Every year, we compile a detailed report on the league’s active rosters (practice squads included) for our clients, based on the rosters for the first weekend of play. It’s a LOT of work, but always bears interesting info when we get it done. Here are a few things I thought were worth passing along:

  • There are only five players left in the league whose careers started in the 90s. Predictably, two (Adam Vinatieri and Phil Dawson) are kickers. Interestingly, Peyton Manning, coming off perhaps his best-ever season, is the second-oldest player in the league after Vinatieri, at least based on when he started his career (1998). Colts backup Matt Hasselback also launched his career in ’98. The last of the five? Oakland’s Charles Woodson.
  • Of the 2,186 players in the league, 791 (or 36 percent) are undrafted free agents. More than a third of the players on active rosters were not judged to be among the best 250 players in his draft class. That’s something to think about.
  • Among all the first-round picks still in the league, the biggest position group is (surprise) linebackers (37). Quarterbacks, one of the hardest positions to scout, are sixth (26). Running backs are ninth of 13 positions listed with 16; it’s interesting to see how the league has evolved as there are more safeties (20) than rushers or tight ends (10).
  • It’s exciting to hear about small-school players who find a place in the league, but statistically the number of players from outside FBS/Division I-A are minuscule. Less than 15 percent of all players in the NFL are from outside FBS (14.4 percent). If you’re DIII, you can pretty much forget it, statistically, as there are only 15 NFL players from the smallest NCAA division. There are only five from NAIA, which works out to .2 percent of the league.
  • There are 13 first overall picks still in the league. Of that number, nine are quarterbacks.

We’ll go inside the numbers a bit more next weekend. Have a great weekend.