The 5 best NFL Draft Picks from Texas Tech

The Texas Tech football program has produced some great NFL players but these five Red Raiders were the most valuable NFL Draft picks.

Zach Thomas
Zach Thomas / Al Bello/GettyImages
5 of 5

No. 1: Zach Thomas

Miami Dolphins


1996 5th Round

The only Pro Football Hall of Fame member in Texas Tech football history (until Patrick Mahomes goes in, of course) is No. 1 on this list. Zach Thomas had a brilliant career in the NFL despite being considered too small and too slow to play on Sundays.

As a Red Raider, the Pampa, Texas native was a unanimous first-team All-American, one of only five ever from Texas Tech at the time. He also helped lead the Red Raiders to the Southwest Conference title in 1995.

In the 1996 Draft, he was selected in the fifth round by the Miami Dolphins. Immediately, he impressed in training camp and he would win the starting middle linebacker job as a rookie.

All he would do that year was rack up 154 tackles and three picks. It was one of 10 seasons with at least 100 tackles in his career.

Thomas' best season was 2006 when he made 164 tackles and had a pick. That was one of five seasons in which he was named a first-team All-Pro. What's more, he was a two-time second-team All-Pro honoree and a 7-time Pro Bowl selection.

In the end, he finished with 1,734 tackles, 20.5 sacks, and 17 interceptions. He is without question the best draft pick in Texas Tech football history and he's on par with Mahomes as having the best NFL career any Red Raider has ever produced.