Each BCS School's Best Current NFL Player

Alex Callos@@alexcallosCorrespondent IFebruary 24, 2013

Each BCS School's Best Current NFL Player

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    There is no question that some schools have produced more NFL talent than others, but all 72 current BCS schools have at least some representation in the NFL.

    While some schools certainly have top level NFL talent, other universities have a history of alumni who have not excelled at the professional level.

    Choosing one player from each BCS team as their definitive best in the NFL is a difficult process.

    From Alabama to Wisconsin, here are the best current NFL players from every BCS team.

    Let the debate begin.

    *Notre Dame is included with the BCS teams

Alabama Crimson Tide-Evan Mathis

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    Even though the Crimson Tide has produced a multitude of NFL talent, there are not many Pro Bowl level players currently in the NFL from Alabama.

    Evan Mathis gets the slight edge here over Julio Jones and Andre Smith.

    Mathis has been a staple along the Philadelphia offensive line for the past two seasons and has developed into one of the best guards in all of football.

    Even though he did not reach the Pro Bowl, he certainly deserves the top spot, as one of the best in the game at his position.

Arizona Wildcats-Rob Gronkowski

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    Rob Gronkowski is a no-brainer, as the New England Patriot is currently the best tight end in the NFL and one of the most dangerous weapons in the entire league.

    At 6'6", He has the perfect combination of size and skill to be a superstar for the next decade.

    Even though his off-the-field exploits have been well publicized, there is no doubting his talent level on the football field.

    If he can keep his head screwed on straight, he has Hall of Fame potential down the line.

Arizona State Sun Devils-Terrell Suggs

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    Terrell Suggs is one of the best pass-rushers in the league. He was a dominant pass-rusher in college at Arizona State and has translated that perfectly to the next level.

    Suggs fits in perfectly on the Baltimore defense and is one of the top linebackers in the league.

    He has been to five Pro Bowls and was a first-team All-Pro in 2011.

    Look for him to play an even bigger role in 2013 when Ray Lewis is no longer in the picture.

Arkansas Razorbacks-Darren McFadden

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    Known as "DMC," Darren McFadden played in a very talented backfield in college at Arkansas. He lined up alongside current NFL players Felix Jones and Peyton Hillis.

    He was runner-up to Tim Tebow in the 2007 Heisman race and finished his career as the best player Arkansas has ever produced.

    When healthy, McFadden is one of the best running backs in the game, but he has had trouble staying on the field in recent years and has yet to play a full season with the Raiders.

    Still, there is no question that he is the best current NFL player from Arkansas.

Auburn Tigers-Carlos Rogers

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    Carlos Rogers is just another talented player on the San Francisco defense, one of three Pro Bowlers in their secondary. However, he is one of the best cornerbacks in the NFL.

    Since being drafted in the first round back in 2005, Rogers has made one Pro Bowl and has been a full-time starter since his second season in the league.

    When Rogers signed with San Francisco before the 2011 season, Rogers he immediately helped solidify a 49ers defense that has become one of the best in the NFL.

    There are a few talented players from Auburn in the NFL, but Rogers is a cut above the rest.

Baylor Bears-Robert Griffin III

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    Even though he will only be entering his second season and is coming off a severe knee injury, there is no question Robert Griffin III is the choice from Baylor.

    He shined as a rookie in 2012, earning AP Offensive Rookie of the Year honors and a a Pro Bowl selection, while leading the Redskins to the playoffs.

    If he can return healthy (and his rehab is ahead of schedule) in 2013, he has a chance to be one of the best quarterbacks in the league for many years to come.

    Given his style of play, the injury bug could be an issue for Griffin throughout his career, however.

Boston College Eagles-Matt Ryan

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    Known as "Matty Ice," Matt Ryan finally got over the postseason hump this past season when his Atlanta Falcons knocked off the Seattle Seahawks with a late-game drive resulting in a field goal, reaching the NFC Championship game.

    Even though he has only been in the NFL for five seasons, he has already been selected to two Pro Bowls and was also the AP NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year in 2008.

    With the downhill slide the Boston College program has been on since he left, it is easy to see that he is the most talented player Boston College has produced in quite some time.

California Golden Bears-Aaron Rodgers

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    California has produced some very talented players over the years, including the likes of Tony Gonzalez and Marshawn Lynch among others.

    Without question, the best player in the NFL right now hailing from California is Aaron Rodgers. Rodgers just might be the best player in the NFL and he is right in his prime.

    He has been to three Pro Bowls over the past four years and was the AP NFL MVP in 2011. He also has the distinction of the best passer rating of any quarterback in NFL history with a mark of 122.5 in 2011.

Central Florida Knights-Brandon Marshall

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    Many people might not have been aware that Central Florida produced a player the caliber of Brandon Marshall, but the Chicago Bears receiver starred for the Knights from 2003-2006.

    He showed his versatility by making seven starts at safety in 2004 due to injuries in the secondary. He led the team in tackles during that season.

    In the NFL, he has been strictly a receiver and one of the best in the league over the past five years.

    Marshall has been to four Pro Bowls over the past five seasons and has been an All-Pro twice.

    While Central Florida is certainly not a football power, they have produced one of the best receivers in the NFL today.

Cincinnati Bearcats-Trent Cole

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    Cincinnati has not produced a ton of NFL players but, when it comes to pass-rushers, the Bearcats have not done a bad job as far as NFL talent is concerned.

    While there are some talented young players in the league including Connor Barwin and Derek Wolfe, right now, it looks like Trent Cole is at the top of the list.

    Cole was a Pro Bowl selection in 2007 and 2009 for the Philadelphia Eagles. He also was an All-Pro in 2007.

    The Eagles have been strong along the defensive line for the past few years, due in large part to Cole's success.

Clemson Tigers-C.J. Spiller

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    When it comes to NFL talent that college teams have produced, Clemson is not at the top of the list. One player has stood out, however.

    With the success C.J. Spiller has had for Buffalo in 2012, there is no question he is the man from Clemson.

    Spiller went over 1,000 yards on only 154 carries for Buffalo and finished the 2012 season with 1,244 yards on only 207 carries with six scores. He is also a major threat through the air.

    For his efforts, he was elected to the Pro Bowl for the first time in 2012.

Colorado Buffalo-Andre Gurode

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    Colorado is another school that has not produced a large number of NFL players, but Dallas center Andre Gurode has been one of the best centers in football over the past decade.

    He spent 2002-2010 with the Dallas Cowboys where he went to five Pro Bowls and was an All-Pro two times.

    At 6'4", 334 pounds, he is an absolute load and has no trouble pushing opposing defensive lineman around.

    Even though he is not as good as he once was, and is a free agent, he is the best player Colorado has produced in quite some time.

Conneticut Huskies-Kendall Reyes

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    When it comes to Connecticut, there are not a lot of talented players to choose from. 

    Even though Kendall Reyes is only entering his second season, he is the choice for the Huskies. After being drafted in the second round of the 2012 NFL draft by the San Diego Chargers, Reyes really came into his own during his rookie season.

    He finished the year with 5.5 sacks and 28 tackles from the defensive end position. At 23, Reyes is certainly going to continue to come into his own and has Pro Bowl talent a few years down the line.

Duke Blue Devils-Vincent Rey

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    Duke is by no means known as a football factory and that is reflected in the lack of NFL players the school has produced.

    At the top of the short list is reserve Cincinnati Bengals linebacker Vincent Rey.

    Rey has developed into a very solid special teams player and finished last season with 22 tackles.

    Even though he was not drafted out of college, he has turned into a productive NFL player over the past few years.

Florida Gators-Joe Haden

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    Florida has produced a lot of NFL players over the past decade, but very few are Pro Bowl material.

    The best of them right now is Joe Haden. Haden has not yet made a Pro Bowl, but it is only a matter of time before that comes to fruition.

    He has run into some trouble since becoming the seventh overall pick of the Cleveland Browns in 2010, including a suspension after testing positive for Adderall. When he is on the field, however, he is one of the best cornerbacks in the AFC.

Florida State Seminoles-Sebastian Janikowski

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    Who said kickers can't make the list? When it comes to long field goals, nobody can kick like Sebastian Janikowski of the Oakland Raiders.

    Oakland thought so much of Janikowski that they selected him in the first round of the 2000 NFL draft.

    Janikowski has only been to one Pro Bowl in 2011, but he has long been considered the best kicker in the game.

    There are other talented players from Florida State currently in the NFL, but Janikowski gets the nod here.

Georgia Bulldogs-Geno Atkins

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    Georgia has produced some high-level NFL talent, including A.J. Green, Champ Bailey, Matthew Stafford and Atkins.

    Since being drafted in 2010, Atkins has quickly developed into one of the best players in the NFL.

    Atkins became a household name in 2012, as he became an All-Pro for the second straight season, finishing the year with 12.5 sacks and 53 tackles from the defensive tackle position.

    Look for Atkins to continue to develop into a star for years to come.

Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets-Calvin Johnson

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    No argument could possibly be made here as Calvin Johnson is heads-and-shoulders above any other player from Georgia Tech.

    He is also one of the best players in the NFL and, in 2012, had one of the most productive seasons by a receiver.

    Johnson became a Pro Bowler and an All-Pro for the third straight season, while catching 122 passes for 1,964 yards and five touchdowns.

    Known as "Megatron," Johnson can do things no other receiver in the game can.

Houston Cougars-Donnie Avery

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    Houston is entering its first season at the FBS level as the Cougars are joining the Big East.

    There are not a ton of big-name NFL players from Houston, but one receiver who has had some success over the years is Donnie Avery.

    Avery caught 60 passes for 781 yards and three touchdowns for the Colts

    He has quietly developed into a solid option and his numbers might improve if he can establish a rapport with young quarterback Andrew Luck.

Illinois Fighting Illini-Rashard Mendenhall

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    Even though he suffered through a season of injuries in 2012, Pittsburgh running back Rashard Mendenhall is the top player out of Illinois.

    Mendenhall went over 1,100 yards in 2009 and 2010, as he totaled 20 touchdowns over both seasons.

    He followed that up with 928 yards and nine touchdowns in 2011, before battling injuries in 2012.

    If he can get back on track in 2013, he will be one of the best running backs in the AFC next season. The problem Mendenhall could run into is other running backs stealing carries from him.

Indiana Hoosiers-Tracy Porter

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    Tracy Porter is one of only a handful of Indiana players currently in the NFL and is the not even a starter. That said, he is the top Indiana player in the NFL.

    Porter was a valuable asset to the Saints' Super Bowl team, with a key interception of Peyton Manning in the Super Bowl. He was a major contributor for the Denver defense in 2012 and saw plenty of action in nickel packages.

    He had a pick-six on Ben Roethlisberger during the first week of the season that sealed a victory for the Broncos. That was his only interception of the season, but it turned out to be a big one, earning him AFC Defensive Player of the Week honors.

Iowa Hawkeyes-Marshal Yanda

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    The University of Iowa are known for producing talent at several positions, but the offensive line is at the top of the list.

    Over the past two years, Baltimore Ravens offensive lineman Marshal Yanda has been possibly the best guard in football.

    He has made consecutive Pro Bowls and been an All-Pro each of the last two seasons.

    When it comes to guards, he is as rough as they come and not afraid to bully anybody around. In a league filled with Iowa offensive linemen, Yanda is the best of the bunch.

Iowa State Cyclones-Ahtyba Rubin

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    There is not much to choose from when it comes to Iowa State players in the NFL, but Ahtyba Rubin tops the list.

    Rubin is a defensive tackle for the Cleveland Browns and sees the field mostly in a reserve role. Last year, he saw a lot of action, finishing the season with 44 tackles, two forced fumbles and two sacks.

    He has continued to develop since being drafted in the sixth round back in 2008.

Kansas Jayhawks-Aqib Talib

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    Like Iowa State, there are not many Kansas players starring in the NFL, but one who is making a huge impact is New England cornerback Aqib Talib.

    He spent his first five seasons in the league with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers after being selected in the first round 20th overall.

    In 2012 he was traded to the New England Patriots midway through the season and had a solid year, picking off two passes and recording 20 tackles.

    Talib is far and away the top player in the NFL from Kansas.

Kansas State Wildcats-Jordy Nelson

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    Kansas State has had some pretty good seasons in recent memory and produced a few NFL players, but the best is Green Bay wide receiver Jordy Nelson.

    Nelson has quickly become one of the favorite targets of quarterback Aaron Rodgers, improving steadily every season from his rookie year in 2008 through 2011.

    In 2011 he caught 68 passes for 1,263 yards with 15 touchdowns. He battled through injuries in 2012, but still managed 745 yards and seven touchdowns on 45 receptions.

    Nelson might be a Pro Bowler before his time is up in Green Bay.

Kentucky Wildcats-Steve Johnson

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    Kentucky certainly produces much more basketball talent than football, but one NFL player worthy of recognition is Buffalo Bills wide receiver Steve Johnson.

    Johnson has continued to develop into his own over the past few seasons, and had another solid season in 2012 catching 79 balls for 1,046 yards with six touchdowns.

    After struggling during his first two years in the league, he has gone over 1,000 yards in each of the past three seasons.

    Not bad, considering he has been part of a struggling Buffalo passing game his entire career.

LSU Tigers-Patrick Peterson

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    When it comes to defensive backs, few schools produce quite the talent that LSU does.

    That said, there are not a lot of Pro Bowl NFL players from LSU.

    The best player from the university right now is Arizona Cardinals cornerback Patrick Peterson.

    While he is a very solid cornerback, he also excels on special teams. In 2011, he returned four punts for touchdowns, tying the NFL record.

Louisville Cardinals-Elvis Dumervil

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    Even though he was considered to be extremely undersized (5'11") for defensive end in the NFL, Denver Broncos Elvis Dumervil has certainly exceeded expectations.

    He was drafted in the fourth round in 2006 by the Broncos, and has spent all seven of his NFL seasons in Denver.

    Three of those seasons have been Pro Bowl years, including an All-Pro season in 2009 when he led the league with 17 sacks. 

    Dumervil continues to be one of the top pass rushers in the NFL.

Maryland Terrapins-Vernon Davis

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    Even though he has only been to one Pro Bowl (2009) in his six-year NFL career, San Francisco 49ers tight end Vernon Davis is one of the most complete tight ends in college football.

    He can not only catch passes from the slot and even outside, but he can also open up the running game with his blocking skills.

    In 2012, he caught 41 passes for 548 yards and five touchdowns, with 100-plus yard performances in both the NFC Championship game and Super Bowl.

    Look for is numbers to continue to improve with the development of quarterback Colin Kaepernick.

Memphis Tigers-Stephen Gostkowski

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    Memphis is another school that will be joining the Big East in 2013 and therefore is included in the list.

    This is another university that is more of a basketball power than a football school, but one of the most talented player Memphis has produced over the years is New England Patriots kicker Stephen Gostkowski.

    Gostkowski had his best season in 2008 when he was a Pro Bowler and an All-Pro selection, while leading the league in scoring.

    He also led the NFL in scoring again last season and continues to be one of the top kickers in the NFL year in and year out.

Miami Hurricanes-Andre Johnson

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    Miami has produced a ton of NFL talent over the years and, while there is not quite as much as there was five years ago, there are still plenty of players to choose from.

    At the top of the list is Houston wide receiver Andre Johnson.

    Johnson continues to be one of the top two or three receivers in the league and is not showing any signs of slowing down.

    He has been to six Pro Bowls and is a five-time All-Pro selection. Johnson led the NFL in receiving in both 2008 and 2009.

    Last season, he caught 122 passes for 1,598 yards and four touchdowns.

Michigan Wolverines-Tom Brady

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    There is no doubt who the top Michigan player is. At 35, Tom Brady is still doing his thing with the New England Patriots.

    Brady has not only won three Super Bowls and eight Pro Bowls, but he has also been an All-Pro three times, including two first-team selections. He has also been the NFL MVP on two occasions.

    He is widely considered to be one of the best quarterbacks in the history of the NFL and, even though not a lot was expected out of him when he was drafted by New England, he has certainly carved a niche in NFL lore.

Michigan State Spartans-Domata Peko

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    For the success Michigan State has had, there are not a lot of successful NFL players to choose from.

    One of those former players who has made a home for himself in the NFL is Cincinnati Bengals defensive tackle Domata Peko.

    Peko starred for the Spartans after beginning his career in junior college. He was a fourth round pick of the Bengals in 2006 and been a staple along the offensive line ever since.

    He has teamed with Geno Atkins to form quite a talented defensive tackle combination for the Bengals.

Minnesota Gophers-Eric Decker

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    Eric Decker never put up huge numbers at Minnesota, with his best season coming as a junior in 2008, when he caught 84 passes for 1,074 yards and seven touchdowns.

    Since joining the Denver Broncos as a third-round selection in 2010, he has improved steadily ever since. The signing of Peyton Manning catapulted Decker into one of the best receivers in the league.

    In 2012, Decker caught 85 passes for 1,064 yards and 13 touchdowns.

    Look for even bigger numbers in the coming years from Decker.

Ole Miss Rebels-Patrick Willis

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    Ole Miss has produced some of the best players in the NFL in recent years; names like Eli Manning, BenJarvus Green-Ellis and Mike Wallace, to name a few.

    But, the name that stands out from the rest is San Francisco linebacker Patrick Willis. Willis was the 11th pick of the 2007 NFL draft and has made the Pro Bowl every season he has been in the league.

    He has also been an All-Pro each of those seasons and is quite possibly the best linebacker in the game today.

    Look for him to continue to improve over the next five seasons.

Mississippi State Bulldogs-Fletcher Cox

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    Entering his second season in the NFL, former Mississippi State defensive tackle Fletcher Cox is going to be a stud for years to come.

    As a rookie in 2012, Cox had 5.5 sacks, 39 tackles and a forced fumble from the defensive tackle position.

    Even though there is a lot of talent along the Philadelphia defensive line, Cox is going to continue to get more and more playing time in the years to come.

Missouri Tigers-Aldon Smith

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    Aldon Smith is another of the talented San Francisco 49ers defenders to make the list.

    Smith was a first-round selection out of Missouri in 2011 and it did not take him long become one of the best pass-rushers in the NFL.

    In 2012, Smith made his first Pro Bowl, becoming an All-Pro in the process. He finished the year with 19.5 sacks after accumulating 14 as a rookie.

    That total of 33.5 is the most ever for the first two years of a career, breaking the mark of 31.5 previously held by Reggie White.

Nebraska Cornhuskers-Carl Nicks

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    While Detriot Lions defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh is definitely a candidate here, the edge goes to Tampa Bay guard Carl Nicks.

    After being drafted by the New Orleans Saints in the fifth round back in 2008, Nicks has quickly developed into one of the top offensive linemen in the NFC.

    He was a Pro Bowler in both 2010 and 2011 before missing the last half of the 2012 season, his first in Tampa Bay, with a toe injury.

    Look for him to bounce back big in 2013.

North Carolina Tar Heels-Julius Peppers

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    North Carolina does not have an abundance of players in the NFL, but there are a few good ones, including Chicago Bears defensive end Julius Peppers.

    Peppers is not quite the dominant player he once was, but there is still plenty left in the tank.

    He has been to eight Pro Bowls overall, including five straight. He was also the NFC Defensive Player of the Year in 2004.

    Peppers has been a first-team All-Pro three times and a second-team All-Pro three times.

    The former two-sport star from North Carolina continues to impress in the NFL.

North Carolina State Wolfpack-Mario Williams

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    Much was expected out of Mario Williams when he became the first overall selection of the 2006 NFL draft by the Houston Texans and he did not disappoint.

    While it took him awhile to develop, he is now one of the better defensive linemen in the NFL.

    He reached the Pro Bowl for the first time in 2008 and got there again in 2009.

    Williams suffered through injuries in both 2010 and 2011 before signing with the Buffalo Bills for the 2012 season. He recorded 10.5 sacks this past year.

Northwestern Wildcats-Corey Wootton

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    A few years from now, Northwestern might have a few more players in the NFL but, right now, there are simply not many former-Wildcat NFL players.

    The best the university has to offer is Chicago Bears defensive end Corey Wootton. Wootton was a fourth-round pick in 2010 and has been improving steadily ever since.

    In 2012, he finished the season with seven sacks and 27 tackles, along with two forced fumbles.

Notre Dame Fighting Irish-John Sullivan

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    Adrian Peterson received most of the glory for the season he had in 2012 and rightfully so, but Minnesota center John Sullivan was a huge reason why Peterson had the success he did.

    Sullivan has spent all five of his NFL seasons with the Minnesota Vikings and quietly become one of the best centers in the league.

    In 2012 he was snubbed from the Pro Bowl, but did earn All-Pro honors for his season.

    Expect him to be a perennial Pro Bowler for years to come.

Ohio State Buckeyes-Antoine Winfield

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    Ohio State has produced a ton of talented players in the secondary and, while a lot of that talent is up there in age, one player who has withstood the test of time is Minnesota cornerback Antoine Winfield.

    He was a three-time Pro Bowl selection and has outstanding resume during his 14-year NFL career, including an All-Pro selection in 2008.

    Winfield picked off three passes last season, giving him 27 for his career. While there are many talented Ohio State players in the NFL, Winfield gets the slight edge.

Oklahoma Sooners-Adrian Peterson

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    Perhaps the easiest selection of them all is Oklahoma graduate Adrian Peterson. He is the best player in the game and the reigning NFL MVP.

    The Minnesota running back came back from a devastating knee injury and rushed for 2,097 yards with 12 touchdowns.

    He has been to five Pro Bowls in his six-year NFL career and won the NFL rushing title twice.

Oklahoma State Cowboys-Dez Bryant

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    Dez Bryant has had an up-and-down NFL career after the Dallas Cowboys took him in the first round of the 2010 NFL draft.

    Bryant has as much talent as nearly any player in the NFL and had a breakout year in 2012, catching 92 passes for 1,382 yards and 12 touchdowns. 

    He has improved in every statistical category each of his three seasons and is on the cusp of becoming a Pro Bowler as early as next season.

Oregon Ducks-Haloti Ngata

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    Not many defensive tackles in the NFL are as talented as Haloti Ngata of the Baltimore Ravens. He was a first-round selection in 2006 and, since then, has made four Pro Bowls and been an All-Pro selection five times. 

    He is one of the top two or three defensive tackles in the NFL right now and, while Oregon has a ton of stars at the collegiate level, they did not always translate to the NFL.

    Ngata is one of those players who successfully made the transition.

Oregon State Beavers-Jacquizz Rodgers

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    Oregon State is not a college that has produced a multitude of NFL talent, but the university has had a few make the jump to the NFL.

    Among the top names on the list is Jacquizz Rodgers. Rodgers improved steadily in 2012 from his rookie season in 2011 and, with the possibility of Michael Turner being released, Rodgers could be the go-to guy for the Falcons in 2013. 

    He is a threat not only on the ground, but also to catch the ball out of the backfield.

Penn State Nittany Lions-Cameron Wake

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    There was a time when Penn State was known as "Linebacker U" and, while that is still the case, the Nittany Lions have also produced some talented defensive ends.

    Among the names on the list is Miami Dolphin Cameron Wake. He also has the potential to play linebacker.

    Wake was undrafted out of Penn State in 2005 and spent two seasons in the Canadian Football League with the BC Lions.

    He then signed with the Dolphins in 2009 and his career exploded. Wake was a Pro Bowler two of the past three seasons and was a first-team All-Pro in 2012, while earning second-team honors in 2010. 

Pittsburgh Panthers-Darrelle Revis

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    The Pittsburgh Panthers have produced some of the best players in the NFL: Larry Fitzgerald and LeSean McCoy, just to name a few.

    While those two players are very talented, New York Jets shutdown corner Darrelle Revis gets the nod here.

    Even though he missed most of 2012 with a torn ACL, this guy is still the best cover corner in the NFL.

    He was the AFC Defensive Player of the Year in 2009, and has been to four Pro Bowls in his six NFL seasons.

    Revis has also been an All-Pro selection three times.

Purdue Boilermakers-Drew Brees

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    Drew Brees is one of the top quarterbacks in the NFL and, without question, the best Purdue player currently in the league.

    He has done just about everything that could be asked of someone during his 12-year NFL career, being selected to seven Pro Bowls, throwing for 5,000-plus yards in three separate seasons and winning a Super Bowl.

    Very few quarterbacks hold as many passing records as Brees and he continues to show why he is one of the top players in the NFL and one of the five best quarterbacks in the game.

Rutgers Scarlet Knights-Ray Rice

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    Ray Rice was an absolute beast during his time at Rutgers and his game has translated perfectly to the NFL, as he is one of the top five running backs in the game today.

    He helped lead the Baltimore Ravens to a Super Bowl this past season and has been to the Pro Bowl three of the past four seasons.

    The Ravens took him in the second round in the 2008 NFL draft, truly a draft day steal.

South Carolina Gamecocks-Johnathan Joseph

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    There are plenty of excellent players to come out of South Carolina, but not a lot of current Pro Bowl talent.

    Cornerback Johnathan Joseph is at the the crop, earning Pro Bowl berths the past two season.

    After spending his first five seasons in Cincinnati, his career has really taken off since joining the Texans.

    In 2012, he had 57 tackles with two interceptions, giving him 20 picks for his career.

South Florida Bulls-Jason Pierre-Paul

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    Jason Pierre-Paul has only been in the NFL for three seasons, but he has certainly made his mark over that time.

    He has won a Super Bowl with the Giants and has also been to two Pro Bowls.

    In 2011, he had an All-Pro year, recording 16.5 sacks and 86 tackles with two forced fumbles and a fumble recovery.

    South Florida has produced a few talented NFL players, but this young, raw defensive end tops the list.

USC Trojans-Clay Matthews

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    There are some talented USC players who could arguably take the top spot. Among them are Troy Polamalu and Brian Cushing.

    But, holding the slight edge over those two players is Pro Bowl linebacker Clay Matthews.

    Since being drafted in 2009, Matthews has been to the Pro Bowl every year and has also been an All-Pro in both 2010 and 2012.

    He has been a Super Bowl champion and was the NFC Defensive Player of the Year in 2010.

    Matthews comes from excellent bloodlines and continues to be one of the top linebackers in the NFL.

SMU Mustangs-Emmanuel Sanders

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    SMU has nearly a dozen players in the NFL,none of whom are household names.

    Perhaps the biggest name is Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders.

    Sanders had somewhat of a breakout season in 2012, his third in the NFL. He caught 44 passes for 626 yards with a touchdown.

    While those are not huge numbers, he is only 25 and those stats will certainly continue to improve.

Stanford Cardinal-Richard Sherman

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    Richard Sherman began his career at Stanford in 2006 as a receiver and led the team in yards, while earning freshmen All-American honors.

    He moved to cornerback in 2008 after a knee injury and that position has certainly fit him quite well.

    After two successful seasons on defense, he was selected in the fifth round of the 2011 NFL draft by the Seattle Seahawks.

    He became a full-time starter in 2012 and was an All-Pro, becoming one of the best cornerbacks in the league.

    While Andrew Luck might be the name on this list a few years from now, he is not the All-Pro player Sherman currently is.

Syracuse Orange-Dwight Freeney

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    Even though defensive end Dwight Freeney was not re-signed by the Indianapolis Colts, he will find a team sooner or later, and is still the top player in the league from Syracuse.

    Freeney had quite an 11-year career with the Colts, making seven Pro Bowls, winning a Super Bowl and being named a first-team All-Pro three times.

    In 2005, Freeney was named the AFC Defensive Player of the Year.

    Even at 33, he still has a few good years left. Look for Freeney to finish out his career with a few more solid seasons wherever he ends up.

Temple Owls-Muhammad Wilkerson

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    Muhammad Wilkerson was one of those players who not a lot of people have heard of heading into the NFL combine in 2011 but, after quite a showing, he became the first-round pick of the New York Jets.

    While he is still somewhat of a raw talent, Wilkerson had five sacks in 2012 to go with 70 tackles and three forced fumbles.

    It might be a while before he becomes a household name in the NFL, but Wilkerson is very talented.

    At 23, there is plenty of room for Wilkerson to grow.

Tennessee Volunteers-Peyton Manning

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    There is no question who the top Tennessee player is. Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning is not only the best current player from Tennessee, but also the top player the Vols have ever produced.

    Manning is one of the greatest quarterbacks of all-time with 12 Pro Bowl appearances, six first-team All-Pro selections and four NFL MVP awards.

    There is nothing Manning has not accomplished in the NFL and that includes a Super Bowl victory.

    At 36, he is still the top quarterback in the game even today.

Texas Longhorns-Jamaal Charles

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    Kansas City Chiefs running back Jamaal Charles is quite a talent, and when he is healthy he is one of the top running backs in the game.

    He was a third round selection in the 2008 NFL draft by the Chiefs and has been to two Pro Bowls over the past three seasons.

    In 2010, he was named a first-team All-Pro, while averaging 6.4 yards per carry, the second-highest in NFL history among qualifiers.

    Charles is one of the fastest running backs in the NFL and continues to be one of the most explosive players in the league.

Texas A&M Aggies-Von Miller

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    Even though he has only spent two seasons in the NFL, Denver Broncos linebacker Von Miller is one of the best in the game at his position. 

    In each of his first two seasons, Miller has been an All-Pro and a Pro Bowl selection. He was also the AP NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year in 2011. 

    If he continues to improve at the pace he is right now, there is no question that he will be a Pro Bowler more than a handful of times over the next decade.

    Look for huge things out of this young linebacker.

TCU Horned Frogs-Daryl Washington

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    This was a close call between Andy Dalton and Daryl Washington. Washington gets the slight nod in this one.

    He has been in the NFL for three seasons, but has already been selected to a Pro Bowl during that time.

    The Arizona Cardinals linebacker is quickly developing into one of the top inside linebackers in the NFL, and he is only going to get better over the next few years.

    TCU has been known over the years for its defense and Washington epitomizes that talent.

Texas Tech Red Raiders-Wes Welker

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    New England Patriots wide receiver Wes Welker was undrafted out of Texas Tech and, after spending part of a year with the San Diego Chargers and three-plus with the Miami Dolphins, he came into his own with the New England Patriots.

    He has been to five straight Pro Bowls and has been an All-Pro four times.

    While he has certainly benefited from playing in the New England offense, he is still one of the top statistical receivers in the league over the past six seasons.

    If he does not re-sign with New England, his career might go downhill without Tom Brady throwing him the football.

UCLA Bruins-Maurice Jones-Drew

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    Maurice Jones-Drew may be extremely short, but that has not stopped him from being one of the top running backs in the NFL over the past five seasons.

    He has been to three Pro Bowls and also led the NFL in rushing in 2011.

    At 5'7" and 204 pounds, he is a bowling ball on the field.

    He is already the top running back in the history of the Jacksonville Jaguars and will continue to put up some huge numbers over the next few years if he can stay healthy.

Utah Utes-Eric Weddle

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    Eric Weddle is does not get the recognition he deserves. He has only been to one Pro Bowl (2011), even though he has been named an All-Pro on three occasions.

    Over the past three years, he has developed into quite possibly the best free safety in the NFL today.

    In 2011, he led the NFL in interceptions and is without question the best player Utah has produced in quite some time.

    Expect him to continue to develop over the next few seasons.

Vanderbilt Commodores-Jay Cutler

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    Jay Cutler has had plenty of ups and downs over his career, but there is no question that he has a wealth of talent.

    He was a first-round pick of the Denver Broncos back in 2006 and is now the starter of the Chicago Bears.

    During his seven-year NFL career he has been selected to one Pro Bowl (2008).

    While some would say he has not lived up to expectations coming out of Vanderbilt, he has shown flashes of that potential throughout his career.

Virginia Cavaliers-Matt Schaub

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    There are a few players who could have made the list from Virginia including Chris Long and Ahmad Brooks, but Matt Schaub gets the slight nod.

    Schaub has continued to develop over the past few seasons and has been to Pro Bowls in 2009 and 2012.

    He has his best season in 2009 when he led the league in passing.

    If the Houston Texans can stay healthy in 2013, they will be one of the top teams in the NFL and might be able to get over the hump in the playoffs.

Virginia Tech Hokies-Duane Brown

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    While there were a multitude of solid tackles in 2012, none were better than Duane Brown of the Houston Texans.

    He finally came into his own and received the respect he deserved by earning first-team All-Pro honors, while also being selected to the Pro Bowl.

    He was a second-team All-Pro in 2011 and continues to improve every year.

    There is little doubt that he is one of the best offensive linemen in the game right now.

Wake Forest Demon Deacons-Chris Givens

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    Chris Givens was only a rookie in 2012, but he flashed some serious potential throughout the season.

    The St. Louis Rams selected Givens in the fourth round of the 2012 NFL draft and he caught 42 passes on the season for 698 yards with three touchdowns.

    At Wake Forest, he put up solid numbers during his first two years with the program, but broke out for 1,330 yards and 83 receptions with nine touchdowns in 2011 during his senior season.

    He will probably be a 1,000-yard receiver for years to come and is only going to improve over the next few seasons.

Washington Huskies-Marcel Reece

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    Washington has not produced a ton of NFL talent, Oakland Raiders fullback Marcel Reece has really stood out from the pack.

    After being undrafted in 2008, Reece signed with the Miami Dolphins in 2008, but did not really come into his own until this past season with the Raiders.

    He became the starter at fullback in 2010 for Oakland and, even though he has not carried the ball much, he is arguably the best blocker in the NFL.

    He rushed for 271 yards on 59 carries this past season, as many of his touches came during injuries to tailbacks, However, he failed to get into the end zone during the season.

    Still, he was selected to his first Pro Bowl, a well-deserved choice.

Washington State Cougars-Jason Hanson

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    A few years ago, this selection would have easily been Seattle Seahawks cornerback Marcus Trufant, but he is past his prime and the choice here is Detroit Lions kicker Jason Hanson.

    There are only 10 players from Washington State in the NFL, but Hanson is currently the best of the bunch.

    Even though he is 42, he is still an elite kicker. He has been an All-Pro three times during his 21-year NFL career, all with the Lions and has also been to two Pro Bowls.

    Look for Hanson to play a few more seasons before calling it quits after a very successful career.

West Virginia Mountaineers-Adam Jones

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    Even though West Virginia has had some talented teams over the years, there is not a lot of NFL talent right now from the university.

    At the top of the list is Cincinnati cornerback Adam Jones.

    A year or two from now, it might be somebody like Bruce Irvin or even Geno Smith but, as or right now, it is Jones.

    He has come into his own once again the past few seasons, earning a starting job for Cincinnati in 2012.

    If he can stay healthy, he will be very successful over the next few seasons.

Wisconsin Badgers-J.J. Watt

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    There have been a lot of talented players to emerge from Wisconsin over the years, particularly along the offensive and defensive lines.

    Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt is the latest in a long line of players. In 2012, he was the best player in the NFL this side of maybe Adrian Peterson and Peyton Manning.

    He earned AFC Defensive Player of the Year honors in only his second year in the NFL.

    In 2012, Watt had 81 tackles with 20.5 sacks and four forced fumbles.

    With the added ability to frequently bat down passes, Watt is an absolute freak and will be a perennial Pro Bowl player for the next decade.