Over the next two weeks, Rivals.com is taking a look at five-stars at each position from 2012 to 2015 (classes that are now nearly completely out of college football and off to the pros) and how they fared compared to our ranking to determine which spots we got right and which ones we got wrong. We move to wide receiver and tight end:
FIVE-STAR RECEIVERS AND TIGHT ENDS
Calvin Ridley, Tyron Johnson, Christian Kirk, Deon Cain, George Campbell, Trent Irwin, Travis Rudolph, Malachi Dupre, Speedy Noil, Josh Malone, Ermon Lane, Laquon Treadwell, Dorial Green-Beckham, Stefon Diggs, Nelson Agholor, O.J. Howard
Four five-stars during this period were first-round selections in Ridley, Treadwell, Agholor and Howard, the only five-star tight end in this stretch. There were also two second-rounders in Kirk and Green-Beckham. The Rivals 'hit' rate, five-stars who go on to be drafted in the first three rounds, was 6-for-16 (38 percent) for the positions from 2012-2015.
But those were not the only success stories, either, as Malone was a fourth-round pick, Diggs went in the fifth round and has had arguably the most successful NFL career of anybody on this list so far, Cain was a sixth-round pick and Dupre went in the seventh.
There were also some misses as well, but mainly on players who we thought were on the fringe about making five-stars in the first place, took a shot on and ended up being more wrong than right.
Johnson and Irwin both went undrafted and both were picked up as free agents. Campbell was a hot debate throughout the recruiting cycle, ended up not doing much at Florida State and is expected to be a graduate transfer at Penn State.
Lane was another prospect where the analysts were torn on his ranking - and even his future position - and after not making an impact at receiver for the Seminoles he switched over to defensive back but has fallen off the map. Noil went undrafted, tried to land in the NFL and in other pro leagues but that didn’t work and he was arrested in April in College Station.
We didn’t do so bad here and it doesn’t surprise me that Diggs has been the best of the bunch. Anyone who knows me knows how high I was on him coming out of high school and now he’s an NFL star. Ridley was a no-brainer and reminded me of a longer Diggs while Howard was the most athletic tight end I’ve ever seen. Kirk was a strong debate and panned out well despite a lack of size. Green-Beckham went bell-to-bell as our No 1 prospect in the 2012 class but never lived up to the billing, which is a surprise.
When we miss, we miss big, huh? Campbell and Lane were both debated heavily with as many voting against as there were for, so I’ll take the blame for them. Dupre surprised me because I thought he would do better but he never got a great shake at LSU.
Overall, we’ve done a good job at the receiver and tight end positions and am happy with our evals.