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Published: July 12, 2018 at 02:25 p.m.
Updated: July 12, 2018 at 05:12 p.m.

NFL's top 10 active triplets by college affiliation

As you may know, we annually like to focus on the offensive star power of the NFL's 32 teams by ranking triplets (QB/RB/WR). As you may also know, many pro football players first played in college ... which brings me to our first-ever top-10 ranking of NFL triplets by college. If you're like me, you'll be surprised more by the juggernauts that DIDN'T make it. Sorry, LSU, you need a QB. Tom Brady, you're short a worthy RB or WR. Beyond Zeke Elliott, the Buckeyes are meh. Even without a viable RB, Fresno State is better off with Derek Carr and Davante Adams than all of the above. No Texas, no UCLA, no Penn State, no Miami, no Florida, no Oregon ... Here are four triplets that JUST missed:

UCF: Blake Bortles/Latavius Murray/Brandon Marshall
TEXAS A&M: Ryan Tannehill/Christine Michael/Mike Evans
TEXAS TECH: Patrick Mahomes/DeAndre Washington/Michael Crabtree
LOUISVILLE: Teddy Bridgewater/Bilal Powell/DeVante Parker

10 Photos Total

  • The Freak at WR and the (when-healthy) dynamo at RB allow us to look past McCarron's lack of success (which the Bills are hoping is only owed to his lack of opportunity) so far in the pros. 10

    Associated Press

    10) Alabama: AJ McCarron (Bills), Mark Ingram (Saints), Julio Jones (Falcons)

    The Freak at WR and the (when-healthy) dynamo at RB allow us to look past McCarron's lack of success (which the Bills are hoping is only owed to his lack of opportunity) so far in the pros.

  • Don't get too comfy, Sam: The Browns are Baking up a new recipe for success with another former Sooner ... and they KNOW QBs. Look out for Mixon in his sophomore year. 9

    Associated Press

    9) Oklahoma: Sam Bradford (Cardinals), Joe Mixon (Bengals), Sterling Shepard (Giants)

    Don't get too comfy, Sam: The Browns are Baking up a new recipe for success with another former Sooner ... and they KNOW QBs. Look out for Mixon in his sophomore year.

  • Going glass half-full on Darnold despite the chance he could sit for much of '18. Look for Bucs rookie Ronald Jones to supplant Allen on our list by the end of September. 8

    Associated Press

    8) USC: Sam Darnold (Jets), Buck Allen (Ravens), JuJu Smith-Schuster (Steelers)

    Going glass half-full on Darnold despite the chance he could sit for much of '18. Look for Bucs rookie Ronald Jones to supplant Allen on our list by the end of September.

  • No need to explain the QB and WR (beyond Gordon being affiliated with Utah via the one season he sat out after transferring there from Baylor). But don't close the book on Devontae. Going into Year 3, there's still reason to hope for a breakout. 7

    USA TODAY Sports

    7) Utah: Alex Smith (Redskins), Devontae Booker (Broncos), Josh Gordon (Browns)

    No need to explain the QB and WR (beyond Gordon being affiliated with Utah via the one season he sat out after transferring there from Baylor). But don't close the book on Devontae. Going into Year 3, there's still reason to hope for a breakout.

  • Nuk ranks among the very best WRs on the planet. Watson was a phenom in that brief stint for which he was healthy last year. And then there's a guy who hopes he can make the Giants' 2018 roster. 6

    USA TODAY Sports

    6) Clemson: Deshaun Watson (Texans), Wayne Gallman (Giants), DeAndre Hopkins (Texans)

    Nuk ranks among the very best WRs on the planet. Watson was a phenom in that brief stint for which he was healthy last year. And then there's a guy who hopes he can make the Giants' 2018 roster.

  • Two high-priced guys ... and a guy named Bennie. There was a time Sparty was known for producing quality NFL wideouts. That time is, optimistically, on sabbatical. 5

    Associated Press

    5) Michigan State: Kirk Cousins (Vikings), Le'Veon Bell (Steelers), Bennie Fowler (Bears)

    Two high-priced guys ... and a guy named Bennie. There was a time Sparty was known for producing quality NFL wideouts. That time is, optimistically, on sabbatical.

  • Vikings RB Dalvin Cook could find his way past Freeman here, while Famous Jameis faces a massive 13 games when he returns from suspension. 4

    Associated Press

    4) Florida State: Jameis Winston (Bucs), Devonta Freeman (Falcons), Kelvin Benjamin (Bills)

    Vikings RB Dalvin Cook could find his way past Freeman here, while Famous Jameis faces a massive 13 games when he returns from suspension.

  • A feel-good comeback story for Luck could vault this trio -- which includes an under-appreciated WR in Baldwin -- to the top spot. 3

    Associated Press

    3) Stanford: Andrew Luck (Colts), Christian McCaffrey (Panthers), Doug Baldwin (Seahawks)

    A feel-good comeback story for Luck could vault this trio -- which includes an under-appreciated WR in Baldwin -- to the top spot.

  • The NFL's best QB and, yes, ANOTHER seriously under-appreciated WR fall just short of No. 1 because of their no-longer-dominant RB. 2

    Associated Press

    2) Cal: Aaron Rodgers (Packers), Marshawn Lynch (Raiders), Keenan Allen (Chargers)

    The NFL's best QB and, yes, ANOTHER seriously under-appreciated WR fall just short of No. 1 because of their no-longer-dominant RB.

  • What's remarkable about the Dawgs' skill-position talent base: Their "classic" trio of Fran Tarkenton, Herschel Walker and Hines Ward will be up there <i>if and when</i> we rank all-time college trios. 1

    Associated Press/USA TODAY Sports

    1) Georgia: Matt Stafford (Lions), Todd Gurley (Rams), A.J. Green (Bengals)

    What's remarkable about the Dawgs' skill-position talent base: Their "classic" trio of Fran Tarkenton, Herschel Walker and Hines Ward will be up there if and when we rank all-time college trios.

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