Oklahoma State Greatest NFL Draft Picks
RB Barry Sanders
1989, 1st round, 3rd pick overall, Detroit
Silver: DT Kevin Williams, 1st round, 9th pick overall, Minnesota
Bronze: RB Thurman Thomas, 2nd round, 40th pick overall, Buffalo
Barry Sanders is obvious – he would’ve finished his career as the NFL’s all-time leading rusher if he didn’t decide to get out early. The six-time All-Pro, ten-time Pro Bowler, and 1997 MVP closed out his career with 15,269 yards and 99 scores, retiring just a year after rushing for 2,053 yards.
The only problem with Thurman Thomas’s career is that he wasn’t Barry Sanders. The Hall of Famer went to four Super Bowls, earned two All-Pro spots, and was a five-time Pro Bowler in his 13 years.
Kevin Williams had a Hall of Fame level career, spending 11 years with Minnesota going to six Pro Bowls and being named to five All-Pro teams.
TCU Greatest NFL Draft Picks
DT Bob Lilly
1961, 1st round, 13th pick overall, Dallas Cowboys
Silver: RB LaDainian Tomlinson, 2001, 1st round, 5th pick overall, San Diego
Bronze: QB Sammy Baugh, 1937, 1st round, 6th pick overall, Washington
There might be plenty of strong Horned Frogs who went on to rock at the next level, but Bob Lilly would’ve made almost any school’s top three. The 14-year Hall of Fame star for Dallas – and arguably the greatest defensive tackle of all-time – went to 11 Pro Bowls and was a seven-time All-Pro.
LaDainian Tomlinson came up with a special nine years for San Diego running for 12,490 yards and 138 scores. The Hall of Famer and 2006 NFL MVP was named to three All-Pro teams and five Pro Bowls.
Sammy Baugh played 16 years for Washington throwing for almost 22,000 yards in his Hall of Fame career.
Texas Greatest NFL Draft Picks
RB Earl Campbell
1978, pick overall, 1st round, 1st pick overall, Houston
Silver: S Earl Thomas, 2010, 1st round, 14th pick overall, Seattle
Bronze: LB Tommy Nobis, 1966, 1st round, 1st pick overall, Atlanta
Earl Campbell had a short but special career for Houston, running for 9,407 yards and 74 touchdowns in his seven seasons going to six Pro Bowls while being named All-Pro in his first three years. He was the 1978 NFL Offensive Player of the Year in his rookie season, and followed it up by being named the 1979 NFL MVP and the 1980 Offensive Player of the Year.
Everyone’s trying to find an Earl Thomas type at safety. He’s a seven-time Pro Bowl performer and was named to three straight All-Pro teams from 2012 to 2014.
There are several choices for the No. 3 spot. Tommy Nobis played 11 years for Atlanta going to five Pro Bowls and earning All-Pro honors in 1967.
Bobby Layne might be a Hall of Famer, but he quarterbacked Detroit after being drafted by Chicago and playing one year for the Bears.
Texas Tech Greatest NFL Draft Picks
LB Zach Thomas
1996, 5th round, 154th pick overall, Miami
Silver: QB Patrick Mahomes, 2017, 1st round, 10th pick overall, Kansas City
Bronze: LB/C E.J. Holub, 1961, 1st round, 6th pick overall, Dallas Texans
One MVP, two Pro Bowls, and a Super Bowl are enough to put Patrick Mahomes in the top three, even though he’s just a two-year starter so far. He’ll be No. 1 soon, but …
Is Zach Thomas ever going to Canton? He played 12 years for Miami making 1,035 tackles going to seven Pro Bowls and being named to five All-Pro teams. Not bad for a fifth-rounder.
E.J. Holub was taken by both the Dallas Texans and the Cowboys. He went with the Texans and spent his entire career with the Texan/Kansas City Chief franchise, going to five Pro Bowls and being named to the 1962 and 1963 All-Pro teams.
Joe Walter was never an all-star, but he played 12 years for Cincinnati turning into a steady starter at right tackle. By the way, Wes Welker would be close, but he wasn’t drafted, and was good for Miami for two years before moving on.
West Virginia Greatest NFL Draft Picks
LB Sam Huff
1956, 3rd round, 30th pick overall, New York Giants
Silver: OT Joe Stydahar, 1936, 1st round, 6th pick overall, Chicago
Bronze: LB Darryl Talley, 1983, 2nd round, 39th pick overall, Buffalo
While Sam Huff played his last five years in Washington, he made his Hall of Fame career as a New York Giant with four Pro Bowl appearances and earning two All-Pro nods in 1958 and 1959.
Joe Stydahar went to the Hall of Fame after being named a four-time All-Pro in his nine years with Chicago. Part of the run to four Super Bowls, Darryl Talley was a two-time Pro Bowl performer in his 12 years with Buffalo making 1,095 tackles and 38 sacks.