Who are the best draft picks of the century from the most prominent programs in college football? College Football 24/7 set out to answer this question by ranking the top draft picks since 2000 from the 30 schools that have produced the most picks since that year.
Players were ranked through a formula in which they received points for honors they've acquired in their NFL career, including being selected to the Pro Bowl (including as injury replacements) and being selected first-team All-Pro. Players were also rewarded relative to where in the draft they were selected. First-round picks benefited least because a strong career would be expected; seventh-round picks benefited most. In some cases, a bonus for longevity or outstanding play was granted. See the full formula below the list of top picks.
Nebraska's 68 draft picks since 2000 rank tied for 15th among all schools. Not surprisingly, Ndamukong Suh was by far the Cornhuskers' top pick, while Buccaneers LB Lavonte David edged former Bears safety Mike Brown, as the lower-drafted second-round selection, in a tiebreaker.
Best picks of the century from Nebraska
1. Ndamukong Suh, defensive tackle
Drafted by:Lions, No. 2 overall pick (Round 1), 2010
Skinny: From a production standpoint, Suh certainly lived up to the billing of a No. 2 overall pick in Detroit. He made the Pro Bowl four times in his five years with the club and was a three-time first-team All-Pro in Detroit. It wasn't always pretty -- Suh drew more than his share of fines for on-field conduct -- but his dominating interior presence netted him a lucrative contract with the Dolphins.
2. Carl Nicks, offensive guard
Drafted by:Saints, No. 164 overall pick (Round 5), 2008
Skinny: Nicks played four years with the Saints as a starting left guard, helping the team win a Super Bowl and making the Pro Bowl in 2010 and 2011. He signed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2012, but wasn't able to fulfill expectations due to a toe injury that led to an MRSA infection, and ultimately reached an injury settlement with the club.
3. Lavonte David, linebacker
Drafted by:Buccaneers, No. 58 overall pick (Round 2), 2012
Skinny: David made an instant impact for the Bucs as a second-round pick, making 139 tackles as a rookie and, a year later, being selected first-team All-Pro. He's been a key piece in the club's defense ever since, recording 18 sacks, 10 interceptions and forcing 12 fumbles over a five-year career. David was selected to the Pro Bowl in 2015.
4. Mike Brown, defensive back
Drafted by:Bears, No. 39 overall pick (Round 2), 2000
Skinny: Brown played nine seasons with the Bears before finishing his career in Kansas City. He had a knack for making big plays in the clutch, and made a career-high five INTs as a first-team All-Pro in his second year. He also made the Pro Bowl in 2005, despite an injury that limited him to 12 starts that year. Brown finished his career with 20 INTs, 17 with the Bears.
5. Richie Incognito, offensive guard
Drafted by:Rams, No. 81 overall pick (Round 3), 2005
Skinny: Incognito enters his 11th NFL season with his third NFL club this season, now with the Buffalo Bills. The Rams certainly didn't get his best years; his temper was a problem and the club let him go after a sideline argument with then-coach Steve Spagnuolo in 2009. From there he went to Miami and was a regular starter until the club suspended him as a key figure in the bullying case of Jonathan Martin. He's since settled in Buffalo as a starter at left guard for the Bills, making the last two Pro Bowls.
Honorable mention: DE Kyle Vanden Bosch (3.6 points), C Dominic Raiola (3.0), DE Chris Kelsay (2.0).
Total number of picks from Nebraska since 2000: 68
Draft multiplier: Total points for first-round picks x 1.1; second-round picks x 1.2; third-round picks x 1.3; fourth-round picks x 1.4; fifth-round picks x 1.5; sixth-round picks x 1.6; seventh-round picks x 1.7.
Tiebreaker: Ranking edge to lower-drafted player within same round.
Specialists and fullbacks: For players honored primarily as specialists or fullbacks, their total points were devalued. Kickers and punters were not included in this exercise.