Broncos Roster Breakdown: Alma Maters

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Sep 1, 2013; Denver, CO, USA; Colorado Buffaloes linebacker Derrick Webb (1) chases the advance of Colorado State Rams running back Kapri Bibbs (5) in the fourth quarter at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. The Buffaloes defeated the Rams 41-27. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Training camp is in full swing around the NFL and everyone with a keyboard and an opinion is trying to figure out which players will be left standing when the rosters are trimmed to the final 53 man roster. I’m not willing to make too many bold predictions for the Broncos in that regard until after at least two pre-season games, but as I was poring over the Denver roster while simultaneously flipping through a college football preview magazine on a typical Friday night (while sipping bourbon and listening to a Greg Allman/Jackson Browne playlist), I began to wonder how the Broncos’ roster was comprised from a college standpoint.

After a little cutting, pasting, filtering, and sorting, I came up with some facts that I wasn’t expecting. Now of course we know that not every college football player graduates these days, so “Alma Mater” is a term we’ll use strictly for football purposes.

Before we get into the colleges themselves, let’s first take a look at the conferences that the Broncos’ players came from. The SEC had reigned supreme in the college ranks until the end of the 2013 season, when Florida State won the first national title by anyone else since 2005 (Texas) and breaking the SEC streak of seven straight. As you might expect, this dominance has translated to every roster in the NFL and the Broncos are no exception. There are more players (13) currently at Dove Valley from the SEC than any other conference.

Here’s the breakdown:

[table id=22 /]

Nov 23, 2013; Baton Rouge, LA, USA; LSU Tigers linebacker Lamin Barrow (18) tackles Texas A&M Aggies quarterback Johnny Manziel (2) during the second half of a game at Tiger Stadium. LSU defeated Texas A&M 34-10. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

It isn’t surprising that the “BCS Conferences” make up the majority of the roster with 54 of the 89 (60.7%) players coming out of those conferences. What I wasn’t expecting was for so many players out of the Mountain West and the FCS (or lower) schools.

One has to assume the Broncos have a stronger scouting presence in the Rocky Mountain region where most of the Mountain West schools are located, which likely leads to the Broncos’ personnel department having those players ranked higher than other teams. Only two of the eight players from the smaller (FCS) schools went to colleges east of the Mississippi River, which also supports that theory.

Now that we know what conference they came from, we’ll take a look at the colleges themselves on the next page.

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