Hello again, Realignmentalists! Nathan here keeping my word to look at the entire NFL draft, all 254 players. I wanted to see how each team had been affected by realignment, and the findings were not disappointing to me. As before, I’m going to look specifically at teams that realigned between where they were in 2009 (when seniors would have been redshirt or true freshmen) and 2012, as well as the year beyond. I’m not going to differentiate betwen seniors and underclassmen because, well, I have a day job. Also, I’m only talking about football realignment. For example, most of Notre Dame’s sports are changing to the ACC, but their football team is staying independent. Finally, I’m not calling the Big East to AAC a realignment, so UConn, Cinci, and USF are out, as is San Diego State, who ended up not realigning. Without further ado, here is the look of this year’s draft class:
28 of the 254 players drafted (11%) had their team’s conference change between 2009 and 2012. Another 25 (10%) will see their school change in the next 3 years; possibly more if more moves are announced. This means over a fifth of all players drafted are from one of the teams that has experienced realignment since 2009, or will in the next three years. While Texas A&M had one of the larger draft classes this year, Rutgers (yes, Rutgers) had more than any other realigning team, with 7 to A&M’s 5. Other multiple-draftee schools include West Virginia and Syracuse with three each, and Missouri, FIU, TCU, Nevada, Colorado, Louisiana Tech, Appalachian State, Nebraska, Utah, and Utah State with two apiece. Three D-II schools that changed conferences also had players drafted, albeit all in the final round, with East Central and Harding from the newly created Great American Conference and Northeastern State rejoining the MIAA from the Lone Star Conference. Finally, six players from four realigning schools from Utah were drafted, and while BYU had the highest pick with #5 Ezekiel Ansah, it was their only pick, while Utah and Utah State each got two picks. (Southern Utah was the other pick.) Of course that’s still less than Texas’s 9 (A&M’s 5, TCU’s 2, and one each for SMU and Houston) but that’s Texas for you.
Questions? Comments? Corrections to my math? Let me know!