Clearly I have too much time on my hands, but I was thinking this morning - what if the NFL reformed the way teams acquire talent to more of a geographic picking similar to the old NBA?
The way it could work is this: each team is assigned to 1-2 universities (usually public) in its state. Every year, they get to select one player coming out of their assigned universities. Everyone else is released into a draft similar to how they currently do it. Schools that are unassigned and/or don't have an NFL team in their state (ie Alabama, Auburn, Oregon, S.Carolina, W.Virginia) have all their players released to the draft.
I don't think it would do all that much to upset the current competitive balance (unless players started changing their school selection patterns as a result) and it would add yet another layer of "hometown" interest in the players. It would be like a mini-farm system for the NFL. If you were from New Orleans, you could pay even closer attention to LSU football because they were your future pipeline for talent.
The only teams I see currently being at a disadvantage in this format would be whichever NY team doesn't get Rutgers, Minnesota, and maybe Buffalo. For everyone else, it could make things interesting (although in the current format Miami, Jacksonville, Dallas, Detroit, and San Diego might have a slight advantage).
Here's how I envision it, complete with 3 current players that you'd see on each team:
Arizona Cardinals Arizona & Arizona St QB Foles TE Gronkowski LB Briggs
Atlanta Falcons Georgia QB Stafford WR Green DT Atkins
Baltimore Ravens Maryland WR T.Smith WR Heyward-Bey TE V.Davis
Buffalo Bills Syracuse WR M.Williams DE Freeney
Carolina Panthers UNC WR G.Little DE J.Peppers DE Q.Coples
Chicago Bears Illinois RB Mendenhall WR B.Lloyd WR A.Benn
Cincinnati Bengals UC & Miami QB Roethlisberger DE Barwin LB T.Cole
Cleveland Browns Ohio St QB Pryor RB B.Wells LB Laurinitis
Dallas Cowboys Texas RB Charles LB Orakpo S E.Thomas
Denver Broncos Colorado TE J.Dressen OT N.Solder K M.Crosby
Detroit Lions Michigan QB Brady OT J.Long CB Hall
Green Bay Packers Wisconsin QB R.Wilson TE O.Daniels DE J.Watt
Houston Texans Texas Tech & TCU QB Dalton WR Welker WR Crabtree
Indianapolis Colts Indiana & Purdue QB Brees TE Keller DE Avril
Jacksonville Jaguars Florida QB Tebow WR Harvin TE Hernandez
Kansas City Chiefs Kansas & Kansas St QB Freeman WR J.Nelson CB Talib
Miami Dolphins UMiami RB Gore WR A.Johnson S Reed
Minnesota Vikings Minnesota WR E.Decker
New England Patriots Boston College QB Ryan DE Kiwanuka DT Raji
New Orleans Saints LSU RB Ridley WR Bowe CB Peterson
New York Giants Rutgers RB Rice WR Britt CB D.McCourty
New York Jets ?
Oakland Raiders Cal-Berkeley & Fresno St QB Rodgers WR D.Jackson TE T.Gonzalez
Philadelphia Eagles Penn St LB Bownman LB Posluszny OT L.Brown
Pittsburgh Steelers Pitt RB L.McCoy WR Fitzgerald CB Revis
Saint Louis Rams Mizzou QB Gabbert DE J.Smith LB A.Smith
San Diego Chargers USC QB Palmer RB R.Bush LB Matthews
San Francisco 49ers Stanford QB Luck RB Gerhart OG DeCastro
Seattle Seahawks Washington & Wash St. QB Locker WR B.Gibson CB Trufant
Tampa Bay Buccaneers Florida St QB Ponder WR Boldin CB Cromartie
Tennessee Titans Tennessee QB Manning RB A.Foster S Berry
Washington Redskins Virginia QB Schaub TE H.Miller OT D.Ferguson