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Breaking down the most notable five-star cuts in the NFL

Josh Rosen
Josh Rosen (AP Images)

This past weekend was cut day for NFL teams who needed to get down to their 53-man rosters. Along the way, a number of former five-star prospects were cut and some of them were big surprises. Here is a look at those players.


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DE Jonathan Bullard

Overview: Ranked as the best strong-side defensive end and sixth overall in the 2012 class, Bullard committed to Florida over Clemson and South Carolina. He was a third-round selection and played for a couple seasons with the Chicago Bears before going last season to the Arizona Cardinals. In four NFL seasons, Bullard totaled 80 tackles and 3.5 sacks.

Farrell’s take: Bullard was a big-time talent coming out of high school and I felt his game translated well from college because he could play a few different roles along the defensive line. He’ll have another chance somewhere soon but his production rushing the passer hasn’t been what I expected. I thought he was a third-round steal.


S Ha Ha Clinton-Dix

Overview: Clinton-Dix was the No. 1 safety and seventh overall player in the 2011 class. He committed to Alabama over Florida State, LSU, Miami and Florida. The No. 21 overall pick in the 2014 NFL Draft by the Green Bay Packers, Clinton-Dix was a Pro Bowler in 2016 and in recent years bounced to the Washington Redskins and Chicago Bears for one year each. He was cut by the Dallas Cowboys this preseason. The former five-star has totaled 522 tackles and 16 interceptions in his NFL career.

Farrell’s take: This was a surprise to me as I felt the Cowboys needed help and depth and he’s become a veteran that is well respected. He was a no-brainer five-star out of high school and became a first-rounder after a great college career so he’s lived up to the hype. He’ll land somewhere.


DE Mario Edwards

Overview: The top-ranked defensive tackle and No. 3 overall prospect in the 2012 class behind only Dorial Green-Beckham and D.J. Humphries, Edwards committed to Florida State over Texas, where his father played. An early second-round pick in the 2015 NFL Draft, Edwards played for the Oakland Raiders for a few seasons before going to the New York Giants and then to the New Orleans Saints last season, the team that cut him in recent days. Edwards has totaled 93 tackles and 10.5 sacks so far in his NFL career.

Farrell’s take: Edwards was a phenomenal talent out of high school who could have played end or tackle in college. His college career was solid but not as good as expected but his potential led to a high second-round selection. He’s a depth guy and has been picked up by the Chicago Bears who need some help inside. He’s clearly proven to be an NFL talent.


RB Leonard Fournette

Overview: In arguably the biggest surprise move this offseason, Fournette was cut by the Jacksonville Jaguars where he rushed for 2,631 yards and 17 touchdowns in three seasons. He was the fourth overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft. After being cut, Fournette was picked up by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The top-rated running back and No. 4 overall in the 2014 recruiting class, Fournette picked LSU over Texas and Alabama.

Farrell’s take: Fournette quickly found a home in Tampa Bay after the Jaguars cut him and he’s been solid but not the star they expected drafting him No. 4 overall. Out of high school he was a man child and one of our highest-ranked running backs ever. He has plenty of tread left on his tires.


OL Kahlil McKenzie

Overview: The top-ranked defensive tackle and sixth overall in the 2015 recruiting class, McKenzie committed to Tennessee over Arizona and many others in the summer before his senior season. After injuries slowed his time in Knoxville, McKenzie ended up as a sixth-round selection of the Kansas City Chiefs, who moved him to offensive guard. He bounced around the NFL and the XFL before landing workouts with Green Bay and Cincinnati in recent weeks. He signed with the Bengals in late August but was released a couple weeks later but is now on the practice squad.

Farrell’s take: McKenzie was a massive defensive tackle who didn’t play his senior year of high school but was still ranked as a five-star. He had an injury-riddled college career and turned into an offensive lineman in the NFL. He’s been a disappointment overall but a huge name on the old recruiting circles so he’s worth noting.


RB Adrian Peterson

Overview: Peterson was the No. 1 overall prospect in the 2004 recruiting class and he picked Oklahoma over Texas A&M, USC and others. He was then the No. 7 overall pick in the 2007 NFL Draft by the Minnesota Vikings, where he spent a decade playing. The former five-star then moved to the New Orleans Saints, Arizona Cardinals and the Washington Football Team, where he was released, only to sign a one-year contract with the Detroit Lions. Peterson has more than backed up his ranking with 14,216 rushing yards and 111 rushing TDs in his career.

Farrell’s take: The best high school running back I’ve ever scouted is a surefire Hall of Famer and fills a need for the Lions but the end is near. He lived up to everything we expected as the No. 1 prospect in 2004 and he’ll be one of the first Rivals-ranked players to wear the Hall of Fame jacket when he’s done.


QB Josh Rosen

Overview: The top-ranked pro-style quarterback and No. 2 overall in the 2015 recruiting class behind only Byron Cowart, Rosen committed to UCLA over Michigan, Cal and others although the Bruins were the clear favorites at the end. Rosen wanted to attend Stanford but the Cardinal never offered. Rosen was the No. 10 pick overall by the Arizona Cardinals and eventually earned the starting job but the next season Kliff Kingsbury was hired and Kyler Murray was drafted. Rosen was traded to the Miami Dolphins who just drafted Tua Tagovailoa. This past weekend Rosen was signed to the Tampa Bay Bucs' practice squad.

Farrell’s take: Rosen was an amazing talent out of high school and the best I’ve scouted at the position until Trevor Lawrence came along. I’m stunned how his NFL career has gone as he was a top-10 pick as projected out of high school but is now on his third team already. He’s been passed over for Kyler Murray and Tua Tagovailoa with the Cardinals and Dolphins respectively.


CB Kevin Toliver II

Overview: Toliver finished as the third-best cornerback and No. 27 overall in the 2015 recruiting class behind Iman Marshall and Tarvarus McFadden. Toliver was a long-time LSU commit but Florida State tried its best to flip him and Virginia Tech and Auburn were also involved. The former five-star went undrafted and then landed with the Chicago Bears, where he played until he was cut in recent days.

Farrell’s take: Toliver was an amazing talent out of high school who had a mediocre college career and went undrafted. However he was solid with the Bears so being cut was a bit of a surprise. His NFL resume will land him another chance.

WR Laquon Treadwell

Overview: The top-ranked receiver in the 2013 recruiting class, Treadwell committed to Ole Miss over Oklahoma State, Oklahoma and others. Treadwell was the No. 23 overall pick in the 2016 NFL Draft and played for four seasons with the Minnesota Vikings where he caught 65 passes for 701 yards and two touchdowns. This offseason, Treadwell signed with the Atlanta Falcons but he was released in recent days.

Farrell’s take: Treadwell was an elite receiver with excellent body control and strength out of high school who suffered a horrific injury in college. However, he fought back and became a first-rounder but has been disappointing since. It’s unclear if he has an NFL future.



Quin Blanding, Jonathan Bullard, Deon Cain, Hasean Clinton-Dix, Mario Edwards, Leonard Fournette, George Campbell, Garrett Gilbert, Frank Herron, Trent Irwin, Malik Jefferson, Tyron Johnson, Keandre Jones, Jonathan Kongbo, Josh Malone, Kahlil McKenzie, Kyle Murphy, Isaac Nauta, Jacques Patrick, Adrian Peterson, Josh Rosen, Chad Thomas, Kevin Toliver, Laquon Treadwell, D’Haquille Williams