Positional Breakdown Where NFL Players Are From
In part four of my series breaking down the NFL rosters I take a look at which states and regions are raising NFL players, position by position. Does California produce the most quarterbacks? Where do the defensive linemen come from? How many offensive linemen come from the Midwest?
What's interesting here is how the percentages from each region fall in line with the amount of college football prospects they produce. In the most recent college football recruiting class, 2,677 players signed D1 (FBS) scholarships. Here are the percentages of players who come from each region:
Keep these numbers in mind as you read below, for statistical variations among different positions throughout the regions.
The common perception in the NFL is that the state of California dominates this position. That's partially correct, as this state currently has produced 17 signal callers in the NFL. But Texas actually has more with 19 quarterbacks. If you breakdown the starters as of last weekend these two states are tied at six.
Florida is next but there's a hitch. Geno Smith is a second-year player while Blake Bortles and Teddy Bridgewater are rookies. For whatever reason this football rich state has struggled mightily in terms of producing quarterbacks. In fact, prior to this past May's draft, only three players that played quarterback in high school and college were actually drafted in the first round: John Reaves, Daunte Culpepper and Tim Tebow. That's a strange anomaly when it comes to football in the Sunshine State.
Overall, the West (25) leads the Midland (23) by two. Next is the South (20) followed by the regions of the Atlantic (17) and Midwest (13).
After Texas and California, no other states have double digit signal callers in the NFL. Florida (7), Pennsylvania (7), Virginia (6), Georgia (5), Illinois (4), and Ohio (4) are the other state top producers of this position.
In terms of week seven starters in the NFL, here is a breakdown of the other states: Georgia (2), Louisiana (2), Ohio (2), and Virginia (2) while Iowa, New Jersey, Arizona, Alabama, Wisconsin, Michigan, Indiana, Pennsylvania, and Mississippi each have one.
Defensive Line (311)
Here's a huge reason why the SEC has dominated college football: the South region has produced 138 (44.4%) of the 311 NFL defensive linemen. The game can evolve all it wants but you better win the line of scrimmage. There's no better way to counter attack the pass happy game of football than to put pressure on the quarterback.
To get perspective on the statistical anomalies by position it's best to go back to the college ranks and see what percentage of players sign D1 scholarships from each region. It means more to find out that the South produces 44% of all defensive linemen in the NFL, knowing that 38% of all college players come from the South.
The state of Florida leads the way here, as the Sunshine State has produced 11 defensive ends and 24 defensive tackles in the NFL. Georgia (20), South Carolina (19), Alabama (18), North Carolina (15) and Louisiana (15) are not too far behind. There's just depth across the board.
If you put the state of California in the South they would be tied for fifth with 15. That's amazing to me, especially considering this is the state that has produced the most NFL players.
Texas is the state that has produced the second-most defensive linemen with 33. Illinois (11) and Ohio (10) are the only other states in double digit NFL defensive linemen.
New York has eight defensive tackles in the NFL. Pennsylvania has seven and Utah has five.
After the South, the Midlands is the next best region in producing defensive linemen with 47, followed by the West (44), Atlantic (44), and Midwest (38).