NFL Draft trends reveal which colleges rule the pro level

NFL Draft trends reveal which colleges rule the pro level

Alabama and Clemson have been the kings of college football over the past five years with two national championships apiece. But does college success lead to an NFL pipeline or, more importantly, NFL production? And which schools have provided the most impact at each position? The Post took a dive into the trends over the last five to 10 years of the NFL draft, with some help from Pro Football Reference’s draft-finder tool. Here’s what we found:

Alabama Reigns

Over the last five years, no school has had more draft picks than Alabama, leading the way with 46, ahead of Ohio State (40) and Florida (33). Forty of those picks are still active and 26 have spent at least one year as a primary starter for their teams — both marks leading all programs.

But Alabama isn’t just responsible for quantity — Nick Saban’s players have been quality as well. They could make a case to have some of the strongest draft production at multiple positions, including running back, wide receiver, defensive tackle, linebacker and safety.

Of its 46 players drafted since 2015, seven have become Pro Bowlers and four have been voted first-team All-Pro, both of which are the most of any school. Those Alabama products honored are Cowboys receiver Amari Cooper, Bears safety Eddie Jackson, Redskins safety Landon Collins, Titans running back Derrick Henry, Colts center Ryan Kelly, Steelers safety Minkah Fitzpatrick and Ravens cornerback Marlon Humphrey.

Here’s the full top-10 list of numbers of draftees from the past five years:

1. Alabama, 46

2. Ohio State, 40

3. Florida, 33

4. Clemson, 29

4. Miami, 29

6. LSU, 27

6. Oklahoma, 27

8. Florida State, 25

9. Georgia, 24

9 Michigan, 24

9. Washington, 24

Dallas Cowboys star Amari Cooper with Alabama in 2014
Dallas Cowboys star Amari Cooper with Alabama in 2014AP

Compare that with the list of schools who have produced the most All-Pro and/or Pro-Bowl players over the past five years:

1. Alabama, 7

2. LSU, 6

2. Ohio St., 6

4. Florida St., 4

4. Wisconsin, 4

6. Clemson, 3

6. Georgia, 3

6. Iowa, 3

6. Mississippi St. 3

6. Notre Dame, 3

6. Stanford, 3

The U Has Quantity, Not Quality

While Miami is tied with Clemson for the fourth-most draft picks since 2015 with 29, NFL teams haven’t gotten much bang for their buck drafting Hurricanes. None has made a Pro Bowl or All-Pro first team — in the same time span, players from the likes of South Carolina State, Middle Tennessee State, Grand Valley State, North Carolina A&T, Northern Iowa and West Alabama all have.

Miami’s best draft pick over the past five years has been former Giants bust Ereck Flowers, who turned his career around with the Redskins after a move from tackle to guard.

West Coast Un-Bias

Despite finishing in the top 16 of the final AP poll in three of the last five years, Washington may not get the respect of the other blue bloods on that first list. But the Huskies have churned out plenty of talent, with 12 of their 24 draft picks over the past five years turning into starters, including a pair of All-Pro and Pro Bowl players in Ravens cornerback Marcus Peters and Cardinals safety Budda Baker.

SEC On Top, Just Not At QB

The SEC prides itself on being the best conference in college football year after year, but that hasn’t quite been the case in terms of producing quarterbacks. The conference has had 18 signal-callers drafted over the past 10 years — tied for the lead with the ACC — but it has produced just as many Pro Bowlers as the Mountain West Conference.

Cam Newton (Auburn) and Dak Prescott (Mississippi State) have been the pride of SEC quarterbacks in the NFL, but it stops there. The only other primary starters it has produced are Tim Tebow and Zach Mettenberger. Drew Lock (Missouri) and Jarrett Stidham (Auburn) could eventually help their standing, but the MWC still has Derek Carr, Andy Dalton and Josh Allen to call its own.

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