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Top NFL Draft Prospects- Adjusted Rating

Executive Summary


The top NFL draft prospects have phenomenally high adjusted ratings scores - driven either by massive development or very high initial talent with good development. These extremely high adjusted ratings reflect what it takes for a college player to be a top first round pick in the NFL draft.


This provides a context to the very good adjusted ratings scores for our Texas Longhorns 2024 NFL draft class we discussed here.


Background


This week, we have introduced the Talent and Development Adjusted Index to track how both genetics (as reflected in a prospect's talent in their initial recruiting rating) and environment (the ability of a program to help a player develop) work together to define a college football player's performance on the field. It would help you to understand the rest of this by reading this introduction first.


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The Top Projected NFL Draft Picks


Per the PFF (Pro Football Focus) Big Board, here are their top projected picks in the 2024 NFL Draft with our key data for the LarryTheGM Adjusted Rating.


There is premium data from PFF you do not see

  • Snap Counts by season

  • PFF Offense and Defense Grades


These go into calculating what is shown as the development grade. That development grade is added to the recruiting or transfer grade to give us the Adjusted Rating.


You can do a mock draft on the PFF Mock draft simulator as this tweet shows.


These are the current top 11 players ranked by PFF.


NFL Draft

There is premium data from PFF you do not see

  • Snap Counts by season

  • PFF Offense and Defense Grades

Stars Ratings

These go into calculating what is shown as the development grade. That development grade is added to the recruiting or transfer grade to give us the Adjusted Rating.


For those that did not go to the main adjusted rating description article, this table may help from this point forward.


Now, let's go through those top projected picks and see how well the Adjusted Rating explains these draft expectations.


Ten of these eleven players score 1.4 or higher on the adjusted rating. This means that in a normal recruiting class rating they would have been projected to develop into a top round pick in the draft- they did. I did a discussion of star ratings also in this series of articles here.


As a reminder, the Longhorns NFL Draft class excluding outlier Bush:

  • Average Recruiting Ratings (0.9128)

  • Average Development (0.3557)

  • Average Adjusted Rating (1.2692)


The top NFL Draft Prospects:

  • Average Recruiting Ratings (0.9347)

  • Average Development (0.7050)

  • Average Adjusted Rating (1.6324)


The key difference here is the development. This is a key factor to consider as the 2024 Longhorns development score is tracking here all season. How good can the top Texas prospects be? This data gives you a context at least.


Now let's go through top of the projected draft one-by-one and see if we learn anything.


Caleb Williams


Williams was an elite 5-star prospect as a recruit. In three seasons, Williams had elite development at Oklahoma and USC. He is now projected as one of the highest Adjusted Rating score (1.9291) players which aligns with this projected draft position.


Marvin Harrison


Harrison was a mid-4-star recruiting prospect. In three seasons, he had excellent development. The combination leads to a 5-star level Adjusted Rating score (1.5471). This would mean a first round expectation. Clearly, he is considered to be at the top of the first round now.


Drake Maye


Maye was a high-4-star recruiting prospect. He played a ton in 2022 and 2023 and developed at an elite level (0.8081). This resulted in Maye having the high-5-star equivalent Adjusted Rating score (1.7805). This aligns with his projected draft position.


Malik Nabers


Nabers was a lower-4-star recruiting prospect. He played well in 2022 and excellently in 2023 and developed at an excellent level (0.5611). This resulted in Nabers having the high-4-star equivalent Adjusted Rating score (1.4723). His draft ranking here may be higher than one might expect but I would have to complete that adjusted rating for all draft eligible players.


Joe Alt


Alt was a low-4-star recruiting prospect. In three seasons, he played a LOT at an excellent level, and Alt had elite development (0.8342). This combination leads to a 5-star level Adjusted Rating score (1.7243). This would mean a first round expectation. Clearly, he is considered to be at the top of the first round now.


Here is a short clip about Alt.


Brock Bowers


Bowers was a mid-4-star recruiting prospect. In three seasons, he played a LOT at an elite level, and Bowers had elite development (0.7959). The combination leads to a 5-star level Adjusted Rating score (1.7490). This would mean a first round expectation. Clearly, he is considered to be at the top of the first round now.


Rome Odunze


Odunze was a lower-4-star recruiting prospect. He played well in 2022 and excellently in 2023 and developed at an excellent level (0.6571). This resulted in Odunze having the 5-star equivalent Adjusted Rating score (1.5746). This would mean a first round expectation. Clearly, he is considered to be at the top of the first round now.


Cooper DeJean


DeJean was a low-4-star recruiting prospect. In three seasons, he played excellently in 2022 and very good in 2023. His development (0.5083) is very good. This combination leads to a high-4-star level Adjusted Rating score (1.4033). His draft ranking here may be higher than one might expect but I would have to complete that adjusted rating for all draft eligible players.


Olunuliwa Fashanu


Fashanu was a high-3-star recruiting prospect. In three seasons, he played very well. His development (0.3380) is good. This combination leads to a lower-4-star level Adjusted Rating score (1.2251). Fashuna may be viewed as having a ton of potential to support his high first round draft grade.


Jayden Daniels


Jayden Daniels is a really interesting development story. You might enjoy this short video with Mel Kiper from ESPN.


Daniels was almost a 5-star prospect as a recruit. When he transferred to LSU, he was ranked 0.9000 as a transfer- a lower-4- star portal player.


Daniels overall has played in five seasons and used his Covid year credit to play in 2023.


He played in a massive number of 3418 snaps at an overall excellent level. Overall, his develop score is 1.0973.


Daniels is now projected as the highest Adjusted Rating score (1.9973) player which aligns with this projected draft position. As shown some pundits believe he might be drafted in the top 3. Daniels journey is a fascinating case study of the Adjusted Rating application.


I have seen some mock drafts that believe that Williams, Maye, and Daniels COULD go 1,2, and 3 with QB desperate team trading over each other to get to the QBs they covet.


Overall, the top picks in the draft have epically high Adjusted Rating scores as one would expect.


Next time, we will look at the Adjusted Ratings with the Texas Longhorns transfer players in and out of the program.

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