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75 percent of the 2016 NFL Draft's 1st round could be former 4- and 5-star recruits

Welcome to The Crootletter (sign up to get this in your inbox every morning!). I'm Bud Elliott, SB Nation's National Recruiting Analyst, and in this space I'll be sharing news, rumors and musings on the world of college football recruiting.

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

In 2014, I showed that blue-chip recruits (four- and five-stars) were about 10 times as likely to become first-round picks as other recruits who ended up in Division I.

But if mock drafts are any indication, the 2016 draft is about to make 2014 look like a downright lousy year for elite recruits.

Using SB Nation's mock draft (and yes, mock drafts are not perfect), I logged the 247Sports Composite recruiting ranking of all 31 projected first-round picks. I think recruiting rankings do a great job on the whole, and what I found surprised even me: nine five-stars, 14 four-stars, three three-stars and five two-star or unranked recruits.

If you're scoring at home, that's 23 blue chips against eight non, which is crazy when considering that blue-chip recruits make up only about 8 percent of the roughly 4,500 recruited players who sign to Division I each year. In the 2014 first round, the ratio was 17 to 15. It's too early to say if this is a trend, but if this does come to pass, I could extrapolate that four- and five-stars were 33 times more likely to be drafted in the first round than their lesser-ranked counterparts this year.

I'm not sure why the ratios are so drastically different. Maybe the 2013 recruiting class was just really good and had so few busts? Maybe recruiting services are getting better and better

I previously looked at Jalen Ramsey and Derrick HenryChris JonesAlex Collins, Laremy Tunsil, the amazing 2013 cornerback recruiting crop and examined how offensive systems preparing QBs for the draft impacts QB recruiting.

But there could have been even more stars at the top of this draft without injury. Jaylon Smith was the No. 2 player in the country in the 2013 class and was all set to be a top-10 pick before he destroyed his knee. Going through that list, it would not surprise me to see about 32 five-stars from 2013 eventually be drafted, with injuries to blame for some of the misses.


ESPN is taking a stand on Miami QB commit N'Kosi Perry, rating the Ocala (Fla.) prospect No. 87 nationally. Not the 87th QB, but the 87th player overall. I like Perry's tools, but I cannot agree with that because he is so raw and presents a real variance question.

Michigan offered five-star receiver Tee Higgins of Tennessee. Currently most think Clemson and Tennessee are in the best position to land the 6'5 Higgins, but he does want to visit Michigan.

Demetris Robertson, the last remaining unsigned five-star from the class of 2016, is going to be picking between Georgia, Cal and Notre Dame Sunday at the College Football HoF in Atlanta. Robertson is from Savannah. He delayed his recruitment to see if he could gain admission to Stanford, but that did not happen.