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.
Alabama has placed 96 players in the draft since 2000, seventh-most among all schools. For a school known more for defense, however, it was a pair of offensive playmakers that scored highest in Shaun Alexander and Julio Jones. Three of the Tide's top five players never played a down for Nick Saban, although that's partly because Saban-era players are still active and haven't nearly closed the book on their careers.
Best picks of the century from Alabama
1. Shaun Alexander, running back
Drafted by:Seahawks, No. 19 overall pick (Round 1), 2000
Skinny: Alexander posted five consecutive 1,000-yard rushing seasons in Seattle, ending with his peak season in 2005, when he was voted NFL MVP. With Hall of Famer Walter Jones paving the way at left tackle, Alexander ran for 1,880 yards and 27 TDs that season.
2. Julio Jones, wide receiver
Drafted by:Falcons, No. 6 overall pick (Round 1), 2011
Skinny: Jones has established himself as one of the NFL's elite receivers. The Falcons took a risk in trading up to select him, parting with two first-round picks, a second-rounder and two fourth-rounders, but it paid off handsomely. The last three years, Jones has averaged 108 catches and 1,624 yards per season.
3. DeMeco Ryans, linebacker
Drafted by:Texans, No. 33 overall pick (Round 2), 2006
Skinny: Ryans made a big early splash with the Texans, making 155 tackles and earning 2006 Defensive Rookie of the Year honors. He didn't miss a start over his first four years in Houston, making a pair of Pro Bowls, and finished with a 10-year pro career that ended with the Eagles in 2015.
4. Landon Collins, safety
Drafted by:Giants, No. 33 overall pick (Round 2), 2015
Skinny: Collins has emerged as a dynamic playmaker in the Giants' secondary, recording five INTs and four sacks last season. He was selected first-team All-Pro and made the first of what could be a string of Pro Bowls for a 23-year-old entering his third year.
5. Evan Mathis, offensive line
Drafted by:Panthers, No. 79 overall pick (Round 3), 2005
Skinny: Who could have imagined, when Mathis was a third-round selection, that he would pick up 12 years worth of NFL paychecks? Certainly not the Panthers, who released him just before the 2008 season. He went on to play for five more clubs, most effectively as a four-year starter with the Eagles, where he made two Pro Bowls. Mathis decided to retire earlier this year.
Total number of picks from Alabama since 2000: 96
2017 draft picks from Alabama (10): CB Marlon Humphrey, Ravens (Round 1, No. 16 overall); DE Jonathan Allen, Redskins (Round 1, No. 17 overall); TE O.J. Howard, Buccaneers (Round 1, No. 19 overall); LB Reuben Foster, 49ers (Round 1, No. 30 overall); OT Cam Robinson, Jaguars (Round 2, No. 34 overall); LB Ryan Anderson, Redskins (Round 2, No. 49 overall); DT Dalvin Tomlinson, Giants (Round 2, No. 55 overall); LB Tim Williams, Ravens (Round 3, No. 78 overall); WR ArDarius Stewart, Jets (Round 3, No. 79 overall); S Eddie Jackson, Bears (Round 4, No. 112 overall).
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.