Since the NFL-AFL merger, USC football has dominated the NFL Draft boards. The Trojans can legitimately claim titles like QB U, WR U, OL U, LB U, and even Draft U.
There are a lot of ways to claim USC is the ultimate NFL Draft factory. For instance, the Trojans have the most total draft picks ever.
Thanks to Banner Society’s Jason Kirk, we now have a new way to quantify just how successful USC has been at producing draft-worthy players.
Kirk assigned point values to each draft pick going back to 1970, when the AFL and NFL merged, then ran the numbers and came to a pretty simple conclusion:
The Trojans topped all programs in terms of total value. They have out-produced Ohio State, Miami, Penn State, and Notre Dame, in that order.
With that in mind, it makes sense they’d also dominate across positions.
When it comes to quarterbacks, USC outranked second-place Cal by 20 points.
At wide receiver, the Trojans also hold a 10-point advantage over second-place Tennessee.
But wait, there’s more!
USC topped the chart for offensive lineman by a whopping 81 points over Notre Dame.
Linebackers similarly feature the Trojans at No. 1, eight points ahead of Penn State.
To recap, USC can legitimately claim the title of QBU, WRU, OLU, and LBU. Not to mention NFL U.
And it’s not like the Trojans don’t feature in the other positions. USC ranked third for tight ends, seventh for defensive linemen, and 10th for running backs.
Kirk framed his data, not around USC’s dominance (that would be too simple) but around 10-year rolling totals. That way USC as the “all-time QB U” can be distinguished from the “current reigning QB U,” for instance.
In that case, USC remains third with Oklahoma on top.
At RB, USC doesn’t feature. Alabama leads by miles.
At WR, USC is tied for third behind Ohio State and Georgia.
At OL, USC has fallen to sixth. Alabama once again towers over the rest.
At DL, USC is ninth. Alabama and Clemson are neck and neck.
At LB, USC is sixth, with (who else) Alabama leading.
At DB, USC doesn’t feature. It’s Alabama in front of a tighter pack.
Take all the totals together and you end up with USC down at sixth, with Alabama breaking open a huge advantage.
Sure, those trends are interesting, but you don’t need to tell USC fans that their program has fallen off over the last 10 years. The Trojan Family is keenly aware of that.
The larger point remains: USC has indeed been the dominant force in producing draft picks over the last 50 years.
They made it through a slump in the 90s. Getting out of the current slump is the key to maintaining the Trojans’ reign.