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.
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.
We start the series with Ohio State, which has had 115 draft picks since 2000, most among all FBS programs. Although the Buckeyes have turned out NFL draft picks in droves, two youngsters (Ezekiel Elliott, Joey Bosa) totaled top-five scores despite each having just a rookie season on record. Not surprisingly, however, it was an established veteran with a long and decorated career who led the way.
Best picks of the century from Ohio State
1. Nick Mangold, center
Drafted by:Jets, No. 29 overall pick (Round 1), 2006
Skinny: Mangold spent 11 seasons with the Jets, which is as strong an indication as any that the club was ultimately thrilled with its selection. He started 16 regular-season games for the first five years of his career and was selected to seven Pro Bowls. Mangold is now a free agent.
2. Ezekiel Elliott, running back
Drafted by:Cowboys, No. 4 overall pick (Round 1), 2016
Skinny: Elliott couldn't have made a bigger splash in his rookie season with the Cowboys, and his selection as a first-team All-Pro helped push him above other former Buckeyes who have logged much longer careers without doing so. It was a spectacular debut (1,631 yards, 15 TDs) that has Cowboys fans anxious for the 2017 encore.
3. LeCharles Bentley, guard
Drafted by:Saints, No. 44 overall pick (Round 2), 2002
Skinny: Bentley's injury-shortened career with the New Orleans Saints wasn't particularly long, but he was effective while it lasted. Bentley was selected to a pair of Pro Bowls in four seasons in New Orleans. He now trains offensive linemen and is an offensive line consultant for Iowa State.
4. Joey Bosa, defensive end
Drafted by:Chargers, No. 3 overall pick (Round 1), 2016
Skinny: Bosa ranked with points garnered strictly from his selection as the Defensive Rookie of the Year, a well-earned honor not only because of his dominant 2016 play, but also considering his season didn't even begin until Week 4. If his 10.5 sacks as a Chargers rookie are a sign of things to come, he could rank much higher on this list in time.
5. Donte Whitner, safety
Drafted by:Bills, No. 8 overall pick (Round 1), 2006
Skinny:Whitner has played 11 seasons, including five with the drafting club (Bills). His career peaked late with three consecutive Pro Bowls from 2012-2014, two as a San Francisco 49er and one with the Cleveland Browns. He finished last season on the Washington Redskins' injured reserve and is currently a free agent.
Total number of picks from Ohio State since 2000: 115
2017 draft picks from Ohio State (7): CB Marshon Lattimore, Saints (Round 1, No. 11 overall); S Malik Hooker, Colts (Round 1, No. 15); CB Gareon Conley, Raiders (Round 1, No. 24); RB Curtis Samuel, Panthers (Round 2, No. 40); LB Raekwon McMillan, Dolphins (Round 2, No. 54); OL Pat Elflein, Vikings (Round 3, No. 70); WR Noah Brown, Cowboys (Round 7, No. 239).