Approximately half of the players in the National Football League have college degrees. This is a better ratio than any other major sports league and is partially due to the drafting process.
The NFL does not have a minor-league system like other major league sports do. The NFL only recruits players from college through a draft, so many players have finished their college education before they ever play for an NFL team. An example of this would be Brett Favre. He played for Southern Mississippi and graduated with a bachelor's degree before he joined the NFL. Another example would be Tom Brady. He played for Michigan.
It is important for NFL players to get their college degrees because college graduates make nearly double in salary when compared to those who are only high school graduates. NFL players who did not graduate from college often go back to school after they leave the NFL in order to make a higher salary. An example of this would be Mel Mitchell, who was with the New Orleans Saints. After leaving the NFL, he went back to get his college degree at Western Kentucky.