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Where first-round picks of last five years rated out of high school

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National Signing Day is Wednesday, and that means that every player who signs -- at least according to every fan of every team -- has a chance to become an All-American and a first-round pick.

It's not that easy, of course. There is no real science involved in player evaluation, otherwise no college player would fail to produce and no draft pick would ever be a bust.

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To that end, we decided to take a look at the past five drafts and examine where the first-rounders were ranked as recruits coming out of high school.

There were 160 first-rounders in that span, and 26 of them were rated as five-star prospects (16 percent) by Rivals.com as high school seniors. That's an impressive ratio, considering FBS schools sign about 2,500 football players each season. There generally are just 30 five-star prospects annually, meaning less than 1.5 percent of the players signed are five-star guys.

Two of the overall No. 1 picks in that span were former five-star players: Jadeveon Clowney last year and Cam Newton in 2011. Clowney also was the nation's overall No. 1 prospect in the 2011 recruiting class.

Most of the 66 first-rounders from the last six years have been former four-star prospects. There are about 275 to 300 four-star prospects annually, which means most players who sign with colleges each season -- about 85 percent -- are two- or three-star guys.

In the last five first rounds of the NFL draft, there also have been 49 three-star prospects, 17 two-star prospects and two unranked prospects who were selected. The unranked prospects were Brandon Weeden, who graduated from high school before Rivals had a ranking system, then played five seasons of minor league baseball; and Ziggy Ansah, who went to high school in Ghana and arrived at BYU as a track athlete.

Of the 17 two-star prospects who became first-round picks, 10 signed with schools in Conference USA, the MAC and the now-defunct WAC. That means "big" schools missed on them, too. One of those 10 was J.J. Watt, who signed with Central Michigan before transferring to Wisconsin. Another was Eric Fisher, who attended Central Michigan and was the overall No. 1 pick in the 2013 draft. Four of those two-star prospects played for schools that were in the now-defunct Big East, with two from the Big 12 and one from the Big Ten.

Here is a look at the recruiting rankings of players drafted in the last five first rounds.

2014 NFL Draft

1. Houston Texans: DE Jadeveon Clowney, South Carolina
Particulars: 5-star DE in 2011 recruiting class (No. 1 recruit in nation)

2. St. Louis Rams: OT Greg Robinson, Auburn
Particulars: 4-star G in 2011 recruiting class (national top-100 player)

3. Jacksonville Jaguars: QB Blake Bortles, UCF
Particulars: 3-star QB in 2010 recruiting class.

4. Buffalo Bills: WR Sammy Watkins, Clemson.
Particulars: 5-star WR in 2011 recruiting class (national top-15 player)

5. Oakland Raiders: OLB Khalil Mack, Buffalo
Particulars: 2-star LB in 2009 recruiting class

6. Atlanta Falcons: OT Jake Matthews, Texas A&M.
Particulars: 4-star OT in 2010 recruiting class (national top-50 player)

7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: WR Mike Evans, Texas A&M
Particulars: 3-star WR in 2011 recruiting class

8. Cleveland Browns: CB Justin Gilbert, Oklahoma State
Particulars: 4-star ATH in 2010 recruiting class

9. Minnesota Vikings: OLB Anthony Barr, UCLA
Particulars: 4-star ATH in 2010 recruiting class (national top-50 player)

10. Detroit Lions: TE Eric Ebron, North Carolina
Particulars: 3-star TE in 2011 recruiting class

11. Tennessee Titans: OT Taylor Lewan, Michigan
Particulars: 4-star OT in 2009 recruiting class

12. New York Giants: WR Odell Beckham Jr., LSU
Particulars: 4-star WR in 2011 recruiting class (national top-50 player)

13. St. Louis Rams: DT Aaron Donald, Pitt
Particulars: 3-star DT in 2010 recruiting class

14. Chicago Bears: CB Kyle Fuller, Virginia Tech
Particulars: 3-star CB in 2010 recruiting class

15. Pittsburgh Steelers: LB Ryan Shazier, Ohio State
Particulars: 4-star LB in 2011 recruiting class

16. Dallas Cowboys: G Zack Martin, Notre Dame
Particulars: 4-star OT in 2009 recruiting class

17. Baltimore Ravens: LB C.J. Mosley, Alabama
Particulars: 4-star LB in 2010 recruiting class (national top-60 player)

18. New York Jets: S Calvin Pryor, Louisville
Particulars: 3-star S in 2011 recruiting class

19. Miami Dolphins: OT Ja'Wuan James, Tennessee
Particulars: 4-star OT in 2010 recruiting class (national top-60 player)

20. New Orleans Saints: WR Brandin Cooks, Oregon State
Particulars: 4-star WR in 2011 recruiting class

21. Green Bay Packers: S Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, Alabama
Particulars: 5-star S in 2011 recruiting class (national top-10 player)

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22. Cleveland Browns: QB Johnny Manziel, Texas A&M
Particulars: 3-star QB in 2011 recruiting class

23. Kansas City Chiefs: DE Dee Ford, Auburn
Particulars: 3-star LB in 2009 recruiting class

24. Cincinnati Bengals: CB Darqueze Dennard, Michigan State
Particulars: 2-star CB in 2010 recruiting class

25. San Diego Chargers: CB Jason Verrett, TCU
Particulars: 3-star CB in 2011 recruiting class (junior college player)

26. Philadelphia Eagles: OLB Marcus Smith, Louisville
Particulars: 3-star ATH in 2010 recruiting class

27. Arizona Cardinals: S Deone Bucannon, Washington State
Particulars: 3-star S in 2010 recruiting class

28. Carolina Panthers: WR Kelvin Benjamin, Florida State
Particulars: 4-star WR in 2011 recruiting class (national top-60 player)

29. New England Patriots: DL Dominique Easley, Florida
Particulars: 5-star DT in 2010 recruiting class (national top-10 player)

30. San Francisco 49ers: S Jimmie Ward, Northern Illinois
Particulars: 2-star S in 2010 recruiting class

31. Denver Broncos: CB Bradley Roby, Ohio State
Particulars: 3-star WR in 2010 recruiting class

32. Minnesota Vikings: QB Teddy Bridgewater, Louisville
Particulars: 4-star QB in 2011 recruiting class


2013 NFL Draft

1. Kansas City Chiefs: OT Eric Fisher, Central Michigan
Particulars: 2-star OT in 2009 recruiting class.

2. Jacksonville Jaguars: OT Luke Joeckel, Texas A&M
Particulars: 4-star OT in 2010 recruiting class (national top-40 player)

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3. Miami Dolphins: DE Dion Jordan, Oregon
Particulars: 4-star TE in 2008 recruiting class

4. Philadelphia Eagles: OT Lane Johnson, Oklahoma
Particulars: 2-star TE in 2009 recruiting class (junior college recruit)

5. Detroit Lions: DE Ezekiel "Ziggy" Ansah, BYU
Particulars: Unranked; did not play high school football (arrived at BYU in 2008 as a track athlete from Ghana)

6. Cleveland Browns: DE Barkevious Mingo, LSU
Particulars: 4-star OLB in 2009 recruiting class

7. Arizona Cardinals: G Jonathan Cooper, North Carolina
Particulars: 3-star G in 2008 recruiting class

8. St. Louis Rams: WR Tavon Austin, West Virginia
Particulars: 4-star RB in 2009 recruiting class

9. New York Jets: CB Dee Milliner, Alabama
Particulars: 5-star CB in 2010 recruiting class (national top-25 player)

10. Tennessee Titans: G Chance Warmack, Alabama
Particulars: 3-star G in 2009 recruiting class

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11. San Diego Chargers: OT D.J. Fluker, Alabama
Particulars: 5-star OT in 2009 recruiting class (national top-five player)

12. Oakland Raiders: CB DJ Hayden, Houston
Particulars: 3-star S/CB in 2011 recruiting class (national top-50 junior college player)

13. New York Jets: DT Sheldon Richardson, Missouri
Particulars: 4-star DT in 2011 recruiting class (national top-five junior college player)

14. Carolina Panthers: DT Star Lotulelei, Utah
Particulars: 3-star DE in 2010 recruiting class (national top-50 junior college player)

15. New Orleans Saints: S Kenny Vaccaro, Texas
Particulars: 4-star S in 2009 recruiting class

16. Buffalo Bills: QB E.J. Manuel, Florida State
Particulars: 4-star QB in 2008 recruiting class (national top-50 player)

17. Pittsburgh Steelers: LB Jarvis Jones, Georgia
Particulars: 4-star DE in 2009 recruiting class (national top-75 player; signed with USC before transferring)

18. San Francisco 49ers: S Eric Reid, LSU
Particulars: 4-star S in 2010 recruiting class (national top-100 player)

19. New York Giants: G Justin Pugh, Syracuse
Particulars: 2-star OT in 2009 recruiting class

20. Chicago Bears: G Kyle Long, Oregon
Particulars: 3-star OT in 2012 recruiting class (national top-30 junior college player; signed with Florida State to play baseball out of high school in 2008)

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21. Cincinnati Bengals: TE Tyler Eifert, Notre Dame
Particulars: 3-star TE in 2009 recruiting class

22. Atlanta Falcons: CB Desmond Trufant, Washington
Particulars: 3-star CB in 2009 recruiting class

23. Minnesota Vikings: DT Sharrif Floyd, Florida
Particulars: 5-star DT in 2010 recruiting class (national top-five player)

24. Indianapolis Colts: DE Bjoern Werner, Florida State
Particulars: 3-star DT in 2010 recruiting class

25. Minnesota Vikings: CB Xavier Rhodes, Florida State
Particulars: 3-star WR in 2009 recruiting class

26. Green Bay Packers: DE Datone Jones, UCLA
Particulars: 4-star DE in 2008 recruiting class

27. Houston Texans: WR DeAndre Hopkins, Clemson
Particulars: 4-star ATH in 2010 recruiting class

28. Denver Broncos: DT Sylvester Williams, North Carolina
Particulars: 3-star DT in 2011 recruiting class (national top-25 junior college recruit)

29. Minnesota Vikings: WR Cordarrelle Patterson, Tennessee
Particulars: 4-star WR in 2012 recruiting class (national top-five junior college recruit)

30. St. Louis Rams: LB Alec Ogletree, Georgia
Particulars: 4-star S in 2010 recruiting class (national top-40 player)

31. Dallas Cowboys: C Travis Frederick, Wisconsin
Particulars: 3-star G/C in 2009 recruiting class. (An aside: He went to Big Foot High School -- seriously -- in tiny Walworth, Wis.)

32. Baltimore Ravens: S Matt Elam, Florida
Particulars: 5-star S in 2010 recruiting class (national top-25 player)


2012 NFL Draft

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1. Indianapolis Colts: QB Andrew Luck, Stanford
Particulars: 4-star QB in 2008 recruiting class (national top-70 player)

2. Washington Redskins: QB Robert Griffin III, Baylor
Particulars: 4-star QB in 2008 recruiting class

3. Cleveland Browns: RB Trent Richardson, Alabama
Particulars: 5-star RB in 2009 recruiting class (national top-10 player)

4. Minnesota Vikings: OT Matt Kalil, USC
Particulars: 5-star OT in 2008 recruiting class (national top-15 player)

5. Jacksonville Jaguars: WR Justin Blackmon, Oklahoma State
Particulars: 3-star WR in 2008 recruiting class

6. Dallas Cowboys: CB Morris Claiborne, LSU
Particulars: 3-star ATH in 2009 recruiting class

7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: SS Mark Barron, Alabama
Particulars: 4-star ATH in 2008 recruiting class (national top-60 player)

8. Miami Dolphins: QB Ryan Tannehill, Texas A&M
Particulars: 3-star QB in 2007 recruiting class

9. Carolina Panthers: LB Luke Kuechly, Boston College
Particulars: 3-star LB in 2009 recruiting class

10. Buffalo Bills: CB Stephon Gilmore, South Carolina
Particulars: 4-star ATH in 2009 recruiting class (national top-90 player)

11. Kansas City Chiefs: DT Dontari Poe, Memphis
Particulars: 2-star DT in 2008 recruiting class

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12. Philadelphia Eagles: DT Fletcher Cox, Mississippi State
Particulars: 4-star DT in 2009 recruiting class (national top-100 player)

13. Arizona Cardinals: WR Michael Floyd, Notre Dame
Particulars: 5-star WR in 2008 recruiting class (national top-30 player)

14. St. Louis Rams: DT Michael Brockers, LSU
Particulars: 4-star DE in 2009 recruiting class

15. Seattle Seahawks: DE Bruce Irvin, West Virginia
Particulars: 4-star LB in 2010 recruiting class (national top-10 junior college player)

16. New York Jets: DE Quinton Coples, North Carolina
Particulars: 4-star DE in 2008 recruiting class

17. Cincinnati Bengals: CB Dre Kirkpatrick, Alabama
Particulars: 5-star CB in 2009 recruiting class (national top-15 player)

18. San Diego Chargers: DE Melvin Ingram, South Carolina
Particulars: 4-star LB in 2007 recruiting class

19. Chicago Bears: DE Shea McClellin, Boise State
Particulars: 2-star DE in 2007 recruiting class

20. Tennessee Titans: WR Kendall Wright, Baylor
Particulars: 3-star WR in 2008 recruiting class

21. New England Patriots: DE Chandler Jones, Syracuse
Particulars: 2-star TE in 2008 recruiting class

22. Cleveland Browns: QB Brandon Weeden, Oklahoma State
Particulars: Graduated high school in 2001, before Rivals.com recruiting rankings existed. Played minor league baseball for five years before signing with Oklahoma State in 2007.

23. Detroit Lions: OT Riley Reiff, Iowa
Particulars: 3-star DE in 2008 recruiting class

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24. Pittsburgh Steelers: G David DeCastro, Stanford
Particulars: 3-star C in 2008 recruiting class

25. New England Patriots: LB Dont'a Hightower, Alabama
Particulars: 4-star LB in 2008 recruiting class

26. Houston Texans: DE Whitney Mercilus, Illinois
Particulars: 3-star DE in 2008 recruiting class

27. Cincinnati Bengals: G Kevin Zeitler, Wisconsin
Particulars: 3-star G in 2008 recruiting class

28. Green Bay Packers: DE Nick Perry, USC
Particulars: 4-star DE in 2008 recruiting class (national top-60 player)

29. Minnesota Vikings: S Harrison Smith, Notre Dame
Particulars: 4-star ATH in 2007 recruiting class

30. San Francisco 49ers: WR A.J. Jenkins, Illinois
Particulars: 3-star WR in 2008 recruiting class

31. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: RB Doug Martin, Boise State
Particulars: 2-star RB in 2007 recruiting class

32. New York Giants: RB David Wilson, Virginia Tech
Particulars: 4-star RB in 2009 recruiting class (national top-40 player)


2011 NFL Draft

1. Carolina Panthers: QB Cam Newton, Auburn
Particulars: 5-star QB in 2010 recruiting class (national No. 1 junior college player; also was a five-star QB and a national top-30 player out of high school in 2007 class)

2. Denver Broncos: OLB Von Miller, Texas A&M
Particulars: 4-star DE in 2007 recruiting class

3. Buffalo Bills: DT Marcell Dareus, Alabama
Particulars: 3-star DT in 2008 recruiting class

4. Cincinnati Bengals: WR A.J. Green, Georgia
Particulars: 5-star WR in 2008 recruiting class (national top-10 player)

5. Arizona Cardinals: CB Patrick Peterson, LSU
Particulars: 5-star CB in 2008 recruiting class (national top-five player)

6. Atlanta Falcons: WR Julio Jones, Alabama
Particulars: 5-star WR in 2008 recruiting class (national top-five player)

7. San Francisco 49ers: DE Aldon Smith, Missouri
Particulars: 3-star DE in 2008 recruiting class

8. Tennessee Titans: QB Jake Locker, Washington
Particulars: 4-star QB in 2006 recruiting class (national top-70 player)

9. Dallas Cowboys: OT Tyron Smith, USC
Particulars: 5-star OT in 2008 recruiting class (national top-15 player)

10. Jacksonville Jaguars: QB Blaine Gabbert, Missouri
Particulars: 5-star QB in 2008 recruiting class (national top-15 player)

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11. Houston Texans: DE J.J. Watt, Wisconsin
Particulars: 2-star DE in 2007 recruiting class (signed with Central Michigan before transferring)

12. Minnesota Vikings: QB Christian Ponder, Florida State
Particulars: 3-star QB in 2006 recruiting class

13. Detroit Lions: DT Nick Fairley, Auburn
Particulars: 3-star DT in 2009 recruiting class (junior college recruit)

14. St. Louis Rams: DE Robert Quinn, North Carolina
Particulars: 4-star DE in 2008 recruiting class

15. Miami Dolphins: C Mike Pouncey, Florida
Particulars: 4-star G in 2007 recruiting class

16. Washington Redskins: LB Ryan Kerrigan, Purdue
Particulars: 3-star DE in 2007 recruiting class

17. New England Patriots: OT Nate Solder, Colorado
Particulars: 3-star TE in 2006 recruiting class

18. San Diego Chargers: DT Corey Liuget, Illinois
Particulars: 4-star DT in 2008 recruiting class (national top-80 player)

19. New York Giants: CB Prince Amukamara, Nebraska
Particulars: 3-star ATH in 2007 recruiting class

20. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: DE Adrian Clayborn, Iowa
Particulars: 4-star DE in 2006 recruiting class

21. Cleveland Browns: DT Phil Taylor, Baylor
Particulars: 4-star DT in 2006 recruiting class (signed with Penn State before transferring)

22. Indianapolis Colts: OT Anthony Castonzo, Boston College
Particulars: 2-star OT in 2007 recruiting class (prep school recruit)

23. Philadelphia Eagles: G Danny Watkins, Baylor
Particulars: 4-star OT in 2009 recruiting class (national top-40 junior college recruit)

24. New Orleans: DE Cameron Jordan, California
Particulars: 3-star DE in 2007 recruiting class

25. Seattle Seahawks: OT James Carpenter, Alabama
Particulars: 4-star OT in 2009 recruiting class (national top-40 junior college recruit)

26. Kansas City Chiefs: WR Jonathan Baldwin, Pittsburgh
Particulars: 5-star WR in 2008 recruiting class (national top-30 player)

27. Baltimore Ravens: CB Jimmy Smith, Colorado
Particulars: 3-star ATH in 2006 recruiting class

28. New Orleans Saints: RB Mark Ingram, Alabama
Particulars: 4-star ATH in 2008 recruiting class

29. Chicago Bears: OT Gabe Carimi, Wisconsin
Particulars: 3-star OT in 2006 recruiting class

30. New York Jets: DT Muhammad Wilkerson, Temple
Particulars: 3-star G in 2008 recruiting class (prep school recruit)

31. Pittsburgh Steelers: DE Cameron Heyward, Ohio State
Particulars: 4-star DT in 2007 recruiting class

32. Green Bay Packers: OT Derek Sherrod, Mississippi State
Particulars: 4-star OT in 2007 recruiting class


2010 NFL Draft

1. St. Louis Rams: QB Sam Bradford, Alabama
Particulars: 3-star QB in 2006 recruiting class

2. Detroit Lions: DT Ndamukong Suh, Nebraska
Particulars: 4-star DT in 2005 recruiting class (national top-60 player)

3. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: DT Gerald McCoy, Oklahoma
Particulars: 5-star DT in 2006 recruiting class (national top-five player)

4. Washington Redskins: OT Trent Williams, Oklahoma
Particulars: 3-star G in 2006 recruiting class

5. Kansas City Chiefs: S Eric Berry, Tennessee
Particulars: 5-star DB in 2007 recruiting class (national top-five player)

6. Seattle Seahawks: OT Russell Okung, Oklahoma State
Particulars: 3-star OT in 2006 recruiting class

7. Cleveland Browns: CB Joe Haden, Florida
Particulars: 4-star ATH in 2007 recruiting class (national top-60 player)

8. Oakland Raiders: LB Rolando McClain, Alabama
Particulars: 4-star LB in 2006 recruiting class (national top-40 player)

9. Buffalo Bills: RB C.J. Spiller, Clemson
Particulars: 5-star RB in 2006 recruiting class (national top-10 player)

10. Jacksonville Jaguars: DE Tyson Alualu, California
Particulars: 3-star DT in 2005 recruiting class

11. San Francisco 49ers: OT Anthony Davis, Rutgers
Particulars: 4-star G in 2007 recruiting class (national top-70 player)

12. San Diego Chargers: RB Ryan Mathews, Fresno State
Particulars: 3-star ATH in 2007 recruiting class

13. Philadelphia Eagles: LB Brandon Graham, Michigan
Particulars: 5-star LB in 2006 recruiting class (national top-15 player)

14. Seattle Seahawks: S Earl Thomas, Texas
Particulars: 4-star ATH in 2007 recruiting class

15. New York Giants: DE Jason Pierre-Paul, USF
Particulars: 4-star DE in 2009 recruiting class (national top-10 junior college player)

16. Tennessee Titans: DE Derrick Morgan, Georgia Tech
Particulars: 4-star DE in 2007 recruiting class (national top-80 player)

17. San Francisco 49ers: G Mike Iupati, Idaho
Particulars: 2-star DT in 2005 recruiting class

18. Pittsburgh Steelers: C Maurkice Pouncey, Florida
Particulars: 4-star G in 2007 recruiting class

19. Atlanta Falcons: LB Sean Weatherspoon, Missouri
Particulars: 2-star LB in 2006 recruiting class

20. Houston Texans: CB Kareem Jackson, Alabama
Particulars: 4-star DB in 2007 recruiting class (national top-20 prep school player)

21. Cincinnati Bengals: TE Jermaine Gresham, Oklahoma
Particulars: 4-star TE in 2006 recruiting class (national top-35 player)

22. Denver Broncos: WR Demaryius Thomas, Georgia Tech
Particulars: 3-star WR in 2006 recruiting class

23. Green Bay Packers: OT Bryan Bulaga, Iowa
Particulars: 4-star OT in 2007 recruiting class (national top-70 player)

24. Dallas Cowboys: WR Dez Bryant, Oklahoma State
Particulars: 4-star WR in 2007 recruiting class (national top-60 player)

25. Denver Broncos: QB Tim Tebow, Florida
Particulars: 5-star QB in 2006 recruiting class (national top-25 player)

26. Arizona Cardinals: DT Dan Williams, Tennessee
Particulars: 3-star DT in 2005 recruiting class

27. New England Patriots: CB Devin McCourty, Rutgers
Particulars: 2-star CB in 2005 recruiting class

28. Miami Dolphins: DT Jared Odrick, Penn State
Particulars: 4-star DT in 2006 recruiting class (national top-40 player)

29. New York Jets: CB Kyle Wilson, Boise State
Particulars: 2-star CB in 2005 recruiting class

30. Detroit Lions: RB Jahvid Best, California
Particulars: 4-star RB in 2007 recruiting class (national top-100 player)

31. Indianapolis Colts: DE Jerry Hughes, TCU
Particulars: 2-star DE in 2006 recruiting class

32. New Orleans Saints: CB Patrick Robinson, Florida State
Particulars: 4-star CB in 2006 recruiting class

Mike Huguenin can be reached at mike.huguenin@nfl.com. You also can follow him on Twitter @MikeHuguenin.

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