From 3-star SEC signee to the NFL Draft: Casey Hayward, Vanderbilt

Photo from Icon SMI - Casey Hayward

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. 9 – Casey Hayward, DB, Vanderbilt

H.S. RANKING: Three-stars in 2008, no national position ranking.
NFL DRAFT: 2nd round, No. 62 overall by Green Bay in 2012
COLLEGE STATS: His 15 career interceptions were good for third in Vanderbilt’s school record book, and he also had 198 career tackles, 18 tackles for loss and 46 passes defensed in his career. He led the SEC in passes defensed his last two seasons.
NFL STATS: Has started 8 games and played in 19 in two seasons with Green Bay. Had 6 INTs and 21 passes defensed as a rookie in 2012, while also putting up 48 tackles. As a 2nd year player in 2013, Hayward battled injuries.
THE SKINNY: Coming out of Perry H.S. in Georgia, Hayward was drawing offers from Vandy, along with Middle Tennessee, Southern Miss and Troy. He went on to be an All-SEC performer for the Commodores and then made the 2012 NFL All-Rookie team.

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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