Most first-round NFL draft picks ranked by college

There are certain college programs known as NFL factories. teams like our Lady, USCOhio State and Alabama come to mind, to name just a few of the blue bloods that attract and develop some of the best talent to play at the next level.

More so, there are programs that seem to produce the best of the best as first-round NFL draft picks. But the divide is great. Kids these days want to play for a national title and develop to play in big stadiums on Sundays (and Mondays, Thursdays and Saturdays in the winter). These are the two defining characteristics that seem to attract top high school prospects every year.

But it’s not just about that. A program needs to develop that talent on and off the field so that NFL teams see a player as someone they want to give big money to. Being an NFL first draft pick is a very, very select group that no one can take away from you.

So which college programs have been the best for achieving this? Which of the blue bloods attracts and develops talent that ends up hearing their names called in the first round of all the shenanigans known as the NFL Draft.

Here is a ranking of the top 25 college programs and how they rank for getting players into the first round. As usual, we start at #25 and work our way down to #1. We get our data from Wikipedia.

No. 25 (tie) – Stanford Cardinal

November 20, 2021; Stanford, California, USA; General view of the Stanford Cardinal helmet during the third quarter against the California Golden Bears at Stanford Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

Number of first-round NFL draft picks

25

No. 25 (tie) – Pittsburgh Panthers

Sep 25, 2021; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; A Pittsburgh Panthers helmet sits on the sidelines against the New Hampshire Wildcats during the fourth quarter at Heinz Field. Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Number of first-round NFL draft picks

25

No. 25 (tie) – North Carolina Tarheels

October 30, 2021; South Bend, Indiana, USA; A detailed view of a North Carolina Tar Heels football helmet during the warm up before the game against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish at Notre Dame Stadium. Credit: Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

Number of first-round NFL draft picks

25

#24 – Arizona State Sun Devils

April 13, 2018; Tempe, Arizona, USA; Detailed view of the Arizona State Sun Devils helmets on the field during the team’s spring game at Sun Devil Soccer Stadium. Credit: Mark J. Rebilas – USA TODAY Sports

Number of first-round NFL draft picks

26

No. 22 (tie) – Washington Huskies

November 23, 2018; Pullman, Washington, USA; The Washington Huskies helmet sits during a second half football game against the Washington State Cougars at Martin Stadium. The Huskies won 28-15. Credit: James Snook-USA TODAY Sports

Number of first-round NFL draft picks

27

No. 22 (tie) – California Bears

November 3, 2018; Pullman, Washington, USA; The California Golden Bears helmet sits during a second half football game against the Washington State Cougars at Martin Stadium. The Cougars won 19-13. Credit: James Snook-USA TODAY Sports

Number of first-round NFL draft picks

27

No. 21 – Wisconsin Badgers

November 9, 2019; Madison, Wis., USA; A Wisconsin Badgers helmet during the game against the Iowa Hawkeyes at Camp Randall Stadium. Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Number of first-round NFL draft picks

30

No. 20 – Auburn Tigers

Auburn Tigers helmet on the sidelines during A-Day spring training at Jordan-Hare Stadium in Auburn, Alabama on Saturday, April 9, 2022. Credit: USA TODAY Sports

Number of first-round NFL draft picks

32

No. 19 – Nebraska Cornhuskers

October 6, 2018; Madison, Wis., USA; A Nebraska Cornhuskers helmet sits on the sidelines during the game against the Wisconsin Badgers at Camp Randall Stadium. Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Number of first-round NFL draft picks

34

No. 18 – Texas A&M Aggies

October 23, 2021; College Station, Texas, USA; Texas A&M Aggies helmet on the sidelines during the game against the South Carolina Gamecocks at Kyle Field. Credit: Maria Lysaker-USA TODAY Sports

Number of first-round NFL draft picks

35

No. 16 (tie) – UCLA Bruins

September 25, 2014; Tempe, Arizona, USA; Detail view of the UCLA Bruins helmets on the sidelines against the Arizona State Sun Devils at Sun Devil Stadium. Credit: Mark J. Rebilas – USA TODAY Sports

Number of first-round NFL draft picks

36

No. 16 (tie) – Michigan State Spartans

19 November 2011; East Lansing, Michigan, USA; Michigan State Spartan helmet on the sidelines during the game against the Indiana Hoosiers at Spartan Stadium. Michigan State won 55-3 to clinch the Legends Division of the Big Ten. Credit: Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports

Number of first-round NFL draft picks

36

No. 15 – Clemson Tigers

The Clemson football helmet near the Fiesta Bowl trophy during the coaches press conference in Scottsdale, Arizona on Friday, December 27, 2019. Credit: USA TODAY Sports Network

Number of first-round NFL draft picks

37

No. 13 (tie) – Penn State Nittany Lions

November 16, 2013; University Park, Pennsylvania, USA; General view of a Penn State Nittany Lions helmet before the game against the Purdue Boilermakers at Beaver Stadium. Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

Number of first-round NFL draft picks

39

No. 13 (tie) – Georgia Bulldogs

December 12, 2020; Columbia, Missouri, USA; A detailed view of a Georgia Bulldogs helmet during the second half against the Missouri Tigers at Faurot Field at Memorial Stadium. Credit: Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

Number of first-round NFL draft picks

39

No. 11 (tie) – Texas Longhorns

November 10, 2018; Lubbock, TX, USA; A Texas Longhorns helmet on the sidelines during the game against the Texas Tech Red Raiders at Jones AT&T Stadium. Credit: Michael C. Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

Number of first-round NFL draft picks

45

No. 11 (tie) – Florida State Seminoles

September 8, 2018; Tallahassee, Florida, USA; The Florida State Seminoles had a special sticker on their helmets to honor former FSU player Burt Reynolds who died last week. The Florida State Seminoles host the Samford Bulldogs at Doak Campbell Stadium. Credit: Glenn Beil-USA TODAY Sports

Number of first-round NFL draft picks

45

No. 10 – Tennessee Volunteers

November 23, 2019; Columbia, Missouri, USA; A general view of a Tennessee Volunteers helmet during the second half against the Missouri Tigers at Memorial Stadium/Faurot Field. Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Number of first-round NFL draft picks

46

No. 8 (tie) – Michigan Wolverines

Michigan analyst Ryan Osborn allegedly coached against NCAA rules

November 18, 2017; Madison, Wis., USA; A Michigan Wolverines helmet during the game against the Wisconsin Badgers at Camp Randall Stadium. Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Number of first-round NFL draft picks

48

No. 8 (tie) – LSU Tigers

LSU cornerback enters transfer portal and ranks Ohio State in top 4

October 6, 2018; Gainesville, Florida, USA; A detailed view of the LSU Tigers vs Florida Gators football helmets during the second half at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. Credit: Kim Klement – USA TODAY Sports

Number of first-round NFL draft picks

48

No. 7 – Oklahoma Sooners

Oklahoma helmets are seen before a college football game between the University of Oklahoma Sooners (OU) and the West Virginia Mountaineers at Gaylord Family-Oklahoma Memorial Stadium in Norman, Okla., Saturday, September 25, 2021. Credit: USA TODAY Sports

Number of first-round NFL draft picks

49

No. 6 – Florida Gators

November 20, 2021; Columbia, Missouri, USA; A general view of a Florida Gators helmet against the Missouri Tigers during the game at Faurot Field at Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley – USA TODAY Sports

Number of first-round NFL draft picks

56

#5 – Miami Hurricanes (FL)

October 30, 2021; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; The Miami Hurricanes helmets out against the Pittsburgh Panthers during the third quarter at Heinz Field. Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Number of first-round NFL draft picks

67

No. 4 – Notre Dame Fighting Irish

January 1, 2022; Glendale, Arizona, USA; Detail view of an Irish Notre Dame Fighting helmet in gold during the 2022 Fiesta Bowl at State Farm Stadium. Credit: Mark J. Rebilas – USA TODAY Sports

Number of first-round NFL draft picks

69

No. 3 – Alabama Crimson Tide

Jul 18, 2018; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; An Alabama Crimson Tide helmet is shown on the main stage during SEC Football Media Day at the College Football Hall of Fame. Credit: Dale Zanine – USA TODAY Sports

Number of first-round NFL draft picks

74

#2 – USC Trojans

December 29, 2017; Arlington, TX, USA; General overview of the 2017 Cotton Bowl logo on the back of the helmet of Southern California Trojans long snapper Jake Olson at AT&T Stadium. Credit: Kirby Lee – USA TODAY Sports

Number of first-round NFL draft picks

83

No. 1 – Ohio State Buckeyes

Ohio State Buckeye legend Charles Csuri dies at 99

Sat 1 Jan 2022; Pasadena, California, USA; A special pink helmet strip adorns Thayer Munford’s helmet before the start of the 108th Rose Bowl Game between the Ohio State Buckeyes and Utah Utes at the Rose Bowl. Credit: USA TODAY Sports Network

Number of first-round NFL draft picks

85

Contact us/Follow us @BuckeyesWire on Twitter, and like our page on Facebook to follow continuous coverage of news, ratings and opinions from the State of Ohio. To follow Phil Harrison on Twitter.

Let us know your thoughts, comment on this story below. Join the conversation today.

Comments are closed.