clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

What if recruiting rankings determined the 2015 NFL Draft's top 101 players?

New, comments

Which highly touted high school prospects lived up to their ratings?

With the NFL Draft coming up, it's time to take a look at how high school talent translates into NFL talent. We know higher-rated players are much more likely to be picked in the first round, but what if the draft's big board were determined strictly by how these players were rated three to five years ago?

From among the top 500 prospects for this year's draft according to CBS Sports (whose rankings have been updated since this data collection), here are the top 101 based on their 247Sports Composite recruiting ratings, which combine the four major recruiting services into one. Even though these players didn't all come from the same recruiting class, the Composite's numerical format makes it simple to compare from class to class.

Take a look at the complete top 100 below.

Recruit ranking Composite recruit rating CBS draft ranking
1 Dorial Green-Beckham WR Missouri/Oklahoma 0.9997 25
2 Mario Edwards DE Florida State 0.9995 55
3 D.J. Humphries OT Florida 0.9979 249
4 Karlos Williams RB Florida State 0.9976 179
4 La'el Collins OT LSU 0.9976 13
6 Shaq Thompson OLB Washington 0.9975 18
7 Landon Collins SS Alabama 0.997 11
8 Stefon Diggs WR Maryland 0.9967 156
9 Jordan Hicks OLB Texas 0.9961 154
10 Michael Dyer RB Louisville 0.996 271
11 Eddie Goldman DT Florida State 0.9942 30
11 Malcom Brown DT Texas 0.9942 20
13 Malcolm Brown RB Texas 0.9916 219
14 Jameis Winston QB Florida State 0.9913 2
14 Arik Armstead DE Oregon 0.9913 38
16 Owamagbe Odighizuwa DE UCLA 0.9909 34
17 Ray Drew DE Georgia 0.9908 161
18 Stephone Anthony ILB Clemson 0.99 139
19 Anthony Chickillo DE Miami 0.9898 125
20 Curtis Grant ILB Ohio State 0.9894 387
21 Trey Williams RB Texas A&M 0.9892 322
22 Steve Edmond ILB Texas 0.9891 402
23 Duke Johnson RB Miami 0.9889 56
24 Ellis McCarthy DT UCLA 0.9873 150
25 Nick O'Leary TE Florida State 0.9872 101
25 Ronald Darby CB Florida State 0.9872 114
27 T.J. Yeldon RB Alabama 0.9866 77
28 Josh Shaw CB USC 0.9862 121
29 Jeff Luc ILB Cincinnati 0.9851 276
30 Andrus Peat OT Stanford 0.9847 10
31 Nelson Agholor WR USC 0.9846 51
32 Trey DePriest ILB Alabama 0.9839 222
33 Rob Crisp OT NC State 0.9837 440
34 Dante Fowler DE Florida 0.983 9
35 Xzavier Dickson OLB Alabama 0.9791 163
36 Deontay Greenberry WR Houston 0.9785 160
37 Eli Harold OLB Virginia 0.9781 36
38 Dee Hart RB Colorado State 0.9772 307
39 Chaz Green OT Florida 0.9771 365
40 Amari Cooper WR Alabama 0.9768 4
41 Mike Davis RB South Carolina 0.9762 80
42 Ben Koyack TE Notre Dame 0.9752 108
42 Kasen Williams WR Washington 0.9752 363
44 Leonard Williams DT USC 0.975 1
45 Gerald Christian TE Louisville 0.9725 266
46 Jordan Phillips DT Oklahoma 0.972 23
47 Michael Bennett DT Ohio State 0.9715 49
47 Damian Swann CB Georgia 0.9715 210
47 Bobby Hart OG Florida State 0.9715 462
47 Michael Bennett WR Georgia 0.9715 475
51 Doran Grant CB Ohio State 0.9694 127
52 Nick Waisome CB Florida State 0.9683 479
53 Alex Carter CB Stanford 0.9671 65
54 Blake Bell TE Oklahoma 0.9667 212
55 James Vaughters OLB Stanford 0.966 217
56 Jamal Turner WR Nebraska 0.9658 464
57 Devin Gardner WR Michigan 0.9656 313
58 Quandre Diggs CB Texas 0.9652 174
59 Justin McCay WR Kansas 0.9647 421
60 Brett Hundley QB UCLA 0.9628 41
61 Todd Gurley RB Georgia 0.9626 22
62 Reese Dismukes C Auburn 0.9596 58
63 Gabe Wright DT Auburn 0.9593 78
64 Brey Cook OT Arkansas 0.9586 447
65 Kwon Alexander OLB LSU 0.9567 102
66 Gerod Holliman FS Louisville 0.9566 87
67 Jermauria Rasco DE LSU 0.9564 226
67 Jaxon Shipley WR Texas 0.9564 305
69 DaVaris Daniels WR Notre Dame 0.9534 231
70 DeAndrew White WR Alabama 0.9482 427
71 Blake Lueders DE Stanford 0.9467 429
72 P.J. Williams CB Florida State 0.9465 33
73 Cody Riggs CB Notre Dame 0.9463 346
74 Kenny Hilliard RB LSU 0.9411 296
74 Cedric Ogbuehi OT Texas A&M 0.9411 100
76 Corey Crawford DE Clemson 0.94 146
77 Rashad Greene WR Florida State 0.939 76
78 Miles Dieffenbach OG Penn State 0.9383 175
79 A.J. Johnson ILB Tennessee 0.9371 446
80 A.J. Cann OG South Carolina 0.936 45
81 Matt Jones RB Florida 0.932 173
82 Ereck Flowers OT Miami 0.9314 24
83 Randall Telfer TE USC 0.9305 358
84 Cedric Reed DE Texas 0.93 126
85 Lynden Trail DE Norfolk State 0.9285 106
86 Travell Dixon CB Washington 0.9281 498
87 Donovan Smith OT Penn State 0.9241 109
88 C.J. Olaniyan OLB Penn State 0.9226 301
89 Evan Spencer WR Ohio State 0.9225 255
90 Arie Kouandjio OG Alabama 0.9224 79
91 Danielle Hunter DE LSU 0.9209 43
92 Quinton Spain OG West Virginia 0.9206 500
93 T.J. Clemmings OT Pittsburgh 0.9205 14
94 Braylon Heard RB Kentucky 0.92 463
95 Michael Taylor ILB Florida 0.9198 486
96 Kyshoen Jarrett SS Virginia Tech 0.9197 262
97 Tyrus Thompson OT Oklahoma 0.9191 201
98 Ifo Ekpre-Olomu CB Oregon 0.9188 40
99 Mike Hull ILB Penn State 0.9186 193
100 Deon Long WR Maryland 0.9166 264
100 Randy Gregory DE Nebraska 0.9166 3

Two-round mock draft

Some observations:

  • Of the top 101 players coming out of high school, 36 are now ranked in the top 101.
  • This group's top-rated player out of high school, Missouri-turned-Oklahoma wide receiver Dorial Green-Beckham, ranks 25th among this year's prospects after not playing in 2014.
  • CBS' No. 1 draft prospect, USC defensive tackle Leonard Williams, rated as the 44th-best recruit in this group.
  • Only two quarterbacks, Jameis Winston and Brett Hundley, were top-100 recruits in this class. Potential No. 1 pick Marcus Mariota would rank No. 191.
  • The biggest overachiever could be Nebraska defensive end Randy Gregory. His Composite rating tied for 100th, but he's No. 3 on CBS' big board.
  • The biggest letdown could be either Texas inside linebacker Steve Edmond or NC State offensive tackle Rob Crisp. Edmond rated as this group's 22nd-best player out of high school, but No. 402 going into the draft. Crisp is ranked No. 33 and No. 440, respectively. Of course, some highly rated players don't even make it this far.
  • How many unrated recruits rank in CBS' top 100? Six, led by Utah pass rusher Nate Orchard at No. 42.
  • Take a look at Virginia outside linebacker Eli Harold and Florida State wide receiver Rashad Greene. Harold's Composite rating ranks 37th here, and he is No. 36 on the draft board. Greene is No. 77 and No. 76, respectively.
  • With 20 represented, defensive linemen are the most common among the top 100 recruits. As it turns out, D-linemen typically live up to the hype. Of the 20 top 100 recruits, the average draft ranking is 92.6.
  • Wide receivers make up the second most common position, but their talent doesn't seem to translate as well. The 16 top-100 receivers have an average draft rank of 249.4.