Draft Stats

Scout's new series digging deep inside the numbers of the NFL Draft. Part 1: Which states produce the greatest football talent?

Last Monday I was pouring over the NFL Draft, looking for trends in the picks, where the players came from, etc. In doing so something really jumped out at me –

The states of Florida, Texas, California and Georgia produced 121 of the 256 draft prospects, which totals 47.3%. Add the state of Ohio and that percentage is 51.6.

Did you realize that those five states alone made up over half the NFL draft picks?

I did not.

Those numbers seemed high to me, so I dove straight in.

State Breakdown Over Last 3 NFL Drafts
1. Florida (104)
2. California (86)
3. Texas (82)
4. Georgia (51)
5. Ohio (38)
6. South Carolina (27)
7. Louisiana (25)
7. North Carolina (25)
9. Alabama (23)
10. Virginia (21)
11. Pennsylvania (19)
12. Illinois (18)
12. New Jersey (18)
14. Michigan (16)
14. Missouri (16)

Three years of the draft
Over the NFL Drafts of 2012, 2013 and 2014 there have been 763 players selected. In that time, the states of Florida, Texas and California have produced 35.65% of draftees. Add Georgia and the total is 42.3%. Factor in Ohio and it's 47.3%.

This past season was on the high side for some of those power states, especially Florida. The Sunshine State alone produced 46 draft picks earlier this month. On the flip side of that number was Texas, as the Lone Star State had a lower number by their standards at 24.

Rounding out the top ten [in order] are the states of South Carolina, Louisiana, North Carolina, Alabama, and Virginia. Six of the top ten producing states are in the Southeast.

The next ten are primarily states from the Midwest (Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin and Missouri), East (New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and New York) and West (Arizona and Washington).

(Click here for the complete list of the states and the number of drafted prospects over the past three years.)

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the United States currently has a population of 317 million. The top five states in this exercise, Florida, California, Texas, Georgia and Ohio, have a combined population of 106.22 million, which corresponds to 33.5% of the population.

So if you look at the draftees based on population and per capita numbers, the big board looks a little different and it's here where things get interesting.

South Carolina, with a population of roughly 4.77 million, had the highest numbers of players drafted per capita at 5.66/million. It's fitting that this past draft's top overall pick was defensive end Jadeveon Clowney from Rock Hill, S.C.

Breakdown Over Last 3 NFL Drafts Per Capita
1. S.C. (4.77 million) 5.66
2. Louisiana (4.64) 5.38
3. Florida (19.5) 5.33
4. Georgia (9.92) 5.14
5. Texas (26.1) 5.09
6. Alabama (4.8) 4.79
7. D.C. (640K) 4.69
8. Mississippi (2.99) 3.34
9. Ohio (11.6) 3.27
10. Delaware (920K) 3.26
11. Nevada (2.76) 2.9
12. Missouri (6.0) 2.67
13. N.C. (9.75) 2.56
14. Virginia (8.28) 2.54
19. Calif. (38.3) 2.24

Coming in at No. 2 was Louisiana. The Bayou State has a population of 4.64 million and a 5.32 number per capita. I firmly believe that this number would have been higher if it were not for Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Thousands in the Bayou State were displaced and moved to neighboring states like Texas, Mississippi and Alabama. Just the city of New Orleans alone is 29% smaller in population than prior to 2005. A perfect example here was 2013 [San Diego Chargers) 1st Round pick D.J. Fluker, who fled New Orleans for Mobile, Ala. at the time of this devastating storm.

Florida was third based on these figures. The Sunshine State has a population of 19.5 million and a per capita of draftees at 5.33.

Georgia (5.14) and Texas (5.09) round out the top five.

Alabama is No. 6 with a per capita number of 4.79. They are followed by the District of Columbia (4.69). Delaware even made the top ten with a figure of 3.26. D.C. and Delaware were the only two areas inside the top ten that had less than 10 draftees over the past three years. They each had three.

The most populace state is California (38. 3 million). Their per capita number was 2.24.

(Click here for the complete list of each state's population and per capita number based on the NFL Draft picks each produced.)

Coming tomorrow in part two is a deep look into specific areas of the country where these NFL players are coming from. It's some very interesting data which will surprise you.

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