It’s well-documented that star ratings don’t always equal next-level NFL talent, but recruiting rankings are often synonymous with potential as a future professional and impact as a college athlete.

Annually, the SEC produces nearly a quarter of all draft picks and is trying to break its own record of 63 total selections set in 2013 this week.

One noticeable exclusion from most SEC-heavy projections is Auburn quarterback-turned-defensive back Nick Marshall. A three-star JUCO transfer for Gus Malzahn who previously played in the secondary at Georgia, Marshall’s brief two-year career with the Tigers was memorable and featured an SEC title.

Most draft analysts expect Marshall to be signed as an undrafted free agent by a team needing depth and athleticism at safety. NFL Network’s Mike Mayock says the learning curve will be steep at the next level, but believes Marshall has the talent to stick around and find a niche if given a chance.

“If you truly believe he can be a starting defensive back in the league, he’s got one value,” Mayock said according to the Ledger-Enquirer. “If you think he’s going to be a perennial backup and a core special teams player, it’s a different value. So I think teams are going to do their homework.”

Looking at various draft projections and forming them into one comprehensive list, here’s how SEC hopefuls were ranked coming out of high school, or in some cases, junior college:

Editor’s note: 247Sports’ composite rankings were used for recruiting results in this story. Projected draft selections were taken from various expert mocks at NFL Network and ESPN.


  • Dante Fowler, Florida, DE: 4-star (Class of 2012)
  • Shane Ray, Mizzou, DE: 3-star (Class of 2011)
  • Todd Gurley, Georgia, RB: 4-star (Class of 2012)
  • Bud Dupree, Kentucky, OLB: 3-star (Class of 2011)
  • La’el Collins, LSU, OT: 5-star (Class of 2011)
  • Amari Cooper, Alabama, WR: 4-star (Class of 2012)
  • Landon Collins, Alabama, S: 5-star (Class of 2012)
  • D.J. Humphries, Florida, OT: 5-star (Class of 2012)
  • Jalen Collins, LSU, S: 3-star (Class of 2011)
  • Cedric Ogbuehi, Texas A&M, OT: 4-star (Class of 2010)
  • Preston Smith, Mississippi State, DE: 2-star (Class of 2011)
  • Dorial Green-Beckham, Okla./Mizzou, WR: 5-star (Class of 2012)
  • Sammie Coates, Auburn, WR: 3-star (Class of 2011)
  • A.J. Cann, South Carolina, OG: 4-star (Class of 2010)
  • Benardrick McKinney, Mississippi State, LB: 3-star (Class of 2011)
  • Cody Prewitt, Ole Miss, S: 3-star (Class of 2011)


  • T.J. Yeldon, RB, Alabama: 5-star (Class of 2012)
  • Kwon Alexander, LB, LSU: 4-star (Class of 2012)
  • Trey Flowers, DE, Arkansas: 3-star (Class of 2011)
  • Danielle Hunter, DE, LSU: 4-star (Class of 2012)
  • Reese Dismukes, C, Auburn: 4-star (Class of 2011)
  • Mitch Morse, OG, Mizzou: 3-star (Class of 2010)
  • Chris Conley, WR, Georgia: 3-star (Class of 2011)
  • Gabe Wright, DL, Auburn: 4-star (Class of 2011)
  • Za’Darius Smith, DE, Kentucky: 4-star (Class of 2013)
  • Max Garcia, C, Florida: 3-star (Class of 2012)
  • Ramik Wilson, LB, Georgia: 3-star (Class of 2011)
  • Chaz Green, OG, Florida: 4-star (Class of 2010)
  • Darius Philon, DL, Arkansas: 3-star (Class of 2012)
  • Justin Cox, S, Mississippi State: 4-star (Class of 2013)
  • Arie Kouandjio, OG, Alabama: 4-star (Class of 2010)
  • Markus Golden, LB, Mizzou: 3-star (Class of 2012)
  • Corey Robinson, OT, South Carolina: 3-star (Class of 2010)
  • Xzavier Dickson, LB, Alabama: 4-star (Class of 2011)
  • Senquez Golson, CB, Ole Miss: 3-star (Class of 2011)
  • Mike Davis, RB, South Carolina: 4-star (Class of 2012)
  • Justin Coleman, CB, Tennessee: 3-star (Class of 2011)


  • Austin Shepherd, OT, Alabama: 3-star (Class of 2010)
  • Trenton Brown, OG, Florida: 3-star (Class of 2013)
  • Jalston Fowler, FB, Alabama: 4-star (Class of 2010)
  • Darrian Miller, OG, Kentucky: 4-star (Class of 2011)
  • Matt Jones, RB, Florida: 4-star (Class of 2012)
  • Cameron Artis-Payne, RB, Auburn: 3-star (Class of 2013)
  • Damian Swann, CB, Georgia: 4-star (Class of 2011)
  • Martrell Spaight, LB, Arkansas: 3-star (Class of 2013)