As the college football season starts to wrap up, the football world will be looking at the star players ready to graduate and make their way into the NFL through the NFL draft, hopefully.
While players will be prepping for the combine, and looking ahead to the draft in Spring, the team at ClutchBet have had a look at some of the colleges with the most NFL draft picks.
It’s no shock that Alabama – who have 18 national titles to their name – top the list of most players drafted in the first round since 2012, seeing 34 of their alumni receive the honor of being selected on day one of the drafts. Ohio State and LSU round out the top three, with 20 and 16 first-round picks respectively.
Meanwhile, rounding out the top 20, the University of Iowa has had a total of six players selected in the first round since 2021, including record-breaking tight-end and Iowa native, T.J. Hockenson, who was drafted by the Detroit Lions in 2019.
Despite their limited first-round selections, the Hawkeyes are surrounded by a respectable group who have so far only seen six of their alumni go in the first round, including Stanford, South Carolina, Oklahoma, and UCLA.
Active NFL Players For Each Conference
With over 50 NFL draft picks coming from Iowa-based colleges in the last 10 years, the state has seen the development of some future stars of the NFL, such as another tight-end and former Hawkeye, George Kittle, and 2022 rookie Breece Hall (Iowa State), who has already put himself on the map scoring four touchdowns for the New York Jets this season, in seven games.
However, where the University of Iowa excels is in the longevity of its selected players. With over 36 picks in the last 10 years, at least 33 of their alumni are still active players within the NFL*, putting them seventh behind the likes of Alabama, Clemson, and Notre Dame, to name a few.
Alabama of course tops the list of the most active players in the NFL, with over 50 former ‘Bama stars paving their way in the NFL.
When we think of college football, our eyes dart to the Southeastern Conference (SEC) and Big Ten conference, but which conference produces the most NFL players?
SEC takes the crown once again, with over 330 active players in the NFL coming from the SEC. Unsurprisingly, Alabama is the current champion and has also won the most championships in the SEC.
But it’s not all bad news for the Big Ten Conference, while they may not have as many active players as the SEC, they still sit second with 266 players plying their trade in the NFL.
Colleges with the most round 1 draft selections
While some colleges and universities are usual suspects in and around the NFL draft, and more often they are home to prospective no. 1 draft picks, this doesn’t mean it’s the end for those players wishing to make it into the NFL who have not attended one of the top colleges.
Despite the lower draft numbers, many star players have come from colleges with lower rankings, such as Super Bowl Champion Carson Wentz who was drafted from North Dakota State in 2016, and Kelechi Osemele from Iowa State in 2012.
Data from 2021 NFL rosters were collected to determine the college and conference with the highest number of alumni currently playing in the NFL. The first draft pick per position was also collected and input into Excel (2019) for statistical analysis.
Data regarding all the players that have been selected in the NFL Draft between 2012 – 2022 was collected from SB Nation and ESPN (year, name, position, ranking, school and conference). The most picked position in the 1st round and overall was calculated.