Name: Myles Murphy Position: Edge rusher School: Clemson Height: 6’5″ Weight: 275 lbs Games watched: vs. Syracuse (2022), vs. Florida State (2022), vs. Wake Forest (2022), vs. UNC (’22 ACCCG), vs. Georgia (2021), vs. Wake Forest (2021)
Clemson has one of the most talented defensive lines in the entire country, featuring four players that will likely be selected in the Top 100 come April. Perhaps the one from that front four that will hear his name called first will be Myles Murphy. He finished his true junior season with 6.5 sacks and 11 tackles for loss. His presence was felt in the backfield way more often than that as well.
Murphy’s impressive year earned him 1st team All-ACC honors, which came on the heels of a 2nd team All-ACC performance the year before. He has been consistently productive and there is a ton of untapped potential. Given how high we have seen raw, toolsy edge rushers be drafted in recent years, I have a feeling there will be a number of NFL teams interested in Murphy’s services.
As I already said, Murphy is a plus athlete with incredible bend and burst off the line. He is more athlete than polished pass rusher at this point, but 18.5 career sacks for a player that feels like he is just scratching the surface more than suffices from a production standpoint. He certainly looks the part of an NFL edge rusher as well. His play strength clearly improved in 2022, with Murphy regularly breaking out a bull rush that allowed him to collapse the pocket. His speed rush move improved as the year went along as well. His hand usage is solid, but there is room for improvement. While I wouldn’t call it a strength of his game, Murphy is better in zone coverage than I would have expected.
For as much fun as it is to watch Murphy fly off the ball, that aggressiveness often gets him in trouble. He is known to overrun plays or miss assignments because he is too hasty to read his keys. As a result, Murphy really struggles when put in conflict. He excels at setting the edge as a run defender, but he still has room to improve when it comes to disengaging to finish the play. His pass rush planning needs to improve at the next level. Right now, he just plays downhill and hopes to win off athleticism and finishing speed.
Murphy did not grade out as highly as some of the other edge rushers in this class, but I think he has a higher ceiling than most of them. He routinely created pressure based on being the faster or stronger player. With some good coaching and a bit more experience, I think Murphy has the potential to be a game-wrecker.
Ideal scheme fit: Attacking 3-4 outside linebacker or 5-technique defensive end
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NFL Draft Daily looks at top stories, historical trends, player performances and more all through the lens of the NFL Draft.
What a wild offseason this is shaping up to be in college football. Over 1,000 FBS players entered the transfer portal on December 5th when it opened. One of the most notable names seen on that list is now former Clemson quarterback D.J. Uiagalelei. The former five-star recruit improved on a rocky 2021 season, throwing for 2,521 yards while completing nearly 62 percent of his passes for 22 touchdowns and 7 interceptions. He added 545 yards and 7 scores on the ground as well. Despite the clear improvement from the year before, where he tossed more interceptions than touchdowns, he ended up being benched several times down the stretch for the Tigers.
Uiagalelei is far from the first big-time recruit to fall flat. Expectations were sky high for him following Trevor Lawrence’s tenure in Death Valley. Uiagalelei flashed potential and even dazzled at times for Clemson. His 2020 start in place of Lawrence and his incredible performance against Wake Forest this year come to mind.
However, there is no question this is Cade Klubnik’s team now and Uiagalelei will look to start fresh elsewhere. While fans are undoubtedly curious where he will land and its impact on the upcoming college football season, I am more interested in what this means for his NFL future.
It might be a bit hard to see exactly how a player who lost their starting job to a true freshman, despite the coaching staff giving him every chance to keep hold of his role, winds up being an NFL draft pick. I get it. If Uiagalelei were to enter the draft right now, it is hard to imagine he would be anything more than an undrafted free agent. Maybe a team would be willing to take a flier on him in the seventh round given his measurables and pedigree as a five-star recruit.
However, in the modern era of the transfer portal, it is becoming more common to see players rehab their draft stock after landing in a new home. Uiagalelei’s situation immediately makes me think of a pair of fourth-year quarterbacks who have an NFL draft decision to make in the coming weeks: Bo Nix and Spencer Rattler.
Both were highly recruited and seemed poised for superstardom at the NFL level. Unfortunately, Nix struggled with consistency at Auburn, ultimately deciding to leave for a change of scenery at Oregon. Rattler lost his starting job at Oklahoma to the uber-talented Caleb Williams, who won the Heisman trophy on Saturday, now playing for Lincoln Riley at USC. Entering this season, no draft analyst would reasonably tell you that Nix and Rattler had clear paths to the NFL. After both put together strong years at new programs, Nix more so than Rattler, the possibility of reaching the league is once again attainable. Rattler probably needs one more year at South Carolina to really solidify that he has what it takes, but Nix could legitimately be a Day 2 selection for a team looking to add depth at quarterback.
Let’s start with Nix. He had a career completion percentage of 59.4 at Auburn, averaged 6.9 yards per attempt and accumulated 39 touchdowns and 16 interceptions in three years as the starter. At Oregon, Nix completed 71.5 percent of his passes for a career high 3,388 passing yards to go along with 42 total touchdowns and just 6 interceptions. He showcased his immense growth as a passer and his talents as a rusher, racking up 504 yards and 14 touchdowns on the ground. At this point, I think Nix will likely be one of the seven or eight passers selected in the 2023 draft, but we will have to see if he definitely leaves and, if so, how he fares in the pre draft process, which could include the Senior Bowl and the scouting combine.
For Rattler, he seemed poised to be the next great NFL quarterback after a stellar 2020 campaign. He threw for over 3,000 yards and amassed 28 touchdowns through the air with just 7 interceptions. Then he lost his job in 2021 to the aforementioned Williams and ended up at South Carolina. I will admit that I was ready to right off Rattler after a rocky start to his career in Columbia, but after leading the Gamecocks to seven wins in their final nine games, including impressive performances against Tennessee and Clemson to end the season, he is at least back on the radar. I think Rattler needs one more year to prove he can consistently play at a high level. He had some great games this year, but still tossed 11 interceptions, including four multi-interception outings.
The other example Nix set that Uiagalelei should follow would be working with a quarterback guru like Jordan Palmer. Nix spent the offseason working with Exos, putting in the work to improve his footwork, technique and accuracy. It paid major dividends this year and I think it is important that Uiagalelei does the same. Watching him play, he has a ton of arm talent, great size, impressive athleticism. However, his footwork is all over the place. His accuracy suffers big time as a result. Spending time with a quarterback specialist to fine tune those attributes will go a long way. He has already shown that he is willing to put in the offseason work as well, dropping 15 pounds heading into this season, which allowed him to move a lot better in the pocket and be more productive running the ball.
Uiagalelei’s future still very much seems like it will be in the NFL. He will have two years to prove he can progress as a passer and improve the technical side of his game. He is a 6’4″, 235-pound prospect with tons of experience playing in a Power 5 conference. He will undoubtedly land at another Power 5 school and be in position to start again.
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College football is back! With the season getting underway in earnest, this is a great time to look at the top programs for sending players to the NFL. This is my sixth year running these rankings, and while there has been a lot that has changed, some things stay the same. Alabama is still on top and has a monster lead over Ohio State. Nick Saban is running a NFL factory down in Tuscaloosa.
I love doing these rankings every year because it shows you which schools are the best at preparing players for the NFL draft. Obviously, it should be taken into account that usually these schools are also the ones that excel in recruiting, but there is a lot more to it than that. Receiving the right exposure, playing in a specific system or especially competing against the best talent all play a role in shaping a prospects’ draft stock as well. This is not a predictive measurement of how well players from these schools will do in the pros. For high school prospects with dreams of playing on Sundays, these are the best programs to get you there.
For those wondering how these rankings are created, I look at all the players drafted over the past five years and then score their draft spot using the scoring system below. The draft classes included in this year’s rankings span from 2017 to 2021.
The scoring system is as follows: 1st round -10 points 2nd round – 7 points 3rd round – 5 points 4th round – 4 points 5th round – 3 points 6th round – 2 points 7th round – 1 points
1. Alabama Crimson Tide – 343 points Previous: 1 (315 points) Highest Drafted Player – Quinnen Williams, 3rd Overall, 2019 Alabama continues to raise the bar. After claiming his sixth national championship since taking over for the Tide in 2009, Nick Saban tied the 2004 Miami Hurricanes when six of his players were drafted in the first round of 2021. Somehow, the Tide keep increasing their point total. After Ohio State pulled within 30 points a year ago, Alabama has stretched their lead to nearly 100 points again. No one is touching them for a while.
2. Ohio State Buckeyes – 248 points Previous: 2 (285 points) Highest Drafted Player – Nick Bosa/Chase Young, 2nd Overall, 2019/2020 At first glance, it might seem like the Buckeyes had a rough 2021 draft. It was solid if unspectacular, but their massive drop in points is mostly due to losing out on a 2016 draft class that featured 12 players, including five first-rounders. Ohio State is not going anywhere, but after seeming like they were primed to challenge Alabama for the top spot a year ago, this was a disappointing follow up.
3. LSU Tigers – 215 points Previous: 3 (202 points) Highest Drafted Player – Joe Burrow, 1st Overall, 2020 The championship hangover hit the Bayou hard as LSU struggled to a 5-5 finish. Still, the Tigers had seven players drafted, highlighted by Ja’Marr Chase going in the top 5. There is already buzz about another potential top-five prospect in Derek Stingley Jr., so I think LSU is here to stay. They will need to pick it up in the first few rounders though if they want to stay in the top three.
4. Michigan Wolverines – 170 points Previous: 6 (144 points) Highest Drafted Player – Devin Bush, 10th Overall, 2019 I said it last year and I will say it again, Jim Harbaugh, despite all his flaws running this program, knows how to get players to the NFL. Michigan saw eight of its football alumni have their names called across the three days of the 2021 draft in April. Kwity Paye led the way going 21st overall. There are already a few players in the top 50 conversation heading into this season, so the Wolverines could climb even higher.
5. Florida Gators – 167 points Previous: 5 (161 points) Highest Drafted Player – Kyle Pitts, 4th Overall, 2021 Florida’s draft success took another step forward as Kyle Pitts became the Gators’ first top-five pick since Dante Fowler back in 2015. Pitts kicked off a good-sized draft class, with eight former Florida players coming off the board on draft day. With tons of NFL-caliber talent still on this roster and Dan Mullen still running the show, Florida is going to stick among college football elites in this category.
6. Clemson Tigers – 165 points Previous: 4 (171 points) Highest Drafted Player – Trevor Lawrence, 1st Overall, 2021 It feels weird that Clemson would have the No. 1 overall pick and somehow move down two spots after dropping a few points. The Tigers had a solid draft class of five players. Trevor Lawrence and Travis Etienne were both first-round selections. This is not a huge blow for Clemson, but I think it underlines just how hard it is to produce top-end NFL prospects.
7. Georgia Bulldogs – 153 points Previous: 9 (131 points) Highest Drafted Player – Roquon Smith, 8th Overall, 2018 Kirby Smart feels like he is just getting started. Georgia had nine players drafted in 2021, including three in the top 50. With a loaded roster heading into 2021 with some big-name prospects already drawing national attention, the Bulldogs are primed for future success. J.T. Daniels, Adam Anderson, Nakobe Dean and Jordan Davis could all come off the board in the top 50 in 2022.
8. Oklahoma Sooners – 138 points Previous: 8 (133 points) Highest Drafted Player – Baker Mayfield/Kyler Murray, 1st Overall, 2018/2019 This was a quiet draft by Oklahoma standards. 2021 snapped a three-year streak of having a player selected in the first round and only two players went in the top 100. That should change in 2022, with Spencer Rattler in the Heisman conversation and some other prospects receiving first-round buzz. As long as Lincoln Riley is in Norman, the Sooners are going to be in the top 10.
9. Washington Huskies – 132 points Previous: 10 (110 points) Highest Drafted Player – John Ross, 9th Overall, 2017 If you are a high school prospect with NFL aspirations looking to play on the West Coast, Washington should probably be at the top of your wish list. It remains to be seen if Jimmy Lake can sustain the success Chris Pederson built. If 2021 was any indication, the program should be fine. Joe Tryon snuck into the first round and Levi Onwuzurike was not far behind him. Four former Huskies heard their names called and there should be a few more to follow in 2022.
10. Notre Dame Fighting Irish – 130 points Previous: 7 (136 points) Highest Drafted Player – Quenton Nelson, 6th Overall, 2018 Hate on the Irish all you want, Brian Kelly is producing NFL prospects at a high level. It was the second year in a row that Notre Dame did not have a first-round pick, but they somewhat made up for that with three second-rounders. Kyle Hamilton will almost definitely snap that streak next year. With a very small draft class in 2017, the Irish should be in a good spot to add more points in 2022.
11. Penn State Nittany Lions – 109 points Previous: 13 (100 points) Highest Drafted Player – Saquon Barkley, 2nd Overall, 2018 The gap between the top 10 and everyone else is apparent. Penn State has steadily made progress in these rankings in recent years. When I first started recording this, the Nittany Lions were 23rd and had not had a first-round pick in the previous five years. Fast forward to 2021 and Penn State had multiple players taken in the first round for the first time since 2003. Yes, it certainly seems like Happy Valley is back to being a hot spot for NFL prospects.
12. USC Trojans – 108 points Previous: 11 (104 points) Highest Drafted Player – Sam Darnold, 3rd Overall, 2018 15 years ago, USC likely would have led these rankings. After a long lull, it seems like the Trojans are headed in the right direction. Alijah Vera-Tucker was the highest drafted player of a group of five former USC players. With Kedon Slovis and Drake London drawing first-round hype already, the Trojans could be in for an even bigger draft class in 2022.
13. Iowa Hawkeyes – 98 points Previous: 19 (86 points) Highest Drafted Player – T.J. Hockenson, 8th Overall, 2019 This was definitely a down year for the Hawkeyes, yet they take a big step forward in the rankings. That is primarily because Austin Blythe was the only former Iowa player drafted in 2016 and he went in the seventh round. Hard to do much worse than that from a draft perspective. Iowa has dominated the middle rounds and have hit some highs with first-round selections in 2019 and 2020. If they are serious about staying in the top 15, the Hawkeyes will likely need to start producing first-rounders more regularly.
14. Miami Hurricanes – 97 points Previous: 19 (86 points) Highest Drafted Player – Jaelan Phillips, 18th Overall, 2021 Miami is really close to rejoining the elite schools in the country when it comes to sending players to the NFL. No one came close to matching the Hurricanes in the early 2000s, but they have fallen on hard times. Jaelan Phillips and Gregory Rousseau were the first players from Miami drafted before the third round since 2017. That is a problem. There is more talent on the horizon, but as we have seen, it is far from a guarantee that those players will crack those first two rounds.
15. Auburn Tigers – 96 points Previous: 12 (101 points) Highest Drafted Player – Derrick Brown, 7th Overall, 2020 The Gus Malzahn era is officially over and the on-field results correspond with a dip in the pro potential power rankings. The Tigers dominated the 2020 draft, highlighted by two selections in the first 30 picks, but those were their only first round draftees since 2014. Anthony Schwartz was the first Auburn player off the board this year and he went 91st. It will be interesting to see if Bryan Harsin can turn things around and how long it will take before the program is back among the nation’s elite, if it ever returns.
16. Texas A&M Aggies – 90 points Previous: 17 (90 points) Highest Drafted Player – Myles Garrett, 1st Overall, 2017 Despite a great season on the field, narrowly missing the College Football Playoff, Texas A&M had a really quiet draft. Only four players came off the board. Kellen Mond was the first and he went in the third round. That was a bit underwhelming, but oh boy, the 2022 Aggies draft class will likely change all of that. DeMarvin Leal, Jaylen Wydermyer, Kenyon Green and Isaiah Spiller will all be in the first-round conversation. There is plenty of depth after that. Jimbo Fisher has a good track record with sending players to the league. There is a reason Florida State has fallen off a cliff in NFL prospect production since he left.
17. Stanford Cardinal – 88 points Previous: 21 (85 points) Highest Drafted Player – Solomon Thomas, 3rd Overall, 2017 Stanford continues to produce NFL talent every year. Five players heard their names called in 2021, with all of them coming between the second and fifth rounds. Unfortunately, the quality of play on the field continues to slide and there is a chance the number of Cardinal players heading to the NFL could follow. David Shaw is a fantastic coach, but he needs to do something to revive this program.
18. Utah Utes – 86 points Previous: 20 (90 points) Highest Drafted Player – Garrett Bolles, 20th Overall, 2017 It is not time to panic in Salt Lake City. Not having a single player drafted in 2021 is startling, but that comes on the heels of a strong seven-man draft class in 2020. There is hope on the horizon with Devin Lloyd likely to generate some first-round buzz. This past draft class is still incredibly disappointing, but I wouldn’t expect Utah to completely drop out of the rankings right away.
19. Florida State Seminoles – 78 points Previous: 23 (80 points) Highest Drafted Player – Brian Burns, 16th Overall, 2019 Florida State has struggled to keep up their NFL factory tag in the post Jimbo Fisher era. The Seminoles drop a couple points but move up because of other teams struggling around them. If the season opener against Notre Dame was any indication though, there is a chance there is some more NFL talent on the roster than initially thought. 2022 could be a huge inflection point one way or the other in determining which direction FSU is headed in these rankings.
20. Mississippi State Bulldogs – 77 points Previous: 16 (91 points) Highest Drafted Player – Jeffery Simmons, 19th Overall, 2019 This was not ideal. Only two Mississippi State players were drafted in 2021. Both were seventh rounders. That is not going to get it done in these rankings, at least not long term. The Bulldogs should hang around bolstered by a 2019 draft class that featured three first-round picks, but this is a red flag. There is a chance their days in the top 20 are coming to an end.
21. UCLA Bruins – 76 points Previous: 14 (98 points) Highest Drafted Player – Josh Rosen, 10th Overall, 2018 Another small draft class sees the Bruins take a major tumble down the rankings. Osa Odighizuwa and Demetric Felton were the only players drafted from UCLA this past year. Early signs point to Chip Kelly having this team headed in the right direction. In his fourth season in L.A., Kelly finally has his own recruits running the show. Zach Charbonnet is off to a hot start and there are a few other prospects already earning top 100 buzz. Perhaps the Bruins are primed for a bounce back and better days ahead now that Kelly is settling in.
22. Wisconsin Badgers – 74 points Previous: 25 (73 points) Highest Drafted Player – T.J. Watt, 30th Overall, 2017 It was another ho-hum draft class for the Badgers. Three former Wisconsin players were drafted, but none of them were selected prior to the fifth round. Another year like that could see Paul Chryst’s program slide out of the rankings. There are a number of teams all within 15 points of Wisconsin at this stage. Its 2017 draft class was also a strong one, so they will need to have a better 2022 to help replace it when next year rolls around.
23. North Carolina State Wolfpack – 72 points Previous: 22 (83 points) Highest Drafted Player – Bradley Chubb, 5th Overall, 2018 Alim McNeil was the lone North Carolina State player taken in 2021. He was a third-round pick, but one-man draft classes don’t really do much in these rankings. Considering the Wolfpack’s on-field success, it was a bit of surprise no one else joined McNeil. NC State has a good history of producing NFL talent, so they could be in line for a turnaround, but it will need to happen quickly.
24. TCU Horned Frogs – 70 points Previous: 24 (79 points) Highest Draft Player – Jalen Reagor, 21st Overall, 2020 TCU is lucky to stay in these rankings. The Horned Frogs only had two players taken in 2021. However, they could be in line for a resurgence in 2022. Their 2017 draft class consisted of just one seventh-round selection, so it will be hard for them to really drop more points in next year’s rankings. There are a few players on the 2021 roster that should come off the board in the top 100, so the top 20 is definitely within reach.
25. Ole Miss Rebels – 69 points Previous: 15 (93 points) Highest Drafted Player – Evan Engram, 23rd Overall, 2021 The biggest drop of any program in the 2021 rankings, Ole Miss is hanging on for dear life. Their two players selected were in the second and fourth rounds, which is solid. However, that was replacing a 2016 draft class that produced three first-rounders. Now Evan Engram is the only former Rebel taken in the first round in the past five years. Maybe Matt Corral could change that, but it would take a big season for him to break into the top 32 prospects come draft day.
25. North Carolina – 69 points Previous: NR (46 points) Highest Drafted Player – Mitchell Trubisky, QB, UNC 2021 was a solid year for UNC both on the field and in terms of draft production. Their five players selected replaced a 2016 draft class featuring zero NFL prospects. That is a big part of the reason for the Tar Heels’ surge. It also helps that Mack Brown is attracting big-time talent to Chapel Hill. Sam Howell will have to prove himself in 2021 to solidify his first-round draft stock. There could be a few other players that work their way into the top 100 when all is said and done.
Others Receiving Votes: Virginia Tech (66 points), South Carolina (60 points), Kentucky (60 points)
Welcome to Year 5 of the NFL Pro Potential Power Rankings! The more things change, the more things stay the same at the top. Alabama, Ohio State, Clemson and Florida are all still part of the top five. However, we are starting to see the on-the-field struggles for Florida State and Stanford catch up to them. Both have fallen outside the top 20 and could potentially drop out of the rankings altogether if things don’t get turned around.
I love doing these rankings every year because it shows you which schools are the best at preparing players for the NFL draft. Obviously, it should be taken into account that usually these schools are also the ones that excel in recruiting, but there is a lot more to it than that. Receiving the right exposure, playing in a specific system or especially competing against the best talent all play a role in shaping a prospects draft stock as well. This is not a predictive measurement of how well players from these schools will do in the pros. For high school prospects with dreams of playing on Sundays, these are the best programs to get you there.
The scoring system is as follows:
1st round-10 points
2nd round-7 points
3rd round-5 points
4th round-4 points
5th round- 3 points
6th round- 2 points
7th round- 1 points
1. Alabama Crimson Tide- 315 points
Previous: 1 (281 points)
Highest Drafted Player- Quinnen Williams, 3rd Overall, 2019
This is just unbelievable. The Crimson Tide have led these rankings every single year I have made them. Their point total has reached a staggering 315, becoming the first school to eclipse the 300-mark. For the fourth straight year, Alabama had four players selected in the first round. That doesn’t include the countless players selected in the second round, third round and beyond. Ohio State closed the gap significantly, but ‘Bama is still the king.
2. Ohio State Buckeyes- 285 points Previous: 2 (229 points) Highest Drafted Player- Nick Bosa/Chase Young, 2nd Overall, 2019/2020
While Alabama is clearly the best football factory in the country, there is no question Ohio State belongs in the conversation. Ryan Day sent a huge batch of players to the NFL in 2020, including two players in the top three picks. And as if you haven’t heard already, Joe Burrow started his college career in Columbus as well. There is still a long ways to go to catch the Tide, but for the first time ever, it feels possible for the Buckeyes to take the top spot in the future.
3. LSU Tigers- 202 points
Previous: 6 (132 points)
Highest Drafted Player- Joe Burrow, 1st Overall, 2020
This will go down as one of the greatest draft classes in NFL history. Five first-rounders and 14 players drafted in total, the latter of which was a record. Joe Burrow became just the second LSU player to go first overall in program history. I am a little skeptical that the Tigers will continue to dominate like this in the draft with so much turnover, but they became the only school other than Ohio State and Alabama to eclipse the 200-point threshold.
4. Clemson Tigers- 171 points
Previous: 4 (158 points)
Highest Drafted Player- Clelin Ferrell, 4th Overall, 2019
Another team regularly producing NFL talent, it feels like Clemson is just ramping up for a special run in these rankings. The Tigers had two more first rounders this year from a draft class of seven players selected in total. Given the expectations surrounding the Tigers in 2020 and the continued pipeline of elite recruits, Clemson should be a regular in the top five and make a real run at climbing higher.
5. Florida Gators- 161 points
Previous: 3 (166 points)
Highest Drafted Player- CJ Henderson, 9th overall, 2020
The on-field success is steadily building and the draft success is staying steady. Florida is consistently turning out players going in the first three rounds. With the Gators seemingly on the verge of breaking into college football elite, it would be a surprise to see them drop much further than this. If they could get a few more players going in the first round, they should solidify their spot in the top 5.
6. Michigan Wolverines- 144 points
Previous: 8 (127 points)
Highest Drafted Player- Devin Bush, 10th Overall, 2019
Jim Harbaugh might not be able to knock off Ohio State, but he is still sending boatloads of players to the NFL. For the second time in four years, Michigan saw its number of players drafted reach double digits. They have been a little streaky, with two years with just two players drafted in the past five drafts. While there are plenty of questions surrounding Harbaugh, he continues to prepare players for the next level.
7. Notre Dame Fighting Irish- 136 points
Previous: 14 (110 points)
Highest Drafted Player- Ronnie Stanley, 6th Overall, 2016
Tied for the biggest riser in these rankings this season, it was a nice bounce back for the Fighting Irish. Even though they didn’t reach the College Football Playoff this season, Notre Dame still put together another really impressive draft class. With six players taken in the 2020 draft, including three in the first three rounds, the Irish continue to make waves. Brian Kelly continues to do a great job putting players in position to make the jump to the pros.
8. Oklahoma Sooners- 133 points
Previous: 9 (125 points)
Highest Drafted Player- Baker Mayfield/Kyler Murray, 1st Overall, 2018/2019
With two more first-round picks, Oklahoma continues to rise up the rankings under Lincoln Riley. The Sooners seem to be on verge of becoming a football factory once again. However, after a three-year run of transfer quarterbacks either winning the Heisman or finishing as the runner up from OU, there is some uncertainty at the position. Now that won’t diminish any of the talent still existing elsewhere on this roster, but it could rob a number of players of the same big stage to showcase that talent.
9. Georgia Bulldogs- 131 points
Previous: 10 (122 points)
Highest Drafted Player- Roquon Smith, 8th Overall, 2018
Another strong year for Georgia turned into another great draft class. What is impressive is that this class could have been even deeper if a few defensive stars had entered the draft and not returned to school. That sets up the Bulldogs well for continued success next year. I don’t expect them to leave the top 10 any time soon. Count on Kirby Smart to continue cultivating NFL talent.
10. Washington Huskies- 110 points
Previous: 5 (140 points)
Highest Drafted Player- John Ross, 9th Overall, 2017
After years of dominating the draft, the Huskies took a massive hit. Dropping 30 points of value is pretty steep. Washington only had two players selected in 2020 this was definitely a down year. It doesn’t help either that Jacob Eason was the first Husky taken this year in the fourth round. With a very small 2016 draft class, Washington should not fall much next year, but could be in danger in the future.
11. USC Trojans- 104 points
Previous: 13 (114 points)
Highest Drafted Player- Sam Darnold, 3rd Overall, 2018
This is not your grandfather’s or even your father’s USC. The Trojans have fallen from college football’s elite, but still seem capable of sending some top-tier talent to the NFL. Having two players drafted in the first 33 selection is a really nice start, but Austin Jackson and Michael Pittman ended up being the only Trojans taken. More depth would be nice going forward considering USC dropped points, but still moved up.
12. Auburn Tigers- 101 points
Previous: 19 (82 points)
Highest Drafted Player- Derrick Brown, 7th Overall, 2020
Derrick Brown and Noah Igbinoghene were Auburn’s first first-round selections since 2014. This class had depth beyond those two as well, which led to a nice jump up this list. The Tigers have not been at the same level as they were at the beginning of last decade, but these are the type of years that make you believe Auburn still has it when it comes to producing NFL prospects.
13. Penn State Nittany Lions- 100 points
Previous: 17 (93 points)
Highest Drafted Player- Saquon Barkley, 2nd Overall, 2018
Saquon Barkley still stands alone as the only Penn State player selected in the first round since 2010. However, a pair of second rounders and a few late-round selections still created a solid class. James Franklin is still a step behind Ohio State and Michigan, both on the field and in these rankings. Given that the Nittany Lions have clawed their way into the top 15, I think its fair to say they are trending in the right direction when it comes to preparing players for the next level.
14. UCLA Bruins- 98 points
Previous: 15 (100 points)
Highest Drafted Player- Josh Rosen, 10th Overall, 2018
The on-field product has been rocky so far in the Chip Kelly era, but Oregon became a pipeline to the NFL under his tutelage. The Bruins have been a constant in these rankings, even in some of their leaner years. If Kelly can put his stamp on the program, I have a feeling that will continue and we could possibly see UCLA climb back up the ranks.
15. Ole Miss Rebels- 93 points
Previous: 15 (100 points)
Highest Drafted Player- Laremy Tunsil, 13th Overall, 2016
Trouble is on the horizon. While Ole Miss didn’t slide, this team is trending in the wrong direction. Not a single player from the program heard his name called in the 2020 draft. The Rebels produced a monster class in 2016, featuring three first-round picks. With this being the last year that class will be included in these rankings, I think it is fair to expect a huge drop off in the 2021 rankings. However, Lane Kiffin is in charge now and could very well turn this around. While a dip is coming, Kiffin is the type of recruiter that could have Ole Miss surging back soon after.
16. Mississippi State Bulldogs- 91 points
Previous: 18 (86 points)
Highest Drafted Player- Jeffery Simmons, 19th Overall, 2019
It might not be a star-studded group, but the 2020 draft class looks pretty solid for Mississippi State. On one side of things, the Bulldogs continue to send players to the NFL with consistency. However, there are a number of players who have slipped into the middle rounds of the draft that have had a lot of success. It begs questions about Mississippi State ability to elevate their player’s stock the same way other top programs have. It will be really interesting to see how this develops with Mike Leach taking over in Starkville.
17. Texas A&M Aggies- 90 points
Previous: 16 (95 points)
Highest Drafted Player- Myles Garrett, 1st Overall, 2017
Jimbo Fisher has yet to reach the same heights he hit at Florida State. He hasn’t quite hit the same level at producing NFL talent yet since taking over at Texas A&M either. However, we could see that change pretty soon. Fisher’s first full recruiting class will be draft eligible this year, which could see them start to climb in these rankings. They are a team to watch with interest over the next few seasons.
17. Utah Utes- 90 points
Previous: 20 (81 points)
Highest Drafted Player- Garrett Bolles, 20th Overall, 2017
For the third time in four years, Utah has filled the middle rounds of the NFL draft. 2018 was a bit of a dud, with only one player taken. Outside of that, the Utes have sent eight, five and now seven players respectively to league. Utah has been knocking on the door of the College Football Playoff. If they can break through, we could start to see a few of these players start to go in the big money rounds.
19. Iowa Hawkeyes – 86 points
Previous: 20 (81 points)
Highest Drafted Player- T.J. Hockenson, 8th Overall, 2019
When you think of old-school NFL factories, Iowa definitely comes to mind. While the Hawkeyes might not be the best, they certainly have a knack for sending at least a few players to the next level. Iowa has had at least three players taken in each of the past four drafts. Given that the team’s 2016 group consisted of just one seventh-round pick, there is plenty of potential for a rise in next year’s rankings with another good class.
19. Miami Hurricanes- 86 points
Previous: 11 (117 points)
Highest Drafted Player- Artie Burns, 25th Overall, 2016
The U isn’t quite back yet. They are definitely getting close though. Miami had a respectable four players selected, but none went before the fourth round. With a few potential first-round prospects for 2021, the Hurricanes could be in line for a quick bounce back, but this has been a disappointing stretch for Miami’s NFL production.
21. Stanford Cardinal- 85 points
Previous: 12 (116 points)
Highest Drafted Player- Solomon Thomas, 3rd Overall, 2017
When I started these rankings back in 2016, Stanford ranked seventh and was still riding the Andrew Luck years. While there have been a handful of top prospects to emerge since then, this has to be a disappointment to fall outside the top 20. The Cardinal had only two players selected in 2020, one in the fourth and one in the seventh. David Shaw has his work cut out for him to get Stanford back to national relevance and seeing more players take the next step in their football careers.
22. North Carolina State Wolfpack- 83 points
Previous: 22 (79 points)
Highest Drafted Player- Bradley Chubb, 5th Overall, 2018
It was a quiet year for the Wolfpack, but they are mostly surviving off a great 2018 draft class. They did have Garrett Bradbury go in the 2019 first round as well. Just two draft picks in 2020, one in the fifth and one in the seventh, isn’t too impressive though. It will be interesting to see which direction NC State is heading by next year.
23. Florida State Seminoles- 80 points
Previous: 6 (132 points)
Highest Drafted Player- Jalen Ramsey, 5th Overall, 2016
Talk about the bottom falling out. Florida State started out at No. 2 in these rankings back in 2016. The program has been a mess in recent years and it was only a matter of time before these rankings began to reflect that. With just a single player selected in 2020, the fall might not be over for the Seminoles.
24. TCU Horned Frogs- 79 points
Previous: Not ranked (55 points)
Highest Draft Player- Jalen Reagor, 21st Overall, 2020
For the first time in school history, TCU had two players selected in the first round as both Jalen Reagor and Jeff Gladney heard their names called. This is also the first time the Horned Frogs have entered these rankings. With five draft picks in 2020 and at least three players selected in four of the past five drafts, TCU has potential to stick around. Hopefully, Gary Patterson is up to the task.
25. Wisconsin Badgers- 73 points
Previous: 25 (74 points)
Highest Drafted Player- T.J. Watt, 30th Overall, 2017
The Badgers had a solid if unspectacular 2020 draft class. They failed to land a player in the first round, but they did have four players come off the board and all before the sixth round. Wisconsin debuted in these rankings at 15 back in 2016 so dropping to the edge is definitely disappointing. That being said, you can count on a few Badgers being selected in the middle rounds of the draft just about every year like clockwork.
Others Receiving Votes: West Virginia (63 points), Boston College (56 points), Temple (56 points)
College football season wrapped up on Monday night and now it’s time to focus on the NFL draft. I am breaking down the best and worst performances from the CFP final and discussing the latest draft prospect decisions. Plus, find out which players you should be watching during the upcoming East-West Shrine Bowl. Listen to the latest episode now on Spotify, Apple Podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts.