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.
Fourth in the series is LSU, which has produced the fourth-most draft picks of any school this century (101). As one of the schools that has dubbed itself "DB U", it's only fitting that two of LSU's top five picks since 2000 are defensive backs -- Patrick Peterson and Tyrann Mathieu -- and the Arizona Cardinals nabbed them both. Peterson has logged twice as many NFL seasons as second-ranked Odell Beckham, so with twice the opportunity to compile accolades, he beat out Beckham for the top spot. Rounding out the top five is DL Kyle Williams, who has provided the Buffalo Bills with an 11-years-and-counting return on a fifth-round investment.
Best picks of the century from LSU
1. Patrick Peterson, cornerback
Drafted by:Cardinals, No. 5 overall pick (Round 1), 2011
Skinny: When you reach the Pro Bowl in every year of your career, as Peterson has, your argument for the top ranking is fairly air-tight. He'll try to make it seven in a row this fall. The Cardinals made him the NFL's highest-paid cornerback in 2014 with a $70 million contract extension that included a $48 million guarantee.
2. Odell Beckham, wide receiver
Drafted by:Giants, No. 12 overall pick (Round 1), 2014
Skinny: It doesn't get much more consistent than this: In three NFL seasons, the Giants' star receiver has delivered 1,300-plus yards and double-digit touchdowns each year. That's included some spectacular moments as well as a few headaches, but the production has been undeniable.
3. Andrew Whitworth, offensive tackle
Drafted by:Bengals, No. 55 overall pick (Round 2), 2006
Skinny: As an 11-year veteran, Whitworth was a longtime starter for the Cincinnati Bengals, but the highest recognition has been a long time in coming, with two of his three Pro Bowls and his only first-team All-Pro selection coming over the last two seasons. He'll play for his second NFL club beginning this fall after signing with the Los Angeles Rams.
4. Tyrann Mathieu, safety
Drafted by:Cardinals, No. 69 overall pick (Round 3), 2013
Skinny: After being dismissed by LSU coach Les Miles and missing the 2012 season as a result, Mathieu was considered quite a risk in the 2013 NFL Draft. Things couldn't have turned out better for Arizona, which plucked Mathieu in the third round and got a rookie starter who has stayed trouble-free and developed into a 2015 first-team All-Pro.
5. Kyle Williams, defensive tackle
Drafted by:Bills, No. 134 overall pick (Round 5), 2006
Skinny: You can't ask more of a fifth-round pick than what Williams has brought to the Bills: a five-time Pro Bowler who is now the longest-tenured player on the team. He overcame a season-ending knee injury in 2015 season to make 15 starts last year.
Total number of picks from LSU since 2000: 101
2017 draft picks from LSU (8): RB Leonard Fournette, Jaguars (Round 1, No. 4 overall); S Jamal Adams, Jets (Round 1, No. 6 overall); CB Tre'Davious White, Bills (Round 1, No. 27 overall); OL Ethan Pocic, Seahawks (Round 2, No. 58 overall); LB Duke Riley, Falcons (Round 3, No. 75 overall); LB Kendell Beckwith, Buccaneers (Round 3, No. 107 overall); DL Davon Godchaux, Dolphins (Round 5, No. 178 overall); WR Malachi Dupre, Packers (Round 7, No. 247).
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.