Who are the best draft picks of the century from the most prominent programs in college football? College Football 24/7 set out to answer this question by ranking the top draft picks since 2000 from the 30 schools that have produced the most picks since that year.
Players were ranked through a formula in which they received points for honors they've acquired in their NFL career, including being selected to the Pro Bowl (including as injury replacements) and being selected first-team All-Pro. Players were also rewarded relative to where in the draft they were selected. First-round picks benefited least because a strong career would be expected; seventh-round picks benefited most. In some cases, a bonus for longevity or outstanding play was granted. See the full formula below the list of top picks.
Clemson's 68 draft picks since 2000 is tied for 15th among all schools, led by Clemson's youngest representative: pass rusher Vic Beasley. Only four of those 68 have ever reached a Pro Bowl.
Best picks of the century from Clemson
1. Vic Beasley, defensive end
Drafted by:Falcons, No. 8 overall pick (Round 1), 2015
Skinny: After his rookie season struggles, there were questions about whether the Falcons had made a wise selection in taking Beasley. There are questions no more. Beasley led the NFL in sacks in his second season with 15.5, helping the Falcons to an NFC title, and earning first-team All-Pro status.
2. DeAndre Hopkins, wide receiver
Drafted by:Texans, No. 27 overall pick (Round 1), 2013
Skinny: Hopkins has been a 16-game starter in each of his four seasons in Houston, including a Pro Bowl year in 2015 in which he set career-highs in catches (111), yardage (1,521) and touchdowns (11). "Nuk", as he's known, broke Andre Johnson's club record for single-season TD catches that year.
3. C.J. Spiller, running back
Drafted by:Bills, No. 9 overall pick (Round 1), 2010
Skinny: Spiller spent five seasons in Buffalo, peaking in 2012 with career highs in all key offensive categories, including rushing yards (1,244) and receiving yards (459). He went to his only Pro Bowl that year. After short stints with the Saints, Jets and Seahawks, Spiller was signed by the Kansas City Chiefs in February.
4. LeRoy Hill, linebacker
Drafted by:Seahawks, No. 98 overall pick (Round 3), 2005
Skinny: Hill did not pick up any points in the formula, but ranks here with the longevity of an eight-year career with the club that selected him, during which time he notched 511 tackles, including 20 sacks, in 89 starts.
5. Dwayne Allen, tight end
Drafted by:Jets, No. 64 overall pick (Round 3), 2012
Skinny: Allen was a starter from Day One for the Colts, and he earned a second contract with his drafting team, signing a four-year deal last year. He's done a good chunk of his damage in the red zone, as 15 percent of his catches are for touchdowns. His career gets a change of scenery in 2017 after the Colts traded Allen to the New England Patriots.
Total number of picks from Clemson since 2000: 68
2017 draft picks from Clemson (6): WR Mike Williams, Chargers (Round 1, No. 7 overall); QB Deshaun Watson, Texans (Round 1, No. 12 overall); CB Cordrea Tankersley, Dolphins (Round 3, No. 97 overall); RB Wayne Gallman, Giants (Round 4, No. 140 overall); DT Carlos Watkins, Texans (Round 4, No. 142 overall); TE Jordan Leggett, Jets (Round 5, No. 150 overall).
Draft multiplier: Total points for first-round picks x 1.1; second-round picks x 1.2; third-round picks x 1.3; fourth-round picks x 1.4; fifth-round picks x 1.5; sixth-round picks x 1.6; seventh-round picks x 1.7.
Tiebreaker: Ranking edge to lower-drafted player within same round.
Specialists and fullbacks: For players honored primarily as specialists or fullbacks, their total points were devalued. Kickers and punters were not included in this exercise.