From 3-star SEC signee to the NFL Draft: Aldon Smith, Mizzou


SDS will count down the 31 biggest overachievers of the SEC, at least as far as their recruiting rankings go. We’ll take a look at two and three-star prospects coming out of high school who became NFL Draft picks in 2011, 2012 and 2013 … finishing up the end of the month with the five who became first-round draft picks. Find out which stars from your school defied the recruiting rankings coming out of high school.

Here’s a day-by-day ‘month of May’ look at who ignored their recruiting rankings and went on to get drafted in the NFL.

No. 3 – Aldon Smith, LB, Mizzou

H.S. RANKING: Three-stars in 2008, No. 27 strongside defensive end in America.
NFL DRAFT: 1st round, No. 7 overall by San Francisco in 2011
COLLEGE STATS: Had 22 career games over two years with the Tigers (he redshirted in 2008), he recorded 108 tackles and 17 sacks.
NFL STATS: In 3 seasons with the 49ers, Smith has an eye-popping 42 sacks, while also racking up 137 total tackles
THE SKINNY: Coming out of Raytown H.S. in Missouri, it wasn’t that Smith was ignored by the rankings, but he clearly defied them. He declared for the draft after three seasons and was a freshman all-american in 2009, second team All Big 12 and the conference’s freshman of the year. Then in the NFL he was a Pro Bowler in 2012, while also being named the PFWA Defensive Rookie of the Year in 2011. He is, however, dealing with serious legal issues right now and it may have some impact on his NFL career.

Editor’s note: For this particular series, Saturday Down South’s references to recruiting rankings are to’s version, as the industry composite didn’t exist when many of these NFL Draft Picks were coming out of high school. Rivals has ranked high school prospects since 2002.

The Countdown:



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