Barring the incomprehensibly stunning selection of Rashan Gary (or Byron Cowart) with the No. 1 pick in the 2019 NFL Draft, the Arizona Cardinals will become the fifth straight team to not select a former No. 1 recruit with the first pick in the NFL Draft.
Since Rivals began ranking high school football recruits in 2002, only one former No. 1 overall recruit has been the first pick in the NFL Draft; Jadeveon Clowney was the No. 1 recruit in 2011 and No. 1 pick in 2014.
Entering the 2019 NFL Draft, 13 former No. 1 recruits have been eligible for the draft (not including Cowart or Gary). Six of those 13 former No. 1 recruits were selected in the first round, while two were drafted in the second and one apiece in the third, fourth, fifth and seventh rounds. Terrelle Pryor, the top-ranked player in the 2008 class, was selected in the 2011 supplemental draft.
The average and median draft positions of former No. 1 recruits are 63 and 35, respectively (not including Pryor). Only four of the 13 players were drafted in the top 20, and only one (Clowney) since Adrian Peterson (No. 1 recruit in 2004) went seventh in 2007.
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If Byron Cowart, the top-ranked recruit in the 2015 class, is not selected in the 2019 draft, he'd be the first-ever former top-ranked recruit to go undrafted. Several former top-five recruits have gone undrafted, including most recently Quin Blanding (the No. 5 recruit in the 2014 class), but never has a former No. 1 recruit gone undrafted.