Recruiting Analysis: Class of 2010 Re-Ranked

Athlon Sports re-ranks the Class of 2010 with some help from the experts.

Recruiting, like the NFL Draft, is the lifeblood of the sport. But recruiting, just like the NFL Draft, is an inexact science. Five-star prospects have a significantly better shot at landing on All-American teams or getting drafted than two-star prospects. But busts and overlooked talents are a natural and inherent part of the process — just like the NFL Draft.

 

So Athlon Sports re-ranked the top 10 players of the 2010 class and asked 247Sports' national recruiting analyst Barton Simmons to look back at the evaluation process:

 

1. Aaron Donald, DT, Pitt

Defensive Tackle No. 25, No. 299 nationally

 

Donald accomplished everything an individual can in college, winning more awards in his final season than most anyone else in history not named Manti Te’o. The Outland, Nagurski, Lombardi, Bednarik winner, as well as the ACC Player of the Year and All-American also was the 13th pick in the 2014 NFL Draft. He made the Pro Bowl for the Rams as a rookie this season. Who was No. 1: Ronald Powell, DE, Florida

 

Barton Simmons’ Take: “Donald was an industry miss and should have been ranked higher but those violent hands were definitely there all the way back in high school.”

 

2. Luke Joeckel, OT, Texas A&M

Offensive Tackle No. 7, No. 56 nationally

 

The highly-touted blocker won the Outland Trophy as the best lineman in college football, was the No. 2 overall pick in the ’13 NFL Draft and helped Johnny Manziel win a Heisman Trophy. Who was No. 2: Seantrel Henderson, OT, Miami

 

Simmons’ Take: “Joeckel was just consistently good. He was big but not freakishly big, athletic but not freakishly athletic but he almost never got beat. He was fantastic at the Under Armour All-American game.”

 

3. C.J. Mosley, LB, Alabama

Inside Linebacker No. 3, No. 79 nationally

 

Mosley was a Top 100 player but sat behind some stars at linebacker named Hightower and Upshaw before becoming the All-American superstar. He was a two-time consensus All-American, the Butkus Award winner, a two-time BCS champion, first-round pick and Pro Bowler as just a rookie. Who was No. 3: Robert Woods, WR, USC

 

Simmons’ Take: “I remember watching Mosley at the Alabama-Mississippi All-Star Classic and his athleticism in coverage and ability to play in space was unmatched in that linebacker class.”

 

4. Jake Matthews, OT, Texas A&M

Offensive Tackle No. 5, No. 38 nationally

 

Matthews was ranked slightly higher than Joeckel and was nearly as good as his Outland counterpart. The legacy blocker lived up to the hype, was a two-time All-American and the sixth pick in the ’14 NFL Draft. Who was No. 4: Dominique Easley, DT, Florida

 

Simmons’ Take: “Matthews was polished, tough and physical at offensive tackle and he was also really versatile. He was incredibly consistent during his week at the U.S. Army Bowl.”

 

5. Blake Bortles, QB, UCF

Pro-Style No. 43, No. 1220 nationally

 

In a class loaded with busts at quarterback, Bortles was easily the most successful and most productive signal-caller in the class. And one of the most underrated recruits in the modern era of rankings. He led UCF to a league title, a BCS bowl win and was a top-five pick in the NFL Draft. Who was No. 5: Jackson Jeffcoat, DE, Texas

 

Simmons’ Take: “Bortles was one that slipped through the cracks for sure but if you looked close enough, the talent was obvious. He had a big arm and at 230 pounds as a senior, he had a huge frame as well.”

 

6. Keenan Allen, WR, Cal

Safety No. 1, No. 10 nationally

 

A freakish athlete coming out of high school, Allen is the only name on this list who was ranked in the top 10 as a prospect. He rewrote the Cal receiving record book, but dropped to the third round of the 2013 NFL Draft due to injury. He has put together back-to-back solid seasons as a pro. Who was No. 6: Sharrif Floyd, DT, Florida

 

Simmons’ Take: “The question with Keenan Allen was is he a safety or is he a wide receiver? Most thought he was a safety but he was so big and athletic that he was a clear star at either.”

 

7. Anthony Barr, LB, UCLA

Athlete No. 7, No. 64 nationally

 

The former running back took his time getting to the defensive side of the ball but once he did, he dominated the Pac-12. His overall athletic ability was on full display as a recruit and it resulted in a top 70 recruiting ranking. Who was No. 7: Jordan Hicks, LB, Texas

 

Simmons’ Take: “Barr was a big running back in high school but most recruiting analysts felt that defense would be his best spot in the future. He eventually figured that out.”

 

8. Eric Reid, S, LSU

Safety No. 6, No. 57 nationally

 

Reid was a star at safety for an LSU defense that was one of the best in the land. He was All-SEC all three seasons, played in a BCS title game and the 49ers moved up to take him in the first round two years ago. Who was No. 8: Mike Dyer, RB, Auburn

 

Simmons’ Take: “Reid was always a huge kid at the safety position but he could cover at that size and he had ball skills. Beyond that he was an intelligent kid that showed off leadership at every event.”

 

9. Vic Beasley, DE, Clemson

Tight End No. 22, No. 483 nationally

 

Beasley would have been a top draft pick last season but returned for his final year and it resulted in a second All-American campaign and ACC Defensive Player of the Year honors. The former tight end was not even the highest-rated Beasley that Clemson signed in 2010 (David). Who was No. 9: Marcus Lattimore, RB, South Carolina

 

Simmons’ Take: “We knew Vic had an elite frame, he was really athletic but we thought his future would be on offense as a tight end. The upside was always there.”

 

10. Brandon Scherff, OT, Iowa

Offensive Tackle No. 40, No. 579 nationally

 

It’s tough to pinpoint a prospect’s ability to play a bookend tackle when they are under center in high school. The former quarterback was barely a top 50 prospect at his position entering college. He won the Outland Trophy and will likely be a first-round pick. Who was No. 10: Keenan Allen, WR, Cal

Simmons’ Take: “An Iowa native, Scherff was actually a quarterback until his junior season so he had some obvious athleticism and a body that he grew into.”

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Best of the Rest: 

 

* - indicates five-star prospects, Pos. Rk = position rank

Player Pos. Team Pos. Rk National Rk
Eric Kendricks LB No. 29 ILB No. 729
Jordan Matthews WR No. 182 WR No. 1442
Alec Ogletree* LB No. 1 S No. 19
Darqueze Dennard CB No. 142 CB No. 1596
David Yankey G No. 39 OT No. 560
Andre Williams RB No. 58 RB No. 697
Lamarcus Joyner* DB No. 2 ATH No. 12
Bjoern Werner DE No. 22 SDE No. 343
Jackson Jeffcoat* DE No. 1 SDE No. 5
Giovani Bernard RB No. 12 RB No. 166
Hroniss Grasu C No. 6 C No. 630
Sharrif Floyd* DT No. 2 SDE No. 6
Dee Milliner* CB No. 1 CB No. 14
Marcus Lattimore* RB No. 1 APB No. 9
DeAndre Hopkins WR No. 25 WR No. 193

 

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