A wild and controversy-laden first night of the 2016 NFL draft has long since been put to bed — one college football program may have ongoing and lingering night terrors, though — with the second round set to kick off in less than an hour. Before that, though, it’s time to take a quick recruiting look back at that first round.
There were a total of 31 players selected in that first round, with just four coming from non-Power Five programs — quarterback Carson Wentz (North Dakota State, FCS) to the Philadelphia Eagles at No. 2, cornerback William Jackson III (Houston, AAC) to the Cincinnati Bengals at No. 24, quarterback Paxton Lynch (Memphis, AAC) to the Denver Broncos at No. 26, defensive tackle Vernon Butler (Louisiana Tech, Conference USA) to the Carolina Panthers at No. 30. Wentz, as you may have learned during the run-up to the draft, wasn’t ranked in 247Sports.com‘s 2011 composite rankings and received zero scholarship offers from FBS programs, with Central Michigan the only school from that level showing more than mild interest. The other three? They were two-star prospects according to that recruiting service.
Those stars, or lack thereof, though, were the exception rather than the rule.
Of the remaining 27 first-round picks in the 2016 draft, more than half (17) were four-star prospects coming out of high school, again according to 247Sports.com’s composite rankings. Of the players selected in the Top 10, seven of them were four-star recruits, with the lone exceptions being Wentz, Florida State cornerback Jalen Ramsey (2013 five-star) and Michigan State offensive tackle Jack Conklin (not rated, zero FBS scholarship offers, began career as walk-on).
Aside from Wentz, Conklin, Jackson III, Lynch and Butler, every other draft pick was at least a three-star recruit coming out of high school. Interestingly, there were nearly as many three-star recruits picked (four) as there were five-stars (five).
Including the No. 1 overall pick from Cal, quarterback Jared Goff, four of the first five selections were four-star prospects. The first five-star selected was Ramsey; the first three-star was Louisville’s Sheldon Rankins at No. 12 to the New Orleans Saints.
Below is the entire first round of the 2016 NFL draft, with the draftees corresponding recruiting ranking in parentheses.
- Los Angeles Rams — Jared Goff, Cal (4*)
- Philadelphia Eagles — Carson Wentz, North Dakota State (NR)
- San Diego Chargers — Joey Bosa, Ohio State (4*)
- Dallas Cowboys — Ezekiel Elliott, Ohio State (4*)
- Jacksonville Jaguars — Jalen Ramsey, Florida State (5*)
- Baltimore Ravens — Ronnie Stanley, Notre Dame (4*)
- San Francisco 49ers — DeForest Buckner, Oregon (4*)
- Tennessee Titans — Jack Conklin, Michigan State (NR)
- Chicago Bears — Leonard Floyd, Georgia (4*)
- New York Giants — Eli Apple, Ohio State (4*)
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers — Vernon Hargreaves III, Florida (5*)
- New Orleans Saints — Sheldon Rankins, Louisville (3*)
- Miami Dolphins — Laremy Tunsil, Ole Miss (5*)
- Oakland Raiders — Karl Joseph, West Virginia (3*)
- Cleveland Browns — Corey Coleman, Baylor (4*)
- Detroit Lions — Taylor Decker, Ohio State (4*)
- Atlanta Falcons — Keanu Neal, Florida (4*)
- Indianapolis Colts — Ryan Kelly, Alabama (4*)
- Buffalo Bills — Shaq Lawson, Clemson (4*)
- New York Jets — Darron Lee, Ohio State (3*)
- Houston Texans — Will Fuller, Notre Dame (4*)
- Washington Redskins — Josh Doctson, TCU (3*)
- Minnesota Vikings — Laquon Treadwell, Ole Miss (5*)
- Cincinnati Bengals — William Jackson III, Houston (2*)
- Pittsburgh Steelers — Artie Burns, Miami (4*)
- Denver Broncos — Paxton Lynch, Memphis (2*)
- Green Bay Packers — Kenny Clark, UCLA (4*)
- San Francisco 49ers — Joshua Garnett, Stanford (4*)
- Arizona Cardinals — Robert Nkemdiche, Ole Miss (5*)
- Carolina Panthers — Vernon Butler, Louisiana Tech (2*)
- Seattle Seahawks — Germain Ifedi, Texas A&M (4*)