NFL Draft Strategies: What Programs Do NFL Teams Lean On?
Quarterbacks Eli and Peyton Manning are brothers who came from a competitive SEC conference. Eli, who has won two Super Bowls, played at Ole Miss. Peyton was a Tennessee Vol who has demolished the NFL record books and won a Super Bowl. Drew Brees and Tom Brady both played in the Big-10 conference. Drew Brees played at Purdue, while Brady played for a fine traditional football team-Michigan. Brees has won a Super Bowl and Brady has taken three rings out of five Super Bowls. Let's not forget Aaron Rodgers, "Mr. Discount Double Check" who played for the Cal Bears and won a Super Bowl.
Running Backs The SEC, Big-12, and the Miami Hurricanes have provided the NFL with a plentiful amount of ground gainers. Jamal Lewis-Tennessee Vols, Fred Taylor-Florida Gators, and Shaun Alexander-Alabama all had very good years in the NFL. The Big-12 had backs Ricky Williams-Texas Longhorns, Adrian Peterson-Oklahoma, and Ahman Green-Nebraska, all backed their draft status. The Miami Hurricanes are called running back U for a reason. Clinton Portis (9,696 yards in one decade), Edgerrin James over 13,000 all-purpose yards in a ten year span, and Frank Gore who has over 13,000 all-purpose career yards.
Wide Receivers This position has been dominated by off the radar schools and the Big East. A couple of guys came from present day notable teams. The Big East players are; Andre Johnson and Reggie Wayne from the Miami Hurricanes, Larry Fitzgerald-Pitt Panthers, and Marvin Harrison-Syracuse. Now for the off the radar receivers such as Terrell Owens-Chattanoga, Randy Moss-Marshall, Isaac Bruce-Memphis State, and Donald Driver-Alcorn State. The more notable present day schools are Hines Ward-Georgia and Chad Johnson-Oregon State.
Offensive/Defensive Lineman These guys are all from notable schools. The offensive lineman are Nick Mangold-Ohio State, Jake Long-Michigan, and the famous Michael Orr from Ole Miss (who had a movie made about him- The Blind Side). Defensively, the players are as follows: Marcus Stroud and Richard Seymour from Georgia, Dallas Cowboy teammates Jay Ratliff-Auburn and DeMarcus Ware-Troy both came from Alabama schools, Shawn Rogers-Texas, Warren Sapp-Miami Hurricanes, and Kevin Williams from Oklahoma State.
Linebackers Coming out of college, this is my favorite position in the NFL Draft. Jonathan Vilma and Ray Lewis played at Miami and Derrick Brooks also played in the "Sunshine State" at Florida State. The following linebackers came from unusual defensive schools: Zach Thomas-Texas Tech, Brian Urlacher-New Mexico, James Harrison-Kent State, and Joey Porter-Colorado State.
Secondary The safeties are as follows: Troy Polamalu-USC, Ed Reed-Miami Hurricanes, Brian Dawkins-Clemson, and Rodney Harrison from a smaller Western Illinois. The cornerbacks are dominated by Big-10 and SEC schools with Nate Clements-Ohio State, Charles Woodson and Ty Law both from Michigan, Champ Bailey-Georgia, and Sam Madison from Alabama.
Final Note: The Miami Hurricanes, Big-10, and Southeastern Conference show the NFL where to look for future draft picks, while the NFL shouldn't over look the smaller schools.
My thoughts on the Draft: I've had babies in less time.