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

Which colleges have had the most players selected in the NFL draft? A few schools stand above the rest.

While NFL draft picks can come from anywhere and everywhere, some college programs have essentially become NFL feeder systems. These powerhouse schools consistently send talented players to the pros, not just in Round 1, but all throughout the draft. Which schools have the most NFL draft picks in history?

Most NFL Draft Picks by School

10) Nebraska | 366 NFL Draft Picks

Nebraska churned out three draft choices in 2022: OL Cam Jurgens, CB Cam Taylor-Britt, and WR Samori Toure. However, they haven’t had a first-round pick since 2011, when cornerback Prince Amukamara went 19th to the New York Giants.

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The Cornhuskers have produced two No. 1 overall picks: fullback Sam Francis in 1937 and wide receiver Irving Fryar in 1984. Offensive tackle Dean Steinkuhler went second in 1984, giving Nebraska the top two picks in the draft.

9) Florida | 367 NFL Draft Picks

Although Florida has never had a No. 1 overall pick, they have sent six top-three selections and 17 top-10 choices to the NFL. Quarterback Anthony Richardson figures to join that crop in the 2023 NFL Draft.

Last year, Gator alums Kaiir Elam, Zachary Carter, and Dameon Pierce were all selected within the first four rounds of the draft. Over the last three drafts, Florida has boasted three first-rounders: Elam, Kyle Pitts, and Kadarius Toney.

8) LSU | 369 NFL Draft Picks

LSU has become an NFL draft powerhouse over the past decade, sending 14 first-rounders to the pros over the past 10 drafts. All told, the Tigers have 52 first-round picks in the books, including three — quarterbacks Joe Burrow and JaMarcus Russell and tight end Billy Cannon — at first overall.

In 2022 alone, LSU had 10 players selected, from Derek Stingley Jr. at No. 3 overall all the way down to Andre Anthony at No. 248.

7) Penn State | 375 NFL Draft Picks

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.

6) Alabama | 391 NFL Draft Picks

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

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The Crimson Tide have produced numerous first-rounders since Nick Saban came to town in 2007, with offensive tackle Evan Neal and wide receiver Jameson Williams being the most recent in 2022. However, Alabama has only had one No. 1 overall NFL draft pick: quarterback Harry Gilmer in 1948. Joe Namath was the top selection in the 1965 AFL draft.

5) Michigan | 392 NFL Draft Picks

Aidan Hutchinson and Dax Hill supplemented Michigan’s list of first-round NFL draft picks by joining the Detroit Lions and Cincinnati Bengals, respectively, in 2022. The Wolverines likely would have had a third first-rounder last year had David Ojabo 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 of the 2000 draft before becoming one of the greatest players in the history of the NFL.

4) Oklahoma | 409 NFL Draft 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 Creed Humphrey and running back Rhamondre Stevenson.

3) Ohio State | 479 NFL Draft Picks

Ohio State has produced 36 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).

Linebacker Tom Cousineau, defensive tackle Dan Wilkinson, and offensive tackle Orlando Pace are Ohio State’s only No. 1 overall selections, but quarterback C.J. Stroud could join that list in 2023.

2) USC | 519 NFL Draft Picks

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 last three drafts: WR Drake London, G Alijah Vera-Tucker, and OT Austin Jackson. Day 3 picks like Amon-Ra St. Brown and Talanoa Hufanga have recently outplayed their draft slots.

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

1) Notre Dame | 522 NFL Draft Picks

Although Notre Dame only had two players chosen in the 2022 NFL Draft, the year before was a banner year. 2021 saw the Fighting Irish send nine players — Liam Eichenberg, Aaron Banks, Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, Tommy Tremble, Robert Hainesy, Ian Book, Daelin Hayes, Adetokunbo Ogundeji, and Ben Skowronek — to the pros.

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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 first overall.

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