NFL looking to keep players in college longer

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There’s not a lot of actual news that emerges from SEC Media Days. Or any media day for that matter. It’s usually just a good way for people to get people talking about that particular sport or event.

However on Thursday Nick Saban revealed a bit of news that Will Muschamp had hinted at earlier in the week, regarding the NFL’s evaluation of underclassmen.

In year’s past the league would tell players if they could go ‘as high’ as the first round, second round and third round. The other options were “not in the first three rounds” and not draftable.

Now change is coming from the NFL. Under the new system players will given a grade of either first round, second round, or neither. Schools will also only get five automatic evaluations for underclassmen, and will have to petition on an individual basis for extra evaluations (won’t be a problem for schools loaded with talent like FSU, Alabama and LSU).

“I know the NFL has expressed, or we read about some rules that we’re only going to be allowed to submit, and you need to check this out, but I just read it before I came over here, five players for junior grades because it’s getting overwhelming for them,” Saban said on Thursday.

NFL Network’s Albert Breer later confirmed Saban’s statement on Twitter.

The change comes the year after a record 98 underclassmen declared for the 2014 NFL Draft. 36 of those 98 players were not selected.

NFL Scouting consultant Chris Landry told the the New Orleans Times-Picayune that the change is indeed aimed at keeping players in school longer.

“By giving a player a first or second round grade or go back to school grade, the hope is to encourage more players to go back to school if they are not top two round worthy,” Landry told nola.com. “A player with a fourth round grade may not be drafted until the sixth or seventh due to the number of players with those grades. So, players are crushed and no option of playing college football any longer and very little chance of making a team.”

When discussing the old system Saban also brought up the fact that the later a player is drafted, the lower his chances are at signing that second contract. He hopes that players who now receive grades telling them to stay in school, will not only have a degree to fall back on, but that they’ll also be further developed once they enter the league than they would as early entries.

There are always going to be players who are physically gifted and have nothing left to prove at the college level after three years (looking at you Jameis Winston), but hopefully now more kids who would have been given a third round or later grade in previous years will choose to stay in school and develop more.

It’s a win-win for college football and the NFL. Schools will likely get back more juniors, and the NFL will have less work to do when it comes to evaluating underclassmen. Pro teams will also be getting a higher quantify of league-ready players, as they’ll have less underclassmen to develop.

 

Where do NFL draft picks come from?

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Each year following the NFL draft college conferences boast about how many players from their leagues were selected to be professionals.

This year the SEC lead the way with 49, while the ACC was a close second with 42 draftees.

But the true champion of this year’s NFL draft was the state of Florida. 44 players who played high school football in Florida were drafted, including eight in the first round. Of those eight players drafted in the first round, only two went to in-state colleges (Blake Bortles at UCF and Kelvin Benjamin at FSU).

The next closest state was California with 35 players taken. Texas had 23, Georgia had 17, Ohio 11 and Louisiana and Virginia each had 10 draftees.

Here is a full round by round breakdown.

Alabama 3 1 0 0 2 1 0 7
Alaska 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Arizona 1 1 0 1 1 1 0 5
Arkansas 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1
California 4 6 2 7 4 6 6 35
Colorado 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Connecticut 0 0 0 2 0 0 0 2
D.C. 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 1
Delaware 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Florida 8 4 8 6 8 4 6 44
Georgia 4 1 1 0 3 4 4 17
Hawaii 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Idaho 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 1
Illinois 0 1 3 1 0 2 0 7
Indiana 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 1
Iowa 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1
Kansas 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Kentucky 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Louisiana 2 2 1 1 1 1 2 10
Maine 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Maryland 1 1 1 1 0 1 2 7
Massachusetts 0 0 1 0 1 0 2 4
Michigan 0 1 0 0 0 0 1 2
Minnesota 0 1 1 0 0 0 2 4
Mississippi 0 0 2 1 0 0 0 3
Missouri 0 2 1 2 0 2 1 8
Montana 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 1
Nebraska 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 1
Nevada 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 1
New Hampshire 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
New Jersey 0 0 0 1 1 2 0 4
New Mexico 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
New York 1 0 1 1 2 0 2 7
North Carolina 1 0 1 2 1 2 0 7
North Dakota 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Ohio 0 2 2 1 2 1 3 11
Oklahoma 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 1
Oregon 0 0 0 0 1 1 0 2
Pennsylvania 1 0 1 2 1 0 1 6
Rhode Island 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
South Carolina 1 1 1 4 0 1 0 8
South Dakota 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Tennessee 0 0 0 0 4 0 1 5
Texas 4 2 5 2 1 5 4 23
Utah 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 1
Vermont 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Virginia 0 1 2 3 1 3 0 10
Washington 0 2 1 0 0 0 0 3
West Virginia 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Wisconsin 0 0 0 0 1 0 2 3
Wyoming 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Canada 0 0 0 1 0 1 0 2

Emory study ranks NFL fan bases

Cowboys_Stadium_screen

According to a study by Emory Sports Marketing Professors, the Dallas Cowboys have the best fan base in the NFL.

The gist of how they ranked the fan bases is stated in the post as:

NFL Fan bases ranked according to Emory Sports Marketing Analytics (@sportsmktprof)

“The key idea is that we look at team box office revenues relative to team on-field success, market population, stadium capacity, median income and other factors.  The first step in our procedure involves the creation of a statistical model that predicts box office revenue as a function of the aforementioned variables.  We then compare actual revenues to the revenues predicted by the model.  Teams with relatively stronger fan support will have revenues that exceed the predicted values, and teams that under perform have relatively less supportive fan bases.”

I don’t the think the top fan bases are all that much of a surprise with America’s Team the Dallas Cowboys coming in at No. 1. Can you really debate that they Cowobys’ fans are loyal considering they continue to fill up Jerry’s World despite the fact that Jerry hasn’t put together an actual Super Bowl threat in nearly a decade?

The rest of the top five is rounding out by the New England Patriots (who are busy putting Ryan Mallett in bubble wrap, you know just in case), Sexy Rexy’s New York Jets, The New Orleans Saints and the New York Giants.

None of those teams are really surprising to me. In fact the most surprising team on the list is none other than the Atlanta Falcons. Despite having all of their 2013 home games sold out by the end of July, the Dirty Birds are ranked 31st on this list. Only the Oakland Raiders are worse.

Obviously I know that the Falcons selling out the Georgia Dome is a relativity new thing, but I still thought that the run Atlanta has made the past few seasons would have at least put them higher on this list.

I was pleasantly surprised to see the Jacksonville Jaguars at 27 (I just am used to reports like this outside of Jacksonville crushing the team and the city). I think the team has a great group of young fans in Generation Jaguar, and if Gus Bradley can turn things around in the next few years the Jags will climb this list.

Other surprises on the list were the San Fransisco 49ers at 26 and the Seattle Seahawks at 23. The 49ers just almost won a Super Bowl and the Seahawks are constantly praised for their home atmosphere.

My biggest gripe is the how the hell are the San Diego Chargers No. 11? An average of just 59,964 went to see the Bolts at home last year, good for 28 out of 32 teams. Four of their eight home games were blacked out last season.

But I guess if you have a QB as unlikeable as Phillip Rivers then you get bonus points for cheering on your team in spite of him.