First-round NFL Draft streaks: End or Extend?

— By Dane Brugler, NFLDraftScout.com —

In the world of college football recruiting, one of the tools coaches use to woo prospects to campus is the ability to one day send them to NFL riches, specifically the first round. There are six programs who have an active streak of at least three years of producing at least one first-round pick.

Will those six streaks extend or end in the 2018 NFL Draft? Let’s examine each scenario.

Alabama
Active streak: Nine years
End or Extend? Extend

I’m not going out on a limb here. Defensive back Minkah Fitzpatrick and wide receiver Calvin Ridley are near-locks for the first round. And defensive tackle Da’Ron Payne, linebacker Rashaan Evans and safety Ronnie Harrison are all considered strong possibilities to crack the top 32 picks. Since Nick Saban arrived in Tuscaloosa, Alabama has been the most prominent factory for producing NFL talent, including 65 total draft picks since 2009.

Texas A&M
Active streak: Seven years
End or Extend? End

Basically, it comes down to wide receiver Christian Kirk. The streak will be extended if he sneaks into the back half of round one, which is certainly possible. However, I’ll say that won’t happen and the streak ends at seven, which is an impressive run considering the Aggies didn’t produce a first-round pick in the seven years prior to when the streak started in 2011 with Von Miller.

Clemson
Active streak: Five years
End or Extend? End

Back in December, it appeared this streak would be safe with defensive line prospects like Christian Wilkins and Clelin Ferrell shining at the college level. However, both surprised with their decisions to return to school for the 2018 college football season. Wide receiver Deon Cain is the favorite to be the first Clemson prospect drafted, but not in the first round and maybe not in the top 100.

Florida
Active streak: Five years
End or Extend? Extend

The Gators don’t have a loaded group of prospects this year with only a few top 100 possibilities, but defensive tackle Taven Bryan has an above-average chance of going in the first round. Although consistency can be an issue for him, his blend of strength and athleticism could land him in the top 25. It isn’t a strong class of three-technique defensive tackles, which will boost Bryan’s draft value.

Miami (Fla.)
Active streak: Three years
End or Extend? End

Despite several early declarations, it isn’t a very strong group of Hurricane prospects this year. Miami will be well represented on day three of the draft with tight end Chris Herndon and defensive linemen Chad Thomas, RJ McIntosh and Kendrick Norton. But the best chance for Miami to crack the top 100 picks will be running back Mark Walton.

Stanford
Active streak: Three years
End or Extend? Extend

This was the toughest prediction of the six streaks. Stanford has two prospects considered top-50 players in this draft class with defensive tackle Harrison Phillips and safety Justin Reid. And while I think most NFL teams will have them pegged as day two prospects, I think at least one will sneak into the first round. Four straight years with at least one first-round pick would be a school record for Stanford.

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