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2016 NFL Draft: Buffalo Bills love Florida State, Clemson prospects

25% of the Bills' draft picks since 2010 played at either Florida State or Clemson

Program pedigree is an evaluation factor for every team in the NFL Draft, but over the past six years, the Buffalo Bills have developed a reputation for taking that particular factor to the extreme.

In those six draft classes - from 2010 through last year, 2015, chosen because the Bills have employed Doug Whaley for that stretch - the Bills have drafted 48 players. Of those 48 players, 12 of them played their college football at either Florida State or Clemson. Throw a dart at a list of the Bills' draft picks since 2010, and there's a one-in-four chance you'll hit a player that went to one of the two ACC powerhouses.

Clemson's sway in Buffalo's draft room has been steady; the Bills have taken one Tigers player in five of the last six draft classes, with 2012 being the lone exception. Two of those five Clemson picks - running back C.J. Spiller in 2010, and wide receiver Sammy Watkins in 2014 - were first-round selections.

Florida State prospects, meanwhile, have been drafted in fits and spurts over the last four years. The Bills have drafted seven Florida State players in total during that stretch, with two coming in 2012 (linebacker Nigel Bradham and tackle Zebrie Sanders), two coming in 2013 (quarterback EJ Manuel and kicker Dustin Hopkins), and then a round three coming last spring (cornerback Ronald Darby, running back Karlos Williams, and tight end Nick O'Leary).

There are six more schools from which the Bills have selected multiple prospects in the past six years: Alabama, Louisville, LSU, North Carolina, Oregon, and Texas. But none of those schools have seen more than two players picked by the Bills; add those six schools up, and they only equal the number of Florida State and Clemson prospects the Bills have drafted.

It's possible that Louisville could throw its hat in the ring with Florida State and Clemson this year, however; the Bills have drafted a Louisville player early in each of the last two drafts (linebacker Preston Brown in 2014, and guard John Miller in 2015), and the team has shown interest in defensive lineman Sheldon Rankins as a potential first-round pick this spring. (2009 first-round pick, center Eric Wood, played at Louisville, as well.)

Florida State and Clemson, however, are currently in a class of their own. The Bills were extremely well-represented at both of those schools' pro days; GM Whaley took in the Seminoles' workouts in person, while Rex Ryan - who has long-standing, strong ties to Clemson - was at the Tigers' pro day.