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NFL Draft: Seven five-stars that went undrafted

Rakim Jarrett
Rakim Jarrett (© Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports)

Despite our best efforts, there are always some five-star misses for one reason or another when it comes to the NFL Draft. Here is a look at the former five-stars who were eligible for the draft but were not taken through seven rounds:


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Ranked as the second-best strong-side defensive end behind only Clemson’s Xavier Thomas, Cox was the last five-star in the 2018 class and had all the talent in the world but off-the-field issues submarined his college career first at Georgia and then at Florida as well.

The Stockbridge, Ga., standout was outstanding all week at the Under Armour All-America Game through three practices and then he had a couple sacks in the game to boost himself to five-star status.

But during the summer before his sophomore season, Cox was dismissed from the Georgia football team and after transferring to Florida, he was also booted from the Gators in late October.

On the field, Cox totaled 138 tackles and 34.5 tackles for loss with 14.5 sacks in 44 college games but as of Saturday night was not signed as an undrafted free agent, either.



Haselwood was the lead dog in what was believed to be a loaded Oklahoma receiver class in 2019 that also included five-stars Theo Wease and Trejan Bridges but none of those players reached their max potential.

Ranked as the fourth-best player in that class and ahead of George Pickens at receiver, only Derek Stingley, Jr., Nolan Smith and Trey Sanders were ranked ahead of Haselwood, who always had questions about speed and separation ability but the bet was that his size, hands and playmaking ability would carry him to a first-round grade.

They did not. Instead, Haselwood, who caught 121 passes for 1,438 yards and 10 touchdowns in his college career first at Oklahoma and finishing up at Arkansas, thoroughly disappointed with his numbers at the NFL Combine and was toward the back end of all receivers.

The former five-star receiver has signed as an undrafted free agent with the Philadelphia Eagles.



One of the biggest surprises of the early signing period for the 2020 class was that Jarrett signed with Maryland after saying he didn’t plan to sign at all as Alabama looked like the biggest threat to flip him from LSU. One wonders how his career would have played out if he ended up in the SEC and while Jarrett had good stats in three seasons with the Terrapins, he never became an elite receiver in college football.

The former Washington (D.C.) St. John’s College High standout caught 119 passes for 1,552 yards and 10 touchdowns for the Terrapins but his route running was oftentimes called into question and NFL teams were concerned enough about it not to draft him.

Jarrett signed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as a free agent.



It’s hard to believe but Laborn was a five-star running back in the 2017 class that also included Najee Harris, Cam Akers, Chase Young, Davis Mills and others who now have a couple years in the NFL.

Laborn started at Florida State but was dismissed from the team in 2020 for a violation of team rules and then decided to return to school to finish his degree without playing football. Since he still had eligibility left, Laborn decided to play this past season at Marshall where he was phenomenal with 1,513 yards and 16 touchdowns on 302 carries.

The former five-star from Virginia Beach (Va.) Bishop Sullivan resurrected his career and while it was a long shot for him to get drafted, he was signed as a free agent by the San Francisco 49ers.



When we saw Ngata in his senior season, Folsom, Calif., came down to West Hills (Calif.) Chaminade and his first two catches went for long touchdowns. He was a Tee Higgins clone in high school - the same height and weight as Higgins and the length make flash plays all over the field.

Ever since visiting Clemson, the Tigers were considered the front-runner in his recruitment and he committed in the summer before his senior season. But he never really clicked in that offense or he might not have been utilized appropriately as Ngata, who had no problems making highlight-reel plays in high school, finished his college career with 88 catches for 1,287 yards but only six touchdowns.

The Northern California five-star was ranked No. 27 overall in the 2019 class and the fifth-best receiver in a group (other than George Pickens) has not lived up to high expectations. Ngata signed as a free agent with the Philadelphia Eagles.



Out of everyone on this list, Ricks is the most surprising and the most galling because he was so phenomenally talented in high school - first at Santa Ana (Calif.) Mater Dei and then Bradenton (Fla.) IMG Academy - and then early in his career at LSU, it looked like Ricks was destined for greatness.

At the Rivals Five-Star Challenge in Atlanta, Ricks was arguably better and more impressive in coverage than Derek Stingley, Jr. He had a knack for not only picking off passes when he played at Mater Dei but returned them for touchdowns. In eight games his freshman season in Baton Rouge, Ricks had four interceptions including two Pick Sixes.

But then midway through his sophomore year, Ricks sustained a shoulder injury and then entered the transfer portal (there were numerous rumors in his freshman year that he was going to leave LSU as well) and Ricks ended up at Alabama. There are some rumors that Ricks never hit it off with coach Nick Saban and he saw limited time as the Crimson Tide was also loaded at defensive back.

After his freshman season, Ricks tallied just one further interception and he had none with the Crimson Tide. Four of the five players ahead of Ricks in the 2020 class - Bryan Bresee, Bryce Young, Myles Murphy and Broderick Jones - were all first-round picks. Ricks signed as a free agent with the Philadelphia Eagles.



Rated as the No. 29 prospect in the 2018 class, Woodbey was ranked as the third-best safety and the fourth-best player in the California state rankings. The former Bellflower (Calif.) St. John Bosco standout started off great at Florida State with 59 tackles and seven pass deflections but after redshirting the following year after a knee injury, Woodbey never returned to form at FSU and transferred to Boston College.

This past season with the Eagles, the former five-star safety was second on the team with 79 tackles and while he’s not the flashiest or the most athletic safety, Woodbey gets players on the ground. Numerous teams met with him during the pre-draft process which was a good indication he could be taken in the late rounds. That did not happen and Woodbey, who had 232 tackles in his college career, signed with the Los Angeles Rams as a free agent.