Harold Landry was the 421st-ranked player in the 2014 high school recruiting class. The weak-side defensive end from Fayetteville, N.C., was a three-star recruit who did carry some notable Power 5 offers (e.g. Auburn, Ohio State) but was largely overlooked. Four years and 26 sacks later, Landry is now a first-round NFL Draft prospect.
Seven hundred and forty-eight spots below Landry was a 6-foot-2, 190-pound safety with one Power 5 offer: Courtland Sutton. The three-star recruit from the tiny town of Brenham, Texas, was the 153rd-ranked player from the Lone Star State but is now a first-round NFL Draft prospect.
Landry and Sutton are two of many former low-rated recruits (non-four- and five-star recruits) that should be selected in the first 32 picks of the 2018 NFL Draft. Those low-rated prospects will outnumber Josh Rosen, Derwin James and other former highly rated prospects. And while there are more three-star, two-star and unrated recruits than five-star and four-star recruits in each class, it's still notable that more low-ranked recruits could — and will, in this prediction — be selected in the first round.
Here's a first-round mock draft that contains 18 low-ranked players (three unranked, one two-star and 14 three-star) vs. 14 highly ranked players (six five-star, eight four-star).