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.
We open Week Two of the series with a look at the Florida State Seminoles, whose 100 players drafted since 2000 rank tied for fifth among all schools. Two of FSU's top three picks came from the same draft, 2006, in Antonio Cromartie and Leon Washington. Most of the 14 former Seminoles who scored points under the formula have retired or are on the back end of their career, but two ascenders, Devonta Freeman and Jameis Winston, figure to shake these rankings up in the coming years.
Best picks of the century from FSU
1. Antonio Cromartie, cornerback
Drafted by:Chargers, No. 19 overall pick (Round 1), 2006
Skinny: Cromartie parlayed excellent size for a cornerback (6-foot-2, 210 pounds) and tremendous athleticism into four Pro Bowls in 11 seasons. He led the NFL in interceptions in his second NFL season (2007) with 10. He was also durable: from 2008 to 2015, an eight-year stretch in which he played for four NFL clubs, Cromartie missed only three regular-season starts. He was released by the Colts in October of last year and remains unsigned.
2. Anquan Boldin, wide receiver
Drafted by:Cardinals, No. 54 overall pick (Round 2), 2003
Skinny: This second-round pick was playing like a first-rounder from his first year as a pro. Boldin took Offensive Rookie of the Year honors with 1,377 receiving yards, his first of seven 1,000-yard campaigns. NFL Network analyst Kurt Warner believes Boldin is deserving of the Pro Football Hall of Fame. He's currently a free agent, and needs just 221 more yards to become the 13th player to reach 14,000 in his career.
3. Leon Washington, running back
Drafted by:Jets, No. 117 overall pick (Round 4), 2006
Skinny: Although drafted as a running back, it was as a kickoff returner that Washington made his biggest mark on the NFL. He broke eight of them for touchdowns, tying an NFL record. In his best season, he led the NFL in all-purpose yardage (2,332) in 2008, most of it on kickoff and punt returns, making the Pro Bowl and drawing first-team All-Pro honors.
4. Devonta Freeman, running back
Drafted by:Falcons, No. 103 overall pick (Round 4), 2014
Skinny: Freeman has developed into one of the NFL's most effective rushers in what has become a shared role with Tevin Coleman. He's piled up more than 3,000 yards from scrimmage (2,135 rushing, 1,040 receiving) over the past two years, scored 27 TDs and made two Pro Bowls. Atlanta wants to keep him around for the long-term, but the club will no longer be able to do it at a fourth-round price tag.
5. Darnell Dockett, defensive tackle
Drafted by:Cardinals, No. 64 overall pick (Round 3), 2004
Skinny: Dockett's career peaked from 2007-2010, a four-year stretch in which he made three Pro Bowls and recorded 25 sacks. He had a 10-year NFL run, all in Arizona, and started at least 14 games in every season.
Total number of picks from FSU since 2000: 100
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.