Top 10 Former 5-Star Recruits Selected in the 2016 NFL Draft

Sanjay Kirpalani@@SanjayKirpalaniNational Recruiting AnalystMay 2, 2016

Top 10 Former 5-Star Recruits Selected in the 2016 NFL Draft

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    Former Florida State star corner Jalen Ramsey was the first of 13 former 5-star recruits from the 2013 cycle selected within the first two rounds of the 2016 NFL draft.
    Former Florida State star corner Jalen Ramsey was the first of 13 former 5-star recruits from the 2013 cycle selected within the first two rounds of the 2016 NFL draft.Charles Rex Arbogast/Associated Press

    The 2016 NFL draft is in the history books, and it was one dominated by recruits who made the transition to college with sterling credentials.

    In fact, the 2013 class was heavily represented in the first two rounds of the draft, with 13 5-star prospects among the first 63 overall selections.

    A trio of Ole Miss signees in defensive end Robert Nkemdiche, receiver Laquon Treadwell and offensive tackle Laremy Tunsil—each ranked among the nation’s top 15 players overall in that class—were three of five such prospects to go in the first round.

    Additionally, one standout in the 2012 class took a long road to finding himself among one of the first 40 players selected in this year’s draft.

    Let’s take a look at the top 10 former 5-star recruits chosen in the 2016 NFL draft.

    *Players listed in the order they were drafted.

CB Jalen Ramsey

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    Hometown (school): Brentwood, Tennessee (Brentwood Academy)

    NFL draft selection (round): No. 5 overall (first round)

    NFL team: Jacksonville Jaguars

    Recruiting class: 2013 (Florida State)

    Class rank: No. 15 overall (No. 2 CB)

    For most of his recruitment, 5-star corner Jalen Ramsey was committed to Pac-12 power USC.

    The nation’s No. 2 corner and the No. 15 player overall in the 2013 class eventually landed at Florida State, committing to the Seminoles shortly before national signing day.

    As a senior at Brentwood Academy in Tennessee, Ramsey recorded 49 tackles, three interceptions, two forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries. He also racked up 676 yards receiving and nine scores playing on offense.

    Ramsey enjoyed a stellar career in Tallahassee that saw him emerge as a three-year starter at three different positions in the secondary.

    He was one of the pillars of a program that compiled a 37-4 record over the last three seasons—including a national title in 2013.

CB Vernon Hargreaves

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    Charles Rex Arbogast/Associated Press

    Hometown (school): Tampa, Florida (Wharton)

    NFL draft selection (round): No. 11 overall (first round)

    NFL team: Tampa Bay Buccaneers

    Recruiting class: 2013 (Florida)

    Class rank: No. 3 overall (No. 1 CB)

    Rarely are corners tabbed as one of the nation’s top five prospects in a particular recruiting cycle, but that was the case for Tampa native Vernon Hargreaves in the 2013 class.

    As detailed by the Florida Gators team website, Hargreaves was a flat-out playmaker during his senior season at Wharton High School, as he totaled 110 tackles with five interceptions, five forced fumbles and five pass breakups.

    Powerhouse programs around the nation coveted Hargreaves, but he opted to stay in state and play for Sunshine State titan Florida.

    He went on to a stellar career in Gainesville that saw become an instant impact performer in the Gators secondary. According to, Hargreaves racked up 121 tackles, 28 pass breakups and 10 interceptions over his three-year college career.

OT Laremy Tunsil

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    Charles Rex Arbogast/Associated Press

    Hometown (school): Lake City, Florida (Columbia)

    NFL draft selection (round): No. 13 overall (first round)

    NFL team: Miami Dolphins 

    Recruiting class: 2013 (Ole Miss)

    Class rank: No. 4 overall (No. 1 OT)

    Before he became the biggest story of the 2016 NFL draft, Laremy Tunsil had the recruiting world buzzing in the 2013 cycle.

    Rated as the nation’s top offensive lineman in his class, Tunsil was a ballyhooed prospect who shocked some observers by pledging to Ole Miss on national signing day over schools such as Alabama, Florida and Georgia. 

    The U.S. Army All-American became one of the pillars of a 2013 class that restored the Rebels program as a legit contender in the rugged SEC West.

    By the third game in his freshman season, Tunsil had become the starter at left tackle for the Rebels and was a mainstay that helped the program go 27-12 over the last three seasons.

WR Laquon Treadwell

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    Charles Rex Arbogast/Associated Press

    Hometown (school): Crete, Illinois (Crete-Monee)

    NFL draft selection (round): No. 23 overall (first round)

    NFL team: Minnesota Vikings 

    Recruiting class: 2013 (Ole Miss)

    Class rank: No. 14 overall (No. 1 WR)

    Laquon Treadwell was the fourth receiver to come off the board in the 2016 NFL draft, but he was the nation’s top receiver in the 2013 class.

    Treadwell was a monster at Crete-Monee High School in Illinois. Over his last three years at the prep level, Treadwell hauled in 214 receptions for 3,626 yards and 45 touchdowns.

    Less than a month before national signing day, Treadwell committed to the Rebels over programs such as Notre Dame, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State.

    Over his three years in Oxford, Treadwell recorded combined totals of 202 catches for 2,393 yards and 21 touchdowns, according to

DL Robert Nkemdiche

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    Matt York/Associated Press

    Hometown (school): Loganville, Georgia (Grayson)

    NFL draft selection (round): No. 29 overall (first round) 

    NFL team: Arizona Cardinals

    Recruiting class: 2013 (Ole Miss)

    Class rank: No. 1 overall (No. 1 SDE)

    While the 2013 class was loaded with a number of future NFL prospects, none of them entered college with the hype that surrounded Robert Nkemdiche. 

    As a junior at Grayson High School in Loganville, Georgia, Nkemdiche recorded 93 tackles—including 36 tackles for loss and 19 sacks in helping lead the Rams to a state title.

    Rated as the top overall prospect in the 2013 class, Nkemdiche made an early commitment to ACC power Clemson before reopening his process. 

    With his older brother Denzel arriving at Ole Miss one year earlier, the younger Nkemdiche would eventually land in Oxford on national signing day—choosing the Rebels over programs such as Alabama, LSU and Florida.

    Over his three years in Oxford, Nkemdiche tallied 98 tackles—including 19 tackles for loss and seven sacks, according to

LB Jaylon Smith

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    Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

    Hometown (school): Fort Wayne, Indiana (Bishop Luers)

    NFL draft selection (round): No. 34 overall (second round)

    NFL team: Dallas Cowboys 

    Recruiting class: 2013 (Notre Dame) 

    Class rank: No. 2 overall (No. 1 OLB)

    After taking visits to programs such as Indiana, Purdue and Ohio State, Jaylon Smith committed to Notre Dame in June 2012.

    The Fort Wayne, Indiana, native enjoyed a decorated prep career at Bishop Luers High School after racking up 126 tackles—including 38 for loss and 16 sacks over his final two seasons.

    The U.S. Army All-American was an instant impact performer upon the time he arrived in South Bend. According to, Smith tallied 292 tackles—including 24.5 stops for loss.

    Smith, who suffered a torn ACL in Notre Dame’s loss to Ohio State in the Fiesta Bowl in January, likely would’ve been a top-10 pick overall had it not been for his injury status.

DL Chris Jones

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    Charles Rex Arbogast/Associated Press

    Hometown (school): Houston, Mississippi (Houston) 

    NFL draft selection (round): No. 37 overall (second round)

    NFL team: Kansas City Chiefs

    Recruiting class: 2013 (Mississippi State)

    Class rank: No. 18 overall (No. 2 SDE)

    While Nkemdiche was a ballyhooed prospect throughout his recruitment, the nation’s No. 2 strong-side defensive end—Chris Jones—steadily climbed the rankings and eventually emerged as a 5-star prospect late in the cycle. 

    The Houston High School (Mississippi) product had a monster senior season after recording 160 tackles—including 45 tackles for loss with 14 sacks and 10 pass breakups. 

    While Jones only had six recorded offers, his recruitment came down to a heated battle between Magnolia State rivals Mississippi State and Ole Miss.

    Jones opted to head to Starkville, where he earned Freshman All-American honors from 247Sports and enjoyed a solid three-year career for the Bulldogs.

DE Noah Spence

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    Gregory Payan/Associated Press

    Hometown (school): Harrisburg, Pennsylvania (Bishop McDevitt)

    NFL draft selection (round): No. 39 overall (second round)

    NFL team: Tampa Bay Buccaneers

    Recruiting class: 2012 (Ohio State)

    Class rank: No. 5 overall (No. 1 WDE)

    The lone representative on this list from the 2012 class is defensive end Noah Spence—who began his career at Ohio State before off-field problems led him to finish his career at Eastern Kentucky.

    Over the course of his sophomore and junior seasons at Bishop McDevitt High School in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, Spence tallied 157 tackles and 30 sacks.

    During his sophomore year at Ohio State, Spence recorded 52 tackles—including 14.5 for loss and eight sacks. According to his draft profile, Spence had a banner year for the Colonels last fall. He piled up 22.5 tackles for loss and 13.5 sacks.

    Buckeyes head coach Urban Meyer compared the Bucs' second-round choice to one of the NFL’s most feared pass-rushers.

    “He’s not a lengthy defensive end pass-rusher, but has Von Miller-type size,” Meyer told “He brings it every day in the weight room and brings it every day on the practice field.”

RB Derrick Henry

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    Darron Cummings/Associated Press

    Hometown (school): Yulee, Florida (Yulee)

    NFL draft selection (round): No. 45 overall (second round)

    NFL team: Tennessee Titans

    Recruiting class: 2013 (Alabama)

    Class rank: No. 12 overall (No. 1 ATH)

    Before he became a Heisman Trophy-winning freight train for Alabama, many observers in the recruiting community wondered whether Derrick Henry was better suited to play defense in college.

    That was reflected when Henry was classified as an athlete in the 2013 class, despite the fact that he exited his prep career as the nation’s all-time leading rusher at the high school level, as detailed by Steve Wiltfong of 247Sports.

    Henry rushed for 12,124 yards at Yulee County High School (Florida) and scored a total of 153 touchdowns.

    He was initially committed to Georgia but backed off his pledge and eventually chose fellow SEC power Alabama.

    Henry finished his career in Tuscaloosa with 3,591 yards rushing and 42 touchdowns on the ground. 

    He will join fellow Heisman winner Marcus Mariota in the backfield for the Tennessee Titans—who scooped him up in the second round of the draft.

DL A'Shawn Robinson

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    Charles Rex Arbogast/Associated Press

    Hometown (school): Fort Worth, Texas (Arlington Heights)

    NFL draft selection (round): No. 46 overall (second round)

    NFL team: Detroit Lions

    Recruiting class: 2013 (Alabama)

    Class rank: No. 33 overall (No. 2 OT)

    Joining Henry as one of six 5-star prospects in Alabama’s 2013 class was offensive linemen A’Shawn Robinson.

    Robinson, who is from Fort Worth, Texas, initially committed to in-state power Texas before switching to Alabama late in the process. 

    Of course, Robinson would go on to make his name for the Tide on the other side of the line of scrimmage as a beastly defensive lineman.

    Over his three-year career in Tuscaloosa, Robinson recorded 133 tackles—including 22 tackles for loss, 19 quarterback hurries and nine sacks, according to

    Sanjay Kirpalani is a National Recruiting Analyst for Bleacher Report. Unless otherwise noted, all quotes obtained firsthand and all recruiting information courtesy of 247Sports.