ej-manuel-draft-2013

Oversigning and the NFL draft

One of the more controversial issues to arise in college football in the last decade or so has been some programs' use of aggressive roster management. A less polite name for the practice would be oversigning, a strategy that involves signing players in the spring in excess of the 85-scholarship limit and then pushing others out of the program to make way for the newcomers.

(For a comprehensive look at the issue, Matt Hinton did an extremely thorough evaluation of oversigning earlier this year for CBSSports.com.)

In that vein, I thought it would be worthwhile to look at some of the programs that had the most players drafted into the NFL last weekend, as well as the numbers of players that they've signed as recruits.

Below are the top 13 teams in terms of producing draft picks this year.

2013 draft picks versus recruits signed (2008-10)*

Team Picks 2010 2009 2008 Total Average
Florida St. 11 24 21 30 75 25
Alabama 9 26 27 32 85 28.3
LSU 9 29 24 26 79 26.3
Florida 8 28 16 22 66 22
Georgia 8 19 19 24 62 20.7
Rutgers 7 24 23 20 67 22.3
S. Carolina 7 23 29 22 74 24.7
Notre Dame 6 23 18 23 64 21.3
Oklahoma 6 29 23 21 73 24.3
UConn 5 20 21 22 63 21
Oregon 5 23 26 20 69 23
Texas A&M 5 24 28 24 76 25.3
N. Carolina 5 21 29 19 69 23

*Recruiting data courtesy of Rivals.com

In the three columns to the right of the number of players drafted, I’ve included the numbers of players the teams signed in their recruiting classes from 2008 to 2010. Those would cover the years in which draft-eligible players would have signed with their respective programs. The two farthest columns show the total number of signees from the three years combined and the average number of signees in each class.

It’s a pretty crude measure, but let’s say the average program signs about 24 players per class (96 players in a four-year period). That would suggest six of the 13 programs were above average in the relevant years. Note that doesn't mean these teams were intentionally oversigning – variance is to be expected.

However, it’s probably no surprise that two of the programs with more of the notorious reputations for oversigning, Alabama and LSU, were among the programs that sent the most talent to the NFL this year. Both have rosters stocked with studs. Getting a few extra bites at the apple doesn't hurt, either.

Oversigning and the NFL draft

One of the more controversial issues to arise in college football in the last decade-ish has been the growth of aggressive roster management. A less polite name for the practice would be oversigning, a strategy that involves signing players in the spring in excess of the 85 scholarship limit and then pushing others out of the program to make way for the newcomers.

I thought it would be worthwhile to look at some of the programs that had the most players drafted into the NFL last weekend and the number of players that they've signed as recruits.

I started by identifying the top 10 teams in terms of producing draft picks – I included 13 teams in light of a four-way tie for 10th with five players drafted. I then compiled the sizes of those schools' recruiting classes from 2009, 2010 and 2011

 

 

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