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.
We continue the series with a look at the Florida Gators, whose 100 draft picks since 2000 rank fifth among all schools. Given all those draft picks, particularly at the skill positions, it's a bit surprising that there haven't been more NFL success stories from a group led in part by two interior offensive linemen. Absent the Pouncey twins' eight combined Pro Bowls, there are only 10 Pro Bowls combined among the rest of the Gators' draft classes since 2000.
Best picks of the century from Florida
1. Maurkice Pouncey, center
Drafted by:Steelers, No. 18 overall pick (Round 1), 2010
Skinny: The selection of Pouncey was an immediate success in Pittsburgh, where he started all 16 games as a rookie and made the Pro Bowl in each of his first three seasons. He suffered a torn ACL in 2013, but the Steelers had enough faith in his return to sign him to a $44 million contract extension. He rewarded that faith with a first-team All-Pro selection in 2014.
2. Lito Sheppard, cornerback
Drafted by:Eagles, No. 26 overall pick (Round 1), 2002
Skinny: Sheppard's career got off to a slow start, but he began showing why he was a first-round pick in 2004, when he intercepted five passes and was named first-team All-Pro. Two years later, he picked off a career-high six passes and became the first player with two career 100-yard interception returns for TDs.
3. Percy Harvin, wide receiver
Drafted by:Vikings, No. 22 overall pick (Round 1), 2009
Skinny: Harvin wasted no time making an impact in Minnesota, earning Offensive Rookie of the Year honors after catching 60 passes for 790 yards and six TDs in 2009. He was similarly effective over the next two years as a reliable receiver and occasional rusher for the Vikings, but injuries began to unravel his career thereafter.
4. Mike Pouncey, center
Drafted by:Dolphins, No. 15 overall pick (Round 1), 2011
Skinny: A year after Maurkice was drafted, the Dolphins selected the other of the Pouncey twins and, like the Steelers, got an immediate starter at center. He was named to three consecutive Pro Bowls from 2013-2015, but last year a hip injury landed him on injured reserve.
5. Carlos Dunlap, defensive end
Drafted by:Bengals, No. 54 overall pick (Round 2), 2010
Skinny: Dunlap broke a club rookie record with 9.5 sacks as a rookie, all amassed over the second half of the season. He's always been a capable pass rusher, but he's come into his own over the last two years with back-to-back Pro Bowls and a career-high 13.5 sacks in 2015.
Total number of picks from Florida since 2000: 100
2017 draft picks from Florida (8): LB Jarrad Davis, Lions (Round 1, No. 21 overall); S Marcus Maye, Jets (Round 2, No. 39 overall); CB Quincy Wilson, Colts (Round 2, No. 46 overall); CB Teez Tabor, Lions (Round 2, No. 53 overall); LB Alex Anzalone, Saints (Round 3, No. 76 overall); OL David Sharpe, Raiders (Round 4, No. 129 overall); DL Caleb Brantley, Browns (Round 6, No. 185 overall); DL Joey Ivie, Cowboys (Round 7, No. 228 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.