What No. 1 NFL draft picks were like as college football recruits

Matthew Stafford, the fifth-ranked prospect in the Class of 2006, is still regarded as one of the premier quarterback recruits over the past 15 years thanks to his live arm. Doug Benc/Getty Images

Trevor Lawrence is a lock to be the No. 1 selection in the 2021 NFL draft, and that projection has followed him since his freshman year of high school.

However, not all No. 1 picks have had that accurate of an NFL forecast. We talk often about the unknown variables when evaluating high school prospects off pure film and combine results. That inexact science comes to fruition when looking back on top selections.

With 2009 being our first draft class of the ESPN recruiting era, only three former No. 1 selections were ranked as five-star prospects, and just over half landed inside our ESPN 300 rankings.

Here is what former No. 1 draft prospects were like as high school prospects.