Top 10 Ivy League NFL Players
When NFL scouts spread out across the country scouring for talent, they don't exactly descend on Ivy League campuses. After all, the eight Northeastern private universities aren't known for their sporting prowess, especially considering that they don't even offer athletic scholarships.
But once in a while, the Ivy League yields a gem for professional football. Its latest offering is former Harvard quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick, who has spearheaded a Buffalo renaissance that has the Bills atop of the difficult AFC East after four weeks. He's led a pair of stirring comebacks against Oakland and New England, not bad for the sixth overall choice (from the bottom) in the 2005 draft who has bounced around three teams in his seven-year pro career. Fitzpatrick in fact isn't even the only Harvard alum in the NFL today: Ravens all-pro center Matt Birk is in his 14th season.
To be sure, in its infancy, the NFL did look to the Ivy League to stock its rosters. But over time, that pipeline dried up as pro football became more popular and college football transformed into the beast that it is today. Eschewing the excesses of high-profile Division I-A (FBS) programs, the Ivy League chose to compete at the lower I-AA (FCS) level and therefore no longer was a destination for top-flight prep prospects.
Nevertheless, more than a handful of players from the Ancient Eight still managed to have long and prosperous careers in pro football. These are our Top 10 Ivy Leaguers in the NFL.