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.
Texas' 62 draft picks since 2000 rank 20th among all schools, and the Kansas City Chiefs have plucked two of the very best in RB Jamaal Charles and LB Derrick Johnson. The Longhorns haven't made their presence felt in the draft in recent years as much as they have historically, so it's not surprising that the most recently drafted among UT's top five was selected seven years ago (Earl Thomas).
Best picks of the century from Texas
1. Earl Thomas, safety
Drafted by:Seahawks, No. 14 overall pick (Round 1), 2010
Skinny: Thomas has played a big role in Seattle's "Legion of Boom" secondary, having been selected to five consecutive Pro Bowls from 2011-2015. He's intercepted 23 career passes and forced nine fumbles. He suffered a broken leg last year, but is ahead of schedule in his recovery, according to coach Pete Carroll.
2. Jamaal Charles, running back
Drafted by:Chiefs, No. 73 overall pick (Round 3), 2008
Skinny: Charles spent the first nine years of his NFL career in Kansas City, during which he posted five 1,000-yard seasons and was selected to four Pro Bowls. He's also been a prolific receiver out of the backfield with 285 career catches, including a career-high 70 in 2013. Charles will be back for Year 10, coming off of knee surgery, on a one-year contract with the Denver Broncos.
3. Derrick Johnson, linebacker
Drafted by:Chiefs, No. 15 overall pick (Round 1), 2005
Skinny: Johnson has spent his entire 12-year career in Kansas City, logging 154 starts with a reputation for a strong work ethic and positive locker room presence. He's the club's all-time leading tackler and has been selected to four Pro Bowls, including three in a row from 2011-2013. Johnson is recovering from an Achilles injury this offseason.
4. Brian Orakpo, linebacker
Drafted by:Redskins, No. 13 overall pick (Round 1), 2009
Skinny: Orakpo's career in Washington began with a bang, as he recorded 19.5 sacks over his first two seasons and made the Pro Bowl both years. He was a Pro Bowl selection again last year in his second season with the Tennessee Titans, and now has 57.5 career sacks.
5. Casey Hampton, nose tackle
Drafted by:Steelers, No. 19 overall pick (Round 1), 2001
Skinny: Hampton played the entirety of a 12-year career with the club that drafted him, as good a sign as any that the team thought it hit the bullseye with the draft selection. He was selected to five Pro Bowls and notched 164 career starts in Pittsburgh. Hampton recovered from 2004 ACL surgery to make the Pro Bowl in 2005 and help the Steelers to a win in Super Bowl XL.
Total number of picks from Texas since 2000: 62
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.