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QB Week: Breaking down where NFL QBs come from

QB WEEK: Most QB success in Big Ten | Highest-ranked Big Ten QBs | Polarizing QBs

The Pac-12 has more active starting quarterbacks in the NFL than any other conference, but the NFL's 32 starters are generally spread out among the Power Five schools and even schools outside of those five conferences are well-represented in the league.

With seven of the 32 projected starters in the NFL this season – Kansas City’s Alex Smith (Utah), Cleveland’s Cody Kessler (USC), Indianapolis’ Andrew Luck (Stanford), Tennessee’s Marcus Mariota (Oregon), Los Angeles Rams’ Jared Goff (Cal), Arizona’s Carson Palmer (USC) and Green Bay’s Aaron Rodgers (Cal), the Pac-12 leads the way.

The ACC, the Big Ten and non-Power Five teams all have six starting quarterbacks. The SEC has five and only the Big 12 significantly lags with just two starters from that conference – Cincinnati’s Andy Dalton (TCU) and Minnesota’s Sam Bradford (Oklahoma).

Only four college programs have two active starting quarterbacks and those are NC State, USC, Michigan State and Cal. The Wolfpack have the most of any school with three in Seattle’s Russell Wilson, Los Angeles Chargers’ Phillip Rivers and Chicago’s Mike Glennon.

“The Pac-12 leading is not a big surprise,” Rivals.com National Recruiting Director Mike Farrell said. “Everybody talks about the talent in the SEC and now the ACC but California is still known for quarterbacks. A lot of those kids stay there. There is better quarterback coaching and training there than anyplace in the world.

“NC State is a surprise because you don’t think of that. But I’ll give you the name of a guy who has a lot to do with that – Dana Bible. A lot of people don’t know who Dana Bible is but he’s the guy who worked with a lot of talented quarterbacks – Matt Ryan when he was young at Boston College and Glennon and Wilson at NC State, all under Tom O’Brien.

“They had a very direct approach to quarterback development. They didn’t want to rush kids in, they wanted them to take their time in developing, they made them throw at summer camps live before they’d offer them, a lot of the things you see at schools now when it comes to offering quarterbacks.”

As for where those NFL quarterbacks played in high school, California leads the way with seven QBs, followed by Texas with five. The only other state with more than two quarterbacks in the NFL is Virginia with three.

Florida, Louisiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Alabama have two quarterbacks each in the NFL. Indiana, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Hawaii, Michigan, Georgia and New Jersey have one each.

NFL STARTING QUARTERBACKS BY CONFERENCE
Conference No. of NFL Starting QBs

ACC

6

Big 12

2

Big Ten

6

Pac-12

7

SEC

5

Non-Power Five

6

AFC EAST

BUFFALO BILLS

MIAMI DOLPHINS

Jay Cutler - Vanderbilt - Lincoln City (Ind.) Heritage Hills

NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS

Tom Brady - Michigan - San Mateo (Calif.) Serra

NEW YORK JETS

Josh McCown - Sam Houston State - Jacksonville, Texas

AFC WEST

DENVER BRONCOS

KANSAS CITY CHIEFS

LOS ANGELES CHARGERS

Phillip Rivers - NC State - Athens, Ala.

OAKLAND RAIDERS

AFC NORTH

BALTIMORE RAVENS

CINCINNATI BENGALS

CLEVELAND BROWNS

PITTSBURGH STEELERS

Ben Roethlisberger - Miami (Ohio) - Findlay, Ohio

AFC SOUTH

HOUSTON TEXANS

INDIANAPOLIS COLTS

JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS

TENNESSEE TITANS

NFC EAST

DALLAS COWBOYS

NEW YORK GIANTS

Eli Manning - Ole Miss - New Orleans (La.) Newman

PHILADELPHIA EAGLES

Carson Wentz - North Dakota State - Bismarck (N.D.) Century

WASHINGTON REDSKINS

NFC WEST

ARIZONA CARDINALS

Carson Palmer - USC - Rancho Santa Margarita (Calif.) Santa Margarita Catholic

LOS ANGELES RAMS

SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS

SEATTLE SEAHAWKS

NFC NORTH

CHICAGO BEARS

DETROIT LIONS

GREEN BAY PACKERS

MINNESOTA VIKINGS

NFC SOUTH

ATLANTA FALCONS

CAROLINA PANTHERS

NEW ORLEANS SAINTS

Drew Brees - PURDUE - Austin (Tex.) Westlake

TAMPA BAY BUCS