by Brendan Dunne
Nike's had a heightened presence in the NFL since it became the official outfitter of the league in 2012, but its dominance on the gridiron extends all the way down to the player level.
The following figures reflect the extent to which the NFL's best players are aligned with the Swoosh:
· 26 of the 32 starting quarterbacks in the NFL this season were Nike athletes.
· 16 of the top 20 rushing leaders in the NFL are Nike athletes.
· 14 of the top 20 receiving leaders in the NFL are Nike athletes.
· 9 of the top 12 interception leaders in the NFL are Nike athletes.
· The top 10 tackling leaders in the NFL are all Nike athletes.
· 76 percent of players selected for the 2016 NFL Pro Bowl are Nike athletes.
· In last year’s Super Bowl between the Patriots and Seahawks, 91 percent of the players competing were Nike athletes.
· 24 of the 32 players selected in the first round of the 2015 NFL Draft are Nike athletes, including the top two picks Jameis Winston and Marcus Mariota.
· Nearly half of all NFL players on active rosters have competed in a Nike Football camp or combine.
Nike first entered the football world in 1980 with its signing of Archie Manning, Ahmad Rashad, Dan Fouts and Ed Jones.