks in the last 2 NFL seasons and a total of 48 initial round selections.
Number of NFL Draft picks: 409
Since 2010, six former Sooners, and this includes three quarterbacks, have been drafted first overall. Running back Billy Sims and defensive end Lee Roy Selmon was among the other first-round selections. With 49 first-round picks in all, Oklahoma ranks sixth among all collegiate football programs.
Number of NFL Draft picks: 479
The Buckeyes, who have routinely produced NFL Draft talent for decades, had ten players selected in the 2021 NFL Draft. Also, the OSU has always produced initial-rounders in every NFL draft since 2015. Ohio State had the distinction of producing the most first-round draft picks ever in 2022.
Number of NFL Draft picks: 519
USC is one of only two programs in the country to have produced more than 500 draft picks, including 83 first-round picks and five No. 1 overall picks. The college has a whooping high number of 519 NFL draft picks, making them the second-highest in the US.
Number of NFL Draft picks: 522
Notre Dame has a football legacy that spans centuries and continues to produce NFL talent, narrowly edging out rival USC in terms of total players chosen. In the recent decade, ND has produced six or more draft classes, and it is tied for third overall with Georgia with nine picks in the 2021 NFL Draft.