Captivating NFL Draft Graphic Shows The Decline Of Tennessee’s Relevance And tOSU’s Incredible Dominance

Captivating NFL Draft Graphic Shows The Decline Of Tennessee's Relevance And tOSU's Incredible Longevity

Getty Image / Doug Pensinger

  • The NFL Draft brings with it a lot of bragging rights for College Football fans who love to discuss their team’s historical success in developing NFL talent
  • This graphic from Greg Harvey shows the schools with the most NFL Draft picks from 2000 to 2021 and it shows how far Tennessee has fallen off and how sustained Ohio State’s success has been
  • Read more NFL stories here

The NFL Draft has been held every year since 1936, a fact that continues to blow my mind every time I come across it. The 2022 Draft has arrived and with it comes the annual college football bragging rights of programs getting to beat their chests about player development when their athletes get drafted.

Greg Garvey (@BetweenTheNums) threw together this graphic which caught my attention on Twitter. It shows the number of NFL Draft picks by year for the top 25 schools every year from 2000 through 2021. And it is truly remarkable to see how the Tennessee Volunteers went from being perennial powerhouses to falling off a cliff.

It’s not all that shocking when you consider that Tennessee hasn’t finished a season ranked in the top 10 since 2001 but seeing them at the top and then drifting into obscurity is striking when it’s laid out visually like this. It’s also remarkable to see how the Ohio State Buckeyes have remained so consistently successful over the past two decades.

Captivating NFL Draft Graphic Shows The Decline Of Tennessee’s Relevance And Ohio State’s Incredible Longevity

The Tennessee Volunteers have seen a ton of historic success in the NFL Draft’s first round. They rank 10th all-time for the most 1st Round Draft picks with 46, just one ahead of the Florida State Seminoles and Texas Longhorns (45). That’s more than some major NCAAF programs like Georgia, Penn State, Auburn, TAMU, Nebraska, and others.

To break that down a little, the Tennessee Volunteers had 65 players drafted to the NFL between 2000 and 2012 and in the past decade they’ve had just 18.

And I’m not even close to being an Ohio State Buckeyes fan but I have to give them credit where credit’s due. They’ve basically sent double the number of players to the NFL as the University of Texas in the past 21 years. Ohio State tied Miami in 2007 with 59 players sent to the NFL Draft and never looked back after that, holding onto the #1 spot for the past 15 years!

Which College Football Programs Produce The Best Position Players?

The same person who created that video above, Greg Garvey (@BetweenTheNums), put together this chart of which College Football teams are the best at producing NFL talent at specific positions. It’s worth noting that FSU, LSU, and Alabama are all featured twice here:

This year’s NFL Draft is sure to be loaded full of SEC players and it’ll be interesting to see what this list looks like at this time next week with a bunch of new data to add.

And for any Tennessee fans out there who are still reading this, know that I’m rooting for your team to turn it around every year. I firmly believe that College Football is better when these programs are good: FSU (my alma mater), Tennessee, Nebraska, Texas, USC, and Miami (I hate them but it’s true).