Most NFL Draft Picks by School: Notre Dame, USC, and Ohio State Lead the Way

    Which college football programs have had the most players selected in the NFL Draft? Three schools stand above the rest.

    NFL prospects come in all shapes and sizes — and from everywhere around the globe. Yet, there are several college football programs that have turned themselves into NFL pipelines, churning out top-tier players year after year. Which schools have the most NFL Draft picks in the event’s history?

    College Football Programs With the Most NFL Draft Picks

    10) Georgia Bulldogs  | 371

    After the 2023 NFL Draft, Georgia overtook Nebraska at No. 10 on the list. Since Kirby Smart’s second season in Athens (2017), 55 bulldogs have been selected, including 15 in the first round alone!

    Additionally, Georgia currently holds the record for most selections in one NFL Draft since 1994, with 15 players — Travon Walker, Jordan Davis, Quay Walker, Devonte Wyatt, Lewis Cine, George Pickens, James Cook, Nakobe Dean, Channing Tindall, Zamir White, Jake Camarda, Justin Shaffer, Jamaree Salyer, Derion Kendrick, and John FitzPatrick — selected in the 2022 event.

    Notable selections: WR Hines Ward, CB Champ Bailey, QB Matthew Stafford, WR A.J. Green, and EDGE Justin Houston

    9) Florida Gators | 372

    The Gators have never had a No. 1 overall pick, but they have had six top-three selections and 18 top-10 choices in the program’s history. QB Anthony Richardson joined the list in the 2023 NFL Draft, with the Indianapolis Colts selecting him fourth overall.

    Last year, alums Richardson, DT Gervon Dexter, OL O’Cyrus Torrence, and LB Ventrell Miller were all selected within the first four rounds. Over the last four drafts, Florida has boasted four first-rounders: CB Kaiir Elam, TE Kyle Pitts, WR Kadarius Toney, and Richardson.

    Notable selections: WR Cris Collinsworth, RB Emmitt Smith, RB Fred Taylor, DL Jevon Kearse, and CB Joe Haden

    8) LSU Tigers | 375

    LSU has become a bit of an NFL Draft powerhouse over the past decade, sending 12 first-rounders to the pros over the past 10 drafts. The Tigers have 52 first-round picks in the books, including three — QBs Joe Burrow and JaMarcus Russell and TE Billy Cannon — at first overall.

    In 2023, LSU had six players selected, from EDGE BJ Ojulari at No. 41 overall all the way down to CB Jerrick Bernard-Converse at No. 204.

    Notable selections: S Jamal Adams, EDGE Danielle Hunter, DB Tyrann Mathieu, CB Patrick Peterson, and OT Andrew Whitworth

    7) Penn State Nittany Lions | 381

    Penn State’s most successful NFL alum might be linebacker Jack Ham, who wasn’t selected until the second round but became a Hall of Famer following a 12-year career with the Pittsburgh Steelers.

    But the Nittany Lions also have plenty of first-rounders, including RB Ki-Jana Carter and defensive end Courtney Brown (who both went first overall), and RB Saquon Barkley, RB Blair Thomas, and LB LaVar Arrington, who were each picked at No. 2.

    Notable selections: RB Franco Harris, OL Mike Munchak, RB Curt Warner, EDGE Tamba Hali, and WR Allen Robinson

    T-5) Alabama Crimson Tide | 401

    In 2021, Alabama set a record (since tied by Georgia in 2022) by sending six first-round picks to the NFL. WR Jaylen Waddle, CB Patrick Surtain II, WR DeVonta Smith, QB Mac Jones, OT Alex Leatherwood, and RB Najee Harris all heard their names called on Day 1.

    The Crimson Tide have produced numerous first-rounders during Nick Saban’s tenure (2007-2023), with QB Bryce Young, EDGE Will Anderson Jr., and RB Jahymr Gibbs being the most recent in 2023. However, Alabama has only had two No. 1 overall NFL Draft picks: QB Harry Gilmer in 1948 and Young last year. Joe Namath was the top selection in the 1965 AFL draft.

    Notable selections: QB Ken Stabler, RB Shaun Alexander, WR Julio Jones, RB Derrick Henry, and WR Amari Cooper

    T-5) Michigan Wolverines | 401

    DT Mazi Smith supplemented Michigan’s list of first-round NFL Draft picks by joining the Dallas Cowboys in 2023. The year before, EDGE Aidan Hutchinson and DB Daxton Hill also saw their name run across the ticker in Round 1, and EDGE David Ojabo could’ve joined them had he not suffered a pre-draft Achilles injury.

    Of course, Michigan’s most productive draft pick wasn’t selected anywhere near the first round. Tom Brady famously lasted until the 199th pick in 2000 before becoming the NFL’s GOAT.

    Notable selections: DB Ty Law, DB Charles Woodson, G Steve Hutchinson, WR Desmond Howard, and OT Jake Long

    4) Oklahoma Sooners | 414 Picks

    Oklahoma has sent five No. 1 overall picks to the NFL Draft: RB Lee Roy Selmon (1976), RB Billy Simms (1980), and QBs Sam Bradford (2010), Baker Mayfield (2018), and Kyler Murray (2019). Additionally, LB Brian Bosworth was the top selection in the 1987 supplemental draft.

    The Sooners haven’t had a first-rounder since the Dallas Cowboys selected CeeDee Lamb 17th overall in 2020. However, Oklahoma has boasted several mid-round picks who have already posted successful careers, including center QB Jalen Hurts, OL Creed Humphrey, and RB Rhamondre Stevenson.

    Notable selections: RB Billy Sims, OT Lane Johnson, DB Roy Williams, OT Trent Williams, and RB Adrian Peterson

    3) Ohio State Buckeyes | 485

    Ohio State has produced 39 first-round picks since the turn of the century. The Buckeyes managed five first-rounders in both 2006 (A.J. Hawk, Donte Whitner, Bobby Carpenter, Santonio Holmes, and Nick Mangold) and 2016 (Joey Bosa, Ezekiel Elliott, Eli Apple, Taylor Decker, and Darron Lee).

    LB Tom Cousineau, DT Dan Wilkinson, and OT Orlando Pace are Ohio State’s only No. 1 overall selections, and QB C.J. Stroud nearly joined them in 2023, going No. 2 to the Houston Texans.

    Notable selections: WR Cris Carter, RB Eddie George, EDGEs Joey and Nick Bosa, WR Paul Warfield, and RB Ezekiel Elliott

    2) USC Trojans | 523

    Only two schools have sent more than 500 draft picks to the NFL. USC is one of them, having produced a first-round selection in each of the four three drafts: WR Drake London, G Alijah Vera-Tucker, OT Austin Jackson, and WR Jordan Addison. Plus, Day 3 picks like Amon-Ra St. Brown and Talanoa Hufanga have outplayed their draft slots in recent seasons.

    The Trojans have five No. 1 overall picks on their track record: Ron Yary, O.J. Simpson, Ricky Bell, Keyshawn Johnson, and Carson Palmer.

    Notable selections: RB Reggie Bush, DB Ronnie Lott, WR Lynn Swann, RB Marcus Allen, and LB Junior Seau

    1) Notre Dame Fighting Irish | 525

    Although Notre Dame has only had five players chosen in the last two drafts, 2021 was a banner year. The Fighting Irish sent nine players — Liam Eichenberg, Aaron Banks, Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, Tommy Tremble, Robert Hainesy, Ian Book, Daelin Hayes, Adetokunbo Ogundeji, and Ben Skowronek — to the next level.

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

    Notre Dame has produced at least six draft picks six times over the past decade. They’ve had five No. 1 overall selections, but the most recent was in 1972 when the Buffalo Bills chose defensive end Walt Patulski.

    Notable selections: QB Joe Montana, WR Tim Brown, QB Joe Theismann, FB Jerome Bettis, OL Zack Martin

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