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How 2015 first-round draft picks rated as high school recruits

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There is no science to player evaluation. If there were, linebacker Aaron Curry would be an NFL star and running back Arian Foster would be a candidate for a "whatever happened to?" story that would appeal only to University of Tennessee fans.

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Instead, Foster, a former Vols player who was undrafted in 2009, is a four-time 1,000-yard rusher with the Houston Texans. Curry, a former Wake Forest standout who was the No. 4 overall pick in that 2009 draft by the Seattle Seahawks, is an assistant coach at Charlotte, which begins play in the FBS ranks this fall.

If NFL player evaluations fail, it follows that college player evaluations will, too. That again was borne out in the 2015 NFL Draft.

Looking at the high school recruiting rankings for the first-rounders in the 2015 draft, eight of the 32 picks were five-star recruits out of high school. That's an impressive number. Interestingly, though, only one five-star recruit went in the top 12; five former five-star recruits went in the final 13 picks of the round.

Still, that one-fourth of the first round was made up of former five-star recruits is noteworthy. But half of the top eight and half of the entire draft was made up of former three-star recruits. There also were seven former four-star recruits and one former two-star recruit.

FBS schools sign about 2,700 football players each season. There generally are about 35 five-star prospects annually, meaning less than 1.5 percent of the players signed are five-star guys. Generally, there are about 275 to 300 four-star prospects annually, which means the majority of players who sign with colleges each season -- about 85 percent -- are two- or three-star guys.

Here's a look at the 2015 first-rounders. We used the 247sports.com composite recruiting rankings as our guide.

1. QB Jameis Winston, Florida State (Tampa Bay Buccaneers)

High school: Hueytown (Ala.) High
Recruiting ranking: 5-star recruit in 2012 class; No. 1 QB and No. 15 player in nation

2. QB Marcus Mariota, Oregon (Tennessee Titans)

High school: Honolulu St. Louis School
Recruiting ranking: 3-star recruit in 2011 class

3. OLB Dante Fowler Jr., Florida (Jacksonville Jaguars)

High school: St. Petersburg (Fla.) Lakewood
Recruiting ranking: 4-star recruit in 2012 class; No. 8 DE and No. 36 player in nation

4. WR Amari Cooper, Alabama (Oakland Raiders)

High school: Miami Northwestern.
Recruiting ranking: 4-star recruit in 2012 class; No. 6 WR and No. 46 player in nation

5. OL Brandon Scherff, Iowa (Washington Redskins)

High school: Denison (Iowa) High
Recruiting ranking: 3-star recruit in 2010 class

6. DL Leonard Williams, USC (New York Jets)

High school: Daytona Beach (Fla.) Mainland
Recruiting ranking: 4-star recruit in 2012 class; No. 10 DE and No. 50 player in nation

7. WR Kevin White, West Virginia (Chicago Bears)

High school: Emmaus (Pa.) High, then Lackawanna College in Scranton, Pa.
Recruiting ranking: 3-star recruit out of junior college in 2013 class

8. OLB Vic Beasley, Clemson (Atlanta Falcons)

High school: Adairsville (Ga.) High
Recruiting ranking: 3-star recruit in 2010 class (as a TE)

9. OT Ereck Flowers, Miami (New York Giants)

High school: Miami Norland
Recruiting ranking: 4-star recruit in 2012 class; No. 17 OT in nation

10. RB Todd Gurley, Georgia (St. Louis Rams)

High school: Tarboro (N.C.) High
Recruiting ranking: 4-star recruit in 2012 class; No. 7 RB and No. 74 player in nation

11. CB Trae Waynes, Michigan State (Minnesota Vikings)

High school: Kenosha (Wis.) Bradford
Recruiting ranking: 3-star recruit in 2011 class

12. DT Danny Shelton, Washington (Cleveland Browns)

High school: Auburn (Wash.) High
Recruiting ranking: 3-star recruit in 2011 class

13. OT Andrus Peat, Stanford (New Orleans Saints)

High school: Tempe (Ariz.) Corona del Sol
Recruiting ranking: 5-star recruit in 2012 class; No. 4 OT and No. 30 player in nation

14. WR DeVante Parker, Louisville (Miami Dolphins)

High school: Louisville (Ky.) Ballard
Recruiting ranking: 3-star recruit in 2011 class

15. RB Melvin Gordon, Wisconsin (San Diego Chargers)

High school: Kenosha (Wis.) Bradford
Recruiting ranking: 4-star recruit in 2011 class; No. 18 RB in nation

16. CB Kevin Johnson, Wake Forest (Houston Texans)

High school: Clarksville (Md.) River Hill
Recruiting ranking: 3-star recruit in 2010 class

17. DT Arik Armstead, Oregon (San Francisco 49ers)

High school: Elk Grove (Calif.) Pleasant Grove
Recruiting ranking: 5-star recruit in 2012 class; No. 1 ATH and No. 14 player in nation

18. CB Marcus Peters, Washington (Kansas City Chiefs)

High school: Oakland McClymonds
Recruiting ranking: 3-star recruit in 2011 class

19. OL Cameron Erving, Florida State (Cleveland Browns)

High school: Moultrie (Ga.) Colquitt County
Recruiting ranking: 3-star recruit in 2010 class (as a DT)

20. WR Nelson Agholor, USC (Philadelphia Eagles)

High school: Tampa Berkeley Prep
Recruiting ranking: 5-star recruit in 2012 class; No. 2 ATH and No. 31 player in nation

21. OT Cedric Ogbuehi, Texas A&M (Cincinnati Bengals)

High school: Allen (Texas) High
Recruiting ranking: 4-star recruit in 2010 class; No. 15 OT in nation

22. OLB Bud Dupree, Kentucky (Pittsburgh Steelers)

High school: Irwinton (Ga.) Wilkinson County
Recruiting ranking: 3-star recruit in 2011 class (as a TE)

23. OLB Shane Ray, Missouri (Denver Broncos)

High school: Roeland Park (Kan.) Bishop Miege
Recruiting ranking: 3-star recruit in 2011 class (as a DE)

24. OT D.J. Humphries, Florida (Arizona Cardinals)

High school: Charlotte Mallard Creek
Recruiting ranking: 5-star recruit in 2012 class. No. 1 OT and No. 3 player in nation

25. LB Shaq Thompson, Washington (Carolina Panthers)

High school: Sacramento (Calif.) Grant
Recruiting ranking: 5-star recruit in 2012 class. No. 1 S and No. 4 player in nation

26. WR Breshad Perriman, UCF (Baltimore Ravens)

High school: Lithonia (Ga.) Arabia Mountain
Recruiting ranking: 2-star recruit in 2011 class

27. CB Byron Jones, Connecticut (Dallas Cowboys)

High school: Bristol (Conn.) St. Paul Catholic
Recruiting ranking: 3-star recruit in 2010 class (as a WR)

28. G Laken Tomlinson, Duke (Detroit Lions)

High school: Chicago Lane Tech
Recruiting ranking: 3-star recruit in 2010 class

29. WR Phillip Dorsett, Miami (Indianapolis Colts)

High school: Fort Lauderdale (Fla.) St. Thomas Aquinas
Recruiting ranking: 3-star recruit in 2011 class

30. S Damarious Randall, Arizona State (Green Bay Packers)

High school: Pensacola (Fla.) High
Recruiting ranking: 3-star recruit out of junior college in 2013 class (as a CB). Originally went to JC to play baseball

31. ILB Stephone Anthony, Clemson (New Orleans Saints)

High school: Wadesboro (N.C.) Anson
Recruiting ranking: 5-star recruit in 2012 class. No. 2 LB and No. 20 player in nation

32. DT Malcom Brown, Texas (New England Patriots)

High school: Brenham (Texas) High
Recruiting ranking: 5-star recruit in 2012 class. No. 2 DT and No. 9 player in nation

The 2015 draft class clears the books on rivals.com's 2009 five-star recruits (247sports.com was not around until 2011), with Florida wide receiver Andre Debose -- who received a sixth year of eligibility -- going in the seventh round to Denver. Sixteen of the 33 five-star prospects in that class were drafted, including three in the first round. The top prospect was running back Bryce Brown, who was a seventh-rounder.

All but one of the 26 rivals.com five-star recruits in 2010 are out of college. Fifteen of them were drafted, including four first-rounders. The top prospect was defensive end Ronald Powell, who was a fifth-round pick last year.

There were 30 five-star recruits in the 247sports.com consensus 2011 rankings. Six still have college eligibility. Of the 24 who are out of college, 13 have been drafted, including four in the first round. The top prospect was defensive end Jadeveon Clowney, who was the overall No. 1 pick in 2014.

There were 35 five-star prospects in the 247sports.com consensus 2012 rankings. Seventeen are done with college. Of those 17, eight were taken in the 2015 draft, including seven in the first round; two have signed free-agent contracts. The No. 1 prospect in the class was wide receiver Dorial Green-Beckham, who was a second-rounder this year.

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

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