As the 2022 NFL Draft approaches, over 200 young athletes will soon have their dreams come true and years of hard work realized when they are selected by an NFL team. Becoming an NFL draft pick requires skill, experience, and an element of good fortune – though there are a few decisions players can make that make an NFL career more likely.
Over the years, many aspiring NFL players have followed the well-worn path of others before them by choosing to play college football at a school with a track record of producing NFL players. Several top NCAA football programs have seen more than 200 of their players drafted in the last few decades.
To determine the colleges that produce the most NFL players, 24/7 Tempo reviewed data from the Draft Finder tool on Pro Football Reference. Colleges were ranked based on the number of players drafted since 1970, when the AFL and NFL merged.
The colleges that produce the most NFL players are located all across the country. The top 30 schools are in 23 states from coast to coast. Most are larger state schools, though a handful of private institutions have also made the list.
It should come as no surprise that the colleges that produce the most NFL players also tend to be among the most successful in college football. Nearly all of the teams near the top of the list have won at least one national championship recently. These teams, buoyed by success, have passionate fan bases and have built up considerable financial resources through TV deals, ticket sales, and donations. These are the most valuable teams in college football.