15. Derrick Thomas, LB, Alabama (1985-88)
When Derrick Thomas arrived on Alabama’s campus in 1985, coach Ray Perkins knew he had something special. Thomas was one of the most dominant defenders of his era. He racked up an obscene 27 sacks in 1988, and he finished with 52 for his career. Thomas went on to have a great NFL career, but his life was cut short following his death at the age of 33. After surviving a serious car accident for 16 days, Thomas died from a pulmonary embolism.