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.
Up next in the series is Iowa, which is tied for 18th among all schools with 63 draft picks since 2000. The Indianapolis Colts took two of the very best among them, safety Bob Sanders and TE Dallas Clark, in back-to-back drafts. Both contributed to the Colts' Super Bowl XLI win. The two offensive linemen on the list, Marshal Yanda and Brandon Scherff, are among the best at their position in the NFL.
Best picks of the century from Iowa
1. Bob Sanders, safety
Drafted by:Colts, No. 44 overall pick (Round 2), 2004
Skinny: Sanders' pro career was interrupted by plenty of injuries, but when healthy, he was among the best safeties in the game. He was the NFL Defensive Player of the Year in 2007, when he made a career-high 96 tackles, 3.5 sacks and two interceptions. A two-time first-team All-Pro, Sanders also came up with an interception in the Colts' Super Bowl XLI win over the Chicago Bears.
2. Marshal Yanda, offensive guard
Drafted by:Ravens, No. 86 overall pick (Round 3), 2007
Skinny: Yanda, a JuCo transfer at Iowa, has been a versatile and consistent presence on the Ravens' offensive line since his rookie year, when started 12 of 16 games. He's developed into one of the NFL's best guards, having been selected to the Pro Bowl for the last six seasons.
3. Dallas Clark, tight end
Drafted by:Colts, No. 24 overall pick (Round 1), 2003
Skinny: Clark played for 11 seasons, the first nine of those with the Colts. His career coincided nicely with Peyton Manning's peak years, resulting in impressive production highlighted by a first-team All-Pro selection in 2009, when he caught 100 passes for 1,106 yards and 10 touchdowns. The Manning-to-Clark combo also delivered 317 receiving yards in the playoffs following the 2006 season, an NFL record for a single postseason by a tight end.
4. Brandon Scherff, offensive guard
Drafted by:Redskins, No. 5 overall pick (Round 1), 2015
Skinny: Scherff has been a fixture at right guard in Washington for the last two years, starting every game at the position. He was selected to the Pro Bowl in only his second season.
5. Aaron Kampman, defensive end
Drafted by:Packers, No. 156 overall pick (Round 5), 2002
Skinny: As a fifth-round pick, Kampman had an eight-year run in Green Bay, including back-to-back Pro Bowl seasons in 2006-2007. He made 54 of his 58 career sacks for the Packers, including a career-high 15.5 in 2006. He finished a 10-year career with the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2011.
Honorable mention: LB Chad Greenway (2.2 points), DT Jonathan Babineaux (1.8), OG Eric Steinbach (1.2).
Total number of picks from Iowa since 2000: 63
2017 draft picks from Iowa (4): QB C.J. Beathard, 49ers (Round 3, No. 104 overall); DT Jaleel Johnson, Vikings (Round 4, No. 109 overall); TE George Kittle, 49ers (Round 5, No. 146 overall); CB Desmond King, Chargers (Round 5, No. 151 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.