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. 6 – Darius Slay, DB, Mississippi State
H.S. RANKING: Two-stars in 2009, no national position ranking
NFL DRAFT: 2nd round, No. 36 overall by Detroit in 2013
COLLEGE STATS: In two seasons at Mississippi State (he began his college career in junior college) Slay had 64 total tackles, 6 INTs and 16 passes defensed. He took two interceptions back for scores in his career, and he led the SEC in interceptions in 2012.
NFL STATS: Slay played in 13 games and started 4 for the Lions last fall, accumulating 34 tackles and 5 passes defensed.
THE SKINNY: Coming out of Brunswick H.S. in Georgia, Slay actually got decent recruiting attention for a two-star prospect, taking trips to Alabama, Kentucky and Misssissippi State. But he ended up going to Itawamba Community College before coming into the SEC. He was a second team All-SEC performer in 2012.
Editor’s note: For this particular series, Saturday Down South’s references to recruiting rankings are to Rivals.com’s version, as the 247Sports.com 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.
- No. 1 Marcell Dareus, Alabama
- No. 2 Morris Claiborne, LSU
- No. 3 Aldon Smith, Mizzou
- No. 4 Ryan Tannehill, Texas A&M
- No. 5 Chance Warmack, Alabama
- No. 6 Darius Slay, Mississippi State
- No. 7 Johnthan Banks, Mississippi State
- No. 8 D. J. Swearinger, South Carolina
- No. 9 Casey Hayward, Vanderbilt
- No. 10 Randall Cobb, Kentucky
- No. 11 Larry Warford, Kentucky
- No. 12 Bennie Logan, LSU
- No. 13 Kelvin Sheppard, LSU
- No. 14 Dallas Thomas, Tennessee
- No. 15 Michael Egnew, Mizzou
- No. 16 Damontre Moore, Texas A&M
- No. 17 Shawn Williams, Georgia
- No. 18 Jake Bequette, Arkansas
- No. 19 Zaviar Gooden, Mizzou
- No. 20 Ben Jones, Georgia
- No. 21 K.J. Wright, Mississippi State
- No. 22 Clint Boling, Georgia
- No. 23 Luke Stocker, Tennessee
- No. 24 Kris Durham, Georgia
- No. 25 Sean Porter, Texas A&M
- No. 26 Devin Taylor, South Carolina
- No. 27 Greg Childs, Arkansas
- No. 28 Sanders Commings, Georgia
- No. 29 Josh Chapman, Alabama
- No. 30 Lavar Edwards, LSU
- No. 31 Denarius Moore, Tennessee