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2014 NFL Draft Review: Richburg, Bromley only two-star collegiate recruits

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Does your star rating entering college impact your ability to make it to the NFL? Not always. New Giants Weston Richburg and Jay Bromley are examples.

Jay Bromley
Jay Bromley

When they began their collegiate football careers, no one could have foreseen that Weston Richburg and Jay Bromley would end up drafted -- make that HIGHLY drafted -- by an NFL team like the New York Giants. Both Richburg, drafted in the second round, and Bromley, drafted in the third round, were little-known two-star recruits coming out of high school.

SB Nation college football writer Bud Elliott brought that fact to light in a detailed and informative look at how often these lower-rated two- or three-star recruits outperform expectations and make it to the NFL.

Elliott on Richburg:

Richburg was a lightly recruited two-star offensive lineman out of Texas who, like Mack, burst out during his senior season at a small West Texas high school. Oh, and he added 40 pounds of good weight in college at Colorado State. That helps.

Richburg also played basketball and ran track, and it's fair to wonder if Richburg would have been bigger in high school, and thus noticed more, had he not participated in the other sports. On the other hand, those sports have helped him develop other skills that eventually helped him in football. He'll now be a center for the New York Giants.

Elliott on Bromley:

Bromley received a scholarship offer to Syracuse after taking over a postseason high school all-star game. Considering he was 6'4 and 235 pounds out of high school, nobody expected the former unrated recruit to be drafted early in the third round as a 306-pound defensive tackle by the New York Giants.

Did you know, incidentally, that Khalil Mack, the linebacker taken fifth overall by the Oakland Raiders, was a two-star recruit when he went to Buffalo?

Here is Elliott on why two-star players sometimes turn out much better than anticipated:

Sometimes, colleges and recruiting analysts simply misevaluate players. More often, however, when a low-rated recruit becomes a big NFL prospect, there is an explanation for why the prospect was rated as he was. The most common reasons are that the recruit:

  • had very limited film due to injury or focus on another sport,
  • is a punter or kicker,
  • gained a ridiculous amount of muscle in college, while retaining athleticism,
  • is from another country, or
  • was expected to head to junior college because of academics but somehow qualified for a four-year school.

Here are the star ratings of the other Giants' draftees when they entered college. You might be surprised when you learn who the only five-star recruit on the list is:

  • Odell Beckham Jr., 4-star
  • Andre Williams, 3-star
  • Nat Behre, 3-star
  • Devon Kennard, 5-star
  • Bennett Jackson, 3-star