clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Is CFB National Signing Day relevant to the NFL Draft?

The first Wednesday in February is the second coming of Christmas for college football fanatics across the nation. On national signing day, high school seniors sign their letter of intent and make a binding commitment to their college of choice.

National Signing Day is college football's version of the NFL draft.  However, while the NFL is a parity driven league that strives for competitiveness and equal distribution of talent, the college football landscape provides an opportunity to concentrate the best talent at powerhouse programs.  Since high school players choose which school they will attend and play for, instead of being simply assigned to the team that drafts them, the only limitation is the maximum of 25 players per annual class.  This allows elite programs including Alabama, LSU, Ohio State, Florida State and Southern Cal to routinely dominate the national signing day class rankings.

24/7 Sports combines the major scouting service player rankings to create the Composite rankings, which is considered the industry standard.  Let's take a look at the Composite to determine if a correlation exists between the top rated players coming out of high school to the top players entering the NFL draft from the college ranks...

2010 class notable 5 star composite recruits:

#3 Robert Woods - USC - Drafted #41, 2013, Bills

#4 Dominique Easley - Florida - Drafted #29, 2014, Patriots

#6 Shariff Floyd - Florida - Drafted #23, 2013, Vikings

#10 Keenan Allen - Cal - Drafted #76, 2013, Chargers

#12 Lamarcus Joyner - FSU - Drafted #41, 2014, Rams

#14 Dee Milliner - Bama - Drafted #9, 2013, Jets

#15 Matt Elam - Florida - Drafted #32, 2013, Ravens

#19 Alec Ogletree- Georgia - Drafted #30, 2013, Rams

#28 Ju'Wuan James - Tennessee - Drafted #19, 2014, Dolphins

2011 class notable 5 star composite recruits:

#1 Jadeveon Clowney - USCe - Drafted #1, 2014, Texans

#2 Cyrus Kouandijo - Bama - Drafted #44, 2014, Bills

#3 La'El Collins - LSU - Signed by the Cowboys after the 2015 draft

#7 Ha-Ha Clinton Dix - Bama - Drafted #21 2014, Packers

#11 Timmy Jernigan - FSU - Drafted #48, 2014, Ravens

#15 Jarvis Landry - LSU - Drafted #64, 2014, Dolphins

#19 Stephone Anthony - Clemson - Drafted #31, 2015, Saints

#20 Sammy Watkins - Drafted #4, 2014, Bills

2012 class notable 5 star composite recruits:

#1 Dorial Green-Beckham - Mizzou - Drafted #40, 2015, Titans

#2 Mario Edwards - FSU - Drafted #35, 2015, Raiders

#3 DJ Humphries - Florida - Drafted #24, Cardinals

#4 Shaq Thompson - Washington - Drafted #25, 2015, Panthers

#5 Noah Spence - OSU - First round prospect

#7 Landon Collins - Bama - Drafted #33, 2015, Giants

#10 Eddie Goldman - FSU - Drafted #39. 2015, Bears

#12 Jonathan Bullard - Florida - First round prospect

#14 Jameis Winston - FSU - Drafted #1, 2015, Bucs

#15 Arik Armstead - Oregon - Drafted #17, 2015, 49ers

#19 Duke Johnson - Miami - Drafted #77, 2015, Browns

#21 Adolphus Washington - OSU - First round prospect

# 25 Ronald Darby - FSU - Drafted #50, 2015, Bills

#29 T.J. Yeldon - Bama - Drafted #36, 2015, Jags

#30 Andrus Peat - Stanford - Drafted #13, 2015, Saints

#31 Nelson Agholor - USCw - Drafted #17, 2015,

2013 class notable 5 star composite recruits:

#1 Robert Nkemdiche - Miss - First round prospect

#2 Jaylon Smith - ND - First round prospect

# 3 Vernon Hargreaves - Florida - Top 15 prospect

#4 Laremy Tunsil - Miss - Top 3 prospect

#5 Su'a Cravens - Day 2 prospect

#6 Reuben Foster - Bama - Returning to school

#12 Derrick Henry - Bama - Second round prospect

#14 Laquon Treadwell - Miss - Top 15 prospect

#15 Jalen Ramsey - FSU - Top 10 prospect

#16 Kendall Fuller - VT - First round prospect

#17 Jonathan Allen - Bama - Returning to school

#19 OJ Howard - Bama - Returning to school

#29 Mackensie Alexander - Clemson - First round prospect

#32 Tony Connor - Miss - Returning to school

#34 A'Shawn Robinson - Bama - Top 20 prospect

2014 class notable 5 star composite recruits:

#1 Leonard Fournette - LSU - RB

#2 Myles Garrett - A&M - DE

#3 Jabril Peppers - Michigan - DB

#4 Cam Robinson - Bama - LT

#7 Adoree Jackson - USCw - CB

#12 Marlon Humphrey - Bama - CB

#13 Dalvin Cook - FSU - RB

#14 Jalen Tabor - Florida - CB

#17 Malachi Dupree - LSU - WR

#20 JuJu Smith Schuster - USCw - WR

#22 Raekwon McMillan - OSU - ILB

#32 Malik McDowell - MichSt - DE

#33 Nick Chubb - Georgia - RB

2015 class notable 5 star composite recruits:

#1 Trent Thompson - Georgia - DT

#2 Martez Ivery - Florida - OT

#4 Iman Marshall - USCw - CB

#5 Derwin James - FSU - S

#7 CeCe Jefferson - Florida - DE

#8 Kevin Toliver - LSU - CB

#9 Josh Sweat - FSU - DE

#11 Calvin Ridley - Bama - WR

#13 Terry Beckner - Mizzou - DT

#19 Deon Cain - Clemson - WR

#30 Minkah Fitzpatrick - Bama - CB

2016 class notable 5 star composite recruits:

#1 Rashan Gary - Michigan/Clemson - DT

#2 Dexter Lawrence - Clemson - DT

#3 Gregory Little - Miss - OT

#5 Jacob Eason - Georgia - QB

#7 Levonta Taylor - FSU - CB

#8 Nick Bosa - OSU - DE

#9 Derrick Brown - Georgia/Auburn - DT

#10 Ben Davis - Bama/Georgia - ILB

#12 Isaac Nauta - Georgia - TE

#14 Demetris Robertson - ND/Georgia - WR

#15 Lyndell Wilson - Bama/Auburn - OLB

#16 Oluwole Betiku - USCw - DE

#19 Jeffrey Simmons - Bama/Miss - DE

#21 Kristian Fulton - LSU/Florida - CB

#23 Rashard Lawrence - LSU - DT

Recruit rankings are not an exact science, there will always be 3 star players like Ed Reed and J.J . Watt who develop throughout college and turn out to be NFL Hall of Famers.  However, the advances in high school sports and scouting have enabled the Composite rankings do an admirable job of projecting how the top players will develop three, four or five years down the road.  There is a strong correlation between the amount of first round picks and Pro Bowl caliber NFL players who are regarded a 5 star talents coming out of high school.

For all the NFL draftniks out there, pay attention to National Signing Day, it is never too early to start formulating opinions on the best prospects for the Ravens to draft.