Now that the 2011 NFL Draft has concluded and the dust has settled, I thought it would be an interesting exercise to look at the question of success for collegiate programs and how that translates in to sending players on to the next level, the NFL.
How do you define success? Is it a winning season, a bowl game appearance, winning your conference, or something else? Since you can see that could be a broad based topic, we are going to narrow it down, for the purposes of this article, to being ranked as one of the final 25 teams in the Associated Press poll that concluded the 2010 season.
So for those 25 teams that made the grade, who is churning out the most players in to the NFL? Also, what rounds are they being drafted in? As a general rule of thumb, the majority of NFL draft picks that go in rounds 1-3 are considered to be starters, while the players drafted in rounds 4-7 are thought to be projects or are added for depth purposes or special teams. Of course there are exceptions to the rule, but I believe the generalizations I made are correct.
We will take a look at the NFL Drafts from 2010 and 2011 and see how consistent these 25 colleges are at generating players that proceed to the NFL. If your favorite college did not make the AP Top 25 list, you can generate your own figures and compare it to this ranked list. Enjoy.