Friday, April 26, 2013

Star ratings and the NFL draft

Entering college with a five-star rating isn't like being handed a key to a filled safe.

More players who started college without star ratings by were selected in the top five of this year's draft than former five-star recruits. 

Oklahoma offensive tackle Lane Johnson and BYU defensive end Ziggy Asnah were selected by the Eagles and Lions with the fourth and fifth overall pick. Ansah is from Ghana and didn't begin playing football until college, so his lack of a rating is understandable. Johnson played quarterback in high school and started blossoming -- and growing --  at Kilgore (Texas) College before transferring to Oklahoma.

No. 1 overall pick Eric Fisher obtained a star rating. But recruiting services, like the entire Big Ten, overlooked Fisher, who was a two-star offensive line recruit when he arrived at Central Michigan.

Alabama cornerback Dee Milliner was the first five-star recruit off the board. The Jets selected Milliner ninth overall. Four other five-star recruits -- Alabama tackle D.J. Fluker (No. 11, Chargers), Missouri defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson (No. 13, Jets), Florida defensive tackle Sharrif Floyd (No. 23, Vikings) and Florida safety Matt Elam (No. 32, Ravens) -- were selected in the first round.

The five players, coincidentally, played for SEC schools last fall.

Two other players who left high school without star ratings -- North Carolina defensive tackle Sylvester Williams (No. 28, Broncos) and Tennessee wide receiver Cordarrelle Patterson (No. 29, Rams) -- were selected in the first round. Off-the-field factors were the biggest reasons for Williams and Patterson not receiving star ratings.

Here's an excellent pre-draft piece by Andy Staples of Sports Illustrated about prospects and their star ratings in high school.

-- Guy Cipriano | @newsheraldguy


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