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Monday, November 13, 2006

On NFL draftees

Colleague Darren Grant wondered about how many NFL draftees went to non-DIA schools. My take was less than twenty percent, whereas Darren thought it might be a bit higher. I went to ESPN.com and grabbed the 2006 data and created a dummy variable that takes a value of one if the player went to a DI-A school.

Of the 1838 players listed by espn.com:

Variable | Obs Mean Std. Dev. Min Max
-------------+--------------------------------------------------------
dia | 1838 .867247 .3393999 0 1

A little less than 15% of all NFL players went to a DI-AA or lower tiered school.

The data are the data, but I wonder how accurate ESPN is. Here's the breakdown on the number of people per position:

. tab position

position | Freq. Percent Cum.
-----------------+-----------------------------------
Center | 73 3.97 3.97
Cornerback | 174 9.47 13.44
Defensive Back | 1 0.05 13.49
Defensive End | 148 8.05 21.55
Defensive Tackle | 140 7.62 29.16
Kicker | 32 1.74 30.90
Linebacker | 255 13.87 44.78
Nose Tackle | 2 0.11 44.89
Offensive Guard | 132 7.18 52.07
Offensive Tackle | 131 7.13 59.19
Punter | 32 1.74 60.94
Quarterback | 89 4.84 65.78
Running Back | 170 9.25 75.03
Safety | 157 8.54 83.57
Tight End | 120 6.53 90.10
Wide Receiver | 182 9.90 100.00
-----------------+----------------------------------
There are only two Nose Tackles in the NFL? Here's a cross-tab of the number of players from a particular college in each position:

| numinpos
position | 1 2 3 4 5 | Total
-----------------+-------------------------------------------------------+----------
Center | 33 18 6 16 0 | 73
Cornerback | 46 40 51 16 15 | 174
Defensive Back | 1 0 0 0 0 | 1
Defensive End | 44 44 24 16 20 | 148
Defensive Tackle | 38 40 33 16 0 | 140
Kicker | 24 8 0 0 0 | 32
Linebacker | 47 56 27 52 25 | 255
Nose Tackle | 2 0 0 0 0 | 2
Offensive Guard | 58 36 24 4 10 | 132
Offensive Tackle | 43 32 24 12 20 | 131
Punter | 28 4 0 0 0 | 32
Quarterback | 42 28 15 4 0 | 89
Running Back | 68 28 36 16 10 | 170
Safety | 50 28 27 16 30 | 157
Tight End | 53 28 15 24 0 | 120
Wide Receiver | 50 50 24 24 15 | 182
-----------------+-------------------------------------------------------+----------
Total | 627 440 306 216 145 | 1,838


| numinpos
position | 6 7 8 | Total
-----------------+---------------------------------+----------
Center | 0 0 0 | 73
Cornerback | 6 0 0 | 174
Defensive Back | 0 0 0 | 1
Defensive End | 0 0 0 | 148
Defensive Tackle | 6 7 0 | 140
Kicker | 0 0 0 | 32
Linebacker | 18 14 16 | 255
Nose Tackle | 0 0 0 | 2
Offensive Guard | 0 0 0 | 132
Offensive Tackle | 0 0 0 | 131
Punter | 0 0 0 | 32
Quarterback | 0 0 0 | 89
Running Back | 12 0 0 | 170
Safety | 6 0 0 | 157
Tight End | 0 0 0 | 120
Wide Receiver | 12 7 0 | 182
-----------------+---------------------------------+----------
Total | 60 28 16 | 1,838

It is interesting to see how quickly the multi-player schools drop off. To determine how many schools are involved in any particular multi-player position, take the number of players and divide by the number on the top row. For instance, 12 running backs played for a college that has 6 running backs in the NFL, therefore 12/6 = 2 schools have 6 alumns currently playing running back in the NFL.

It would seem that the easiest positions to have multiple-almuns playing in the same position include running back, wide receiver, linebacker, and corner back. Of course, these positions also account for the larger number of roster positions in general - there can be two or three linebackers in a given defense, two cornerbacks, and two to four running backs. On the other hand, perhaps schools focus on one or two positions and do a special job in preparing athletes for the next level?

Here's the same cross tab with only the non-DIA schools:
 
| numinpos
position | 1 2 3 | Total
-----------------+---------------------------------+----------
Center | 12 0 0 | 12
Cornerback | 15 6 3 | 24
Defensive End | 13 2 0 | 15
Defensive Tackle | 11 0 0 | 11
Kicker | 2 0 0 | 2
Linebacker | 18 10 0 | 28
Offensive Guard | 17 4 0 | 21
Offensive Tackle | 9 2 0 | 11
Punter | 10 0 0 | 10
Quarterback | 11 0 0 | 11
Running Back | 27 0 0 | 27
Safety | 21 2 0 | 23
Tight End | 21 2 0 | 23
Wide Receiver | 22 4 0 | 26
-----------------+---------------------------------+----------
Total | 209 32 3 | 244

There are very few non DI-A schools that have multiple alumns playing in the same position - 16 schools have two in the same position and only one has three in the same position (that's Northwestern State in Louisiana).

Upshot: The DI-A schools seem to train the majority of the NFL but that doesn't mean it is impossible for a small school to generate a talent of sufficient quality to make it to the next level. However, it is relatively rare for a non DI-A player to go pro in the NFL - there are a lot more non-DIA players than DIA players.

Finally, here's a bifurcation of the number of players per college in the NFL by DI-A status:

Source | SS df MS Number of obs = 250
-------------+------------------------------ F( 1, 248) = 157.16
Model | 8651.21011 1 8651.21011 Prob > F = 0.0000
Residual | 13651.8139 248 55.0476367 R-squared = 0.3879
-------------+------------------------------ Adj R-squared = 0.3854
Total | 22303.024 249 89.5703775 Root MSE = 7.4194

------------------------------------------------------------------------------
numplayers | Coef. Std. Err. t P>|t| [95% Conf. Interval]
-------------+----------------------------------------------------------------
dia | 11.78935 .9404173 12.54 0.000 9.937122 13.64157
_cons | 1.834586 .6433444 2.85 0.005 .567471 3.101702

A typical college roster is 63-70 players. A typical DI-A program has approximately 14 players in the league at a given time. Assuming four years of eligibility and an average career length of three years (which is close), this would imply 14 players out of 250-300 (approximately 5%) would ever merit professional grade. That doesn't sound like too good of odds - one hopes the vast majority of the other 95% are receiving good advice and are finishing their degree programs.

Here's a list of all the schools represented in the NFL in 2006:

+----------------------------------------+
| college numplayers|
|----------------------------------------|
1. | Miami (FL) 45 |
2. | Florida State 44 |
3. | Georgia 41 |
4. | Ohio State 39 |
5. | Tennessee 39 |
|----------------------------------------|
6. | Michigan 35 |
7. | LSU 35 |
8. | Florida 35 |
9. | Nebraska 32 |
10. | Notre Dame 31 |
|----------------------------------------|
11. | USC 30 |
12. | Penn State 30 |
13. | Wisconsin 28 |
14. | Texas A&M 28 |
15. | Auburn 27 |
|----------------------------------------|
16. | UCLA 26 |
17. | Virginia 26 |
18. | North Carolina 25 |
19. | Oklahoma 24 |
20. | Virginia Tech 24 |
|----------------------------------------|
21. | California 24 |
22. | Texas 23 |
23. | Syracuse 23 |
24. | Iowa 22 |
25. | South Carolina 22 |
|----------------------------------------|
26. | Arizona State 22 |
27. | Purdue 22 |
28. | Washington 21 |
29. | Stanford 21 |
30. | Kansas State 21 |
|----------------------------------------|
31. | Alabama 20 |
32. | Michigan State 19 |
33. | North Carolina State 19 |
34. | Maryland 19 |
35. | Colorado 19 |
|----------------------------------------|
36. | Boston College 18 |
37. | San Diego State 17 |
38. | Illinois 17 |
39. | Mississippi State 17 |
40. | Washington State 17 |
|----------------------------------------|
41. | Oregon 17 |
42. | Fresno State 17 |
43. | Mississippi 16 |
44. | Pittsburgh 16 |
45. | Brigham Young 15 |
|----------------------------------------|
46. | Clemson 15 |
47. | Southern Miss 14 |
48. | West Virginia 14 |
49. | Utah 13 |
50. | Georgia Tech 13 |
|----------------------------------------|
51. | Minnesota 13 |
52. | Arizona 13 |
53. | Louisville 12 |
54. | Arkansas 12 |
55. | Northwestern 12 |
|----------------------------------------|
56. | Cincinnati 12 |
57. | Memphis 11 |
58. | Hawaii 11 |
59. | Indiana 11 |
60. | Oklahoma State 11 |
|----------------------------------------|
61. | Vanderbilt 10 |
62. | UCF 10 |
63. | Texas Tech 9 |
64. | Iowa State 9 |
65. | Marshall 9 |
|----------------------------------------|
66. | Colorado State 8 |
67. | Oregon State 8 |
68. | Western Illinois 8 |
69. | Eastern Michigan 8 |
70. | Wake Forest 8 |
|----------------------------------------|
71. | East Carolina 7 |
72. | Missouri 7 |
73. | San Jose State 7 |
74. | Baylor 7 |
75. | Louisiana-Lafayette 7 |
|----------------------------------------|
76. | Temple 7 |
77. | TCU 7 |
78. | Tulane 6 |
79. | Rice 6 |
80. | Northern Iowa 6 |
|----------------------------------------|
81. | Kansas 6 |
82. | Boise State 6 |
83. | Miami (OH) 6 |
84. | Toledo 6 |
85. | New Mexico 5 |
|----------------------------------------|
86. | Northwestern State 5 |
87. | Utah State 5 |
88. | Louisiana Tech 5 |
89. | Kentucky 5 |
90. | Hofstra 5 |
|----------------------------------------|
91. | North Carolina A&T 5 |
92. | Rutgers 5 |
93. | Saginaw Valley 5 |
94. | Akron 5 |
95. | South Florida 5 |
|----------------------------------------|
96. | Kent State 5 |
97. | Northern Illinois 5 |
98. | UTEP 5 |
99. | North Texas 4 |
100. | Tulsa 4 |
|----------------------------------------|
101. | Indiana (PA) 4 |
102. | Troy 4 |
103. | Alcorn State 4 |
104. | Eastern Kentucky 4 |
105. | Wyoming 4 |
|----------------------------------------|
106. | Central Michigan 4 |
107. | Arkansas State 4 |
108. | Grambling State 4 |
109. | UNLV 4 |
110. | Nevada 4 |
|----------------------------------------|
111. | Maine 4 |
112. | Northern Colorado 4 |
113. | Howard 4 |
114. | Weber State 3 |
115. | Appalachian State 3 |
|----------------------------------------|
116. | Western Kentucky 3 |
117. | Fort Valley State 3 |
118. | Harvard 3 |
119. | South Dakota State 3 |
120. | Duke 3 |
|----------------------------------------|
121. | Stephen F. Austin 3 |
122. | Texas Southern 3 |
123. | Houston 3 |
124. | South Dakota 3 |
125. | Texas A&M-Kingsville 3 |
|----------------------------------------|
126. | Nebraska-Omaha 3 |
127. | North Dakota 3 |
128. | Illinois State 3 |
129. | Georgia Southern 3 |
130. | Western Michigan 3 |
|----------------------------------------|
131. | Arkansas-Pine Bluff 3 |
132. | Northern Arizona 3 |
133. | Middle Tennessee State 3 |
134. | Bowling Green 3 |
135. | Missouri Southern State 2 |
|----------------------------------------|
136. | Southern Illinois 2 |
137. | Carson-Newman 2 |
138. | Cornell 2 |
139. | Villanova 2 |
140. | Connecticut 2 |
|----------------------------------------|
141. | Sacramento State 2 |
142. | California-Davis 2 |
143. | Chattanooga 2 |
144. | Tarleton State 2 |
145. | Richmond 2 |
|----------------------------------------|
146. | Montana 2 |
147. | None 2 |
148. | Columbia 2 |
149. | Furman 2 |
150. | Southeast Missouri State 2 |
|----------------------------------------|
151. | Bethune-Cookman 2 |
152. | Portland State 2 |
153. | UAB 2 |
154. | Western Carolina 2 |
155. | Louisiana-Monroe 2 |
|----------------------------------------|
156. | Shippensburg 2 |
157. | Idaho 2 |
158. | Cal Poly 2 |
159. | William & Mary 2 |
160. | Central Missouri State 2 |
|----------------------------------------|
161. | Midwestern State 2 |
162. | West Texas A&M 2 |
163. | Tuskegee 2 |
164. | New Hampshire 2 |
165. | McNeese State 2 |
|----------------------------------------|
166. | Pittsburg State 2 |
167. | Sam Houston State 2 |
168. | Missouri State 2 |
169. | Southern Connecticut State 2 |
170. | New Mexico State 2 |
|----------------------------------------|
171. | Western Washington 1 |
172. | Delaware State 1 |
173. | Samford 1 |
174. | Alabama A&M 1 |
175. | Abilene Christian 1 |
|----------------------------------------|
176. | Liberty 1 |
177. | Regina 1 |
178. | Ball State 1 |
179. | Hampton 1 |
180. | Clarion 1 |
|----------------------------------------|
181. | Tennessee Tech 1 |
182. | Pennsylvania 1 |
183. | Carroll (MT) 1 |
184. | Wisconsin-Whitewater 1 |
185. | Southern Arkansas 1 |
|----------------------------------------|
186. | Northwest Missouri State 1 |
187. | Sonoma State 1 |
188. | Lehigh 1 |
189. | Mississippi Delta JC 1 |
190. | Morris Brown 1 |
|----------------------------------------|
191. | Michigan Tech 1 |
192. | Lindenwood 1 |
193. | Monmouth 1 |
194. | Knoxville 1 |
195. | Jackson State 1 |
|----------------------------------------|
196. | Tennessee-Martin 1 |
197. | Florida International 1 |
198. | Tusculum 1 |
199. | Itawamba (MS) JC 1 |
200. | North Alabama 1 |
|----------------------------------------|
201. | Northern State 1 |
202. | Central Florida CC 1 |
203. | Central Washington 1 |
204. | Eastern Washington 1 |
205. | McGill 1 |
|----------------------------------------|
206. | Florida A&M 1 |
207. | Gardner-Webb 1 |
208. | Princeton 1 |
209. | Texas State 1 |
210. | Grand Valley State 1 |
|----------------------------------------|
211. | Montana State 1 |
212. | Delaware 1 |
213. | Cal State Bakersfield 1 |
214. | Valdosta State 1 |
215. | Tiffin 1 |
|----------------------------------------|
216. | Navy 1 |
217. | Bradley 1 |
218. | Menlo 1 |
219. | Manitoba 1 |
220. | Bloomsburg 1 |
|----------------------------------------|
221. | Delta State 1 |
222. | Trinity (IL) 1 |
223. | Robert Morris 1 |
224. | Central Oklahoma 1 |
225. | John Carroll 1 |
|----------------------------------------|
226. | Lambuth 1 |
227. | Massachusetts 1 |
228. | Tennessee State 1 |
229. | Southern Utah 1 |
230. | Air Force 1 |
|----------------------------------------|
231. | Ohio 1 |
232. | Dartmouth 1 |
233. | Southern Methodist 1 |
234. | Mesa State 1 |
235. | Duquesne 1 |
|----------------------------------------|
236. | Walla Walla CC 1 |
237. | Northwestern Oklahoma State 1 |
238. | Augustana (SD) 1 |
239. | Central Arkansas 1 |
240. | Morgan State 1 |
|----------------------------------------|
241. | Idaho State 1 |
242. | Mount San Antonio JC 1 |
243. | South Carolina State 1 |
244. | Northwood (MI) 1 |
245. | Ottawa 1 |
|----------------------------------------|
246. | Eastern Illinois 1 |
247. | Alabama State 1 |
248. | Wisconsin-Stevens Point 1 |
249. | Brown 1 |
250. | Texas A&M-Commerce 1 |
+----------------------------------------+

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