football Edit

NFL Draft: Top 10 former 4-stars selected

Henry Ruggs
Henry Ruggs (AP Images)

With the NFL Draft finishing up over the weekend, this is now the time to review how it all played out. Here is a look at the top-10 former four-star prospects to get picked.

MORE NFL DRAFT: Top 10 former five-stars selected | Conference breakdown | What We Learned | Top 10 players for 2021 draft

CLASS OF 2021 RANKINGS: Rivals250 | Position | Team | State

CLASS OF 2022: Top 100


*****

ANDREW THOMAS: Georgia OT, No. 4 overall (N.Y. Giants) 

Recruiting: Thomas cut his list to Georgia, Clemson and Notre Dame prior to making his pledge to the Bulldogs at The Opening in the summer before his senior season.

Draft pick: Thomas was the fourth overall pick in the first round and the first offensive tackle taken off the board.

Farrell’s take: Thomas was a prospect who moved up in the rankings after each evaluation and got better as the recruiting cycle churned. It’s a little surprising he went ahead of some others at tackle in the draft, but overall there was little doubt he had first-round potential.

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*****

TUA TAGOVAILOA: Alabama QB, No. 5 overall (Miami)

Recruiting: Oregon was considered the early front-runner and then USC looked like the top team, but he committed to Alabama in the spring before his senior season, about two months after Jake Fromm flipped from the Crimson Tide to Georgia.

Draft pick: Tagovailoa was the fifth overall selection and the second quarterback taken after No. 1 pick Joe Burrow.

Farrell’s take: Tagovailoa wasn’t discussed that much as a five-star prospect, but he was always a high four-star. His touch and accuracy always stood out and his career at Alabama obviously led to a first-round grade, despite injuries.

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*****

C.J. HENDERSON: Florida CB, No. 9 overall (Jacksonville) 

Recruiting: Henderson picked Florida over Miami, but he was flip-flopping between both programs all the way up to his decision on National Signing Day.

Draft pick: The ninth overall pick, Henderson was the second cornerback drafted after Ohio State’s Jeffrey Okudah.

Farrell’s take: Henderson jumped up in the rankings late after a really good week at Under Armour, where he displayed his competitive nature, length and athleticism. He became a top 10 pick as a guy that everyone loved more each time they put on his film.

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*****

MEKHI BECTON: Louisville OT, No. 11 overall (N.Y. Jets) 

Recruiting: Becton chose Louisville over Virginia Tech, Michigan and Oregon on National Signing Day.

Draft pick: Picked No. 11 overall, Becton was the third offensive tackle drafted after Thomas and Alabama’s Jedrick Wills.

Farrell’s take: Becton was a massive tackle with light feet and basketball athleticism coming out of high school and, like Thomas, he hit the ground running in college. That early experience helped him greatly and he maintained his size while adding to his athleticism.

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*****

HENRY RUGGS: Alabama WR, No. 12 overall (Las Vegas) 

Recruiting: Ruggs committed to Alabama over Auburn, Florida, Florida State and Penn State on National Signing Day.

Draft pick: Ruggs was the first wide receiver taken with the No. 12 pick, a mild surprise that he went ahead of Alabama’s Jerry Jeudy and Oklahoma’s CeeDee Lamb.

Farrell’s take: Ruggs was a speedy receiver who could gain separation with ease and was a constant downfield threat. He lacked great size but his athletic ability was off the charts, and as a track guy everyone knew he would run well.

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*****

TRISTAN WIRFS: Iowa OT, No. 13 overall (Tampa Bay) 

Recruiting: Iowa and Iowa State were the lone offers for the four-star prospect who committed to the Hawkeyes in December of his junior year.

Draft pick: Two picks after Becton, Wirfs was the fourth offensive tackle drafted.

Farrell’s take: Wirfs was an athletic and big kid coming out of high school who played weak competition but had a high enough ceiling to be a four-star with ease. His athleticism paid off at the NFL Combine.

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*****

CEEDEE LAMB: Olahoma WR, No. 17 overall (Dallas) 

Recruiting: Lamb committed to Oklahoma only to back off that pledge and then re-commit again, as he ended up with the Sooners over Texas A&M and others.

Draft pick: The former high four-star was the No. 17 overall pick and the third receiver taken after Ruggs and Jeudy.

Farrell’s take: Lamb was an elite receiver with great body control who should have been ranked higher and was an immediate regret on my part. Being a four-star is great and all, but this kid should have been a five-star.

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*****

AUSTIN JACKSON: USC OT, No. 18 overall (Miami) 

Recruiting: Jackson committed to USC over Arizona State, Oregon and others on National Signing Day. His grandfather also played for the Trojans.

Draft pick: With the No. 18 overall selection, Jackson was the fifth offensive tackle taken in the first round, after Thomas, Wills, Becton and Wirfs.

Farrell’s take: Jackson was a tall, angular lineman with good footwork who at times lacked an aggressive nature out of high school. He was up and down at USC, but his ceiling was so high he went Round 1.

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*****

K’LAVON CHAISSON: LSU EDGE, No. 20 overall (Jacksonville) 

Recruiting: Chaisson committed to LSU over Texas and many others. The Longhorns were once considered the front-runners, but the Tigers won out after an official visit to Baton Rouge in January.

Draft pick: Chaisson was the No. 20 pick and the second edge rusher taken following Ohio State’s Chase Young, the second overall selection.

Farrell’s take: Chaisson was a high energy tweener coming out of high school who was made to be a hybrid and situational pass rusher. Size was a question mark, but effort and quickness were not, so he was an easy four-star.

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*****

JALEN REAGOR: TCU WR, No. 21 overall (Philadelphia) 

Recruiting: In October of his senior season, Reagor flipped his commitment from Oklahoma to TCU. The four-star cited location as being a factor in his decision.

Draft pick: Reagor was the No. 21 overall selection and the fourth receiver drafted after Ruggs, Jeudy and Lamb. It was considered a surprise he went in the first round.

Farrell’s take: Reagor was a big receiver with good speed coming out of high school who impressed at Under Armour. He was a star at TCU and undervalued by a lot of teams, but he landed in the first round anyhow.

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