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Colleges That Have Produced the Most 1st-Round NFL Draft Talent in the Past 10 Years

David Kenyon

First-round NFL draft talent can come from anywhere, but a handful of college football teams typically have Day 1 prospects.

Dating back to 2014—and including 2023—seven programs have produced at least 10 first-round selections. Alabama, unsurprisingly, leads the way with 30 players taken on the opening day of the draft.

In addition to Alabama, the trio of Clemson, Georgia and Ohio State headline the group. Considering what has happened in college football over the past decade, that should not be surprising, either.

The list is based entirely on total first-round selections with no weight given to earlier picks and organized alphabetically.

Alabama Crimson Tide

Nick Saban and Bryce Young Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Shocker, right?

During the past decade, Alabama has secured six SEC championships and three national titles. No program has achieved more recent success than the Nick Saban-led Crimson Tide.

Alabama had three Day 1 picks in 2023, extending its streak of multiple first-round selections to eight years. Most notably, quarterback Bryce Young became the second No. 1 overall choice in program history after the Carolina Panthers traded up for the 2021 Heisman Trophy winner.

In all, the Tide have 30 first-round selections over the past 10 cycles. They peaked with six picks in 2021, led by top-10 players Jaylen Waddle, Patrick Surtain II and DeVonta Smith.

As a bonus, 20 of the NFL's 32 teams have snagged an Alabama player on Day 1 within this stretch.

Clemson Tigers

Trevor Lawrence and Travis Etienne Jr. Wesley Hitt/Getty Images

After sending a pair of Day 1 players to the 2023 NFL draft, Clemson has celebrated 15 first-round selections in 10 years.

Edge-rusher Myles Murphy and defensive tackle Bryan Bresee went to the Cincinnati Bengals and New Orleans Saints, respectively, on consecutive picks at 28th and 29th.

Among the many notable drafts for Clemson, it's easy to point out 2021. That year, the Jacksonville Jaguars took Trevor Lawrence with the first overall choice and added running back Travis Etienne Jr. at No. 25. They played key roles in the Jags winning the AFC South in 2022.

Otherwise, one of the Tigers' more memorable drafts happened in 2019. Three defensive linemen—Clelin Ferrell, Christian Wilkins and Dexter Lawrence—all heard their names called in the opening round.

Florida Gators

Anthony Richardson Scott Winters/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Florida has enjoyed a steady Day 1 presence.

In these past 10 years, the Gators have 12 opening-day picks. While the program has never topped two in a particular cycle, Florida has notched at least one first-round selection in each draft except for 2019.

Dual-threat quarterback Anthony Richardson is the latest one, joining the Indianapolis Colts as the fourth overall pick in 2023.

While none of UF's products have blossomed into star NFL players—not yet, at least—offensive tackle D.J. Humphries (2015), safety Keanu Neal (2016) and tight end Kyle Pitts (2021) all have made a Pro Bowl team.

Georgia Bulldogs

Jalen Carter and Nolan Smith AP Photo/Matt Slocum

Georgia is so nice, NFL teams target the Dawgs twice—even thrice.

In 2018, the New England Patriots picked both offensive lineman Isaiah Wynn and running back Sony Michel. Then, the New York Giants added cornerback Deandre Baker in 2019 and Andrew Thomas in 2020.

After landing corner Eric Stokes in 2021, the Green Bay Packers picked linebacker Quay Walker and defensive tackle Devonte Wyatt in 2022.

Similarly, the Philadelphia Eagles snagged defensive tackle Jordan Davis in 2022 before reuniting him with D-tackle Jalen Carter and edge-rusher Nolan Smith in 2023.

Oh, and the Jags picked edge-rusher Travon Walker first overall in 2022.

Georgia has 17 opening-round selections since 2014, including one in each of the past six drafts.

LSU Tigers

Ja'Marr Chase and Joe Burrow Dylan Buell/Getty Images

No matter where Joe Burrow and Ja'Marr Chase fall on QB/WR duo rankings, the Bengals teammates are around the top. Before excelling in Cincinnati, though, they propelled LSU to a national title in 2019.

Burrow entered the NFL as Cincy's top overall pick in 2020, a draft in which the Tigers totaled five Day 1 selections. That cycle also included Minnesota Vikings wideout Jordan Jefferson, who has quickly developed into one of the league's most prolific pass-catchers.

Although LSU didn't have a 2023 addition to the group, the program has tallied 12 first-round choices in the past decade.

The most recent pick, cornerback Derek Stingley Jr., headed to the Houston Texans as the No. 3 choice in 2022.

Michigan Wolverines

Mazi Smith AP Photo/Jeffrey McWhorter

Michigan has routinely had a high-end defense in the past half-decade, and that strength has showed in the draft, too.

Thanks to the Dallas Cowboys taking D-lineman Mazi Smith in 2023, the Wolverines have produced six first-round defenders in the past five cycles. Most memorably, edge-rusher Aidan Hutchinson went to the nearby Detroit Lions as the second overall pick in 2022.

Additionally, the opening round in each of the 2017, 2019 and 2022 drafts featured a pair of defensive players from Michigan.

The most successful of the Maize and Blue's 10 picks from the past 10 years is offensive tackle Taylor Lewan, a three-time Pro Bowler formerly of the Tennessee Titans.

Ohio State Buckeyes

Garrett Wilson AP Photo/Seth Wenig

Only trailing Alabama, Ohio State has had 23 players hear their NFL destination on Day 1 of the draft since 2014.

The extensive list has a trio of quarterbacks: Dwayne Haskins (2019), Justin Fields (2021) and C.J. Stroud (2023). And receivers: Chris Olave (2022), Garrett Wilson (2022) and Jaxon Smith-Njigba (2023). And edge-rushers: Joey Bosa (2016), Nick Bosa (2019) and Chase Young (2020).

And a ton of defensive backs. Eight, specifically.

Not only is 2014 the Buckeyes' lone cycle of the past decade without a first-rounder, but they've also had multiple Day 1 selections in every other year except for the 2021 draft.


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