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What Kind Of Recruits Were The SEC’s Draft Picks?

gfx - by the numbersBy now you know that the SEC owned last week’s NFL draft.  You’ve seen those numbers.  A record 63 players picked.  No other conference could match the number of prospects produced by the SEC East or SEC West divisions, much less the whole conference.

Of all 250+ players selected, right at 25% came from the Southeastern Conference.  Crazy.

But what did those 63 drafted players look like as recruits coming out of the high school and junior college ranks?  We’ve done the research for you and below you’ll find a couple of different tables.

The first is simply an alphabetical listing of all the SEC players selected last week.  Beside their names, positions, and schools we’ve listed the rounds in which they were chosen.  To the right of that you’ll find their high school class — or a “Juco” designation in some cases — and the number of star ratings they were given by as prospects:


  Player   Pos.   School   Rd.   Class   Rivals’ Stars
  J. Banks   CB   MSU   2nd   09   3
  J. Bostic   LB   UF   2nd   09   4
  J. Boyd   DE   MSU   5th   09   4
  S. Commings   CB   UGA   5th   08   3
  J. Cunningham   TE   USC   7th   09   2
  K. Davis   RB   ARK   3rd   09   4
  Q. Dial   DE   ALA   5th   09   4
  L. Edwards   DE   LSU   5th   08   3
  M. Elam   FS   UF   1st   10   5
  J. Evans   FS   UF   6th   09   4
  S. Floyd   DT   UF   1st   10   5
  DJ Fluker   OT   ALA   1st   09   5
  M. Gillislee   RB   UF   5th   09   4
  Z. Gooden   LB   MU   3rd   08   3
  C. Gragg   TE   ARK   7th   08   2
  C. Hamilton   WR   ARK   6th   09   3
  D. Holloman   LB   USC   6th   09   4
  J. Hunter   WR   UT   2nd   10   4
  J. Jenkins   LB   UF   4th   09   5
  J. Jenkins   DT   UGA   3rd   Juco   4
  L. Joeckel   OT   A&M   1st   10   4
  N. Johnson   LB   ALA   4th   09   5
  TJ Johnson   C   USC   7th   08   3
  B. Jones   OG   ALA   4th   08   4
  J. Jones   LB   UGA   1st   09   4
  T. King   WR   UGA   5th   08   4
  E. Lacy   RB   ALA   2nd   09   4
  M. Lattimore   RB   USC   4th   10   5
  C. Lemonier   DE   AUB   3rd   10   4
  B. Logan   DT   LSU   3rd   09   3
  T. Mathieu   CB   LSU   3rd   10   4
  C. Michael   RB   A&M   2nd   09   5
  D. Milliner   CB   ALA   1st   10   5
  B. Mingo   DE   LSU   1st   09   4
  K. Minter   LB   LSU   2nd   09   4
  S. Montgomery   DE   LSU   3rd   09   4
  D. Moore   DE   A&M   3rd   10   3
  A. Ogletree   LB   UGA   1st   10   4
  C. Patterson   WR   UT   1st   Juco   4
  S. Porter   LB   A&M   4th   09   3
  B. Rambo   SS   UGA   6th   08   3
  J. Reed   TE   UF   3rd   09   4
  E. Reid   FS   LSU   1st   10   4
  S. Richardson   DT   MU   1st   09   5
  M. Rivera   TE   UT   6th   08   3
  A. Sanders   WR   USC   4th   10   4
  R. Seymour   OG   VU   7th   08   2
  T. Simon   CB   LSU   5th   10   4
  D. Slay   CB   MSU   2nd   09   2
  Z. Stacy   RB   VU   5th   09   3
  C. Sturgis   K   UF   5th   08   2
  DJ Swearinger   SS   USC   2nd   09   3
  R. Swope   WR   A&M   6th   09   3
  D. Taylor   DE   USC   4th   08   3
  D. Thomas   OT   UT   3rd   08   3
  S. Ware   RB   LSU   6th   10   5
  L. Warford   OG   UK   3rd   09   3
  C. Warmack   OG   ALA   1st   09   3
  C. Washington   LB   UGA   6th   08   4
  J. Williams   DT   ALA   5th   Juco   4
  M. Williams   TE   ALA   7th   08   4
  S. Williams   SS   UGA   3rd   09   3
  T. Wilson   QB   ARK   4th   08   4


So what does that tell us?  It tells us that 4- and 5-star recruits do indeed have a better chance of being drafted into the NFL than 2- or 3-star recruits.  Seems obvious, but many still dismiss recruiting rankings entirely.  At, we believe they should be viewed as a compass, but not as a GPS.  Those rankings can give you an idea of in what direction a prospect is going, but they can’t provide a completely accurate picture of how his college trip will turn out.

Below is a breakdown by Rivals star rankings of this year’s SEC draft class:


  2-stars   3-stars   4-stars   5-stars
  SEC Draftees   5   19   29   10


Some of you likely noticed that more former 3-star recruits were drafted out of the SEC than former 5-star recruits.  True enough.  But keep in mind recruiting services — in this case Rivals — hand out fewer high-end grades than middle- to low-end grades.  In other words, there should be more 3-stars than 5-stars drafted because there are many more 3-star players, period.

The takeaway, in our view, is that when it comes to recruits who’ll stand out as draft-ready in the hyper-talented SEC, 4- and 5-star recruits are much better bets than 2- and 3-star prospects.  The high-end guys accounted for 39 of the SEC’s 63 draft picks while the low-end guys accounted for just 24 selections… despite the fact that there are more of those kinds of prospects floating around.

Further proof?  Of the 14 early entrants into the draft who were picked by NFL clubs, 13 were 4- or 5-star prospects coming out of high school.  Texas A&M’s Damontre Moore was the only player to go from 3-star recruit in the class of 2010 to early entrant draftee in 2013.

So knowing that recruiting rankings do translate — on some level — those fans who follow recruiting are wise to always keep an eye on the number of 4- and 5-star guys being inked by each school.  That doesn’t mean some 4- and 5-star guys won’t bust or that some 2- and 3-star guys won’t turn out better than expected, but in terms of playing the odds, the more stars the better.  And this year’s SEC draft class hammers that point home again.



Thanks for the info and it does show up that way. Just a thought. Could this be partially because the higher recruiting service ranking encourages the better coaching staffs/teams to seek those players? If so, and I believe it is a contributing factor, the recruits that end up at those schools receive better coaching and player development as a general rule. That will lead to the better chance to be drafted than those with lesser ratings. So could it be that it is more important than many HS players realize to be rated highly by the services? Appears that way.


Numbers bear it out, have you crunched these over time, does it come out the same way?


An outstanding article! This is the kind ofarticles I enjoy reading!


An outstanding article! THis is the kind of stuff i enjoy reading on Mr. SEC>


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