USC Football landed at No. 3 on NFL.com’s ranking of the schools that produced the best NFL draft picks since 2000, trailing Miami and Michigan.
It’s widely accepted that USC Football is one of the biggest NFL factories in the college game, if not the biggest, but the latest ranking from NFL.com shows that the Trojans volume of draft picks is backed up by value.
NFL.com set out to determine which schools have not just produced the most draft picks, but the best draft picks going back to 2000. As expected, USC made the cut ranking No. 3 on the list.
Miami ran away with the No. 1 spot, which is unsurprising considering the Hurricane’s immense success at producing NFL talent this century.
NFL.com assigned points based on a formula, awarding points for MVPs, Offensive or Defensive Player of the Year awards, first team All-Pro selections, Offensive or Defensive Rookie of the Year status, Pro Bowl selections (weighted more heavily towards early appearances) and career longevity. They then added multipliers based on draft round — boosting the value of players selected in later rounds.
With that in mind, it’s no surprise to see Michigan at No. 2 on the list, thanks in large part to Tom Brady, who not only racked up the points for his career achievements but had them multiplied because of his late-round draft status. His 80 points make up more than half of the Wolverine’s total.
USC’s standing at No. 3 was also significantly boosted by a single player. Troy Polamalu accounted for 40 of the Trojans 134 points on the scale. Polamalu is one of just six players with 40-point or better value, joining Brady, Browns lineman Joe Thomas, Texans rusher J.J. Watt, former Ravens safety Ed Reed and former Minnesota running back Adrian Peterson
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Panthers center Ryan Kalil is USC’s next-best rated player with 18 points. Green Bay’s Clay Matthews, Dallas’ Tyron Smith and Lofa Tatupu, formerly of Seattle, round out the Trojans top five picks of the century.
USC has reason to believe their status in this formula will only grow as well.
Veterans like Kalil, Smith, Matthews, Tennessee’s Jurrell Casey, Green Bay’s Nick Perry, Houston’s Brian Cushing and Minnesota’s Everson Griffen, among others, could add to their accolades over the coming years.
Then there’s a new generation of potential Trojan NFL starts on the rise including New York’s Leonard Williams, Washington’s Su’a Cravens, LA’s Nickell Robey-Coleman and more.
That’s not to mention the latest crop of USC draft picks like Adoree’ Jackson and JuJu Smith-Schuster or future additions like Sam Darnold, when he chooses, of course.