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ESPN: Cal is the fourth best program overperformer in producing NFL talent

Some interesting figures.

Washington v California Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images

Prior to the NFL Draft, ESPN did a good survey of which college football programs perform the best in producing NFL players. And our Golden Bears are all over there.

With regards to overperformers, The California Golden Bears ended up ranked fourth, trailing the Miami Hurricanes (no surprise), Pittsburgh Panthers and the Boston College Eagles! A look at the methodology:

We compared each school's weighted draft value and their overall performance in the NFL since 2002 to figure out which schools produced the biggest NFL overperformers and underperformers. Schools with a higher share of NFL production are overperformers and those with more draft value than production are a underperformers.


We pulled data from on the 3,831 players drafted since 2002 and broke them into eight position groups. Special teams are excluded since many of those players are acquired as undrafted free agents.

Draft value

Picks are weighted by overall pick number, so early first-round picks carry more weight than late first-rounders.

NFL performance

The formula for this factors in career Approximate Value, along with percentage of seasons as an All Pro/Pro Bowler/starter. The goal was to account for players like J.J. Watt who have been dominant over shorter stretches.

Cal has produced 52 picks since 2002, with a draft percentage of 1.36% and a performance percentage of 2.23%., allowing for a differential of +0.86%.

Cal is also a top ten program in producing sleepers, based on Approximate Value. Cal is third overall in terms of sleeper picks from Rounds 2 through 4, trailing only Purdue and Utah. Through rounds 5 through 7, they’re eighth.

Cal is seventh in terms of producing long-term NFL players that last four years or more.(17.7%) and seventh for players that last eight years or more (9.6%).

One of the good things we can say about our program: We still put players in the NFL on a regular basis, and that tradition isn’t likely to change anytime soon.