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U-Who? Oklahoma, Boston College top contenders for 'OT U' title

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Jeffrey M. Boan/Associated Press
Trent Williams, a first-round pick out of Oklahoma in 2010, has been selected to three consecutive Pro Bowls.

The next group in our "U-Who?" series is offensive tackle. There have been 26 offensive tackles taken in the first round in the past six drafts, including four in the 2015 draft.

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So, which college program is best at producing NFL players at offensive tackle? Here's a look at the top 10 candidates for the title of "Offensive tackle U.," based on a 15-year history of their draft picks at the position, and factoring in the overall quality of the group, too.

Important to note: We relied heavily on the position designations given on NFL.com's draft tracker when the player was selected; that doesn't necessarily line up with the position he eventually played.

10. Florida State

First-round picks past 15 years: 1
Top three rounds: 3
Total drafted: 8
The skinny: FSU is tied with the most draftees in our span (coincidentally, with rival Miami), but just three have become starters; it's too early to tell about Menelik Watson, a second-rounder in 2013. The lone first-rounder was Alex Barron, who became a starter but never lived up to the hype.

15 for '15:
CFB 24/7 counts down the best of what college football has to offer in varying categories for 2015.

9. Purdue

First-round picks past 15 years: 0
Top three rounds: 1
Total drafted: 7
The skinny: Surprise -- the Boilermakers have had seven tackles drafted in our time frame; that is tied for third-most. Only one went earlier than the fifth round, and that was Matt Light, who became an All-Pro. Seventh-rounder Brandon Gorin, sixth-rounder Kelly Butler and fifth-rounder Dennis Kelly (at guard) all became at least one-season starters. And fifth-rounder Kevin Pamphile could be in line to start this season for Tampa Bay.

8. Alabama

First-round picks past 15 years: 3
Top three rounds: 4
Total drafted: 7
The skinny: The seven total draftees is tied for third in our span. The three first-rounders -- James Carpenter (at guard), D.J. Fluker and Andre Smith -- have panned out. The jury remains out on 2014 second-rounder Cyrus Kouandjio. And seventh-rounder Austin Shepherd is a rookie.

7. Wisconsin

First-round picks past 15 years: 2
Top three rounds: 4
Total drafted: 6
The skinny: The six draftees is tied for seventh-most. Joe Thomas and Gabe Carimi were the first-rounders. Thomas is one of the best tackles of his era. Carimi? He looks to be a journeyman, at best. Fifth-rounder Ricky Wagner played at a high level last season, and third-rounder Kraig Urbik has become a good guard.

6. Miami

First-round picks past 15 years: 1
Top three rounds: 4
Total drafted: 8
The skinny: The eight draftees is tied for the most in our span. Bryant McKinnie was the only first-rounder, and he and third-rounder Eric Winston are the best pros among the eight. Second-rounder Orlando Franklin has become a solid guard. Seantrel Henderson was a seventh-rounder in 2014 and started every game for Buffalo last season; he has the talent, but the intangibles remain a question. 2002 seventh-rounder Joaquin Gonzalez had his moments, too.

Take a look at the top 10 players from Iowa to play in the NFL.

5. Iowa

First-round picks past 15 years: 4
Top three rounds: 5
Total drafted: 7
The skinny: The seven draftees (tied for third-most) includes 2014 All-American OT Brandon Scherff, who was drafted fifth overall in April. While many expected Scherff to move inside to guard in the NFL, coach Jay Gruden already has said he will start out at tackle for the Redskins. Bryan Bulaga, Robert Gallery and Riley Reiff were the other first-rounders. While Gallery never became a star tackle, he was a serviceable guard. And Marshal Yanda, who was a third-round pick as a tackle, has become an excellent guard. Bulaga and Reiff aren't stars, but they are good.

4. USC

First-round picks past 15 years: 3
Top three rounds: 6
Total drafted: 6
The skinny: The six draftees is tied for seventh-most, and five of them became starters. The best is first-rounder Tyron Smith. The other first-rounders were injury-prone Sam Baker and Matt Kalil, who has been to the Pro Bowl but also is coming off a mediocre season. Second-rounders Charles Brown and Winston Justice were starters, too.

Check out the top 10 players from Michigan to play in the NFL.

3. Michigan

First-round picks past 15 years: 3
Top three rounds: 5
Total drafted: 5
The skinny: The number of draftees isn't all that impressive. But the talent level of those drafted is. Michigan had two tackles drafted in 2014, including first-rounder Taylor Lewan, who looks as if he is going to be a good one. Those were the first two Wolverines tackles drafted since Jake Long went first overall in 2008. And Long -- currently a free agent after being released by the St. Louis Rams in March -- had been the first Michigan tackle selected since Jeff Backus and Maurice Williams were first- and second-rounders, respectively, in 2001. Long was once viewed as a star before injuries began to take a toll. Backus became a star, and Williams was a good starter for seven seasons.

2. Boston College

First-round picks past 15 years: 3
Top three rounds: 5
Total drafted: 5
The skinny: Again, not that many draftees. But four of the five panned out in a big way. The first-rounders were Anthony Castonzo, Gosder Cherilus and Marc Colombo; Colombo was a six-year starter during his NFL career, while Cherilus (seven seasons) and Castonzo (four) still are going strong. Second-rounder Jeremy Trueblood became a six-season starter.

1. Oklahoma

First-round picks past 15 years: 3
Top three rounds: 5
Total drafted: 7
The skinny: The seven draftees is tied for third-most, and all three first-rounders -- Jammal Brown, Lane Johnson and Trent Williams -- have paid off. Second-rounder Phil Loadholt has started in each of his six NFL seasons. And third-rounder Donald Stephenson is in line to start for Kansas City this season. That leaves two rookies. Tyrus Thompson, a sixth-rounder, was one of three tackles selected by Minnesota in the 2015 draft. Daryl Williams, a third-round pick of Carolina, was OU's other starting tackle last season, and though some expected him to play guard when he was drafted, he is expected to begin his NFL career at tackle for that tackle-needy team.

Mike Huguenin can be reached at mike.huguenin@nfl.com. You also can follow him on Twitter @MikeHuguenin.

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