Iowa Has Been the Big Ten's Top NFL Feeder Program in the 2010s

By DJ Byrnes on May 1, 2014 at 11:00a

I knew Ohio State had been lean in producing NFL talent in recent years, but I did not expect this. 

From The Gazette:

Iowa 19 (3 first-rounders): The Hawkeyes had six players taken in ‘10, ‘11 and ‘12.

Ohio State 17 (1): OSU had five first-rounders in 2006.

Wisconsin 16 (4). Thirteen of the those 16 players were on offense. Another was a punter.

Illinois 16 (3): The Illini had six players taken in the first two rounds over 2011 and 2012.

Actually, I don't know what is more surprising. Iowa leading the charge or Illinois seemingly winning four B1G games in the 2010s with a plethora of NFL talent on their roster.

Hopefully Ohio State retakes the top spot after this year's draft. 


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AndyVance's picture

As with the recruiting dollars story from earlier in the week, we can draw the following conclusion:

Illinois Football - doing less with more since 1890.

+3 HS
Go1Bucks's picture

What this tells me is that excepting OSU, we have 3 teams feeding the NFL machine, and they aren't even considered the Bigs of the B1G.  Where is MSU, scUM and PSU in this list?  Time for some step up across the board.

Go Bucks!

+1 HS
AndyVance's picture

Here's another way to look at this: college program success does not actually translate into NFL success, particularly in this day and age where so many college offenses differ from the traditional NFL scheme. Just look at the list of active quarterbacks in the league (well, starters at the end of last season, at least), and you'll see a really wide range of schools and conferences represented:

  • ACC: Boston College, Duke, NC State (x2), Virginia
  • B1G: That Team Up North (x2), Sparty, Ohio State, Purdue (x2), Wisconsin
  • Big 12: TCU, WVU
  • Pac12: Arizona, Cal, Oregon, Stanford, USC (x2)
  • SEC: Auburn (x2), Georgia, MIzzou, Ole Miss, TAMU, Tennessee, Vandy
  • Non-power conference: Delaware, Harvard, Miami (Ohio), Nevada

So, the Big 12 looked underrepresented, but Mizzou's Chase Daniel (Kansas City) and A&M's Ryan Tannehill (Miami) never played in the SEC, so they're really Big 12 QB's. The Big 10 was pretty well represented, with 7 of 32 starters, neck and neck with the vaunted SEC. And with the likes of Harvard, Delaware and Nevada represented, you can truly come from anywhere and make it in the NFL if the right team finds you and you click in their system (hello Big Ben, representing the Red birds of Miami).

+2 HS
d1145fresh's picture

Hopefully TCU won't be on that list at the end of next year #BitterBengalsFan

+1 HS
BassDropper's picture

Iowa has some nice looking prospects coming out this year. All 3 of their LBers will be drafted and i believe their TE could be the best in the draft.


Hovenaut's picture

Coach Ferentz should inquire about a bonus.

+9 HS
d1145fresh's picture

Iowa also consistently puts out good offensive and defensive lineman. They usually aren't big named guys but small guys who play 15 years in the league as a guard.

Whoa Nellie's picture

There's a lot of talent in Texas, where Iowa recruits heavily.  Wonder how many of their NFL guys are from TX?

Edit:  The Gazette article only looks at drafted players since 2010.  Of Iowa's 19, only 3 are from TX.  Surprised me. 

But, tOSU has 35 players on NFL rosters v. 26 for Iowa.  Obviously, some were drafted before 2010, and some of both schools' NFL players may not have been drafted.

“Don’t fear criticism. The stands are full of critics. They play no ball. They fight no fights. They make no mistakes because they attempt nothing. Down on the field are the doers, they make mistakes because they attempt many things.”

+1 HS
Colerain 2004 G.O.A.T.'s picture

Espin was proud to announce this little tid bit earlier today.

        Top ten picks last 5 years.



P12/acc-I think 7 a piece

B1G- "0"

Was really actually surprised at the discrepancy.I might have a messed up a couple of the middle conferences but the sec 19 and the B1G-0  I remember specifically.

I speak the truth but I guess that's a foreign language to yall.~~Lil Wayne

FROMTHE18's picture

Should remain for this draft… the players that end up actually making significant contributions come from all over college football….this stat seems to imply that the SEC produces superior NFL talent…it doesn't. 

+1 HS
Knarcisi's picture

Ferentz should win B10 COY ... Oh, wait ...