Since the NFL shortened the draft to seven rounds in 1994, only twice has a school had 12 or more players selected in a single draft. Ohio State managed the feat both times, with 14 in 2004 and 12 -- all in the first 4 rounds (a record) -- this year.
Which college football program could be the next one to dominate an NFL draft?
The five institutions listed below are capable of challenging OSU's title as the nation's top pro pipeline.
The Tide, who had seven selections this year, might have matched OSU's 12 picks if more of their underclassmen had declared for the draft after last season. Talented players like DL Jonathan Allen, DL Dalvin Tomlinson, DB Eddie Jackson, LB Reuben Foster and LB Ryan Anderson will return for Alabama this season. Nick Saban's talent on offense is not lacking, either, with left tackle Cam Robinson, tight end O.J. Howard, and receiver Calvin Ridley leading the way on that side of the ball. As long as Saban continues to bring in top-rated recruiting classes, scouts will flock to his practices.
It's been more than 30 years since an NFL draft went by without a Seminole being selected. That streak won't end anytime soon. Of course, the FSU guys up front on offense will be highly regarded, as usual, starting with left tackle Roderick Johnson and left guard Kareem Are. They block for one of the top runners in the country in Dalvin Cook. Receivers Kermit Whitfield and Travis Rudolph lead a talented group of pass-catchers. Then there's the defense -- pass rushers DeMarcus Walker and Josh Sweat will garner interest from scouts. Jalen Ramsey is gone, but NFL teams will still be keeping an eye on the FSU secondary this season with Nate Andrews as well as budding superstar safety Derwin James in tow.
The Cardinals had 10 players drafted in 2015. They could face a similar exodus down the road, as their defense is loaded with prospects. Pass rusher Devonte Fields surprised some by returning to school and interior lineman DeAngelo Brown has loads of talent. Linebackers Keith Kelsey and Trevon Young are all-conference performers. Don't forget about cornerback Shaq Wiggins and safety Josh Harvey-Clemons, along with offensive playmakers James Quick, Jamari Staples, Keith Towbridge. There's also a slew of younger players ready to step up for star sophomore quarterback Lamar Jackson. Louisville's going to be a favorite stop for NFL teams.
Les Miles' program has had 32 players selected in the last five drafts, third behind Alabama (39) and Florida State (35) and ahead of Ohio State (30). There's no reason to think they'll fall on that list with the talent it has in the pipeline. The offensive line (C Ethan Pocic, OG Josh Boutte) and defensive line (DE Lewis Neal, DE Tashawn Bower, DT Christian LaCouture, DT Davon Godchaux, DE Arden Key) are stacked, as usual. A school known for its defensive backs (corners Tre'Davious White, Dwayne Thomas and Kevin Toliver II and safety Jamal Adams) and wide recievers (Malachi Dupre, Travin Dural) won't disappoint, either. And I haven't even mentioned one of the best players in the country, running back Leonard Fournette.
Jim Harbaugh has ensured that Ohio State is not the only talent-stacked team in the Big Ten. Tight end Jake Butt and receiver Jehu Chesson will be among the top seniors at their positions in the country. Not surprisingly, the offensive line is also producing prospects. Tackle Eric Magnuson and guard Kyle Kalis are just two names to watch there. On defense, corner Jourdan Lewis is a slight but tough cover man and his co-hort in the secondary, Jabrill Peppers, is on his way to stardom. The d-line has returning talent in Taco Charlton, Chris Wormley and Ryan Glasgow. Harbaugh, the true "Michigan Man" has the team moving in the right direction, and his talented recruiting classes will help the program keep that momentum.