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.
Stanford's 63 draft picks since 2000 is tied with Iowa for 18th among all schools. Seattle Seahawks CB Richard Sherman leads the group by a wide margin. It's not a particularly deep group, as only three of those 63 (Sherman, Luck, DeCastro) have reached a Pro Bowl. Seahawks WR Doug Baldwin was selected to last season's Pro Bowl, but is not listed here because he was undrafted out of Stanford in 2011.
Best picks of the century from Stanford
1. Richard Sherman, cornerback
Drafted by:Seahawks, No. 154 overall pick (Round 5), 2011
Skinny: You'd be hard-pressed to find many fifth-round draft picks with a stronger resume than Sherman's. He's established himself among the game's elite cornerbacks with 30 career interceptions among 92 passes defensed in his six seasons. Sherman has been selected to four consecutive Pro Bowls, he's a three-time first-team All-Pro, and hasn't missed a start in the last five years.
2. Andrew Luck, quarterback
Drafted by:Colts, No. 1 overall pick (Round 1), 2012
Skinny: In his first three years, Luck started every game for the Colts, took them to playoffs all three seasons, and made three Pro Bowls. The Luck selection proved to be a much wiser choice than Robert Griffin III, who was taken No. 2 overall by the Washington Redskins in the same draft. It's been a rougher ride for Luck the last two years, due to injuries, but he remains one of the NFL's most gifted passers.
3. David DeCastro, offensive guard
Drafted by:Steelers, No. 24 overall pick (Round 1), 2012
Skinny: A knee injury suffered in a preseason game cost DeCastro the majority of his rookie year, but he recovered in time to play in the Steelers' last four games. Since then, he's been a healthy fixture at right guard. Pittsburgh picked up the fifth-year option on his rookie contract, and since then, he's gone on to a first-team All-Pro season (2015) and two consecutive Pro Bowls.
4. Eric Heitmann, center
Drafted by:49ers, No. 239 overall pick (Round 7), 2002
Skinny: Heitmann's career wasn't exactly decorated (he was awarded a point for longevity) but who can argue with the value of a seventh-round pick who goes on to start eight seasons with the club that drafted him? He was a three-time winner of the club's Bobb McKittrick Award, given to the 49ers' most dedicated offensive lineman.
Total number of picks from Stanford since 2000: 63
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.