This year, the Georgia Bulldogs set a new record by sending 15 players to the NFL in the 2022 NFL Draft. The Jacksonville Jaguars officially signed their No. 1 pick Travon Walker to a 4 year, $37.37 million fully guaranteed contract on May 13th.
Contracts are an interesting topic in the NFL and they can be used, to an extent, to measure longevity. The figure below helps portray which colleges are represented by the most NFL contract money over the past 10 years. It’s important to note that these colleges are typically dominated by players signing second and third deals.
The bar graph above shows the cumulative salaries from 2012 until now for all contracted players. We looked at the value of each contract at signing and took the sum based on the colleges that each player attended. While this may not be exactly what is paid out in the end, it’s a pretty good indicator of the quality of each respective player.
As expected, Alabama dominates this sphere with an average of just under 15 new contracts being signed per year – LSU and Ohio State are a little further behind. The graphs below show the breakdown of players and their contracts for the top 6 schools. Georgia and USC make up the remainder of the top 5, with a fairly expected group of blue-blood schools completing the remainder of the top 20.
When the top 10 players from the six highest earning schools are looked into, it’s interesting to see that Georgia is the only school where we see a QB truly dominate the salary chart. Given the recent inflation of QB salaries and this being a trend that is likely to continue once teams find “their guy,” these charts might look very different in the next 4-5 years.
Another interesting note is that the top earners per college are fairly evenly split on both sides of the field. DEs, DBs and WRs appear to be the consistent positions featured here, which is probably because the most successful schools have emphasized being a well-rounded team and have continued investing in their success in defending opponents’ passing game and their own passing game.
When we average the earnings per player, there are a couple players who stand out the most. The Golden Bears take the top spot with notable names including Aaron Rodgers, DaeSean Jackson, Jared Goff, Cam Jordan and Keenan Allen.
Texas A&M also moved up on our averages chart with the main contributors being Myles Garrett, Ryan Tannehill, Mike Evans and Christian Kirk.