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How long it’s been since each college’s last NFL 1st-rounder

Iowa State, good luck to you in the future.

Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images. Banner Society illustration.

Almost every major college football program has had at least one first-round pick. But not all of them have, and some have gotten jumped in the queue over the years by smaller schools that play at lower levels. One Power 5 school in particular has had a rough go of it.

Iowa State’s sole first round pick was in 1973, when the Houston Oilers took running back George Amundson 14th overall. Every other power conference team has had an NFL first-rounder more recently than that, as have some Division III teams and foreign countries, plus Baylor’s basketball team. Indiana’s last was in 1994, giving the Hoosiers the longest Power 5 drought after ISU.

How long’s it been for everybody else? Let’s first go through all of FBS, then let’s run through non-FBS after that.

Colleges that most recently had first-rounders in 2019

  • Alabama: Jets DL Quinnen Williams, Bengals OL Jonah Williams, Raiders RB Josh Jacobs
  • Arizona State: N’Keal Harry, Patriots WR
  • Boston College: Chris Lindstrom, Falcons OL
  • Clemson: Raiders DL Clelin Ferrell, Dolphins DL Christian Wilkins, Giants DL Dexter Lawrence
  • Duke: Daniel Jones, Giants QB
  • Florida State: Brian Burns, Panthers DL
  • Georgia: Deandre Baker, Giants DB
  • Houston: Ed Oliver, Bills DL
  • Iowa: Lions TE T.J. Hockenson, Broncos TE Noah Fant
  • Kentucky: Josh Allen, Jaguars LB
  • LSU: Devin White, Buccaneers LB
  • Maryland: Darnell Savage, Packers DB
  • Michigan: Steelers LB Devin Bush, Packers DL Rashan Gary
  • Mississippi State: Titans DL Jeffery Simmons, Washington DL Montez Sweat, Raiders DB Jonathan Abram,
  • NC State: Garrett Bradbury, Vikings OL
  • Notre Dame: Jerry Tillery, Chargers DL
  • Ohio State: 49ers DL Nick Bosa, Washington QB Dwayne Haskins
  • Oklahoma: Cardinals QB Kyler Murray, Ravens WR Marquise Brown
  • TCU: L.J. Collier, Seahawks DL
  • Washington: Kaleb McGary, Falcons OL
  • Washington State: Andre Dillard, Eagles OL


  • Arkansas: Frank Ragnow, Lions OL
  • Boise State: Leighton Vander Esch, Cowboys LB
  • Florida: Taven Bryan, Jaguars DL
  • Louisville: Packers DB Jaire Alexander, Ravens QB Lamar Jackson
  • Penn State: Saquon Barkley, Giants RB
  • San Diego State: Rashaad Penny, Seahawks RB
  • South Carolina: Hayden Hurst, Ravens TE
  • UCF: Mike Hughes, Vikings DB
  • UCLA: Cardinals QB Josh Rosen, Raiders OL Kolton Miller
  • USC: Sam Darnold, Jets QB
  • UTSA: Marcus Davenport, Saints DL
  • Virginia Tech: Bills LB Tremaine Edmunds, Steelers DB Terrell Edmunds
  • Wyoming: Josh Allen, Bills QB


  • Miami: David Njoku, Browns TE
  • Missouri: Charles Harris, Dolphins LB
  • North Carolina: Mitchell Trubisky, Bears QB
  • Ole Miss: Evan Engram, Giants TE
  • Stanford: 49ers DL Solomon Thomas, Panthers RB Christian McCaffrey
  • Temple: Haason Redick, Cardinals LB
  • Tennessee: Derek Barnett, Eagles DL
  • Texas A&M: Myles Garrett, Browns DL
  • Texas Tech: Patrick Mahomes, Chiefs QB
  • Utah: Garrett Bolles, Broncos OL
  • Western Michigan: Corey Davis, Titans WR
  • Wisconsin: Steelers LB T.J. Watt, Saints OL Ryan Ramczyk


  • Baylor: Corey Coleman, Browns WR
  • Cal: Jared Goff, Rams QB
  • Louisiana Tech: Vernon Butler, Panthers DL
  • Memphis: Paxton Lynch, Broncos QB
  • Michigan State: Jack Conklin, Titans OL
  • Oregon: DeForest Buckner, 49ers DL
  • West Virginia: Karl Joseph, Raiders DB


  • Texas: Malcom Brown, Patriots DL
  • UConn: Byron Jones, Cowboys DB
  • Wake Forest: Kevin Johnson, Texans DB


  • Auburn: Rams OL Greg Robinson, Chiefs DL Dee Ford
  • Buffalo: Khalil Mack, Raiders LB
  • Northern Illinois: Jimmie Ward, 49ers DB
  • Oklahoma State: Justin Gilbert, Browns DB
  • Oregon State: Brandin Cooks, Rams WR
  • Pitt: Aaron Donald, Rams DL


  • BYU: Ezekiel Ansah, Lions DL
  • Central Michigan: Eric Fisher, Chiefs OL
  • Syracuse: Justin Pugh, Giants OL


  • Illinois: Texans LB/DE Whitney Mercilus and 49ers WR A.J. Jenkins


  • Colorado: Patriots OL Nate Solder, Ravens DB Jimmy Smith
  • Nebraska: Prince Amukamara, Giants DB
  • Purdue: Ryan Kerrigan, Washington LB


  • Fresno State: Ryan Mathews, Chargers RB
  • Georgia Tech: Titans DL Derrick Morgan, Broncos WR Demaryius Thomas
  • Rutgers: 49ers OL Anthony Davis, Patriots DB Devin McCourty
  • USF: Jason Pierre-Paul, Giants DL


  • Kansas State: Josh Freeman, Buccaneers QB
  • Virginia: Eugene Monroe, Jaguars OL


  • Arizona: Antoine Cason, Chargers DB
  • East Carolina: Chris Johnson, Titans RB
  • Kansas: Aqib Talib, Buccaneers DB
  • Troy: Leodis McKelvin, Bills DB
  • Vanderbilt: Chris Williams, Bears OL


  • Minnesota: Laurence Maroney, Patriots RB


  • Northwestern: Luis Castillo, Chargers DL
  • UAB: Roddy White, Falcons WR


  • Miami (Ohio): Ben Roethlisberger, Steelers QB
  • Tulane: J.P. Losman, Bills QB


  • Marshall: Byron Leftwich, Jaguars QB


  • Hawaii: Ashley Lelie, Broncos WR


  • New Mexico: Brian Urlacher, Bears LB

The 1990s

  • Eastern Michigan, 1999: L.J. Shelton, Cardinals OL
  • Indiana, 1994: Thomas Lewis, Giants WR
  • Toledo, 1993: Dan Williams, Broncos DL
  • Liberty, 1990: Eric Green, Steelers TE

The 1980s

  • Colorado State, 1987: Kelly Stouffer, Cardinals QB
  • SMU, 1986: Buccaneers DB Rod Jones, Patriots RB Reggie Dupard
  • Southern Miss, 1984: Louis Lipps, Steelers WR
  • Texas State, 1984: Ricky Sanders, Patriots WR
  • San Jose State, 1983: Gill Byrd, Chargers DB
  • Rice, 1980: Earl Cooper, 49ers RB/DB

The 1970s

  • Tulsa, 1977: Steve August, Seahawks OL
  • Iowa State, 1973: George Amundson, Oilers RB
  • Cincinnati, 1971: Bob Bell, Lions DL
  • UL Monroe, 1971: Joe Profit, Falcons RB
  • North Texas, 1971: Lenny Dunlap, Baltimore Colts DB
  • Utah State, 1970: Phil Olsen, Patriots DL

The 1960s

  • UMass, 1968: Greg Landry, Lions QB
  • UTEP, 1968: Fred Carr, Packers LB
  • Bowling Green, 1961: Bernie Casey, 49ers RB
  • New Mexico State, 1961: Bob Gaiters, Giants RB

The 1940s

  • Nevada, 1949: Stan Heath, Packers QB
  • Army, 1947: Lions RB Glen Davis, Chicago Cardinals T Tex Coulter


  • Ohio: Art Lewis, Giants OL


Air Force, Akron, Appalachian State, Arkansas State, Ball State, Charlotte, Coastal Carolina, FAU, FIU, Georgia Southern, Georgia State, Kent State, Middle Tennessee, Navy, Old Dominion, South Alabama, UL Lafayette, UNLV, and Western Kentucky

And then there are the non-FBS teams that have produced first rounders more recently than Iowa State has

I’m going to make this somewhat quick and just list every non-FBS program to produce a first-rounder since 1974, the first draft of Iowa State’s drought:

Jackson State (hello, Walter Payton), Louisiana Tech when it wasn’t FBS, Idaho when it was FBS, Montana State, Florida A&M, Tennessee State, Langston, Texas A&M-Kingsville, South Dakota State, Grambling State, Morris Brown, Morehead State, Alcorn State (sup, Steve McNair), Kentucky State, UC Davis, McNeese State, Mississippi Valley State (howdy, Jerry Rice), Queens, Eastern Kentucky, Northwestern State, Northern Arizona, Liberty, Wake Technical Community College, South Carolina State, Fort Valley State, Central State, North Carolina A&T, Kutztown, Saginaw Valley State, Delaware, North Dakota State, and Alabama State, with a few of those having multiple picks.

Eventually, the Cyclones will get back in front of those schools. Maybe.