For every player selected, the NFL draft is a landmark moment in a football career. But for those who carried a 5-star billing into college, it's also a long-expected step forward.
And a clear reminder that stars matter.
Recruiting rankings are not perfect, but 5-stars have a lengthy history of developing into top-tier draft prospects. The 2024 draft cycle will include the signing class of 2021, and no less than 11 of the 15 highest-rated players in the 247Sports' composite rankings are potential first-round talents.
Technically speaking, every draft-eligible former 5-star prospect has first-round potential. Realistically, though, a sizable portion of that group isn't really in consideration due to minimal college production.
Given the importance of the position, it's only reasonable to start the draft conversation with the quarterbacks.
One year out, the battle for QB1 in the 2024 NFL draft is seemingly between North Carolina's Drake Maye and USC's Caleb Williams, the reigning Heisman Trophy winner. Williams was the No. 7 overall prospect in the 2021 recruiting class, per 247Sports' composite rankings.
Also in that cycle, Quinn Ewers (Texas) held the No. 1 billing, while J.J. McCarthy (Michigan) ranked 25th. Ewers remains a bet on talent, while McCarthy is an intriguing dual-threat prospect.
The final quarterback to know is Bo Nix, who landed at No. 33 overall in the 2019 class. He struggled at Auburn after a solid freshman year but excelled last season after transferring to Oregon, amassing 4,103 yards of total offense and accounting for 44 touchdowns.