What NFL teams like drafting Michigan players?

What NFL teams like drafting Michigan players?


March 5, 2020
Jeff Backus (image via Pride of Detroit)

Based on the complete list of NFL draftees from the Michigan Wolverines over the years (LINK), I wanted to take a look at which franchises go after Wolverines most often. Naturally, some teams are limited by shorter lifespans than others, but I’m going to stick to raw data because I don’t think this is important enough or worthwhile enough to break it down further. It’s just an interesting little exercise.

Hit the jump for the list. In parentheses is the most recent pick and year.

  1. Detroit Lions: 32 (Graham Glasgow, 2016)
  2. Green Bay Packers: 28 (Rashan Gary, 2019)
  3. Cleveland Browns*: 25 (Jabrill Peppers, 2017)
  4. New York Giants: 22 (Steve Brown, 2010)
  5. Pittsburgh Steelers: 21 (Devin Bush, Jr., 2019)
  6. Boston/New England Patriots: 20 (Chase Winovich, 2019)
  7. Chicago Bears: 19 (David Terrell, 2001)
  8. Chicago/St. Louis/Phoenix/Arizona Cardinals: 16 (Mason Cole, 2018)
  9. Baltimore/Indianapolis Colts: 15 (Terrance Taylor, 2009)
  10. San Francisco 49ers: 15 (David Baas, 2005)
  11. Washington Redskins: 15 (Tyler Ecker, 2007)
  12. Buffalo Bills: 13 (Jay Riemersma, 1996)
  13. Cleveland/St. Louis/Los Angeles Rams: 13 (David Long, Jr., 2019)
  14. New York Jets: 13 (Jeremy Clark, 2017)
  15. Philadelphia Eagles: 13 (Brandon Graham, 2010)
  16. Cincinnati Bengals: 12 (Ryan Glasgow, 2017)
  17. Denver Broncos: 12 (Jake Butt, 2017)
  18. Dallas Texans/Kansas City Chiefs: 11 (Jehu Chesson, 2017)
  19. Houston Oilers/Tennessee Titans: 11 (Taylor Lewan, 2014)
  20. New Orleans Saints: 10 (Adrian Arrington, 2008)
  21. Dallas Cowboys: 9 (Taco Charlton/Jourdan Lewis, 2017)
  22. Miami Dolphins: 8 (Jake Long/Chad Henne, 2008)
  23. San Diego Chargers: 8 (David Molk, 2012)
  24. Los Angeles/Oakland Raiders: 7 (Maurice Hurst, Jr., 2018)
  25. Seattle Seahawks: 7 (Delano Hill/Amara Darboh, 2017)
  26. Minnesota Vikings: 6 (Ben Gedeon, 2017)
  27. Atlanta Falcons: 4 (Mike Kenn, 1978)
  28. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: 4 (Tim Massaquoi, 2006)
  29. Baltimore Ravens*: 3 (Chris Wormley, 2017)
  30. Jacksonville Jaguars: 3 (Denard Robinson, 2013)
  31. Carolina Panthers: 2 (Devin Funchess, 2015)
  32. Houston Texans: 2 (Bennie Joppru, 2003)

*I combined both the old and new Cleveland Browns under Cleveland Browns, while treating the Baltimore Ravens as a separate entity.

It’s no surprise that the bottom four teams are franchises that came into existence in the last 30 years or less, but those still seem like awfully low numbers.

At the same time, the fact that the “hometown” Detroit Lions lead the way with 32 Michigan Wolverines all-time isn’t surprising, either. Especially in the olden days when scouring the nation for top talent was much more difficult prior to jets and the internet, teams were probably more likely to go for the players from colleges within driving distance.

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