How High School Quarterbacks’ Star Ratings Correlate to the NFL Draft

Tyler Raborn —  Saturday, February 2, 2013 — 7 Comments

Gavin Dickey was a promising 5-star quarterback prospect from Tallahassee, Florida in 2002. The state of Florida’s Gatorade Player of the Year was “[a] four year starter for a Tallahassee Lincoln program that won two state championships and compiled a 45-5 overall record in his four years as the signal caller.”

But Dickey never lived up to the hype. In 2004 he served primarily as a backup to Chris Leak and eventually saw action at 3 different positions (quarterback, running back, and wide receiver). During his tenure at Florida he attempted a total of 15 passes, completing 11 for 127 yards with 1 touchdown and 1 interception.

Dickey is just one of the many high school football phenoms to never make it professionally. In fact, of the 408 quarterbacks to be rated a 3-star or better between 2002 and 2007, only 45 of them were selected in the NFL draft. The other 88.97% of those quarterbacks continued on to live out the NCAA moto and went “pro in something other than sports.”

The questions this article seeks to answer are:

What is the percentage chance a 5-star quarterback eventually gets selected in the NFL draft?

What is the percentage chance a 5-star quarterback eventually gets selected in the 1st round of the NFL draft?

What about quarterbacks that have a 4-star or 3-star rating— what are their chances to be selected in the NFL draft? What about the 1st round?

To answer these questions, we’ll apply all available complete data. Scout, Inc. ranks athletes according to a star rating system that rates players as 5-stars, 4-stars, 3-stars, 2-stars, and NR (Not Ranked), with 5-stars being the highest ranking a player can receive. The following table illustrates the number of 5-star, 4-star, and 3-star quarterbacks in each recruiting class year from 2002 to 2007:


Year

5-Stars

4-Stars

3-Stars

Totals

2002

5 29 37 71

2003

4 23 45 72

2004

4 15 37 56

2005

4 21 36 61

2006

4 18 46 68

2007

6 31 43 80

Totals

27 137 244 408

As illustrated in the table above, a very small portion of the quarterbacks each year receive Scout’s 5-star rating. An average of 68 quarterbacks a year between 2002 and 2007 received a 3-star rating or better. And of those top 68 quarterbacks in the country, only between 4 and 6 received a 5-star rating. Further, on a macro level, of all of the quarterbacks that received a 3-star rating or better between 2002 and 2007, 6.62% of them received a 5-star rating, 33.58% received a 4-star rating, and the remaining 59.80% received a 3-star rating.

Summarized: It’s tough to get 5 stars.

But what do these ratings truly represent? Since Scout’s recruiting rankings database starts in 2002, we are just now beginning to get a large enough sample size to analyze this rating system. So of the 408 quarterbacks in our sample, here’s a table with the 45 quarterbacks that were eventually drafted, segmented by their Scout Star Ratings, with the round they were taken in the NFL Draft:


Round

5-Stars

4-Stars

3-Stars

Totals

1st

5 5 4 14

2nd

2 2 1 5

3rd

2 1 1 4

4th

0 2 1 3

5th

3 2 4 9

6th

2 2 2 6

7th

0 2 2 4

Totals

14 16 15 45

While the number of 5-star, 4-star, and 3-star quarterbacks taken in the NFL draft were relatively even, this number is misleading. As discussed earlier, a much smaller portion of high school quarterbacks received a 4-star rating than a 3-star rating, and an even smaller portion received a 5-star rating.

Here are the 27 quarterbacks to receive a 5-star rating from Scout from 2002 to 2007 with the round and year they were drafted in (if applicable):

Recruiting Class

Quarterback

Draft Round

Year Drafted

2002 Vince Young 1 2006
2002 Trent Edwards 3 2007
2002 Ben Olson N/A N/A
2002 Reggie McNeal 6 2006
2002 Gavin Dickey N/A N/A
2003 John David Booty 5 2008
2003 Kyle Wright N/A N/A
2003 Chris Leak N/A N/A
2003 JaMarcus Russell 1 2007
2004 Rhett Bomar 5 2009
2004 Xavier Lee N/A N/A
2004 Anthony Morelli N/A N/A
2004 Chad Henne 2 2008
2005 Mark Sanchez 1 2009
2005 Ryan Perrilloux N/A N/A
2005 Jonathan Crompton 5 2010
2005 Joe Ayoob N/A N/A
2006 Mitch Mustain N/A N/A
2006 Matthew Stafford 1 2009
2006 Tim Tebow 1 2010
2006 Brent Schaeffer N/A N/A
2007 Jimmy Clausen 2 2010
2007 Ryan Mallett 3 2011
2007 Aaron Corp N/A N/A
2007 Tyrod Taylor 6 2011
2007 Kodi Burns N/A N/A
2007 Pat Bostick N/A N/A

So, as this table illustrates, 14 of the 27 quarterbacks were selected in the NFL Draft. And 5 of these 27 quarterbacks were taken in the 1st round. Thus, 51.85% of quarterbacks to receive a 5-star rating from Scout were eventually taken in the NFL draft. Accordingly, 18.52% were taken in the 1st round.

The following table shows the percentage chance that quarterbacks with a certain star rating from 2002 through 2007 would eventually be drafted into specific rounds. Further, the final row of the table, titled “Any,” represents the percentage chance for a certain star rating to be drafted in general, while the last column, titled “All,” represents the percentage chance that one of the 408 quarterbacks in our sample would be taken in a particular round.


Round

5-Stars

4-Stars

3-Stars

All

1st

18.52% 3.65% 1.64% 3.43%

2nd

7.41% 1.46% 0.41% 1.23%

3rd

7.41% 0.73% 0.41% 0.98%

4th

0.00% 1.46% 0.41% 0.74%

5th

11.11% 1.46% 1.64% 2.21%

6th

7.41% 1.46% 0.82% 1.47%

7th

0.00% 1.46% 0.82% 0.98%

Any

51.85% 11.68% 6.15% 11.03%

So returning to the questions this article sought to answer…

What is the percentage chance a 5-star quarterback eventually gets selected in the NFL draft?

Given our available data, a quarterback that received a 5-star rating from Scout had a 51.85% chance to eventually be selected in the NFL draft. That number is simply astounding. Over half of the quarterbacks given 5-stars were eventually taken in the NFL draft.

What is the percentage chance a 5-star quarterback eventually gets selected in the 1st round of the NFL draft?

A 5-star quarterback had a 18.52% chance of eventually being selected in the 1st round.

What about quarterbacks that have a 4-star or 3-star rating— what are their chances to be selected in the NFL draft? What about the 1st round?

Quarterbacks that were given a 4-star rating from 2002 through 2007 had a 11.68% chance of eventually being drafted and a 3.65% chance of that draft pick coming in the 1st round. And finally, quarterbacks with a 3-star rating had a 6.15% chance of eventually being drafted and a 1.64% chance of that draft selection being in the 1st round.

Overall, the probability that a high school quarterback is eventually selected in the NFL draft is astronomically higher if he’s been given a 5-star rating.

Looking ahead to the recruiting class of 2008, here’s the list of quarterbacks that received a 4-star rating or better, with the round and year they were drafted in or their current college:

Star-Rating

Quarterback

Draft Round (Year) or Current College

5-Star Terrelle Pryor 3 (2011)
5-Star E.J. Manuel FSU
5-Star Dayne Crist Kansas
5-Star Andrew Luck 1 (2012)
5-Star Kevin Craft N/A
4-Star Mike Glennon N.C. State
4-Star Landry Jones Oklahoma
4-Star Blaine Gabbert 1 (2011)
4-Star Tommy Dorman N/A
4-Star Nick Crissman N/A
4-Star Sean Renfree Duke
4-Star Star Jackson N/A
4-Star Robert Griffin 1 (2012)
4-Star Kyle Parker N/A
4-Star MarQueis Gray Minnesota
4-Star Darron Thomas N/A
4-Star Jacob Bower N/A
4-Star Dax Crum N/A
4-Star Greg Alexander N/A
4-Star David Pittman N/A
4-Star Boo Jackson N/A
4-Star Tyson Lee N/A
4-Star Greg Cross N/A
4-Star Jacory Harris N/A

If you don’t get anything else out of this article, please simply get this:

Somewhere out there, there’s a guy named Boo, and that’s what keeps me going.

————

By: Tyler Raborn

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Tyler Raborn

Posts

New Orleans Resident, Tulane Law Student, and Mississippi State Alum

7 responses to How High School Quarterbacks’ Star Ratings Correlate to the NFL Draft

  1. 

    5-star failures are often a product of bad matches between system and player.
    If a team threw Tim Tebow into a passing offense in college, we likely would have never heard of him. Garrett Gilbert failed at Texas but after a year at SMU (and with a competent offensive coach), looks to get drafted.

  2. 

    Fascinating article. This was QBs so now I wonder about all positions? I also wonder how many stars did some of the best NFL players today have coming out of HS?

  3. 

    I’ve wondered how college programs’ W/L records and production of pro players compares to where their football budgets rank…

  4. 

    Really sweet article! I have always wanted to see this broken down

  5. 

    Very interesting article. Really enjoyed it.

  6. 

    A lot of work, but I suspect you enjoyed it! Good choice of project and enjoyable reading.

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