Just as the draft is the ultimate evaluation system for the NFL, national signing day ushers in the future of college football every year. Ultimately, each is just a baseline projection for the future: Only time can tell whether that recruit or draft selection was the right one. Now that some time has passed since the start of the RecruitingNation player rankings in 2006 and the conclusion of the 2014 NFL draft, it's a great opportunity to reflect on how some of the top high school prospects have fared and what trends have developed over the years.
Thousands of players have been evaluated and signed with college programs in the RecruitingNation era, but in this lookback, we have narrowed the focus to prospects ranked in the top 10 of their respective class. Between 2006 and 2011, 52 players in that group have been or made themselves eligible for the NFL draft; 33 of those have been drafted. Of those 33, 23 went in either the first or second round, and of that number, eight former top-10 overall prospects ended up being top-10 draft picks.
From the can't-miss positions to unlucky No. 3 to the SEC's claim on the NFL draft, here's a closer look at how many elite prospects become elite draft picks.