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Post A garden ripe with football talent?

Thursday April 30, 2009

States like California, Texas, Florida, and Georgia are usually among the first mentioned when you’re talking about the places with the most concentrated football talent. But which state put the most players into the first round of the 2009 NFL Draft? Yep…tiny New Jersey.

  • Eugene Monroe
  • B.J. Raji
  • Knowshon Moreno
  • Malcolm Jenkins
  • Brian Cushing
  • Donald Brown
  • Kenny Britt

Texas was next with six first round picks. I don’t know if it’s more amazing that New Jersey had the most first round picks or that the states of Florida and Georgia didn’t manage a single first-round pick between them.

Rutgers football has had some of their best seasons (relatively speaking) over the past couple of years, and how much better would they have been keeping all of that Garden State talent at home? Schiano has a reputation for being able to recruit down in Florida, and it’s certainly worked to bring that program up from next to nothing, but we’ll see if the recent success of Rutgers can keep some local talent from crossing the Delaware. About a third of the first round picks came from the relatively small New Jersey-DC-Maryland-Virginia area, and tidbits like that can’t sit well with fans of certain mid-Atlantic region schools.

It’s also worth noting that only three first-round picks, all from California, came from hometowns west of Texas. At least as far as the first round was concerned, you could draw a line from Dallas to New York City and come within a couple hundred miles of most of this year’s top NFL picks.

One Response to 'A garden ripe with football talent?'

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  • Groo,

    There is no doubt that New Jersey does not have the recruiting reputation that the states you mention have. But, “tiny” New Jersey is still the 9th most populous state in the union. This is not to belittle the extraordinary accomplishment of having 7 first-round draftees, but it is a reminder that at least there is a fairly large pool from which to select.