Super Bowl 2019 rosters: How the Rams and Patriots starters rated as high school recruits

The Los Angeles Rams and the New England Patriots will square off Sunday night at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta in Super Bowl LIII with some of the game's biggest stars littering both rosters. But has it always been this way?

Many of the starters on Sunday will have dealt with hype and expectations throughout their careers, while others have been underdogs their entire careers. Let's take a look at the starters in the game, and how the 247Sports Composite viewed them as prospects coming out of high school.

Before we get there, a quick reminder that you can stream Super Bowl LIII live here on CBSSports.com, via the CBS Sports app or on CBS All Access. Of course, you can also watch it on your local CBS station.

Let's start with the star-studded Rams offense.

PlayerStarsOverall rankPosition rank

QB Jared Goff

4

No. 213

No. 15 Pro-style QB

RB Todd Gurley

4

No. 73

No. 6 RB

WR Brandin Cooks

3

No. 371

No. 47 WR

WR Robert Woods

5

No. 3

No. 1 ATH

WR Josh Reynolds3
No. 1,087No. 153 WR

TE Tyler Higbee

2

No. 2,162

No. 91 TE

LT Andrew Whitworth

5

No. 38

No. 1 OG

LG Rodger Saffold

2

No. 1,690

No. 126 OT

C John Sullivan

4

No. 75

No. 2 C

RG Austin Blythe

4

No. 248

No. 10 OG

RT Rob Havenstein

3

No. 649

No. 30 OG

Six of the 11 starters had four or more stars coming out of high school, but Saffold and Higbee came a long way after being counted out during high school. The average star rating of the Rams offense is 3.55, which suggests that the recruiting services pegged most of the players right.

Now, let's check out the other side of the ball for the NFC champion Rams.

PlayerStarsOverall rankPosition rank

DE Michael Brockers

4

No. 191

No. 10 DE

DT Ndamukong Suh

4

No. 48

No. 6 DT

DE Aaron Donald

3

No. 353

No. 30 DT

LB Samson Ebukam

N/A

Unranked

Unranked

LB Mark Barron

4

No. 71

No. 3 S

LB Cory Littleton

3

No. 1,517

No. 74 DE

LB Dante Fowler

5

No. 36

No. 3 DE

CB Aqib Talib

2

No. 1,461

No. 120 CB

CB Marcus Peters

3

No. 489

No. 34 CB

S John Johnson III

2

No. 1,981

No. 146 S

S Lamarcus Joyner

5

No. 12

No. 2 ATH

With four players with either quadruple-digit rankings or no ranking at all, it's nice to see so many underdogs find success at the game's highest level. When you combine them with stars like Fowler and Joyner, you find a deep and versatile defense that averages a 3.18 star ranking and is a big reason why the Rams are playing on Sunday.

Now let's take a peek at the Patriots offense. 

PlayerStarsOverall rankPosition rank

QB Tom Brady

N/A

Unranked

Unranked

RB Sony Michel

5

No. 20

No. 3 RB

RB James White3No. 511 No. 42 RB

WR Julian Edelman

3

No. 103

No. 4 Dual-threat QB

WR Chris Hogan

N/A

Unranked

Unranked

TE Rob Gronkowski

4

No 101

No. 4 TE

LT Trent Brown

3

No. 22

No. 2 OT

LG Joe Thuney

2

No. 1,498

No. 129 OT

C David Andrews

3

No. 495

No. 8 C

RG Shaq Mason

3

No. 1,172

No. 75 OG

RT Marcus Cannon

3

No. 774

No. 49 OG

It's pretty remarkable to see what the Patriots offense has done with the ultimate underdog Brady at quarterback, a starting wide receiver who was a quarterback in high school and college, and the other wide receiver not having a single star to his name. The average star rating of the Patriots offense is 2.64, which makes it a team full of players who had chips on their shoulders coming out of high school.

What about the Pats defense? Let's take a look.

PlayerStarsOverall rankPosition rank

DE Trey Flowers

3

No. 1,369

No. 62 DE

DT Lawrence Guy

4

No. 171

No. 11 DT

DT Malcom Brown

5

No. 9

No. 2 DT

DE Deatrich Wise, Jr.

3

No. 381

No. 25 DE

LB Kyle Van Noy

4

No. 266

No. 13 ATH

LB Elandon Roberts

N/A

Unranked

Unranked

LB Dont'a Hightower

4

No. 303

No. 25 LB

CB Stephon Gilmore

4

No. 34

No. 6 CB

CB Jason McCourty

0

Unranked

Unranked

S Devin McCourty

2

No. 1,304

No. 84 S

S Patrick Chung

2

No. 1,008

No. 67 S

Coach Bill Belichick is doing less with more with this defense. With two players unranked, three ranked outside of the top 1,000 and an average star ranking of 2.82, the respective colleges of the Patriots defensive starters and their coaches at the pro level deserve a ton of credit for building this unit into one of the league's best. 

Overall, the Rams hold the edge over the Patriots in star rating among starters at 3.36-2.73. Will it matter come Sunday? That remains to be seen. Either way, it's interesting to see the differences in the two rosters as these players progressed through the ranks.

College Football Writer

Barrett Sallee has been a member of the sports media in various aspects since 2001. He is currently a college football writer for CBS Sports, analyst for CBS Sports HQ and host for the SiriusXM college... Full Bio

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