The FCS college football programs that produce NFL draft selections aren't necessarily what you think.
With this year's draft beginning a new decade of selections, let's look back to the 2010s, when there were 177 FCS selections from 78 different schools.
You may not have guessed South Carolina State would have more selections than North Dakota State.
You surely would be surprised the Big West Conference — The what? Yeah, it dissolved on the FCS level after the 2011 season — would have more selections than the Northeast Conference.
And how about this: Appalachian State tied for the most selections even though it left the FCS level after the 2013 season.
It’s highly possible the first FCS selection in this year's April 23-25 draft will come from a school that didn’t even have a selection last decade. Dayton tight end Adam Trautman is in the mix for that distinction.
Here's the breakdown of FCS draft picks by school in the 2010s:
7 — Appalachian State and Montana
6 — South Carolina State
5 — Central Arkansas, Eastern Washington, North Dakota State, and William & Mary
4 — Chattanooga, Coastal Carolina, Delaware, Illinois State, James Madison, Maine, Samford, and Tennessee State
3 — Eastern Illinois, Georgia Southern, Murray State, North Carolina A&T, Northern Iowa, Princeton, Richmond, South Dakota State, Southern Illinois, Southern Utah, and Villanova
2 — Alabama State, Elon, Florida A&M, Fordham, Harvard, Jacksonville State, Missouri State, Montana State, Northwestern State, Portland State, Sam Houston State, South Dakota, Southeastern Louisiana, Southeast Missouri, Stephen F. Austin, Towson, The Citadel, Weber State, Yale, and Youngstown State
1 — Alabama A&M, Arkansas-Pine Bluff, Brown, Bucknell, Cal Poly, Cornell, Delaware State, Drake, Eastern Kentucky, Furman, Georgia State, Grambling State, Hampton, Idaho, Lamar, Lehigh, Liberty, Marist, Massachusetts, Monmouth, Morgan State, New Hampshire, North Carolina Central, Penn, Prairie View A&M, Presbyterian, San Diego, Texas Southern, UT Martin, Wagner, Western Carolina, and Western Illinois
Here’s breakdown of FCS draft picks by conference in the 2010s:
28 — CAA Football
24 — Missouri Valley Football Conference
23 — Southern Conference
22 — Big Sky Conference
16 — Ohio Valley Conference
15 — Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference
14 — Southland Conference
10 — Ivy League
7 — Southwestern Athletic Conference
6 — Big South Conference
4 — Patriot League
3 — Pioneer Football League
2 — FCS Independents and Great West Conference
1 — Northeast Conference
— Written by Craig Haley, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network. Haley has covered the FCS level since 1999 and is the national writer for www.fcs.football. He appears frequently on radio shows and podcasts to discuss everything FCS. Follow him on Twitter @CraigHaley.
(Photo courtesy of South Carolina State Athletics)