NFL players by college on 2021 rosters

The 2021 NFL season is right around the corner, and with that, rosters are being finalized for the 32 teams. 

After the conclusion of each team’s third preseason game (fourth for Dallas and Pittsburgh), they all announced their official 53-man rosters on Aug. 31. The 2021-22 season will begin Thursday, Sep. 9 when the Dallas Cowboys visit the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. 

A total of 1,696 players make up the NFL’s active rosters. This year, 1,411 (83 percent) hail from FBS schools. Once again, the SEC has the most players on active rosters with the Big Ten following close behind. The two conferences combine for 598 of the 1,411 former FBS players and the top four teams with players on the active roster come from either the SEC or Big Ten.

HISTORY IN THE MAKING: Here are 5 FBS teams that could have a historically season

Alabama checks in at the No. 1 spot, represented by 53 players on active rosters. Unlike the start of last season where they had no former quarterbacks starting in the NFL, they now have three projected starters: Tua Tagovailoa (Miami), Jalen Hurts (Philadelphia) and Mac Jones (New England). 

Ohio State, LSU, Georgia and Notre Dame come in behind Alabama to round out the top five. Notre Dame made a big leap between 2020 and 2021. Last year, the Fighting Irish featured 29 players on active rosters; this year they jumped five spots with 34. 

Outside of the ACC, Big Ten, SEC and Independent teams, the first Pac-12 school to appear on the list is UCLA with 24, and the first out of the Big 12 is Oklahoma with 31. 

NFL DRAFT: Colleges with the most No. 1 overall picks in NFL Draft history

(Note: This list only highlights players on active 53-man rosters, according to NFL team websites, as of Sept. 2. It includes FBS teams and conferences only. It does not include players on the injury reserved and COVID-19 lists, practice squads or the commissioner’s exempt list).

FBS Conference Players on NFL Roster
SEC 332
Big Ten 266
ACC 208
Pac-12 159
Big 12 138
American 84
C-USA 53
Mountain West 52
Independent 52
MAC 44
Sun Belt 23

FBS RANKINGS: Here is the updated college football rankings 

Want to know where your school ranks heading into the 2021 season? Check out the full list of FBS schools with active NFL players below.

FBS school Players
Alabama 53
Ohio State 47
LSU 43
Georgia 35
Notre Dame 34
Clemson 33
Iowa 33
Florida 32
Michigan 32
Oklahoma 31
Penn State 31
Texas 26
Miami (Fla.) 25
Washington 24
Florida State 23
Texas A&M 23
USC 23
Stanford 22
South Carolina 21
Wisconsin 21
Auburn 20
Mississippi State 19
Oregon 19
NC State 18
Temple 18
Utah 18
Missouri 17
Nebraska 17
Tennessee 17
Pittsburgh 16
Virginia Tech 16
Arkansas 15
Boston College 15
Oklahoma State 15
Kentucky 14
TCU 14
Baylor 13
North Carolina 13
Ole Miss 12
Rutgers 12
Texas Tech 12
California 11
Colorado 11
Duke 11
Houston 11
Illinois 11
Maryland 11
Memphis 11
Oregon State 11
Purdue 11
Vanderbilt 11
West Virginia 11
Boise State 10
Louisville 10
Michigan State 10
Minnesota 10
UCF 10
Virginia 10
Kansas State 9
Western Michigan 9
Arizona State 8
Cincinnati 8
Indiana 8
Northwestern 8
Utah State 8
Arizona 7
Central Michigan 7
Florida Atlantic 7
Fresno State 7
Louisiana Tech 7
Syracuse 7
Toledo 7
Wyoming 7
Appalachian State 6
Colorado State 6
Georgia Southern 6
Georgia Tech 6
Old Dominion 6
San Jose State 6
Tulane 6
Connecticut 5
Marshall 5
San Diego State 5
South Florida 5
Southern Mississippi 5
Wake Forest 5
Washington State 5
Western Kentucky 5
Buffalo 4
Kansas 4
Northern Illinois 4
Rice 4
East Carolina 3
Eastern Michigan 3
Iowa State 3
Massachusetts 3
Miami (Ohio) 3
Middle Tennessee State 3
Nevada 3
North Texas 3
Arkansas State 2
Army 2
Ball State 2
Florida International 2
Georgia State 2
Louisiana 2
Ohio 2
Troy 2
Tulsa 2
Akron 1
Bowling Green 1
Coastal Carolina 1
Hawaii 1
Kent State 1
Navy 1
New Mexico 1
South Alabama 1
Texas State 1

FCS players on 2021 NFL rosters

Trey Lance’s 2019 FCS playoff highlights for North Dakota State

Below is a look at players from FCS programs who are in the NFL this season, courtesy of’s Stanford Becton.

The following is the complete list of former FCS players on NFL active rosters as of Sept. 1, 2021:

The list does not include players on any reserve/COVID-19 or injured lists. This is why Indianapolis’ Carson Wentz is NOT on this list; he was on the reserve/Covid-19 list when initial rosters were announced.

Cleveland Browns (2): Jamie Gillan (Arkansas-Pine Bluff), JC Tretter (Cornell)

Pittsburgh Steelers (2): Christian Kuntz (Duquesne), Miles Killebrew (Southern Utah)

Baltimore Ravens (3): Nick Boyle (Delaware), Patrick Ricard (Maine), Chris Board (North Dakota State)

UPSETS: Here are the latest FCS-over-FBS upsets

New England Patriots (2): Kendrick Bourne (Eastern Washington), Justin Bethel (Presbyterian)

New York Jets (2): Greg Van Roten (Penn), John Franklin-Meyers (Stephen F. Austin)

Buffalo Bills (4): Taiwan Jones (Eastern Washington), Siran Neal (Jacksonville State), Spencer Brown (Northern Iowa), Taron Johnson (Weber State)

Jacksonville Jaguars (4): Chris Manhertz* (Canisius College), Aaron Patrick (Eastern Kentucky), James O’Shaughnessy (Illinois State), James Robinson (Illinois State)

Houston Texans (5): Tremon Smith (Central Arkansas), Andre Roberts (Citadel), Kamu Grugier-Hill (Eastern Illinois), David Johnson (Northern Iowa), Tytus Howard (Alabama State)

Tennessee Titans (6): Chester Roger (Grambling State), Anthony Firkser (Harvard), Jackrabbit Jenkins (North Alabama), Dillon Radunz (North Dakota State), Derick Roberson (Sam Houston), George Odum (Central Arkansas)
Indianapolis Colts (3): Darius Leonard (South Carolina State), Mo Alie-Cox* (VCU), Chris Williams (Wagner)

Las Vegas Raiders (1): Brandon Parker (North Carolina A&T)

NEXT UP: These 6 FCS teams could be the next first-time national champion

Los Angeles Chargers (3): Nasir Adderley (Delaware), Easton Stick (North Dakota State), Donald Parham Jr. (Stetson University)

Kansas City Chiefs (2): Daurice Fountain (Northern Iowa), Khalen Saunders (Western Illinois)

Denver Broncos (5): Eric Saubert (Drake), Shelby Harris (Illinois State), Jonas Griffith (Indiana State), Diontae Spencer (McNeese State), Jacob Bobenmoyer (Northern Colorado)

New York Giants (4): Elerson Smith (Northern Iowa), James Bradberry (Samford), C.J. Board (Chattanooga), Keion Crossen (Western Carolina)

Philadelphia Eagles (4): Joe Flacco (Delaware), Alex Singleton (Montana State), Rick Lovato (Old Dominion), Javon Hargrave (South Carolina State)

Washington Football Team (3): Ryan Fitzpatrick (Harvard), Taylor Heinicke (2011-14 Old Dominion; 2014 ODU was FBS), DeAndre Carter (Sacramento State)

Arizona Cardinals (4): Chase Edmonds (Fordham), Joshua Miles (Morgan State), Chris Streveler (South Dakota), Demetrius Harris* (Milwaukee)

Los Angeles Rams (5): Michael Hoecht (Brown), Robert Rochelles (Central Arkansas), Troy Reeder (Delaware), Cooper Kupp (Eastern Washington), Jonah Williams (Weber State)

San Francisco 49ers (7): Zach Kerr (Delaware), Jimmy Garoppolo (Eastern Illinois), Samson Ebukam (Eastern Washington), Kyle Juszczyk (Harvard), Davontae Harris (Illinois State), Trey Lance (North Dakota State), Jaquiski Tartt (Samford)

Seattle Seahawks (3): Tyler Ott (Harvard), Jason Myers (Marist), Ryan Neal (Southern Illinois)

FCS RANKINGS: Here is the updated FCS ranking

Chicago Bears (5): Bilal Nichols (Delaware), Caleb Johnson (Houston Baptist), Jesper Horsted (Princeton), Lachavious Simmons (Tennessee State), DeAndre Houston-Carson (William & Mary)

Detroit Lions (7): Tom Kennedy (Bryant), Tim Boyle (Eastern Kentucky), Kalif Raymond (Holy Cross), Dean Marlowe (James Madison), Bobby Price (Norfolk State), Nick Williams (Samford), Darren Fells* (UC Irvine)

Green Bay Packers (2): Robert Tonyan (Indiana State), Billy Turner (North Dakota State)

Minnesota Vikings (2): Oli Udoh (Elon), Michael Pierce (Samford)

Atlanta Falcons (1): Foyesade Oluokun (Yale)

Carolina Panthers (4): Trent Scott (Grambling State), Darryl Johnson (North Carolina A&T), Jeremy Chinn (Southern Illinois), Julian Stanford (Wagner)

New Orleans Saints (3): Terron Armstead (Arkansas-Pine Bluff), Kaden Ellis (2015-18 Idaho; 2018 Idaho was FCS), Tanoh Kpassagnon (Villanova)

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (5): Cameron Brate (Harvard), Aaron Stinnie (James Madison), Josh Wells (James Madison), Chris Cooper (Stony Brook), Cam Gill (Wagner)

*-Player participated in DI basketball at an FCS school