Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Top NFL Prospects as Recruits

Continuing on our coverage of recruiting as we near national signing day on Wednesday, I wanted to take a look and see how rankings out of high school translated into success in college and NFL potential. No doubt, there are some absolute freaks that will have separated themselves from their peers out of high school, but some of last year’s biggest draft picks didn’t get five, or even four stars going into college. Here is a list of last three year’s top ten NFL draft picks. Can you guess how many stars these guys had on national signing day?

2010 NFL Draft:

  1. Sam Bradford-  3*
  2. Ndamukong Suh-   4*
  3. Gerald McCoy-   5*
  4. Trent Williams-   3*
  5. Eric Berry-   5*
  6. Russell Okung-   3*
  7. Joe Haden-   4*
  8. Rolando McClain-   4*
  9. C.J. Spiller-   5*
  10. Tyson Alualu-   3*

2009 NFL Draft:

  1. Matthew Stafford-   5*
  2. Jason Smith-   2*
  3. Tyson Jackson-   3*
  4. Aaron Curry-   2*
  5. Mark Sanchez-   5*
  6. Andre Smith-   5*
  7. Darrius Heyward-Bey- 4*
  8. Eugene Monroe- 5*
  9. B.J. Raji- 2*
  10. Michael Crabtree-   4*

2008 NFL Draft:

  1. Jake Long-   4*
  2. Chris Long-   4*
  3. Matt Ryan-   3*
  4. Darren McFadden-   5*
  5. Glenn Dorsey-   4*
  6. Vernon Gholston-    4*
  7. Sedrick Ellis-   4*
  8. Derrick Harvey-   5*
  9. Keith Rivers-   5*
  10. Jerod Mayo-    4*

So let’s break this down, in the last three years, the top 30 players drafted garnered 3 two stars, 6 three stars, 11 four stars, and 10 five stars ratings out of high school. Basically two thirds of them were either a 4 * recruit or a 5 * recruit. While there are tons on people on each side of the fence as to whether ranking kids out of high school is worth it, it seems that even in high school the top echelon of athletes do separate themselves from the pack. That doesn’t mean that they are guaranteed success, but you know with highly sought after recruits that your getting someone that can handle themselves on the field probably earlier in their college career then most.

The list also makes you wonder how some of these big teams missed so poorly on some of these guys. Looking at it now, any school would have been ecstatic with bringing in a Aaron Curry or B.J. Raji even though they were ranked towards the bottom going into college. Overall, on Wednesday,  most fans will be blasting away at the rankings that come out and they deserve to because the more four and five stars the get the better. But don’t overlook some of these lower rated players, because given the right system and coaching some of them could be the next one off the “big board” in the coming years.

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