Who are the best draft picks of the century from the most prominent programs in college football? College Football 24/7 set out to answer this question by ranking the top draft picks since 2000 from the 30 schools that have produced the most picks since that year.
Players were ranked through a formula in which they received points for honors they've acquired in their NFL career, including being selected to the Pro Bowl (including as injury replacements) and being selected first-team All-Pro. Players were also rewarded relative to where in the draft they were selected. First-round picks benefited least because a strong career would be expected; seventh-round picks benefited most. In some cases, a bonus for longevity or outstanding play was granted. See the full formula below the list of top picks.
Oregon's 58 draft picks since 2000 rank 24th among all schools. And for a program that has built its reputation on offensive playmakers, its top three draft picks of the century are all linemen. Haloti Ngata leads the group with an impressive career that is the longest of any listed here.
Meanwhile, the biggest college star Oregon has produced, Titans QB Marcus Mariota, did not pick up any points in the formula. As the No. 2 overall pick of the 2015 draft, Mariota has plenty of potential and remains a cornerstone of the Titans' offense, but his career hasn't unfolded enough to place him among the school's best picks of the century.
Best picks of the century from Oregon
1. Haloti Ngata, defensive tackle
Drafted by:Ravens, No. 12 overall pick (Round 1), 2006
Skinny: As the first defensive tackle selected in 2006, he proved to be a durable and effective starter for the Ravens for nine years, right from his rookie season. Ngata was selected to five Pro Bowls in a row from 2009-2013, and was a first-team All-Pro in 2010 and 2011. At 6-foot-4 and 345 pounds, he's also managed to log five career interceptions. Ngata now enters his 12th NFL season and third with the Detroit Lions.
2. Max Unger, center
Drafted by:Seahawks, No. 49 overall pick (Round 2), 2009
Skinny: Unger was one of three second-round picks from Oregon in 2009, along with Jairus Byrd and Patrick Chung. He was an immediate starter at right guard, and eventually moved to center. Unger played six seasons in Seattle and after three years he was rewarded with one of the most lucrative contracts for a center in the league at the time. He made back-to-back Pro Bowls in 2012-2013, and picked up a championship ring when the Seahawks won Super Bowl XLVIII. Unger was moved to the New Orleans Saints as part of the Jimmy Graham trade and has since been a two-year starter in New Orleans.
3. Kyle Long, offensive lineman
Drafted by:Bears, No. 20 overall pick (Round 1), 2013
Skinny: Long is the son of Pro Football Hall of Famer Howie Long and the brother of Eagles DE Chris Long, and was the third offensive guard selected in the 2013 draft, behind Jonathan Cooper and Chance Warmack. Although he played only one season at Oregon and had limited experience as an offensive lineman, he became an immediate starter for the Bears and made the Pro Bowl in each of his first three NFL seasons. He missed much of last year with a season-ending ankle injury. The club signed him to a contract extension worth $40 million last year. He's a versatile option in Chicago, where he reportedly is primed to change positions for the third year in a row.
4. Jairus Byrd, safety
Drafted by:Bills, No. 42 overall pick (Round 2), 2009
Skinny: Byrd was a first-team All-Pac-12 pick in 2008 and entered the 2009 as an underclassman. The Bills took him as part of an early second-round run on defensive backs (five of the first 10 second-round selections). He made quite a splash as a rookie, tying for the NFL lead and setting a club rookie record with nine interceptions. He reached the Pro Bowl in each of his last two years in Buffalo (2012, 2013) before the New Orleans Saints signed him to a six-year, $56 million contract. Byrd started every game for the Saints last season, but the club released him in March.
5. T.J. Ward, safety
Drafted by:Browns, No. 38 overall pick (Round 2), 2010
Skinny: Ward was a walk-on at Oregon before emerging as a two-year starter, and he was the first Ducks player selected in 2010. He was a rookie starter for Cleveland in 2010, setting what remains his career highs in tackles (95) and passes defensed (10). With a reputation as an excellent run defender, he signed with the Denver Broncos in 2014 and enters his fourth season with the Broncos (and eighth in the NFL) this fall. He also played a big role in the Broncos' win in Super Bowl 50 with a fumble recovery and an interception.
Total number of picks from Oregon since 2000: 58
2017 draft picks from Oregon: None.
Draft multiplier: Total points for first-round picks x 1.1; second-round picks x 1.2; third-round picks x 1.3; fourth-round picks x 1.4; fifth-round picks x 1.5; sixth-round picks x 1.6; seventh-round picks x 1.7.
Tiebreaker: Ranking edge to lower-drafted player within same round.
Specialists and fullbacks: For players honored primarily as specialists or fullbacks, their total points were devalued. Kickers and punters were not included in this exercise.