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What School Is NFL U.?

Welcome to the eighth and final installment in our series to determine which schools have done the best job in recent years of producing top NFL draft picks.

The top draft-producing teams of the last 15 years include USC (repped by Mark Sanchez), Georgia (repped by Matthew Stafford) and Miami (repped by Andre Johnson)

For our analyses, we looked at players drafted in the top three rounds in each of the last 15 years of the NFL draft.

You can check out the links below for our look at the schools which have done the best job of producing quarterbacks, defensive linemen, wide receivers, defensive backs, offensive linemen, linebackers and running backs. At the bottom of this story, we also share the top schools for producing tight ends in the last 15 years.

Today, we tie the series up and look at 15 schools that have done a good job of producing top talent for the NFL draft over the last 15 years.

That’s not all. We look at which schools have had the most first-round picks since 1998, which schools have had the most first-round picks all-time and we share which schools have had the most players taken No. 1 overall since the inception of the draft.

NFL U. Ratings

We have taken the eight position analysis pieces we published (linked below) and assigned voting points to the top 15 schools in each analysis.

The result is this ranking of the top 15 schools to produce NFL draft talent over the last 15 years. Miami (Fla.), which was first in four of these analyses, easily took the top spot. Here is the list:

1. Miami (Fla.)

Voting Points: 85.5. First-Round Picks Since 1998: 28. Top Draftee Since 1998: WR Andre Johnson, third overall pick in 2003. Position Analysis Rankings: First in linebackers, defensive backs and tight ends, tied for first in running backs, fifth in wide receivers, sixth in defensive linemen and 11th in offensive linemen.

2. Southern California

Voting Points: 70.75. First-Round Picks Since 1998: 19. Top Draftee Since 1998: QB Carson Palmer, first overall pick in 2013. Position Analysis Rankings: First in quarterbacks, second in offensive linemen, fourth in linebackers, sixth in wide receivers, tied for seventh in defensive backs and defensive linemen, tied for 11th in tight ends and tied for 14th in running backs. (USC is the only school mentioned in all eight position analyses.)

3. Georgia

Voting Points: 56.5. First-Round Picks Since 1998: 14. Top Draftee Since 1998: QB Matthew Stafford, first overall pick in 2009. Position Analysis Rankings: Third in linebackers, fourth in quarterbacks, tied for fourth in tight ends, tied for ninth in running backs, offensive linemen and wide receivers and 11th in defensive linemen.

4. Florida

Voting Points: 55. First-Round Picks Since 1998: 17. Top Draftee Since 1998: DT Gerard Warren, third overall pick in 2001. Position Analysis Rankings: First in wide receivers, third in offensive linemen, tied for eighth in linebackers, tied for ninth in quarterbacks and defensive backs, 10th in defensive linemen and tied for 11th in tight ends.

5. Tennessee

Voting Points: 50. First-Round Picks Since 1998: 17. Top Draftee Since 1998: QB Peyton Manning, first overall pick in 1998. Position Analysis Rankings: Second in linebackers, fifth in defensive linemen, tied for fifth in running backs, eighth in wide receivers, tied for ninth in defensive backs and tied for 11th in tight ends.

6. Florida State

Voting Points: 49.33. First-Round Picks Since 1998: 17. Top Draftee Since 1998: DE Andre Wadsworth, third overall pick in 1998. Position Analysis Rankings: First in defensive linemen, third in wide receivers, fifth in defensive backs, sixth in linebackers and tied for 15th in offensive linemen.

7. Oklahoma

Voting Points: 47.75. First-Round Picks Since 1998: 12. Top Draftee Since 1998: QB Sam Bradford, first overall pick in 2010. Position Analysis Rankings: Tied for fourth in offensive linemen and tight ends, sixth in defensive backs, seventh in wide receivers, tied for eighth in linebackers and tied for 14th in running backs.

8. LSU

Voting Points: 42. First-Round Picks Since 1998: 14. Top Draftee Since 1998: QB JaMarcus Russell, first overall pick in 2007. Position Analysis Rankings: Second in wide receivers, third in defensive linemen, tied for fifth in running backs and tied for ninth in defensive backs.

9. Ohio State

Voting Points: 41.75. First-Round Picks Since 1998: 20. Top Draftee Since 1998: LB A.J. Hawk, fifth overall pick in 2006. Position Analysis Rankings: Second in defensive backs, fourth in wide receivers, fifth in linebackers, 12th in defensive linemen and tied for 14th in running backs.

10. Alabama

Voting Points: 41.5. First-Round Picks Since 1998: 14. Top Draftees Since 1998: RB Trent Richardson (2012), DT Marcell Dareus (2011) and OT Chris Samuels (2000), each taken third overall in those years. Position Analysis Rankings: Third in running backs, fourth in defensive backs, tied for sixth in offensive linemen, 10th in linebackers and 15th in defensive linemen.

11. Texas

Voting Points: 37.33. First-Round Picks Since 1998: 15. Top Draftee Since 1998: OL Leonard Davis, second overall pick in 2001. Position Analysis Rankings: Third in defensive backs, sixth in quarterbacks, ninth in defensive linemen, tied for ninth in running backs, tied for 11th in tight ends and tied for 15th in offensive linemen.

12. (tie) Auburn

Voting Points: 28. First-Round Picks Since 1998: 10. Top Draftee Since 1998: QB Cam Newton, first overall pick in 2011. Position Analysis Rankings: Eighth in quarterbacks, tied for 11th in running backs, tied for 13th in offensive linemen and 14th in linebackers.

12. (tie) Michigan

Voting Points: 28. First-Round Picks Since 1998: 10. Top Draftee Since 1998: OL Jake Long, first overall pick in 2008. Position Analysis Rankings: Tied for fifth in running backs, eighth in offensive linemen, tied for ninth in wide receivers, 13th in linebackers and tied for 14th in quarterbacks.

14. Wisconsin

Voting Points: 27.5. First-Round Picks Since 1998: 13. Top Draftee Since 1998: OL Joe Thomas, third overall pick in 2007. Position Analysis Rankings: First in offensive linemen, tied for ninth in running backs, tied for 11th in tight ends, tied for 12th in wide receivers and 14th in defensive linemen.

15. Penn State

Voting Points: 25. First-Round Picks Since 1998: 11. Top Draftee Since 1998: DE Courtney Brown, first overall pick in 2000. Position Analysis Rankings: Fourth in defensive linemen, tied for ninth in running backs, tied for 11th in linebackers and tied for 12th in wide receivers.

Honorable Mention

Here were the next 10 top schools in the final analysis: 16. Oregon, 23 voting points; 17. California, 20.5; 18. Washington, 20; 19. Iowa, 18.5; 20. Stanford, 17.5; 21. Notre Dame, 16.83; 22. North Carolina, 16; 23. Arizona State, 14.5; 24. (tie) Tulane, Virginia Tech, 13.5.

First-Round Picks: Since 1998

We put the focus on this series on how teams produced talent over the last 15 years. Here is a look at the schools that have produced the most first-round picks in the last 15 NFL drafts (since 1998):

1. Miami (Fla.), 28
2. Ohio State, 20
3. Southern California, 19
4. (tie) Florida, 17
4. (tie) Tennessee, 17
4. (tie) Florida State, 17
7. Texas, 15
8. (tie) Alabama, 14
8. (tie) Georgia, 14
8. (tie) LSU, 14
11. Wisconsin, 13
12. Oklahoma, 12
13. Penn State, 11
14. (tie) Boston College, 10
14. (tie) Michigan, 10
14. (tie) California 10
14. (tie) Auburn 10

Also Notable: Over the last 15 years, the 14 current SEC teams have combined to produce 121 first-round picks – more than any other conference. Looking at the conferences by where teams played in 2012, here were the first-round picks produced by other BCS conferences: ACC, 98; Big Ten, 84; Pac-12, 63; Big 12, 49 and Big East, 20.

In that same stretch, Notre Dame has produced five first-round picks. Boise State is the top non-BCS school with four first-rounders over the last 15 years.

Four schools from BCS conferences did not have a first-round pick in the last 15 years. They were Duke, Iowa State, Cincinnati and Indiana.

Division I-AA teams have produced five first-round picks in that stretch, led by Jackson State with two.

First-Round Picks: All-Time

Here is a look at the schools that have produced the most first-round picks in the 77-year history of the NFL draft (since 1936):

1. Southern California, 76
2. Ohio State, 66
3. Notre Dame, 63
4. Miami (Fla.), 59
5. (tie) Florida, 42
5. (tie) Michigan, 42
5. (tie) Tennessee, 42
5. (tie) Texas, 42
9. Oklahoma, 41
10. Alabama, 40
11. (tie) Penn State, 36
11. (tie) Florida State, 36
13. LSU, 34
14. (tie) Nebraska, 32
14. (tie) Michigan State, 32
16. UCLA, 29

No. 1 Overall Picks: All-Time

During our study period of the last 15 years, 15 different schools produced the top overall player taken in each draft.

Broadening it out to the entire history of the draft, 50 different schools have produced the 77 overall No. 1 picks.

Three schools lead the way with five all-time No. 1 overall picks – Auburn, Notre Dame and Southern California.

Georgia and Stanford are next with four all-time No. 1 picks. Ohio State, Oklahoma and Texas are next with three.

Illinois, LSU, Miami (Fla.), Michigan, N.C. State, Nebraska, Penn State, Tennessee and Virginia Tech have each had two No. 1 picks. Thirty-three other schools have produced one overall No. 1 pick.

Tight End U.

We did not do a separate story on Tight End U. because the sample size of tight ends taken in the first three rounds of the draft since 1998 is much smaller than the other position groups.

Using the last 15 years of the NFL draft (top three rounds) as a barometer, here is a look at which schools have excelled at producing tight ends for the NFL (Note: We used first-round picks to break any ties):

* 1. Miami (Fla.) -- Miami finds the top spot for the fourth time in eight position group analyses. Miami has had six tight ends taken in the first three rounds of the draft in the last 15 years, including four first-rounders (Bubba Franks in 2000, Jeremy Shockey in 2002, Kellen Winslow Jr. in 2004 and Greg Olson in 2007).

* 2. (tie) Notre Dame -- Notre Dame has had three tight ends taken in the first three rounds of the NFL draft in the last 15 years, including Anthony Fasano (second round, 2006), John Carlson (second round, 2008) and Kyle Rudolph (second round, 2011).

* 2. (tie) Stanford -- Stanford has also had three tight ends taken in the first three rounds of the draft since 1998, including Teyo Johnson (second round, 2003), Alex Smith (third round, 2005) and Coby Fleener (second round, 2012).

* 4. (tie) Arizona State -- We have a seven-way tie for fourth with schools that had two tight ends drafted in the first three rounds with one first-rounder over the last 15 years. ASU’s first-rounder in that stretch was Todd Heap in 2001.

* 4. (tie) Colorado -- The Buffaloes sent Daniel Graham into the draft as a first-round pick in 2002.

* 4. (tie) Georgia -- Georgia had Benjamin Watson as a first-round pick in 2004.

* 4. (tie) Iowa -- The Hawkeyes had Dallas Clark as a first-round tight end in 2003.

* 4. (tie) Oklahoma -- Jermaine Gresham was the 21st overall pick in the 2010 draft.

* 4. (tie) UCLA -- Marcedes Lewis was a first-round pick in 2006 out of UCLA.

* 4. (tie) Washington -- Jerramy Stevens was a first-round pick in the 2002 draft.

* Eight-Way Tie For 11th – Eight schools produced two tight ends taken in the first three rounds of the draft since 1998 with no first-rounders. They include Florida, Missouri, North Carolina, USC, Texas, Texas A&M, Tennessee and Wisconsin.

* Also Notable -- The top tight ends drafted into the NFL over the last 15 years were a pair of players taken sixth overall. They were Miami’s Kellen Winslow Jr. in 2004 by Cleveland and Maryland’s Vernon Davis in 2006 by San Francisco.

Previous Installments

Here are links to the seven previous installments in this series:

Quarterback U.

Defensive Line U.

Wide Receiver U.

Defensive Back U.

Offensive Line U.

Linebacker U.

Tailback U.

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