The South Florida Expressway
Yesterday I broke down the states and which ones produced the most NFL Draft picks over the past three years (Story here). It was no big surprise that Florida, Texas, California, Georgia and Ohio dominated the numbers.
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 its 47.3%.
Now it's time to get more specific. What areas within these states are these players coming from?
The state of Florida has led the way over the last three drafts, producing 104 players. It should come as no surprise that South Florida (Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties) specifically leads the way with the most drafts picks with 57. It's no secret that just about every college that plays football recruits this hotbed of high school football. Still, that number is mind-boggling. That's 7.5% of all the draft picks from the last three years from these three counties alone.
Los Angeles (Calif.) came in second, producing 42 draftees. That number includes players chosen from the Orange and Los Angeles counties as well as an area known as the Inland Empire. L.A. remains a very hot spot. Itâs obviously a feeder system to the Pac 12 and Mountain West conferences, while teams in other leagues certainly spot recruit Southern California in varying degrees.
The Lone Star state produced the third and fourth most selections with Dallas/Ft. Worth (27) and Houston (26). Obviously, it's the great state of Texas that generates a bulk of the Big 12 players.
There's no question that the Peach State has been on fire of late. Over the past decade we have seen their football numbers sky-rocket, specifically Atlanta. Metro Atlanta was fifth, with a number of 22.
Rounding out the top ten were the following areas - Northern California (19), New Orleans/Baton Rouge (18), Chicago (17), South Georgia (17), Central Florida (16) and Central Texas (16).
I wanted to go very area specific, so I broke down the data in South Florida and Los Angeles.
As mentioned above, South Florida is broken down in three counties of Dade, Broward and Palm Beach. Dade is Miami and some surrounding areas like Hialeah and Homestead. Broward is Ft. Lauderdale and goes to Pompano Beach to the North and Hollywood to the South. Then you have Palm Beach, which consists of West Palm Beach and football producing hotbeds like Belle Glade and Pahokee.
Miami-Dade produced the most at 27, the same number as Dallas/Ft. Worth. They tied for the top over spot. Broward and Palm Beach came in at 17 and 14 respectively.
Los Angeles was more of a challenge, so I kept it to L.A. County, Orange County and the Inland Empire. It's a massive area and itâs loaded with talent. L.A. County totaled 17 draftees with Orange County coming in at 9. The Inland Empire is a metropolitan area directly east of the Los Angeles. It's Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario which consists of Riverside and San Bernardino counties. The Inland Empire had 16 draft prospects.
Next, I looked at the per capita numbers of each specific area, city or county. Here's where the numbers get real interesting because there are a few areas other than South Florida and Los Angeles that really stand out. Some might call them surprising.
To calculate per capita you must divide the number of NFL Draftees per area by that areaâs population. When I came up with each area specific draftees I used a radius of 90-120 minutes from that city or county. Here are those findings -
The top two places using this criteria were Mobile (Ala.) and South Georgia.
Mobile and the surrounding area has a population of 726,000 and itâs this spot that produced nine drafts picks and has a per capita score of 12.4.
South Georgia comes in at No. 2 with a per capita number of 11.3. This region of Georgia produced 17 draftees, only five less than Metro Atlanta. This is despite having a population of 1.5 million compared to the booming metropolis of Atlanta with close to 5.5 million. This number took me by surprise. I have always known that this area plays great football and produces players. I just didnât realize how close those numbers would be to Metro Atlanta.