The NFL by Position

No region produces more players per capita at almost every position than the Deep South, but who would have thought that Hawaii would be a paradise for linemen?
December 27, 2004

NFL PLAYERS PER CAPITA BY POSITION, SINCE 1970

Where The QBs Come From

Linebackers, linemen and running backs might have their roots predominantly in the Deep South, but quarterbacks are a more geographically diverse group. Though it ranks fourth in total signal-callers produced (24) since 1970, Louisiana has sent more passers per capita to the NFL than any other state over that span. The Sportsman's Paradise (birthplace of Terry Bradshaw, left, Jake Delhomme, Peyton Manning and Doug Williams) edges out Pennsylvania (which has delivered Joe Montana, Joe Namath and Johnny Unitas) and four lightly populated states--Iowa, Montana, North Dakota and Idaho. The union's most populous state, California, ranks first in total quarterbacks (88) but is 10th per capita. Had Washington, D.C., which has produced Byron Leftwich, Anthony Dilweg and Mike Kruczek, been included, the District would have been ahead of Louisiana on the per capita list.

• For a complete list of state rankings by position, go to si.com.

SOURCE: ELIAS SPORTS BUREAU

KEY The states are sized in proportion to the number of players per capita since 1970, and the colors relate to the total number of players. Even though California has been the birthplace to the most QBs, Louisiana is shown as the largest state because it has the most per capita.

NFL PLAYERS PER CAPITA BY POSITION, SINCE 1970

Linebackers

The Gulf Coast is king, topped by Louisiana--which has exported Pro Bowlers A.J. Duhe (left), Isiah Robertson and 64 others--then Alabama (Robert Brazile and Cornelius Bennett) and Mississippi (Johnie Cooks). While there are 180 California-born linebackers (placing that state 24th per capita), the next linebacker born in Alaska or New Hampshire will be the first in those states.

Linemen

Hall of Fame tackle Jackie Slater (left) and defensive lineman L.C. Greenwood hail from Mississippi, the top state for players in the trenches, just ahead of Louisiana and Alabama. This is the best category for the corn-fed boys of the Midwest; Iowa and Nebraska rank third (tied with Alabama) and seventh per capita, respectively. The sleeper state in this category: Hawaii has produced 25 linemen, placing the Aloha State fifth per capita.

Running Backs

The top eight states in runners per capita--from No. 1 Mississippi (birthplace of Walter Payton, left, Wilbert Montgomery and Marcus Dupree) to No. 8 North Carolina--are located below the Mason-Dixon line. Nebraska (ninth) and Ohio (12th) are the highest-ranking non-Southern states. The sleeper: Kansas is 31st per capita but boasts the greatest proportion of Hall of Fame backs (Gale Sayers, John Riggins and Barry Sanders).

COLOR PHOTOSIMON BRUTY (BLEDSOE)   DREW BLEDSOE WASHINGTON COLOR PHOTOPETER READ MILLER (MONTANA)   JOE MONTANA PENNSYLVANIA COLOR PHOTOHEINZ KLUETMEIER (BRADSHAW) COLOR PHOTOJOHN BIEVER (WILLIAMS)   DOUG WILLIAMS LOUISIANA COLOR PHOTOHEINZ KLUETMEIER (DELHOMME)   JAKE DELHOMME LOUISIANA COLOR PHOTORONALD C. MODRA (FOUTS)   DAN FOUTS CALIFORNIA COLOR PHOTOGEORGE TIEDEMANN/GT IMAGES (DUHE) COLOR PHOTOPETER BROUILLET/WIREIMAGE.COM (SLATER) COLOR PHOTOJOHN SWART/AP (PAYTON) FOUR COLOR MAPSInternational Mapping

HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
OUT
HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
IN
Eagle (-2)
Birdie (-1)
Bogey (+1)
Double Bogey (+2)