Skip to main content

Best NFL draft picks of century: Top selections from Tennessee

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.

Up next in the series is Tennessee, which is tied for 10th among all schools with 76 draft picks since 2000. The Vols' list begins with one of the greatest tight ends of all-time in Jason Witten, and ends with a rarity: a seventh-round pick who made a Pro Bowl in Scott Wells. No Peyton Manning, you ask? He was drafted in 1998, two years too early to qualify.

Best picks of the century from Tennessee

1. Jason Witten, tight end
Points: 28.6
Drafted by:Cowboys, No. 69 overall pick (Round 3), 2003
Skinny: The longevity of Witten's career has been remarkable -- 14 years and counting -- and so has his production. His 11,888 yards are the most ever for a tight end, and he hasn't missed a regular-season start in the last 10 years. The 10-time Pro Bowler has been one of the Cowboys' draft gems.

2. Eric Berry, safety
Points: 24.2
Drafted by:Chiefs, No. 5 overall pick (Round 1), 2010
Skinny: Berry proved he was one of the NFL's best safeties before being diagnosed with Hodgkin lymphoma, and did it again afterward. He's made the Pro Bowl every year he's been healthy (five of seven), and is rightfully a fan favorite in Kansas City. He's still writing chapters to his inspiring story, and with his first-team All-Pro selection last year, Berry's career arrow is still pointed up.

3. Albert Haynesworth, defensive tackle
Points: 13.2
Drafted by:Titans, No. 15 overall pick (Round 1), 2002
Skinny: When Haynesworth was in shape, motivated and in good standing, he could dominate. That wasn't always the case -- he was suspended for five games in 2006 for on-field misconduct -- but he anchored a strong defense that led the Titans to a 23-9 regular-season mark from 2007-2008. He was selected first-team All-Pro in both of those years.

4. Jamal Lewis, running back
Points: 13.2
Drafted by:Ravens, No. 5 overall pick (Round 1), 2000
Skinny: The Ravens plugged in Lewis behind a capable offensive line and got an instant payoff, as he ran for 1,364 yards, was runner-up in Offensive Rookie of the Year balloting, and helped Baltimore to a Super Bowl title. He's best known for his fourth year as a pro, however, when he posted one of the greatest rushing seasons in NFL history (2,066 yards). Lewis played for the Cleveland Browns for his last three NFL seasons, finishing with 10,607 career yards.

5. Jerod Mayo, linebacker
Points: 12.1
Drafted by:Patriots, No. 10 overall pick (Round 1), 2004
Skinny: The Patriots got more than just a talented linebacker in Mayo -- they also got a leader and a defensive captain who made an instant impact as the NFL's Defensive Rookie of the Year in 2004. He played eight seasons, went to two Pro Bowls, and led the NFL in tackles with 175 in 2010.

Honorable mention: WR Cordarrelle Patterson (12.0 points), RB Travis Henry (3.6), OT Chad Clifton (2.4), DE Shaun Ellis (2.2), DT John Henderson (2.2), OL Scott Wells (1.7).

Total number of picks from Tennessee since 2000: 76

2017 draft picks from Tennessee (6): DE Derek Barnett, Eagles (Round 1, No. 14 overall); RB Alvin Kamara, Saints (Round 3, No. 67 overall); CB Cameron Sutton, Steelers (Round 3, No. 94 overall); LB Jalen Reeves-Maybin, Lions (Round 4, No. 124 overall); WR Josh Malone, Bengals (Round 4, No. 128 overall); QB Joshua Dobbs, Steelers (Round 4, No. 135 overall).

The Formula: MVP (7 points), Offensive/Defensive Player of the Year (6 points), first-team All-Pro selection (5 points), Offensive/Defensive Rookie of the Year (4 points), Pro Bowl selection within first two years of career (3 points), other Pro Bowl selections (1 point).

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.

*Follow Chase Goodbread on Twitter **@ChaseGoodbread*.

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.

Related Content