Exactly half of Cleveland’s 12 picks were players from the Pac-12. There were two from USC, two from Washington State, one from Washington and one from Oregon.
FCS in NFL
Every year in the NFL draft there are deserving candidates who don’t get the call simply because they played their college football in the FCS. General managers, coaches, scouts and hands-on owners are scared off by the quality of opposition in the championship subdivision. Often they just don’t believe what they’ve seen and heard, even for a player who seems to have dominated at his position. FBS-FCS scores in the Sunday papers don’t help.
In the recently completed 2015 draft 256 players were taken by NFL teams. All but 20 of them played in the FBS. That’s 92% for the big schools. Only eight of the first 168 picks, through the fifth round, came from non-FBS teams. That’ s over 95% for the big schools. (There’s a willingness to gamble on players from smaller schools in the later rounds.)
There were 17 selections of FCS athletes, two players taken from NCAA Division II and one from Division III. Edmond Robinson, a linebacker from Division II’s Newberry College in South Carolina, became the first player from his school to be drafted since 1974 – 41 years ago! The Vikings took him in the seventh round.
Exactly half of the NFL ‘s 32 teams took only players from FBS. There were four teams – Chicago, Cleveland (with 12 picks, more than any other franchise), Miami and Philadelphia – that picked only players from Power Five conferences! That’s taking bigotry to an extreme.
Conversely, three of the Ravens’ nine selections were from FCS. Astounding, right? Well, maybe not if one remembers that Baltimore’s current starting quarterback came from FCS. Joe Flacco starred as a Delaware Blue Hen in 2006 and 2007.