An ESPN ranking of draft picks across eight different top North American sports leagues shows that over the past ten years, only one school has been more successful at producing pro talent than Maryland.
The rankings, based on the last ten drafts for the top North American leagues for baseball, football, men’s and women’s basketball, men’s soccer, men’s lacrosse, men’s hockey and softball, have the Terps trailing only North Carolina as the most successful school when it comes to producing draft talent.
Maryland isn’t known for its ability to consistently produce NBA talent like Kentucky or NFL talent like Alabama, but it is nothing short of a juggernaut when it comes to sending players to Major League Lacrosse, with Connor Kelly and Matt Rambo being the two most recent first-round picks.
The Terps are also a very reliable producer of Major League Soccer talent through players like Chris Odoi-Atsem, Tsubasa Endoh and Patrick Mullins.
And while Gary Williams and Mark Turgeon have only been able to produce three first-round picks since 2009, Brenda Frese has sent six of her former players to the pros as first-round selections.
It’s impressive that Maryland was able to finish No. 2 in ESPN’s rankings without having produced a first-round pick in MLB or National Pro Fastpitch in the past 10 years, despite the school’s baseball and softball programs. They also had no NHL draft picks, but Maryland’s highest level of men’s hockey is only at the club level so that’s not exactly a surprise.
In total, Maryland has produced 107 draft picks that ESPN tallied for their rankings, with 27 of those being first-round picks.
While Maryland couldn’t beat out North Carolina for the No. 1 spot, they did finish above No. 3 Duke, which is without question the most important thing about this ranking.