2015 NFL Draft - Prospects by Hometown State

April 27, 2015 by SbS Football Staff | with 0 comments

With the 2015 NFL Draft only a few days away, we completed a geographic analysis of the players who will be considered by NFL teams in Chicago this weekend.  Players from all over the country will have their dreams come true when they hear their name selected.  Our analysis covers the nearly 400 football prospects that are a part of this year’s crop of talent (source: NFL.com).

As expected, the majority of the players selected in the 2015 draft will come from the football breeding states of California, Florida, Georgia, and Texas.  Approximately 44% of the entire pool of prospects comes from one of these four states, with each state having either 41 or 42 total prospects.  Additionally, 40 of the top 96 players (based on grade) come from one of these four states.

On a per capita basis, states in the southeastern U.S. continue to produce the most NFL talent.  The top four states represented in this year’s draft prospect pool (on a per capita basis) are as follows: 1. Georgia, 2. Alabama, 3. Mississippi, and 4. Louisiana.

2015 Draft Prospects by Hometown State
Below we provide some state specific highlights of the 2015 NFL Draft pool, as well as some summary maps that show where this year’s class is from, including the players expected to be drafted in the first few rounds (top 96 players).

Georgia: It is anticipated that there will be a significant increase in the amount of Georgia natives drafted this year.  There has been an average of 17 players from the state of Georgia drafted over the past five years.  In 2015, there are 41 draft prospects from the Peach State, including 12 prospects who are graded in the top 96.  The top 2 prospects from the state could both be top 10 picks and are both Linebackers: Vic Beasley is from Adairsville, Georgia and Bud Dupree is from Irwinton, Georgia. 

Kansas: The state of Kansas ranks as a top 5 state for prospects on a per capita basis in this year’s NFL Draft.  Kansas, which ranks 33rd in population, has produced only 13 draft picks the last five years, including zero in 2014, and has only 2 first-round picks since 2000.  There are 7 prospects from the Sunflower State in this year’s draft, including 3 in the top 96, and 2 who could be picked in the first round (Shane Ray who played high school football in Shawnee Mission, Kansas and Jordan Phillips who is from Towanda, Kansas). 

Texas: The state of Texas is consistently one of the top states in the country for producing NFL talent.  However, this year there are only 6 prospects from Texas in the top 96 of the draft, and only 1 is projected as a first round pick (Defensive Tackle Malcom Brown who is from Brenham, Texas). 

Hawaii: There were zero players from the state of Hawaii taken in the 2014 NFL Draft, and there has been only 6 players from the state drafted since 2010.  This year, two of the top 96 prospects in the draft are from Hawaii: Quarterback Marcus Mariota (Honolulu) and Linebacker Hau’oli Kikaha (Laie). 

Massachusetts: The state of Massachusetts ranks 14th in the country in population, yet there are no prospects from the state in the 2015 NFL Draft.  In fact, there have been only 6 players from Massachusetts drafted since 2010, and none were drafted in the first two rounds.  The Bay State may be home to the reigning Super Bowl Champions, but it hasn’t been producing any NFL talent recently.

2015 Draft Prospects by Hometown State - By Position
Below we provide some of the position specific highlights of the 2015 NFL Draft pool, as well as a series of maps showing where the players by each position are from.

No QB’s from Florida: There are 18 Quarterback prospects in the 2015 NFL Draft, yet there are none from the football-rich state of Florida.  There were 3 Quarterbacks from Florida taken in the 2014 NFL Draft (the most of any state), including two first round picks: Blake Bortles and Teddy Bridgewater. 

RB Depth from Texas: There should once again be multiple Running Backs from the state of Texas taken in the 2015 NFL Draft.  The Lone Star State has had at least 3 Running Backs taken in each draft over the past five years, and it has 8 Running Back prospects in this year’s draft.  The top two ranked Running Back prospects from Texas this year: Jay Ajayi from Plano, Texas and David Cobb from Killeen, Texas. 

Top WR / TE’s from Pennsylvania: There has been only 5 Wide Receivers and 2 Tight-End’s from the state of Pennsylvania taken in the NFL Draft over the last five years and most were taken in the late rounds.  This year is different as 2 Wide Receivers who could go in the first round (Kevin White and Jaelen Strong) and 3 of the top Tight End prospects (Ben Koyack, Tyler Kroft and Jesse James) are from the Keystone State. 

Lack of Defensive Players from the Carolina’s: Some of the top defensive talent in the country has come from either North Carolina or South Carolina in recent years, including last year’s number one overall pick Jadeveon Clowney.  There has been at least 10 defensive players in each of the last five drafts taken from one of the Carolina’s, including 5 first round picks.  Defensive players are noticeably absent this year as there are only 2 defensive prospects from each state, and only one is expected to be drafted in the first few rounds (Stephone Anthony from Polkton, North Carolina). 

Two Top CB’s from Maryland: Two of the top Cornerback prospects in the 2015 NFL Draft are from the state of Maryland.  Both Kevin Johnson (Clarksville, Maryland) and Ronald Darby (Oxon Hill, Maryland) could hear their names called on the first night of the draft.  There has been 2 Cornerbacks from the state of Maryland taken in the first round in the last five years: Joe Haden in 2010 and Kyle Fuller in 2014.

Sources: prospects from NFL.com; hometowns primarily from prospect's college team website