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States that outperform recruiting and NFL Draft expectations

The NFL Draft is many things to many people. For the recruiting industry, it’s a teaching tool above all. Not only is it an opportunity for 247Sports to judge its recruiting rankings from years prior, it’s an opportunity to examine trends and adjust our recruiting ranking for the future.

Related: The evaluation trends of the 2020 NFL Draft

Often that has to do with position-specific trends: Off-ball linebackers trending smaller and more athletic. Corners trending taller and faster. Quarterback accuracy and production in high school mattering more than ever.

But there’s also things we can learn geographically. Specifically, the draft is a good time to examine regions and states that are undervalued in our evaluation process. Everyone knows that Texas, California, Florida and Georgia are talent hot beds. But what about everywhere else?

To figure out what states might be a bit overlooked, 247Sports calculated the five-year average of three-star or worse draft picks (2016-20) from each state and compared them to the average number of Top247 players produced by each state from 2012-16 – those players who were most frequently drafted in that window. 247Sports chose to look at three-star prospects or lower because the four-star recruits are already being properly valued and scouted by the industry at large. If a state produces more draft picks from the three-star or lower group than its Top247 total, it’s a clear indicator the state is outproducing what the recruiting industry expects on a year-to-year basis. 

With those figures in mind, these are some states that outperform expectations in terms of NFL production. Also included is perspective from 247Sports’ deep stable of analysts as to why individual states might be a bit overlooked and how new data has changed our scouting process.

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