No college has produced more than five first overall picks in the NFL draft. But if the Browns take Sam Darnold first overall on Thursday night, he’ll be the sixth No. 1 pick from USC.
Southern Cal is one of three schools to have five first overall draft picks. The others, Auburn and Notre Dame, don’t have any players with a chance to go first overall this year. But Darnold remains under consideration for the Browns.
USC’s previous first overall picks were tackle Ron Yary to the Vikings in 1968, running back O.J. Simpson to the Bills in 1969, running back Ricky Bell to the Buccaneers in 1977, wide receiver Keyshawn Johnson to the Jets in 1996, and quarterback Carson Palmer to the Bengals in 2003.
USC has also had the most first-round picks of any school since 1967, when the AFL and NFL combined their drafts. USC has had 69 first-round picks. Ohio State is next with 64, Miami has had 60, and no other school has had even 50 first-round picks in the common draft era.