Three-Point Stance: NFL Productions, Georgia Five-Star, WR Ranking

Rival National Recruitment Director Adam Gorny Looking at which states have created the most NFL prospects in recent years, why Georgia still has no five-star prospects in the 2023 class and why he thinks there could be a ton of movement in the rankings when it comes to the receiver position.

1. Four-nation race for NFL prospects

Travan Walker

Travan Walker (USA Today Sports Image)

The last four NFL draft breaks where the players went to high school present a lot of interesting information. Some of these are good, some are bad (for those state programs) and some may even be effective when we are looking at the 2023 class and beyond rankings. Here are some things I learned:

In the last four NFL drafts, the selected 125 players have played their high school ball in Texas. That state is followed by Florida (114) and California (86), while Georgia (85) is beginning to emerge as the third-most important state in terms of number recruitment.

In the 2022 NFL Draft, 30 players from the state of Georgia were selected, compared to California (22) and Florida (21). Although the one-year number does not tell the whole story, it is quite clear from the recruitment trends and rankings that the state of Georgia is producing both quantity and quality.

It is also important to note that Georgia won the national championship this year with many players from the state being big time contributors and then former Thomaston (Ga.) Upson Lee standout Travan Walker was the No. 1 overall pick.

What’s even more interesting when you look at these numbers is that despite state players in Texas leading the way in NFL draft picks by a decent margin, state programs haven’t paid that much. Many players have left the state but no team – not Texas, not Texas A&M, none – has yet made the college football playoffs. Given the amount of NFL talent from the state is amazing.

Similar arguments can be made in Florida and California. The amount of coaching turnover in Florida’s Big Three has slowed progress there although high school talent continues to evaporate. California also makes a bootload of NFL players, but the USC has struggled for years and many of the best have recently left the state.

Georgia supported the trend by winning the national championship last season but the last time a college team from one of those other big states won the Florida State title was in 2013.

Over the next few years, Georgia is likely to become the third-most productive state for NFL talent. It will be interesting to see if the Bulldogs can keep them at home and win the championship.

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2. Georgia has no five-star

Caleb Downs

Caleb Downs (Nick Lucero / Rival.com)

The 2023 class currently has 16 five-stars so we want to give or take about half where we want to be before the day we sign. So while Georgia’s state of success in pumping elite players and NFL talent in the upper veins is being discussed, why is there still no one from that state?

Good question.

It’s been a little less than a year in Georgia but I don’t think there’s any question that Houston (G.) Mill Creek safety Caleb Downs will be in the five-star discussion with offensive tackle Jonathan Hooghly, defensive end Gabriel Harris and Victor Burley and possibly others.

We will not emphasize the five-star ranking because the recruiters come from the state of Georgia but there must be names that would be excellent candidates.

It also leaves four-star running back Justice Haynes, who will play in his senior season at Bufford, for consideration. He is currently the No. 1 prospect in the Georgia state rankings but has been discussed many times before, lagging behind as a five-star run based on position value and where NFL teams take players off the board, it can be difficult, but not impossible.

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3. Wide receiver shakeup?

Brandon Inis

Brandon Inis

At the beginning of June, there will be a re-ranking for the 2023 class and the wide receiver is going to be one of those positions – whether this time or through this ranking cycle – where it is going to be a ton of debate about the top order.

At the moment, it goes to Brandon Inis, Shelton Sampson, Colonel Tate, Zakaria Brunch, Haikim Williams and Jalen Brown. But those six receivers are different in different ways, while all are highly skilled and excellent pass catchers.

In the position I am marrying Inis. No, because when I saw Tate during the 7-on-7 tournament this spring, he was outstanding, and probably no one else in this class except Williams has the physical equipment. Which brings up another interesting debate: How much should we consider Williams’ outstanding physical equipment versus the incredible dynamic ability of the branch or the continuity of the Inis?

A big debate is coming.

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