Every year, people get sucked into reading data like this…
… and jump to the conclusion that it’s proof recruiting rankings are meaningless.
Here’s what those folks should be looking at, instead.
For broader scope, let’s take a look at the entirety of the 2018 NFL Draft in terms of the draftees’ high school recruiting ranking in the 247Sports Composite.
2018 NFL Draftees
If one were to look at those numbers without an explanation, you’d see that 167 of 254 drafted players ranked as a three-star prospect or below. That’s 65.7 percent of all players drafted. But one also needs to consider the pool in which these players are coming from. To do, let’s take a look at the 2014 class, those players that would’ve been fourth-year seniors in 2017, along with the percentage of them drafted based on the 2018 NFL Draft.
2014 Class – 247Sports Composite
5-star: 33 (57.6%)
4-star: 296 (23.6%)
3-star: 1,541 (6.9%)
2-star: 1,666 (1.1%)
In other words, if you were a ’14 five-star recruit out of high school, your chances of being drafted by an NFL team were almost ten times more likely than if you were a three-star kid.
Last year’s draft numbers tell a similar story.
2017 NFL Draft
2013 Class – 247Sports Composite
Five-star: 35 (65.7%)
Four-star: 330 (23%)
Three-star: 1,790 (5%)
Two-star: 1,720 (1.4%)
Let’s face it. Nick Saban and Kirby Smart aren’t killing themselves chasing the top high school talent because their goal in life is to finish first in the recruiting rankings. It’s because there aren’t a lot of five-star recruits out there and the odds that any one of them will wind up being a major contributor are significantly greater. Baker Mayfield’s recruiting ranking notwithstanding…