Getting high-quality play out of underclassmen doesn't come easily. There is a steep learning curve from high school football to college, just as there is from college to the pros. No one should expect an underclassman who is less than a couple of years removed from high school to be a standout player right away, even if they are among the exclusive five-star pool in their class.
But there is a select group of players each season who have no issue making the jump to the collegiate ranks. Sometimes, those surprise performers can elevate a team to championship status, while other times, they help a team get by and make up for the upperclassmen's lack of quality play.
With the help of Pro Football Focus' play-by-play grading system, we are able to dive into which programs have been getting the most out of their non-draft-eligible talent through the first half of the 2021 season.
Below is a ranking of the 10 teams whose non-draft-eligible players have been the most productive this season. Note that these rankings are not based on players' recruiting status or team success as a whole, but solely on 2021 production.