Florida is a hotbed of NFL talent, but would you be surprised to find out that an Alabama city with less than 1 million people can lay claim to the title too? Those are a few of the things Jamie Newberg of Scout.com found out in his fascinating look at the last three NFL drafts. He broke down picks based on hometown and came up with some eye-raising facts. The whole thing is worth a read, but here are three of the many highlights:
1. Five states are responsible for almost half of NFL draft picks.
In the past three NFL drafts, players from Florida, Texas, California, Georgia and Ohio made up 47.3% of the 763 players selected. In 2013, the percentage was 51.3%.
2. Mobile has the most draft picks per capita.
Though South Florida is the predictable hotbed on NFL talent, when it's broken down by population size, it's the mid-sized Alabama city that comes out on top. Writes Newberg:
"I have been embedded in the South covering college football recruiting for the last 22 plus years and I didn't see this coming.
"Mobile and the surrounding area has a population of 726,000 and it's this spot that produced nine drafts picks and has a per capita score of 12.4."
3. Baltimore, St. Louis and Cincinnati all produce more talent per capita than Los Angeles.
The Los Angeles area had the second-most picks over the past three years (42, only behind South Florida's 57), but when broken down by city/region per capita, the city comes in behind surprising locales such as Baltimore, St. Louis and Cincinnati.
When measuring by state, South Carolina is the per capita leader. Florida, the overall leader with 104 picks in the past three years, makes an impressive showing at third on the per capita chart despite its 20 million population.