nfl draft college

TBW Useless Stats: Which College Does Each NFL Team Draft From The Most?

Which player has the most career home runs? Who has the single-season passing touchdown record? Which country has won the most World Cups?

These are just some of the most mainstream, widely known stats in sports; but why settle for mainstream sports stats (yuck!) when you can impress your friends with USELESS STATS?! Nothing else screams “my life is definitely not an empty shell and I am certainly an interesting person” like interjecting a sports discussion with some of the most useless, trivial stats ever compiled.

Strap in and get ready for the Elias Sports Bureau to eat your ass with this knowledge thanks to your friends at The Bench Wire!

Which College Does Each NFL Team Draft From The Most?

My interest in this question really stems from a point in the mid-to-late 2010s when it felt like a good chunk of the New England Patriot’s defense, at least their secondary, was made up of Rutgers alumni. In 2010, the Patriots selected DB Devin McCourty, and in 2013 they drafted DB Logan Ryan, DB Duron Harmon, and LB Steve Beauharnais.

After a quick google search of “Patriots Rutgers,” I realized that I wasn’t alone in noticing this odd trend as The Boston Globe pointed this out following the Patriots’ trade for former Rutgers wide-out Mohammed Sanu.

Naturally, I became curious to see if there were any other colleges that have a similar “college-pro” fraternity and thought to figure out which college does each specific NFL team favor the most come draft time.

Procedure

To eliminate the old AFL’s regional drafts from diluting the results, I’ve decided to only count draft picks starting from 1967, which marks the first draft following the merger of the NFL and AFL and coincides with what is commonly known as the “Modern” or “Super Bowl Era” of the NFL.

The results include draft picks from 1967 through 2020.

Results

(In alphabetical order)

NFL Team College # of Draft Picks
Atlanta Falcons LSU 13
Arizona/St. Louis Cardinals Oklahoma 16
Baltimore Ravens Alabama/Oklahoma 11
Buffalo Bills North Carolina 15
Carolina Panthers Auburn/Georgia/Stanford 6
Chicago Bears Notre Dame 20
Cincinnati Bengals Ohio State 20
Cleveland Browns Miami (FL) 16
Dallas Cowboys Tennessee 17
Denver Broncos Florida 14
Detroit Lions USC 15
Green Bay Packers USC 15
Houston Texans LSU 6
Indianapolis/Baltimore Colts Ohio State 16
Jacksonville Jaguars Florida 12
Kansas City Chiefs LSU/Georgia/Tennessee 11
Las Vegas/Oakland/Los Angeles Raiders USC 18
Los Angeles/San Diego Chargers Notre Dame/USC 14
Los Angeles/St. Louis Rams UCLA 22
Miami Dolphins Miami (FL) 16
Minnesota Vikings Minnesota 15
New England Patriots Michigan 17
New Orleans Saints Nebraska/USC 17
New York Giants Miami (FL)/Michigan 13
New York Jets Penn State 19
Philadelphia Eagles Florida/Notre Dame/Ohio State 12
Pittsburgh Steelers Penn State 16
San Francisco 49ers Florida 16
Seattle Seahawks Miami (FL) 15
Tampa Bay Buccaneers Alabama 14
Tennessee Titans/Houston Oilers Penn State 14
Washington Football Team Nebraska/Penn State 12

Analysis

Here are a few takeaways from the results.

NFL Teams With The Shortest Distance From Their Most Drafted College

Tie – 1. Miami Dolphins – Miami (FL) – 0 miles
Tie – 1. Minnesota Vikings – Minnesota – 0 miles
Tie – 1. Los Angeles Chargers – UCLA – 0 miles
Tie – 1. Los Angeles Rams – USC – 0 miles
5. Jacksonville Jaguars – Florida – 72.2 miles

NFL Teams With The Longest Distance From Their Most Drafted College

1. Seattle Seahawks – Miami (FL) – 3,297 miles
2. San Francisco 49ers – Florida – 2,775 miles
3. Carolina Panthers – Stanford – 2,687.6 miles
4. Detroit Lions – USC – 2,281.1 miles
5. Green Bay Packers – USC – 2,113.7 miles

NFL Teams Which Drafted Most From Their Most Drafted College

1. Los Angeles Rams – UCLA – 22 draft picks
2. Chicago Bears – Notre Dame – 20 draft picks
2. Cincinnati Bengals – Ohio State – 20 draft picks
4. New York Jets – Penn State – 19 draft picks
5. Las Vegas Raiders – USC – 18 draft picks

Colleges Which Were NFL Teams’ Most Drafted

1. USC – 5 NFL teams
Tie-2. Florida – 4 NFL teams
Tie-2. Miami (FL) – 4 NFL teams
Tie-4. LSU – 3 NFL teams
Tie-4. Notre Dame – 3 NFL teams
Tie-4. Ohio State – 3 NFL teams

Overall, only 15 of the 32 NFL teams since 1967 have drafted most from a “regional” college, as I defined as within 400 miles of each other. All other teams drafted from traditional NFL draft producers such as USC, Florida, and Miami (FL). The Minnesota Vikings and the Los Angeles Chargers were the only two NFL teams that had non-traditional NFL draft producers as their most drafted colleges.

Interestingly, even though Florida and Miami (FL) both rank #9 and #11 respectively in most NFL draft picks from a school, they are both tied for 2nd most frequent top drafted college by an NFL team.

Four (4) teams drafted the most players out of their own backyard/general area, including from traditional power programs such as Miami (Dolphins), Chargers (USC), and the Rams (UCLA). Good on the Vikings for sticking with their hometown squad, even though they’ve spent a better part of the last half-century living in the Big Ten basement.

Lastly, although the state produces the 3rd most NFL players, not a single Texas college was listed as any pro team’s most drafted college.

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