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. 21 – K.J. Wright, LB, Mississippi State
H.S. RANKING: Three-stars in 2007, No. 52 inside linebacker in America.
NFL DRAFT: 4th round, No. 99 overall by Seattle in 2011
COLLEGE STATS: Finished with 258 career tackles, 22.5 tackles for loss, 14 passes defensed and 8 sacks in four seasons with Bulldogs.
NFL STATS: In three seasons with the Seahawks, he has started 40 games and has 246 tackles, 11 passes defense, 4.5 sacks and 1 INT.
THE SKINNY: Coming out of Olive Branch H.S., Wright barely cracked the top 20 ranking for the state of Mississippi, much less making any kind of elite national list. But he has had the last laugh, getting a Super Bowl ring this past season. Coming out of high school, he also had offers from Auburn, Arkansas, Ole Miss and South Carolina.
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