Seven former five-star recruits went in the first round of the NFL draft, including six of the top 10 picks.
Top pick Cameron Newton, the quarterback from Auburn, also was one of four former junior college players taken in the first round. Newton was a five-star recruit out of Blinn College (Texas) when Auburn signed him in February 2010. (He also was a five-star recruit out of high school in 2007.)
Newton was the first reigning Heisman winner to go No. 1 in the draft since Carson Palmer was selected first overall out of USC in the 2003 draft.
Former three-star prospects led the way in the first round, as there were 12 chosen. The first came at No. 3, when Alabama defensive lineman Marcel Dareus was selected by Buffalo.
The SEC led the way with 10 first-rounders, including five of the first six selections. The Big 12 had eight picks, including three of the top 10. Next came the Big Ten with six, the ACC and Pac-10 with three each and the Big East and MAC with one each. Two of the Pac-10's were taken among the first 10.
Six schools had at least two players selected, led by Alabama with four. Auburn, Baylor, Colorado, Missouri and Wisconsin each had two. Auburn and Wisconsin played in BCS bowls from among that group, while Colorado didn't qualify for a postseason appearance.
In terms of high school ball, three states produced three first-rounders: Alabama, Florida and Missouri; two of Missouri's were from St. Louis suburbs (Iowa defensive end Adrian Clayborn and Missouri quarterback Blaine Gabbert). Arizona, California, Georgia, South Carolina, Texas and Wisconsin each had two selections, and Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Michigan, Mississippi, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Washington had one each. One draftee, Baylor offensive lineman Danny Watkins, is Canadian and did not play high school ball in the United States. Watkins also was one of the four former JC players to go in the first round.
COLLEGE: AuburnHighlights JUNIOR COLLEGE: Blinn CC (Preceeded by Florida) Highlights HIGH SCHOOL: Atlanta Westlake Highlights RANKING: out of junior college in '10; he was a five-star prospect and No. 28 nationally and the No. 2 dual-threat quarterback out of high school in '07.
COLLEGE: AuburnHighlights JUNIOR COLLEGE: Copiah-Lincoln CC Highlights HIGH SCHOOL: Mobile, Ala., Williamson Highlights RANKING: out of junior college as a defensive tackle in '09; he was a 3-star prospect and the No. 28 guard out of high school in '07.
COLLEGE: AlabamaHighlights JUNIOR COLLEGE: Coffeyville CC Highlights HIGH SCHOOL: Hephzibah, Ga.
RANKING: out of junior college in '09. He was a 2-star tackle recruit out of high school in '07, when he originally signed with Iowa State
COLLEGE: TempleHighlights HIGH SCHOOL: Linden, N.J., then Chatham, Va., Hargrave Military Academy
RANKING: as a guard out of prep school in '08; he was a two-star prospect as a defensive end out of high school in '07