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Rivals QB Week: By the numbers

Recruiting rankings and the NFL Draft are often compared to determine who overachieved, who underachieved and which schools do the best job of developing talent. That comparison lays the groundwork as we examine Rivals QB Week by the numbers.

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7 - Most quarterbacks drafted from one school since 2000

Beginning with the 2000 NFL Draft, no team has heard their quarterbacks’ names called more than USC. The list starts with Carson Palmer, the No. 1 overall pick of the 2003 Draft, and concludes with Cody Kessler, who went in the third round of the 2016 draft to the Cleveland Browns. That list should grow after the 2018 draft, with current starter Sam Darnold being discussed as the possible No. 1 overall pick.

Other programs giving USC a strong run include LSU, with six quarterbacks drafted, and Florida State, Georgia, Louisville, Michigan, Oregon and Stanford each with five quarterbacks selected during that time. The most prolific Group of Five quarterback production comes from Louisiana Tech and Fresno State, which have each produced three quarterbacks who went in the NFL Draft this century.

28 – First-round quarterbacks rated by Rivals

Former Texas QB Vince Young
Former Texas QB Vince Young (Getty Images)

This group starts with with Vince Young, who was the only one of three quarterbacks to go in the 2006 NFL Draft first round whose high school career qualified for the Rivals.com era. Young was a five-star, as were seven other first-round quarterback draftees: Blaine Gabbert, Cam Newton, Mark Sanchez, Matthew Stafford, Tim Tebow, Deshaun Watson and Jameis Winston.

Two first-round quarterbacks came out of high school during the Rivals.com era, but were not evaluated and, thus, unrated. Brandon Weeden was a second-round MLB Draft pick in 2002 and played several years in the minor leagues before enrolling at Oklahoma State. He was selected with the No. 22 pick in the 2012 NFL Draft. Carson Wentz, meanwhile, played at the FCS level and never had a Rivals.com profile.

Another nine quarterbacks who were drafted in the first round rated four stars coming out of high school, which means over 60 percent of first-round quarterbacks were rated four or five stars. That's an impressive hit rate considering the fact that four and five stars make up less than 10 percent of all players rated in a given class. The success of Rivals predicting the No. 1 overall selection, though, is even more impressive, as the next number highlights.

4.375 - Average star rating of No. 1 overall drafted quarterbacks

Former UGA QB Matthew Stafford
Former UGA QB Matthew Stafford (AP Images)

There have been eight quarterbacks drafted No. 1 who were rated by Rivals.com out of high school, and half of those were five-star prospects: Vince Young (2006), Matthew Stafford (2009), Cam Newton (2011) and Jameis Winston (2015). Three more were rated four stars out of high school, including Rivals100 prospects JaMarcus Russell and Andrew Luck. Only Sam Bradford was rated lower than four or five stars from this group. The former Oklahoma quarterback was a 5.7 three-star who ranked No. 12 among pro-style quarterbacks in the 2006 class.

56 – Percent of five-star quarterbacks who were drafted

Former Auburn QB Cam Newton
Former Auburn QB Cam Newton (AP Images)

A less impressive mark for Rivals is that fewer than three of five quarterbacks who were rated five stars coming out of high school went on to be drafted. A total of 32 quarterbacks rated five stars have been eligible for the NFL Draft thus far. For every Cam Newton or Matthew Stafford, though, there is a Ben Olson or Mitch Mustain.

One we did not count was Matthew Tuiasosopo, who decided to forego college football for a professional baseball career. Others like Russell Shepard and Xavier Lee signed as NFL undrafted free agents, but to play positions other than quarterback. Then there were former five-stars like Gunner Kiel, Kyle Wright, Marcus Vick and Dayne Crist who just never met their lofty expectations.

17 – Most quarterbacks selected in a seven-round NFL Draft

UCLA QB Josh Rosen
UCLA QB Josh Rosen (AP Images)

While a quarterback always seems to be in the conversation for the No. 1 overall pick, the position makes up a rather small percentage of the overall players selected in a given draft. The 17 quarterbacks selected in 2004 were the most since the NFL Draft shortened to seven rounds. That group saw Eli Manning go No. 1 overall and three other quarterbacks selected in the first round. On the opposite end of the spectrum, just seven quarterbacks were drafted in 2015 even though Jameis Winston and Marcus Mariota went Nos. 1 and 2 overall that year.

That 17 number could be timely, however, because the 2018 crop of quarterbacks is being lauded as one of the deepest of all time. Among the most discussed quarterbacks who are expected to be in next year’s draft are Darnold, the USC quarterback, Wyoming’s Josh Allen and UCLA’s Josh Rosen. Big Ten starters Clayton Thorson of Northwestern and Tanner Lee of Nebraska could be in that conversation as well with big 2017 seasons.