USC is no longer the only school to produce back-to-back No. 1 overall picks in the NFL draft.
When the Arizona Cardinals chose quarterback Kyler Murray with the top pick in Thursday night’s NFL draft, Oklahoma became the second school to produce consecutive No. 1 picks. Former Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield was picked at No. 1 by the Cleveland Browns in the 2018 NFL draft.
Before Murray was picked, USC stood alone. Offensive lineman Ron Yary was chosen by the Minnesota Vikings with the top pick in the 1968 draft, and the next season running back O.J. Simpson was chosen by the Buffalo Bills with the No. 1 pick.
Yary and Simpson’s different positions mean Murray and Mayfield are the first players from the same position at the same school to be chosen at No. 1 in back-to-back years. They’re also just the first two quarterbacks from the same school to be first-round choices in back-to-back drafts.
Mayfield and Murray are also the first Heisman winners to be chosen with the No. 1 pick in back-to-back drafts since Auburn’s Bo Jackson was chosen No. 1 in the 1986 NFL draft by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Miami’s Vinny Testaverde was chosen with the No. 1 pick a year later by the Bucs. Jackson never played for the Buccaneers, choosing baseball over football before playing for the Raiders.
Six teams have had top-5 picks in back-to-back drafts since 2000
While it’s obviously very rare for a school to produce consecutive No. 1 picks in the draft, it also hasn’t been that common in recent history for a school to produce top five picks in consecutive drafts.
Murray and Mayfield are just the sixth set of teammates from the same school to be chosen in the top five in back-to-back drafts over the last 20 years. Here are the others.
Florida State: QB Jameis Winston (2015, No. 1, Tampa Bay), CB Jalen Ramsey (2016, No. 5, Jacksonville)
Alabama: DL Marcell Dareus (2011, No. 3, Buffalo), RB Trent Richardson (2012, No. 3, Cleveland)
LSU: QB JaMarcus Russell (2007, No. 1, Oakland), DL Glenn Dorsey (2008, No. 5, Kansas City)
Miami: WR Andre Johnson (2003, No. 3, Houston), S Sean Taylor (2004, No. 5, Washington)
Texas: OL Leonard Davis (2001, No. 2, Arizona), OL Mike Williams (2002, No. 4, Buffalo), CB Quentin Jammer (2002, No. 5, San Diego)
A USC player may not be chosen in the top 2 rounds
While USC can brag about Yary and Simpson being back-to-back No. 1 picks, it won’t have much to brag about in this year’s draft. Unless a USC player is surprisingly picked in the second round on Friday, 2019 is set to be the first year where the Trojans won’t have a player selected in the first two rounds of the NFL draft since 2002 when Kris Richard was the team’s first NFL draft selection at No. 85.
That’s a streak of 16 years. But USC football was all about breaking big streaks in 2018. The team finished 5-7 in 2018, the first time since 2000 that the Trojans weren’t at .500 or better.
– – – – – – –
Nick Bromberg is a writer for Yahoo Sports.
More from Yahoo Sports: