Vikings running back Adrian Peterson was the No. 1 rated high school player in the country in 2004, according to Rivals. The same college sports recruiting website listed former Vikings wide receiver Percy Harvin as the No. 1 prep player in the class of 2006.
Peterson went on to star at the University of Oklahoma and Harvin did the same alongside Tim Tebow and the Florida Gators. Both are superstars in the NFL today, and two of the richest former five-star recruits in the NFL.
TheRichest.com listed some of the highest-paid five-star recruits in the NFL since 2002, and both Peterson and Harvin cracked the top 10. Here it is, with each player's average annual salary.
10. Reshad Jones – Dolphins – $7,340,000
9. Carlos Dunlap – Bengals – $7,874,000
8. Eric Berry – Cheifs – $8,340,717
7. DeSean Jackson – Eagles – $9,700,000
6. Percy Harvin – Seahawks – $10,707,500
Harvin was not only a five-star recruit in 2006, but considered the No. 1 overall prospect and signed with the University of Florida. The elusive wide receiver had a nice career with the Gators, where he was used as both a wide receiver and running back. During his three seasons Harvin compiled more than 1,800 yards rushing and 1,900 yards receiving, totaling 32 touchdowns from scrimmage. Harvin entered the draft after his junior year in 2008 and was the 22nd overall pick in the 2009 NFL Draft by the Minnesota Vikings.
5. Gerald McCoy – Buccaneers – $11,000,000
4. Haloti Ngata – Ravens – $12,131,000
3. Mark Sanchez – Jets – $13,491,667
2. Adrian Peterson – Vikings – $13,714,286
Peterson was the No. 1 overall prospect of the 2004 recruiting class and ended up signing with the University of Oklahoma. Peterson made an immediate impact in the college game, rushing for nearly 2,000 yards as a true freshman in 2004. His outstanding play earned him a consensus All-American honor and a second-place finish in Heisman voting. His next two years at Oklahoma were not as successful and a couple injuries hindered his play. Still, with high stock, Peterson left for the NFL after his junior year and was the seventh overall pick going to the Minnesota Vikings.
1. Matthew Stafford – Lions – $17,666,667