Article by Andy Staples of SI
If Peter King picked the first round correctly in his Mock Draft last week, nearly half of this year's newest crop of millionaires will have played high above recruitniks' predictions. Fifteen of the 32 players in King's Mock rated three stars or fewer out of high school, meaning evaluators felt they would, at best, be solid contributors at the FBS level.
So how did the recruitniks misjudge so many players so badly? They didn't. They misjudged a few players, which is to be expected when trying to project how 17-year-olds will fare as 20-year-olds. After last year's draft, writer Matt Hinton broke down the numbers, and they backed up the star ranking system's relative reliability as a predictor of success in college and beyond.
If 15 of 32 earning three stars or fewer sounds like a lot, consider the fact that from 2003-08, Rivals.com ranked 208 players as five-stars, 1,807 players as four-stars and 13,862 as a three-star or lower. In other words, two- and three-star players made up 87.3 percent of the players Rivals ranked during that period. Meanwhile, four- and five-stars -- of which King's Mock included 17 -- made up only 12.7 percent of the players ranked during that period. So, if the numbers hold, 53 percent of the first-rounders will come from the top eighth of the recruits.