While most colleges and universities field a football team as part of its general athletics program, there are some for which football is more than merely a sport—it’s akin almost to a religion. Devotion to the team and its colors is as important to that school’s culture as a religious icon is to a believer. These programs actively scout and recruit notable high school players, and are in turn rigorously applied to by matriculating seniors eager to make a name for themselves at the collegiate level.

Among the most notable college football empires are Notre Dame, the universities of Alabama, Michigan, Texas, Nebraska, and Oklahoma, Penn State, Ohio State—the list goes on and on.

But for every touchstone football school, there is an outlier that has produced some of the most successful and cherished players in the game. Think Jackson State, which gave us “Sweetness” himself, Hall of Fame running back Walter Payton. Or Mississippi Valley State, which yielded 3-time Super Bowl champion and #1 Player in NFL History, as voted by the NFL Network, ‘49ers wide receiver Jerry Rice.

Each year, the college draft serves as a source of renewal to professional football and a testament to the quality of college programs nationwide. With the 2022 NFL draft set to take place April 28-30 in Las Vegas, Stacker compiled a list of the highest NFL draft picks from the Clemson Tigers using data from Pro Football Reference. Ties were broken by the most recent year drafted.

#20. Chester McGlockton (DT)
– Draft pick: Round 1, #16 overall in 1992
– Drafted by: Los Angeles Raiders
– Years as a starter in NFL: 10 (4 Pro Bowls)

#19. AJ Terrell (CB)
– Draft pick: Round 1, #16 overall in 2020
– Drafted by: Atlanta Falcons
– Years as a starter in NFL: 2 (0 Pro Bowls)

#18. Rod Gardner (WR)
– Draft pick: Round 1, #15 overall in 2001
– Drafted by: Washington Football Team
– Years as a starter in NFL: 4 (0 Pro Bowls)

#17. Wayne Simmons (LB)
– Draft pick: Round 1, #15 overall in 1993
– Drafted by: Green Bay Packers
– Years as a starter in NFL: 4 (0 Pro Bowls)

#16. Anthony Simmons (LB)
– Draft pick: Round 1, #15 overall in 1998
– Drafted by: Seattle Seahawks
– Years as a starter in NFL: 4 (0 Pro Bowls)

#15. Tye Hill (DB)
– Draft pick: Round 1, #15 overall in 2006
– Drafted by: St. Louis Rams
– Years as a starter in NFL: 0

#14. Christian Wilkins (DT)
– Draft pick: Round 1, #13 overall in 2019
– Drafted by: Miami Dolphins
– Years as a starter in NFL: 3 (0 Pro Bowls)

#13. Deshaun Watson (QB)
– Draft pick: Round 1, #12 overall in 2017
– Drafted by: Houston Texans
– Years as a starter in NFL: 3 (3 Pro Bowls)

#12. Donnell Woolford (DB)
– Draft pick: Round 1, #11 overall in 1989
– Drafted by: Chicago Bears
– Years as a starter in NFL: 9 (1 Pro Bowls)

#11. Terry Kinard (DB)
– Draft pick: Round 1, #10 overall in 1983
– Drafted by: NY Giants
– Years as a starter in NFL: 8 (1 Pro Bowls)

#10. C.J. Spiller (RB)
– Draft pick: Round 1, #9 overall in 2010
– Drafted by: Buffalo Bills
– Years as a starter in NFL: 3 (1 Pro Bowls)

#9. Vic Beasley (OLB)
– Draft pick: Round 1, #8 overall in 2015
– Drafted by: Atlanta Falcons
– Years as a starter in NFL: 5 (1 Pro Bowls)

#8. Isaiah Simmons (LB)
– Draft pick: Round 1, #8 overall in 2020
– Drafted by: Arizona Cardinals
– Years as a starter in NFL: 1 (0 Pro Bowls)

#7. Mike Williams (WR)
– Draft pick: Round 1, #7 overall in 2017
– Drafted by: Los Angeles Chargers
– Years as a starter in NFL: 3 (0 Pro Bowls)

#6. Jeff Bryant (DE)
– Draft pick: Round 1, #6 overall in 1982
– Drafted by: Seattle Seahawks
– Years as a starter in NFL: 12 (0 Pro Bowls)

#5. Jerry Butler (WR)
– Draft pick: Round 1, #5 overall in 1979
– Drafted by: Buffalo Bills
– Years as a starter in NFL: 6 (1 Pro Bowls)

#4. Sammy Watkins (WR)
– Draft pick: Round 1, #4 overall in 2014
– Drafted by: Buffalo Bills
– Years as a starter in NFL: 6 (0 Pro Bowls)

#3. Gaines Adams (DE)
– Draft pick: Round 1, #4 overall in 2007
– Drafted by: Tampa Bay Buccaneers
– Years as a starter in NFL: 1 (0 Pro Bowls)

#2. Clelin Ferrell (DE)
– Draft pick: Round 1, #4 overall in 2019
– Drafted by: Oakland Raiders
– Years as a starter in NFL: 2 (0 Pro Bowls)

#1. Trevor Lawrence (QB)
– Draft pick: Round 1, #1 overall in 2021
– Drafted by: Jacksonville Jaguars
– Years as a starter in NFL: 1 (0 Pro Bowls)