Michigan leads the way with the most prospects available at this year’s NFL draft, but will the 18 Wolverines translate to the most NFL stars produced from one school?
A large crop of talent won’t necessarily qualify a school for this list. For example, North Carolina has 12 players eligible to be drafted this April, but only top quarterback prospect Mitch Trubisky is believed to have the potential to become a star.
Tennessee has half that number of draft-eligible players and that group includes potential difference-makers Alvin Kamara and Derek Barnett with Joshua Dobbs not far behind.
Allow theScore to project the college school that will produce the most stars from this year’s draft:
Nick Saban and his staff have developed a talented group of NFL-ready players at various positions. It’s no different than any year, really. Jonathan Allen, Reuben Foster, O.J. Howard, and Cam Robinson are the top prospects at their respective positions. Marlon Humphrey is near the top of the class at corner, as well.
Foster is a slam dunk to become a star. If drafted into the right situation by the right team, Howard, Allen, and Robinson should be, as well. We’ll leave Humphrey on the periphery for the time being along with receiver ArDarius Stewart, but that still gives the Crimson Tide a healthy group with the potential to dazzle in years to come.
The LSU Tigers have perhaps the best overall collection of top prospects in running back Leonard Fournette, safety Jamal Adams, and corner Tre’Davious White.
Fournette was born to play in the NFL and Adams is the consensus pick as the best strong safety available. White, a senior, figures to continue the march of LSU corners who become stars at the pro level.
The Buckeyes will have something to say about that “best collection of prospects” description. Safety Malik Hooker is a star in the making, as is inside linebacker Raekwon McMillan. Either of Marshon Lattimore or Gareon Conley figure to join the cream of the crop at the pro level, if not both of them. With the draft board in flux at the cornerback position, it’s a pick-em between the two of them.
Don’t sleep on receiver Curtis Samuel, as he has the potential to blow up, as well.
With a list of 18 collegians, the Wolverines are destined to develop a few stars. Taco Charlton is the top-rated Michigan alum, and, despite the torn ACL he suffered in the Orange Bowl, Jake Butt figures to be a star at the NFL level.
Then there’s Jabrill Peppers. Like Pat Tillman, he will enter the pro ranks without a defined position due to his size. Unlike Denard Robinson, his athleticism is bound to separate him from the pack.
The Huskies’ impressive 2016 season was buoyed by the individual performances of safety Budda Baker, corner Sidney Jones, and receiver John Ross, among others.
Throw Kevin King into the mix and Washington is destined to have at least three players grow into bona fide stars.
Honorable Mention: Florida, Clemson, Florida State, USC
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