From 3-star SEC signee to the NFL Draft: Zaviar Gooden, Mizzou

ZaviarGooden-Mizzou (2)

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. 19 – Zaviar Gooden, LB, Mizzou

H.S. RANKING: Three-stars in 2008, No. 32 safety in America.
NFL DRAFT: 3rd round, No. 97 overall by Tennessee in 2013
COLLEGE STATS: Racked up 256 tackles, 20.5 tackles for loss, 4 sacks, 5 INTs and 16 passes defensed in his four years with the Tigers.
NFL STATS: Registered 12 tackles in 9 games as a rookie last fall, with one start at linebacker.
THE SKINNY: Coming out of Pflugerville (Texas), Gooden also held offers from Stanford, Texas Tech, Purdue, Iowa State, Kansas and also took an official visit to Oklahoma State. He played in 49 career games for Mizzou, and was elected a team captain as a senior in 2012.

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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