How were the 2014 NFL Draft first-round picks ranked as recruits?

NFL: 2014 NFL Draft

It’s always interesting to look back at first-round picks and see how they ranked as recruits.

The No. 1 overall pick Jadeveon Clowney was a five-star and rated the top overall prospect by nearly every recruiting agency, and he lived up to that ranking last night. Sammy Watkins, Ha Ha Clinton-Dix and Dominique Easley were also five-stars who were first-round picks.

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Here’s a look at how the first-round picks were rated as high school prospects:

Pick Team Player Po. College Stars Conference
1 Houston Texans Jadeveon Clowney DE South Carolina ***** SEC
2 St. Louis Rams Greg Robinson OT Auburn **** SEC
3 Jacksonville Jaguars Blake Bortles QB UCF *** AAC
4 Buffalo Bills Sammy Watkins WR Clemson ***** ACC
5 Oakland Raiders Khalil Mack LB Buffalo ** MAC
6 Atlanta Falcons Jake Matthews OT Texas A&M **** SEC
7 Tampa Bay Bucs Mike Evans WR Texas A&M *** SEC
8 Cleveland Browns Justin Gilbert WR Oklahoma State **** Big 12
9 Minnesota Vikings Anthony Barr OLB UCLA **** Pac-12
10 Detroit Lions Eric Ebron TE UNC *** ACC
11 Tennessee Titans Taylor Lewan OT Michigan **** Big Ten
12 New York Giants Odell Beckham WR LSU **** SEC
13 St. Louis Rams Aaron Donald DT Pittsburgh *** ACC
14 Chicago Bears Kyle Fuller CB Va Tech *** ACC
15 Pittsburgh Steelers Ryan Shazier OLB Ohio State **** Big Ten
16 Dallas Cowboys Zack Martin OT Notre Dame **** Independent
17 Baltimore Ravens CJ Mosley ILB Alabama **** SEC
18 New York Jets Calvin Pryor S Louisville *** AAC
19 Miami Dolphins Ja’Wuan James OT Tennessee **** SEC
20 New Orleans Saints Brandin Cooks WR Oregon State **** Pac-12
21 Green Bay Packers HaHa Clinton-Dix S Alabama ***** SEC
22 Cleveland Browns Johnny Manziel QB Texas A&M *** SEC
23 Kansas City Chiefs Dee Ford DE Auburn *** SEC
24 Cincinnati Bengals Darqueze Dennard CB Michigan State ** Big Ten
25 San Diego Chargers Jason Verrett CB TCU *** Big 12
26 Philadelphia Eagles Marcus Smith DE/OLB Louisville *** AAC
27 Arizona Cardinals Deone Bucannon SS Washington St. *** Pac-12
28 Carolina Panthers Kelvin Benjamin WR FSU **** ACC
29 New England Patriots Dominique Easley DL Florida ***** SEC
30 San Francisco 49ers Jimmie Ward SS Northern Illinois ** MAC
31 Denver Broncos Bradley Roby CB Ohio State *** Big Ten
32 Minnesota Vikings Teddy Bridgewater QB Louisville **** AAC

*Prospect rankings are from

Here are the picks broken down by star ranking:

  • Five-stars: 4 (12.5%)
  • Four-stars: 13 (40.6%)
  • Three-stars: 12 (37.5%)
  • Two-stars: 3 (9.4%)

Few takeaways:

  • Two of three two-star prospects went to MAC schools with Khalil Mack at Buffalo and Jimmie Ward at Northern Illinois, while the other was corner Darqueze Dennard at Michigan State.
  • More than half of the first-round picks were rated as either five- or four-star prospects (53 percent). That’s a solid percentage.
  • All four offensive tackles were rated as four-star prospects. Offensive linemen are tough to gauge as far as their upside and potential. Of last year’s eight offensive linemen selected in the first round, six of the eight were ranked as three-star prospects or less.

Photo Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports



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  • The 2 and 3 star players accounted for half of the 1st round. Maybe it’s just me,but I’m more impressed seeing lower rated talent at age 17, completely fool all the experts.

    • Wolfman: You have to realize that there are a lot more 3 star recruits than 4 and 5 star recruits. So naturally there are going to be a lot of 3 star players that preform well and get drafted. When you brake it down, the percentage of 4/5 star recruits that gets drafted is going to be a lot higher than 3 star players because there are a lot more 3 star players that are playing college football.

  • 11 of the 32 are from the SEC. Enough said!

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