The LA Rams drafted nine players this year and I reckon all nine of them played at a college. I decided to go look at the best players from that college at that position, all-time. It’s that straightforward. Click the links for the full list of players from that college.
52. Cam Akers, RB, Florida State
The best Florida State running back of all-time: Warrick Dunn
Dalvin Cook is currently in the middle of his opportunity to supplant Dunn, a three-time Pro Bowler and the 12th overall pick in 1997, but he’s not even close yet. Dunn rushed for 10,967 yards and added 4,339 receiving yards in his career. Cook has 2,104 yards on the ground and 914 through the air so yeah, it’s not close.
Devonta Freeman went to two Pro Bowls and Leon Washington was once an All-Pro as a kick returner. Marion Butts was a seventh round pick of the Chargers in 1989 and also went to two Pro Bowls.
57. Van Jefferson, WR, Florida
The best Florida receiver of all-time: Wes Chandler
From 1974-1981, Florida produced three really good receivers — Nat Moore, Chandler, and Cris Collinsworth — plus Derrick Gaffney, dad of Jabar. Chandler was drafted by the Saints, made the Pro Bowl in his second season, then went to San Diego and led the NFL in receiving yards in 1982 with 1,032 in only nine games. He averaged an incredible 129 yards per game and was first among all players in Adjusted-Value.
Since then we’ve seen a few good Florida receivers but also some first round disappointments like Ricky Nattiel, Reidel Anthony, Ike Hilliard, Travis Taylor, and Percy Harvin, who may be the best drafted Florida receiver since Jabar Gaffney in 2002 or Darrell Jackson in 2000.
The best Ole Miss receiver of all-time: Mike Wallace
As a bonus, Jefferson started his career at Ole Miss. They’ve produced a lot fewer receivers than Florida but they’re also a lot more interesting recently: A.J. Brown and DK Metcalf last season are proving that.
84. Terrell Lewis, LB, Alabama
The best Alabama linebacker of all-time: Derrick Thomas
One of the greatest of all-time, Thomas was the fourth overall pick in 1989 and his 126.5 career sacks is almost 60 more sacks than second-place among Alabama linebackers.
Recent Alabama linebackers drafted into the NFL include Rashaan Evans, Reuben Foster, C.J. Mosley, Dont’a Hightower, Courtney Upshaw, Rolando McClain, Reggie Ragland, Nico Johnson, Tim Williams, Ryan Anderson, Mack Wilson, and Christian Miller.
104. Terrell Burgess, CB/S, Utah
The best Utah defensive back of all-time: Larry Wilson
The easy modern answer is Eric Weddle, but Wilson is a legend even if not a household name: from 1962-1970, he made eight Pro Bowls and was a first team All-Pro five times with the St. Louis Cardinals. He had 10 interceptions in 1966. Today, he’s 82 and arguably the greatest Cardinals player of all-time if you’re not talking to someone whose mostly only watched the Larry Fitzgerald era. (Like me.)
136. Brycen Hopkins, TE, Purdue
The best Purdue tight end of all-time: Dustin Keller
There were seven names to choose from here. Cliff Benson and Dave Young were the only other two besides Keller to play in an NFL game. Keller was “ok” for a bit but a disappointment as the 30th overall pick in 2008.
199. Jordan Fuller, DB, Ohio State
The best Ohio State defensive back of all-time: Dick LeBeau
I’ll go with the only Hall of Famer but this is a list of 73 names with some good players on it, like Malcolm Jenkins, Antoine Winfield, Marshon Lattimore, Jack Tatum, Donte Whitner, Nate Clements, Shawn Springs, and Denzel Ward.
234. Clay Johnston, LB, Baylor
The best Baylor linebacker of all-time: Mike Singletary
There was no competition here. He’s a 7-time All-Pro and a 10-time Pro Bowler and no other Baylor linebacker has made one Pro Bowl. James Francis, the 12th overall pick in 1990 by the Bengals, was good. Bryce Hager, a seventh round pick of the Rams in 2015, is also on this list.
248. Sam Sloman, K, Miami (OH)
The best Miami (OH) PLAYER of all-time: Ben Roethlisberger
Sloman is the first kicker to be drafted out of this school. Ben and guard Brandon Brooks are the only two notable names overall.
250. Tremayne Anchrum, G, Clemson
The best Clemson offensive lineman of all-time: Joe Bostic
In spite of their national championships, Clemson is not producing any offensive linemen to the NFL. At least not until recently, if they’re lucky: Anchrum and fourth rounder John Simpson were the first Tigers drafted since Brandon Thomas in 2014. Thomas was a third round pick who never played in the NFL. Only a handful of Clemson linemen have played in the NFL over the last 80 or so years.