The best NFL factories
Ever wonder which college programs produce the best NFL running backs? How about the most long-term starters or the most Pro Bowlers? We dug through data from the past 15 drafts to find out which schools make the grade at the next level. BY LUKE KNOX
Top overperforming school
We compared each school's weighted draft value and their overall performance in the NFL since 2002 (overperformers and those with more draft value than production are underperformers. No school overperforms like Miami, the starting point for Hall of Fame talents Andre Johnson, Ed Reed and Devin Hester, along with a host of Pro Bowlers.
on methodology) to figure out which schools produced the biggest NFL overperformers and underperformers. Schools with a higher share of NFL production are
Click or hover for each school's numbers
Min. 20 picks
Let's examine the trends in a few other ways. How about sleeper picks, by average Approximate Value
? In the middle rounds, the best players come from Purdue (including Pro Bowlers Nick Hardwick, Cliff Avril and Shaun Phillips). Cincinnati has the top average from rounds 5-7, thanks to Trent Cole and Jason Kelce.
Min. 15 picks
If you measure longevity by percentage of draft picks to start in at least four NFL seasons, Miami leads the way -- nearly 30 percent of Canes picks do so, including mainstays like Andre Johnson and Vince Wilfork. In terms of starters in eight-plus seasons, The U wins again, edging Boston College and UCF.
Min. 20 picks
The Panthers boast five All-Pros out of 38 selections during this time frame: Larry Fitzgerald, Darrelle Revis, LeSean McCoy, Aaron Donald and Andy Lee. McCoy and Lee weren't even first-rounders! Incredibly, nearly one in four Miami picks in this span reached a Pro Bowl. UCF (Brandon Marshall, Josh Sitton, Asante Samuel) is no slouch either.
Min. 20 picks
Hottest school now
How do NFL success rates correlate to where players are picked? Surprisingly, four schools in the bottom 10 overall (Ohio State, FSU, Clemson and Notre Dame) have seen a recent spike in demand. The Buckeyes had 12 picks last season, including Joey Bosa at No. 3. We'll see in the coming years if the spike in picks is warranted by their performances on the field. Meanwhile, Tennessee, North Carolina, Arizona and Colorado have just two draftees among them since 2014.
We pulled data from Pro-Football-Reference.com on the 3,831 players drafted since 2002 and broke them into eight position groups. Special teams are excluded since many of those players are acquired as undrafted free agents.
Picks are weighted by overall pick number, so early first-round picks carry more weight than late first-rounders.
The formula for this factors in career Approximate Value, along with percentage of seasons as an All Pro/Pro Bowler/starter. The goal was to account for players like J.J. Watt who have been dominant over shorter stretches.