April 28, 2011

The road to the first round of the draft

MORE: SEC dominates top picks | Draft tracker | Complete coverage

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.

There were 11 former four-star prospects and two former two-star prospects - Wisconsin defensive end J.J. Watt, a transfer from Central Michigan, and Boston College offensive tackle Anthony Castonzo. Castonzo also was one of two former prep-school players to go in the first round; the other was Temple defensive lineman Muhammad Wilkerson.

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.

1. CAROLINA: QB CAMERON NEWTON One-on-one
COLLEGE: Auburn Highlights
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.
2. DENVER: OLB VON MILLER One-on-one
COLLEGE: TEXAS A&M Highlights
HIGH SCHOOL: DeSoto, Texas Highlights
RANKING: No. 15 weakside defensive end in '07
3. BUFFALO: DT MARCELL DAREUS One-on-one
COLLEGE: Alabama Highlights
HIGH SCHOOL: Birmingham, Ala., Huffman Highlights
RANKING: No. 28 defensive tackle in '08
4. CINCINNATI: WR A.J. GREEN One-on-one
COLLEGE: Georgia Highlights
HIGH SCHOOL: Summerville, S.C. Highlights
RANKING: No. 9 nationally, No. 2 wide receiver in '08
5. ARIZONA: CB PATRICK PETERSON One-on-one
COLLEGE: LSU Highlights
HIGH SCHOOL: Pompano Beach, Fla., Blanche Ely Highlights
RANKING: No. 5 nationally, No. 1 cornerback in '08 (known as Patrick Johnson in high school)
6. ATLANTA: WR JULIO JONES
COLLEGE: Alabama Highlights
HIGH SCHOOL: Foley, Ala. Highlights
RANKING: No. 4 nationally, No. 1 wide receiver in '08
7. SAN FRANCISCO: DE ALDON SMITH
COLLEGE: Missouri Highlights
HIGH SCHOOL: Raytown, Mo. Highlights
RANKING: No. 27 strongside defensive end in '08
8. TENNESSEE: QB JAKE LOCKER
COLLEGE: Washington Highlights
HIGH SCHOOL: Ferndale, Wash. Highlights
RANKING: No. 68 nationally, No. 4 dual-threat quarterback in '06
9. DALLAS: T TYRON SMITH
COLLEGE: USC Highlights
HIGH SCHOOL: Moreno Valley, Calif., Rancho Verde Highlights
RANKING: No. 15 nationally, No. 6 offensive tackle in '08
10. JACKSONVILLE: QB BLAINE GABBERT
COLLEGE: Missouri Highlights
HIGH SCHOOL: Ballwin, Mo., Parkway West Highlights
RANKING: No. 14 nationally, No. 1 pro-style quarterback in '08
11. HOUSTON: DE J.J. WATT
COLLEGE: Wisconsin (Transferred from Central Michigan)
HIGH SCHOOL: Pewaukee, Wis. Highlights
RANKING: unranked defensive end in '07
12. MINNESOTA: QB CHRISTIAN PONDER
COLLEGE: Florida State Highlights
HIGH SCHOOL: Colleyville, Texas, Colleyville Heritage Highlights
RANKING: No. 14 pro-style quarterback in '06
13. DETROIT: DT NICK FAIRLEY
COLLEGE: Auburn Highlights
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.
14. ST. LOUIS: DE ROBERT QUINN
COLLEGE: North Carolina
HIGH SCHOOL: North Charleston, S.C., Fort Dorchester Highlights
RANKING: No. 18 strongside defensive end in '08
15. MIAMI: C MIKE POUNCEY
COLLEGE: Florida Highlights
HIGH SCHOOL: Lakeland, Fla. Highlights
RANKING: No. 16 guard in '07
16. WASHINGTON: LB Ryan Kerrigan
COLLEGE: Purdue
HIGH SCHOOL: Muncie, Ind., Central Highlights
RANKING: No. 46 strongside defensive end in '07
17. NEW ENGLAND: T NATE SOLDER
COLLEGE: Colorado Highlights
HIGH SCHOOL: Buena Vista, Colo.
RANKING: No. 35 tight end in '06
18. SAN DIEGO: DT COREY LIUGET
COLLEGE: Illinois Highlights
HIGH SCHOOL: Hialeah, Fla. Highlights
RANKING: No. 80 nationally, No. 7 defensive tackle in '08
19. NEW YORK GIANTS: CB PRINCE AMUKAMARA
COLLEGE: Nebraska Highlights
HIGH SCHOOL: Glendale, Ariz., Apollo Highlights
RANKING: No. 57 athlete in '07
20. TAMPA BAY: DE ADRIAN CLAYBORN
COLLEGE: Iowa Highlights
HIGH SCHOOL: St. Louis Webster Groves Highlights
RANKING: No. 8 strongside defensive end in '06
21. CLEVELAND: DT PHIL TAYLOR
COLLEGE: Baylor (Transferred from Penn State) Highlights
HIGH SCHOOL: Clinton, Md., Gwynn Park Highlights
RANKING: No. 11 defensive tackle in '06
22. INDIANAPOLIS: T ANTHONY CASTONZO
COLLEGE: Boston College
HIGH SCHOOL: Lake Zurich, Ill., then Fork Union, Va., Military Academy
RANKING: unranked offensive tackle out of prep school in '07; he had no stars out of high school in '06
23. PHILADELPHIA: G DANNY WATKINS
COLLEGE: Baylor Highlights
JUNIOR COLLEGE: Butte College
HIGH SCHOOL: Kelowna, British Columbia, Mount Boucherie Secondary
RANKING: out of junior college in '09
24. NEW ORLEANS: DE CAMERON JORDAN
COLLEGE: California Highlights
HIGH SCHOOL: Chandler, Ariz.
RANKING: No. 37 strongside defensive end in '07
25. SEATTLE: T JAMES CARPENTER
COLLEGE: Alabama Highlights
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
26. KANSAS CITY: WR JONATHAN BALDWIN
COLLEGE: Pittsburgh Highlights
HIGH SCHOOL: Aliquippa, Pa. Highlights
RANKING: No. 26 nationally, No. 5 wide receiver in '08
27. BALTIMORE: CB JIMMY SMITH
COLLEGE: Colorado Highlights
HIGH SCHOOL: Colton, Calif.
RANKING: No. 57 athlete in '06
28. NEW ORLEANS: RB MARK INGRAM
COLLEGE: Alabama Highlights
HIGH SCHOOL: Flint, Mich., Southwestern Academy Highlights
RANKING: No. 17 athlete in '08
29. CHICAGO: T GABE CARIMI
COLLEGE: Wisconsin
HIGH SCHOOL: Monona Grove, Wis.
RANKING: No. 30 offensive tackle in '06
30. NEW YORK JETS: DT MUHAMMAD WILKERSON
COLLEGE: Temple Highlights
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
31. PITTSBURGH: DE CAMERON HEYWARD
COLLEGE: Ohio State Highlights
HIGH SCHOOL: Suwanee, Ga., Peachtree Ridge Highlights
RANKING: No. 13 defensive tackle in '07
32. GREEN BAY: T DEREK SHERROD
COLLEGE: Mississippi State Highlights
HIGH SCHOOL: Caledonia, Miss. Highlights
RANKING: No. 13 offensive tackle in '07

Mike Huguenin is the college sports editor for Rivals.com. He can be reached at mhuguenin@rivals.com.




 

Rivals.com is your source for: College Football | Football Recruiting | College Basketball | Basketball Recruiting | College Baseball | High School | College Merchandise
Site-specific editorial/photos Yahoo! Inc. All rights reserved. This website is an officially and independently operated source of news and information not affiliated with any school or team.
About | Advertise with Us | Contact | Privacy Policy | About our Ads | Terms of Service | Copyright/IP policy | Yahoo! Sports - NBC Sports Network

Statistical information 2007 STATS LLC All Rights Reserved.