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Do recruiting stars matter? NFL Draft says yes

By: , April 24, 2020, 11:46 am

When we talk about a player’s star rankings from recruiting services, many folks roll their eyes, but Thursday night’s first round of the NFL Draft proved out its worth. 

Of the 32 players taken, 21 were four-star recruits or better, while only one — Arizona State wideout Brandon Aiyuk, taken by the 49ers with pick No. 25 — was below a three-star ranking (Aiyuk was unranked coming out of high school). In all, there were six five-star recruits taken in the first round, and 15 four-star recruits. 

As 247Sports’ Chris Hummer pointed out on Twitter, four- and five-star prospects make up about 10-15 percent of each recruiting class. 

Ohio State recruited the top three picks — Joe Burrow, Chase Young and Jeff Okudah — out of high school: Burrow was a four-star, while Young and Okudah were five-star recruits. 

The SEC had a record 15 picks in the round, while the Big Ten (which no longer gets credit for Burrow) had five, three of them by the Buckeyes, one each by Iowa and Michigan. 

States where they can play football year-round matters, too. 

Seven of the first-round picks originally hailed from Texas, while four were from Florida, but no players from Michigan or Indiana high schools have yet been selected. [For a listing of Michigan (CLICK HERE) and Indiana (CLICK HERE) players who might go in the draft’s three days.]

Specialization? According to data from TrackingFootball.com, 28 of the 32 picks were multi-sport athletes in high school. 

— MATTHEW B. MOWERY