College Football Teams With Most No. 1 NFL Draft Picks of All Time

    Which college football teams have produced the most No. 1 NFL Draft picks? One school stands above the rest.

    There has been one No. 1 overall selection who hailed from a non-Power Five program since 1974: Central Michigan offensive tackle Eric Fisher (2013). But which school owns the record for most No. 1 NFL Draft picks in the history of the event?

    Which College Football Team Has the Most No. 1 NFL Draft Picks?

    T-7) Texas: 3

    Draft picks: LB Tommy Nobis (1966), RB Earl Campbell (1978), DE Kenneth Sims (1982)

    It’s been over 40 years since Texas has produced a No. 1 overall pick, but they still have three in their history books. Campbell rushed for more than 1,400 yards and claimed a first-team All-Pro berth in each of his first three NFL campaigns en route to earning a place in Canton. Nobis made five Pro Bowls for the Falcons and made the NFL’s All-1960s team.

    T-7) Ohio State: 3

    Draft picks: LB Tom Cousineau (1979), DT Dan Wilkinson (1994), OT Orlando Pace (1997)

    While Ohio State routinely churns out NFL talent, they haven’t had a No. 1 pick since 1997. Cousineau had a relatively short career for the Cleveland Browns and San Francisco 49ers, while Wilkinson started 182 games over 13 seasons. But Pace is the cream of the crop. He entered the Hall of Fame after earning four All-Pros (two first-team) and seven Pro Bowls.

    T-7) LSU: 3

    Draft picks: TE Billy Cannon (1960), QB JaMarcus Russell (2007), QB Joe Burrow (2020)

    Cannon was a jack of all trades who earned All-Pro berths in 1961 and 1967. Russell is considered one of the biggest draft busts of all time, but you wouldn’t have believed that after watching the tools he put on display in Baton Rouge.

    Yet, Burrow is the new QB standard after taking the Cincinnati Bengals to two AFC Championships and a Super Bowl in his first three seasons in the league.

    T-5) Auburn: 4

    Draft picks: RB Tucker Frederickson (1965), RB Bo Jackson (1986), LB Aundray Bruce (1988), QB Cam Newton (2011)

    While there are no Hall of Famers listed above, Auburn has a few notable names who have gone No. 1. Jackson refused to sign with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers after they drafted him, later joining the Los Angeles Raiders. And just when his career was beginning to take off, a hip injury ended his NFL experience. Meanwhile, Newton won an MVP, Offensive Rookie of the Year, earned three Pro Bowl nods, and appeared in a Super Bowl.

    T-5) Stanford: 4

    Draft picks: QB Bobby Garrett (1954), QB Jim Plunkett (1971), QB John Elway (1983), QB Andrew Luck (2012)

    Four Stanford No. 1 picks, four quarterbacks. Garrett only attempted 30 NFL passes, but Plunkett and Elway won two Super Bowls each, and Elway is a Hall of Famer. Luck might’ve received a gold jacket, too, had injuries not led to his early retirement.

    T-2) Notre Dame: 5

    Draft picks: QB Angelo Bertelli (1944), QB Boley Dancewicz (1946), WR Leon Hart (1950), HB Paul Hornung (1957), DE Walt Patulski (1972)

    Notre Dame had four No. 1 picks in a 13-year span from 1944-1957. But they haven’t had one in more than 50 years since the Buffalo Bills took Patulski in 1972. Hornung is the standout here, as he’s considered one of the greatest football players of all time and is enshrined in both the College and Pro Football Halls of Fame.

    Plus, every season since 2010, the Louisville Sports Commission has handed out the Paul Hornung Award to the most versatile player in college football.

    T-2) Oklahoma: 5

    Draft picks: DE Lee Roy Selmon (1976), RB Billy Sims (1980), QB Sam Bradford (2010), QB Baker Mayfield (2018), QB Kyler Murray (2019)

    Selmon was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame after totaling 78.5 sacks over nine seasons with the Buccaneers. Unfortunately, Sims and Bradford’s careers were largely defined by injury issues, though they were relatively productive when healthy. In addition to this group, Oklahoma also saw LB Brian “The Boz” Bosworth selected as the first pick of the 1987 supplemental draft.

    T-2) Georgia: 5

    Draft picks: HB Frankie Sinkwich (1943), HB Charley Trippi (1945), WR Harry Babcock (1953), QB Matthew Stafford (2009), DE Travon Walker (2022)

    So far, Trippi is the only Hall of Famer from Georgia’s roster of No. 1 picks. He entered Canton after winning one NFL Championship, earning an All-Pro nod in 1948, and being named to the NFL’s All-1940s team.

    Stafford could also be on a HOF trajectory, with the 11th most passing yards (56,047) and touchdowns (357) in NFL history and a Super Bowl win under his belt. And he isn’t done yet.

    1) USC: 6

    Draft picks: OT Ron Yary (1968), RB O.J. Simpson (1969), RB Ricky Bell (1977), WR Keyshawn Johnson (1996), Carson Palmer (2003), Caleb Williams (2024)

    KEEP READING: Most NFL Draft Picks by School

    Not only do the Trojans now have the most No. 1 picks, with the Chicago Bears selecting Caleb Williams in the 2024 NFL Draft, but they have the most impressive collection of players. Yary and Simpson are in Canton, while Johnson and Palmer were Pro Bowl-caliber players. Even Bell put up a 1,200-yard campaign in 1979.

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