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NFL Draft - Underclassmen

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NFL Draft - Underclassmen

Post  Big_Pete on Sun Jan 04, 2009 9:25 am

from footballsfuture.com

Underclassmen Watch: Quarterbacks
By: Roshan Bhagat | Updated: 1/8

Undecided Predictions

Sam Bradford, QB, Oklahoma [Prediction: Declaring 80%] - Bradford will have a very difficult decision to face. Scouts and fans alike may be a little confused on where Bradford belongs. While some feel his pinpoint accuracy and incredible decision-making warrant a top 5 selection, some may be a little hesitant citing his youth and incredible supporting talent around him as reasons to knock him back. Recent rumors have said that he’ll be declaring after the National Title game barring a serious injury. Especially if Bradford can win the title, there would be nothing left for Bradford to prove in college, making his decision an easy one. Projected Round: Top 10 Selection.

Nate Davis, QB, Ball State [Prediction: Declaring 55%] - Nate Davis is one of the most interesting prospects because of his mobility getting out of the pocket. Many draft analysts have said they like what they see in him enough to warrant a first round selection. Even so, Davis said several weeks back that he would return to school. His coach left for another school and a week after his team’s loss to Buffalo in the conference Championship game, he said he was undecided once again. His brother has said that he believed Nate Davis should enter early, but Nate Davis said he’s talking it over with his family and coaches over Winter Break. There’s no telling what Davis is thinking, but with the sudden change, perhaps he’s had second thoughts about staying. Projected Round: 1st-2nd.

Colt McCoy, QB, Texas [Prediction: Returning 80%] - Even after an incredible season, Colt McCoy has decided that he will return to Texas. He has submitted his name to the NFL Draft Advisory Committee to gauge his stock and he said that if he were slated as a high pick, he would have a decision to make. However, coming from a gimmick offense and lacking the traditional franchise quarterback tools, McCoy will probably be unhappy with his current projection. Projected Round: 3rd.

Mark Sanchez, QB, USC [Prediction: Returning 75%] - Just a year ago, Sanchez was worried about his knee and holding the starting job. One year later, he faces a difficult decision: should he stay or should he go? For his first season starting, Sanchez has shown plenty of poise and a good grasp of the game. As far as his stock, he probably ranks just below fellow juniors Stafford and Bradford, so he could be keeping a close eye on what they’re doing. However, with perennial powerhouse USC always fighting for a National Title, Sanchez might be better off returning to compete another season. Teams have also showed a tendency to choose in favor of the more experienced quarterback, so that could hurt Sanchez this season. Even though he solidified himself as a first round prospect after the Rose Bowl, he said he was having a lot of fun at USC, which may factor into his decision. Projected Round: 1st.

Tim Tebow, QB, Florida [Prediction: Returning 65%] - Tebow has by far the toughest decision to make. This is due to the rift in the draft world regarding Tim Tebow’s stock. Because of his leadership, determination, and numbers, many feel Tebow would make for a great, dual-threat franchise quarterback. However, on the other hand, others believe that he’s simply a product of the Urban Meyer spread system, which may complicate matters. ESPN Draft expert, Mel Kiper, has even suggested a position change for Tebow. He has requested an evaluation and his decision may hinge upon what the projections say. Either way, he’ll have plenty of incentive to return to Florida should that be the road he decides to take. Projected Round: 2nd.

Declared

Josh Freeman, QB, Kansas State - Freeman had submitted his name to receive evaluation on his draft stock and received word that he had a 2nd round value. A new coach probably impacted his decision though both he and his father have said that Coach Snyder had been nothing but supportive of him. Freeman has elite NFL tools, but was stuck commanding an offense that lacked firepower. He has the makings of a franchise quarterback with only a year on bench. Projected Round: 1st - 2nd.

Matthew Stafford, QB, Georgia - After another terrific performance in the bowl win versus Michigan State, Stafford capped off his best season yet. Accompanied by Coach Mark Richt at a press conference, both Stafford and teammate Knowshon Moreno announced their intentions to turn pro. Stafford will compete with quarterback Sam Bradford, if he declares, for the top quarterback off the board. Both will have a legitimate shot at going number one overall. Stafford has great NFL tools and a rifle for an arm and experience in a pro style offense. Though he has some problems with decision-making and accuracy, one season of coaching should be able to turn Stafford into one of the best quarterbacks in the league. Projected Round: Top 10 Selection.


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Re: NFL Draft - Underclassmen

Post  Big_Pete on Sun Jan 04, 2009 9:27 am

continued...

Underclassmen Watch: Running Backs
By: Roshan Bhagat | Updated: 1/9

Undecided Predictions

LeSean McCoy, RB, Pitt [Prediction: Declaring 75%] - It’s been nearly impossible to peg the decision of Pittsburgh star running back LeSean McCoy. After stating several times that he’d be returning to school, McCoy with an apparent change-of-heart, went in the opposite direction to declare for the draft. Nicknamed Shady, McCoy is a shifty back with good vision and talent. He may be a little raw, but as a running back, it’s always better to get out soon rather than late once the workload has accumulated. Expect him to be among the first backs selected after Wells and Moreno in the first round. Now, after meeting with Coach Dave Wannstedt, McCoy has decided to postpone his decision. Projected Round: 1st.

Charles Scott, RB, LSU [Prediction: Returning 75%] – With a successful season as LSU’s go-to running back, Charles Scott may very well make it a one and done at LSU. His consistency and hard-running translates well to “Smash ‘n’ Dash” running game beginning to dominate the NFL. He has an incredible work ethic and should be a solid second round draft pick as long as he proves he can run well, though he has given some indications that he would be returning to school. Projected Round: 2nd.

C.J. Spiller, RB, Clemson [Prediction: Declaring 65%] – Spiller is strongly considering leaving Clemson with his best friend and backfield teammate James Davis. Spiller is awaiting word from pro scouts to hear of his status and given a high grade, we could easily see him leave. His running style will get favored to that of Tennessee Titans’ Chris Johnson which should provide an immediate boost to his stock. Expect Spiller to leave a year early. Projected Round: 2nd.

Declared

Donald Brown, RB, Connecticut - Through the regular season, Brown was the nation’s leading rusher, using patience and vision to excel. In his final game for UCONN, he rushed for a career best 261 yards leading his team to victory over Buffalo. He apologized for saying that he would be returning three weeks ago and said he did it so it wouldn’t cause a distraction for the team. Brown lacks the tools of a first round prospect, but as witnessed all year long, he certainly has the production and instincts. Projected Round: 2nd-3rd.

Glen Coffee, RB, Alabama - After seeing left tackle Andre Smith leave, I’m sure Coffee’s decision was much easier. Though he’s undersized at 6’0, 200 and doesn’t have the greatest speed, his vision and instincts make him a mid-round prospect. He knows how to run the football and can attack the defense anywhere on the field. Projected Round: 3rd.

Shonn Greene, RB, Iowa – Greene’s success this season is well known and has been well-documented by his Doak Walker Award. After shredding South Carolina for 121 yards and 3 touchdowns, Greene announced that he will forgo his senior season and enter the draft. His physical running style should translate well to the NFL, where he can continue to be a workhorse. Look for Greene to be selected in the second round with an outside shot at going in the late first. Projected Round: 2nd.

P.J. Hill, RB, Wisconsin - After finishing third in Wisconsin school history in career rushing yards and one of only two backs to rush for 1000 yards in three seasons (Ron Dayne), Hill will take his game to the next level. Hill is a bruising back with good vision, but lacks the tools to make him a legitimate option in the NFL. He’ll likely be selected with a late round selection because of his value as a power back, but Hill doesn’t have the long speed or explosiveness to succeed in the NFL on a regular basis. Projected Round: 5th-7th

Knowshon Moreno, RB, Georgia – Moreno has received word that he would be among the first two or three tailbacks taken in April and a lock for the first round. While he doesn’t have the tools of Beanie Wells, Moreno possesses the best natural instincts and vision of any back. He runs with conviction and rarely goes down on first contact. Look for Moreno to go shortly after Georgia teammate Matthew Stafford who turned pro today at the same press conference. Projected Round: 1st.

Chris Wells, RB, Ohio State - There’s no denying that Beanie Wells has the skill set to be the top back selected. He has the speed, size, and that signature stiff arm that has knocked plenty of defenders on their backs. Despite missing three games to injury, Wells rushed for over 1100 yards, his second 1000 yard season. The only concern with Beanie is his durability. He’s been banged up for most of his career as a Buckeye and could be a cause for concern. However, don’t expect teams to forget what happened to Adrian Peterson two drafts ago, when he had similar durability concerns due to his upright running style. Though Wells lacks the overall athleticism and talent of Peterson, it’s not that far a stretch to think that Wells could have a similar impact as a rookie. Projected Round: Top 10 Selection.



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Re: NFL Draft - Underclassmen

Post  Big_Pete on Sun Jan 04, 2009 9:29 am

continued

Underclassmen Watch: Receivers
By: Roshan Bhagat | Updated: 1/9

Undecided Predictions

Michael Crabtree, WR, Texas Tech [Prediction: Declaring 90%] – On Tuesday, Michael Crabtree is scheduled to announce that he will forgo his final two season of eligibility to enter the NFL Draft. This comes as no surprise because of how special a player Crabtree could be. While he’s not the physical freak that Calvin Johnson was, Crabtree’s production, hands, and route running are all superb. In only two years in a spread offense, scouts are concerned with polish and lack of a pro-style offense, which may cause second thoughts with the selection. Projected Round: Top 10 Selection.

Jermaine Gresham, TE, Oklahoma [Prediction: Returning 60%] – Standout tight end Jermaine Gresham will have a difficult decision to make. While he would be among the first two tight ends taken if he declared, that may not be until the late first or second round. With another season at Oklahoma, he could move up a couple spots, making more money in the process. Gresham said he would take some time to decide, but that he received a first round grade from the Committee. Projected Round: 1st-2nd.

Percy Harvin, WR, Florida [Prediction: Declaring 65%] – Even though a late season injury has slowed down the lightning fast receiver/running back, Harvin is expected to make the jump to the NFL. He’s concentrated on getting healthy for the National Championship game, while leaving thoughts of the NFL aside. He’s submitted his name for evaluation, though strong rumors already suggest that both he and teammate Brandon Spikes will be leaving after the Title game. Projected Round: 1st.

Brandon LaFell, WR, LSU [Prediction: Returning 90%] – The Tigers’ leading receiver has heard that he could be selected as early as the late first round should be declare. Even after improving on his sophomore season, LaFell is expected to return to LSU for his final year looking to add another Championship to his resume. The competitive atmosphere and talent of the program should be enough to keep him around as long as last minute money steers clear of his mind. Projected Round: 2nd.

Declared

Kenny Britt, WR, Rutgers – Like Ray Rice a year ago, Rutgers’ best offensive player will be leaving for the NFL a year early. He’s a big, physical receiver that brings a unique skill set to the draft. Though he remains a little unpolished as a route runner, his potential is incredibly high and can be taught to be a great wide receiver. He’s also the kind of guy that loves to throw downfield blocks to help his running game. This dynamic wide receiver should be selected in the second round in April. Projected Round: 2nd.

James Casey, TE/RB, Rice - After spending four years playing pro baseball, Casey decided to retire and revive his football career. As a utility man for Rice, Casey played seven positions in his career. Some teams may look at him as a tight end or H-back, while others may think he fits into the evolving Wildcat position used heavily by the Miami Dolphins in the NFL. At 24, Casey is older than most rookies, but he’ll get a shot in the NFL as a mid-round prospect. Projected Round: 4th

Austin Collie, WR, BYU - Collie will leave BYU as its career leader in receptions, receiving yards, and touchdowns in three seasons at BYU. Because he left school for several years to serve a church mission, Collie will be 24 at some point this year. After a spectacular season, it was a good decision by Collie to leave rather than wait another year. He’ll bring nice size and soft hands to the draft as a third round prospect. Projected Round: 3rd.

Jared Cook, TE, South Carolina - After receiving the highest grade of any Gamecock, Jared Cook will forgo his final season of eligibility and make the jump to the NFL. He has a nice frame and is a good vertical target, rumored to run faster than a 4.4. While rumored times tend to be faster than advertised, if he breaks a 4.5, look for Cook to get plenty of looks in the first round. He’s nearly a lock to be selected on the first day as one of the first tight ends off the board. Projected Round: 1st-2nd.

Andrew Davie, TE, Arkansas - After spending several years as a baseball minor leaguer, Davie has decided it’s “now or never” if he’s going to make it in the NFL. He’s 26 years old and his time is nearing an end if he’s going to have a legitimate shot at playing pro football. He’s a good blocker and red zone target, but provides very little outside of that. Projected Round: Undrafted

Darrius Heyward-Bey, WR, Maryland - With advice from his Coach Ralph Friedgen and the Advisory Committee, Heyward-Bey is pleased enough with his stock to leave a year early. Bey is a speedy wideout that will surely impress at the combine. He doesn’t jump off the page because he’s misused at Maryland, but don’t the numbers deceive. He runs good routes and has soft hands, which should translate well. Projected Round: 1st-2nd.

Jeremy Maclin, WR, Missouri - 6’1, 200 pound receiver Jeremy Maclin is headed pro. With quarterback Chase Daniel graduating, the thoughts of Maclin’s decision became easier, but not by much. As he announced in a teary-eyed press conference in Columbia, he’s going to miss leaving his teammates that he referred to as “family.” Maclin will leave as a first round prospect with great speed and good hands. Projected Round: 1st.

Hakeem Nicks, WR, UNC - After emerging from relative obscurity, Hakeem Nicks has caught the attention of scouts in the same light that Kenny Britt of Rutgers has. Nicks is a sure-handed, physical receiver that ended his season on the same high note that he played throughout. In his final game he tallied 8 catches for 207 yards and 3 touchdowns, which all but solidifies him as a second round prospect. After cementing his name in UNC history by breaking 14 school records, Nicks has decided to forgo his final year of eligibility to enter the draft. Projected Round: 2nd.

Kevin Ogletree, WR, Virginia - After tearing his ACL two years ago, Ogletree returned to lead Virginia in receiving. He’s a lanky receiver who has great quickness and speed. Having completed his degree in December, he’ll leave a year early. His numbers would still be affected by inconsistent quarterback play next year, which may have factored into his decision. Look for him to be a late round selection. Projected Round: 5th-7th.


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Re: NFL Draft - Underclassmen

Post  Big_Pete on Sun Jan 04, 2009 9:31 am

continued

Underclassmen Watch: Offensive Line
By: Roshan Bhagat | Updated: 1/9

Undecided Predictions

Ciron Black, OT, LSU [Prediction: Declaring 60%] – While Black has filed his paperwork for evaluation, his plans remain a mystery as of now. While he had a great season, the talented offensive tackle class coming out this season may be enough to push him back to school for another season. Recently, Black has said that he’s leaning towards going pro. Look for his decision to come midweek. Projected Round: 2nd.

Russell Okung, OT, Oklahoma State [Prediction: Returning 65%] – While Okung remained quiet leading up to his bowl game, it will be interesting to see what he does in the next couple weeks now that his season is officially over. If he left early, he’d be a near lock to be taken on the first day, maybe even in the first round. Rumors on campus have it that he will be back for his senior season. Projected Round: 1st-2nd.

Trent Williams, OT, Oklahoma [Prediction: Returning 85%] – The third prominent name on the nation’s best offensive line appears to be headed back to Oklahoma. After having a dominant year on the right side, Williams would have the opportunity to show what he can do on the left side if he were to come back, with Phil Loadholt graduating. While Williams would also be a day one lock this year, he could move into the early first round next season with a repeat year on the left side. Projected Round: 1st-2nd.

Declared

Eben Britton, OT, Arizona – After a change of heart, Britton has decided to forgo his senior season and enter the NFL Draft. He was named first team All Pac-10 and recently moved his way into the top 3 or 4 offensive tackles. He’s a very long and athletic tackle, which teams covet for the left side. Though he seems more like a finesse tackle at the point and leaves a little to be desired in the run game, his potential as a franchise left tackle is very high. Projected Round: 1st-2nd.

Greg Isdaner, OG, West Virginia - West Virginia junior, Greg Isdaner, became the first offensive guard to enter the NFL draft on Friday. He’s an incredibly hard worker who started 36 games over his 3-year career. Though the move comes as a surprise, At 6’4, 322, he has good size and is a good bet to go in the middle rounds. Projected Round: 3rd-4th

Andre Smith, OT, Alabama – Alabama’s prize offensive tackles has made the decision that many felt he would make several days back when he was suspended from the team’s Bowl game. His presence was sorely missed by the Crimson Tide in both the run game where he creates a big push and in the pass game where he has kept John Parker Wilson clean the entire season. Smith may lack the elite size and may have some weight problems, but he’s a good athlete who could be the run-blocking left tackle that hasn’t come out in years. Projected Round: Top 10 Selection.


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Re: NFL Draft - Underclassmen

Post  Big_Pete on Sun Jan 04, 2009 9:33 am

continued

Underclassmen Watch: Defensive Line
By: Roshan Bhagat | Updated: 1/9

Undecided Predictions

Geno Atkins, DT, Georgia [Prediction: Returning 90%] – Not that teammate Jeff Owens wouldn’t have returned on his own, but Geno Atkins really let him know that he wanted Owens to return. Even though Atkins submitted his name for evaluation, it would be very surprising to hear Atkins leave school after convincing Owens to return. Projected Round: 1st-2nd.

Greg Hardy, DE, Mississippi [Prediction: Declaring 60%] – After starting the season injured, Hardy returned to the lineup to record more than a sack a game. He’s a tremendous pass rushing talent. He sent his name for evaluation, but even more revealing news has leaked out. Teammate Mike Wallace said that Greg Hardy will be joining him and other seniors to workout with former gold medalist Michael Johnson, which would mean that Hardy intends to enter the draft. While this is nothing more than speculation right now, it’s something to note. Projected Round: 1st-2nd. (Updated 1/4)

Gerald McCoy, DT, Oklahoma [Prediction: Declaring 60%] – McCoy had the talent from day one with a good combination of size and speed. He stepped up his production this season and worked his way into scenario where he has a legitimate decision to make. After dominating the trenches in the loss to Florida in the Title game, McCoy earned some money in the process. He’s played to a point where he looks like the best draft eligible defensive tackle. Projected Round: Top 15 Selection.

Greg Middleton, DE, Indiana [Prediction: Returning 70%] – A preseason first round pick is expected to contemplate the NFL Draft. Several weeks back, his coach said that he expects his star defensive end to face a tough decision after submitting his name to the Draft Advisory Committee. There’s nothing definitive yet so we’ll have to wait with him as he awaits word on his projection. Projected Round: 2nd.

Ndamukong Suh, DT, Nebraska [Prediction: Returning 80%] - After making a early decision to return, Suh, a 2nd team selection on coaches’ All Big-12 Team, has said that he’s still not positive The 6-4, 300 pound junior has dominated the trenches this season working his way up draft boards. He says, “I love playing college football.” He filed his paperwork to check out his current stock and will make a decision fairly soon. Look for him to stick to his gut and return. Projected Round: 2nd-3rd.

Declared

Chris Baker, DT, Hampton – After being kicked off from the Penn State football team for two separate fights, Baker dominated at Hampton, playing the 3-4 end position. His production from the position was incredible and he has the NFL tools. After a good season he is declaring and could go as high as the 3rd round. Projected Round: 3rd-4th.

Everette Brown, DE, FSU - Brown announced his intentions of leaving school a year early on Tuesday. He earned his undergraduate degree in December and is ready to face the challenges of the NFL. Florida State’s freak defensive end recorded 13.5 sacks this season and scouts project him to go very high with his athletic ability combined with his knack for get around end. By the time the Combine’s over, he could easily be a top ten lock. Projected Round: Top 15 Selection.

Ricky Jean-Francois, DT, LSU – It was a tough season for Francois who only recorder 18 tackles and 2 sacks on the season only to battle a groin injury after making news on wanting to knock Tim Tebow out of the game. However, coming into the season, scouts considered him to be a first round pick based on potential. Though he’s an incredible athlete and has flashed dominance, he’s yet to piece together his game for stretches. He’s the type of athlete that could shoot up from a junior season that filled to reach expectations. Projected Round: 2nd-3rd

Sen’Derrick Marks, DT, Auburn - Even though Marks still hasn’t received an official word from the Draft Advisory Committee, he’ll be leaving Auburn a year early. He’s an undersized defensive tackle with a knack for making plays in the backfield. Many project him to be selected in the second round while a select few have him as high as the late first round. This was good enough for Marks who feels it’s time for him to move on. Projected Round: 2nd-3rd

Aaron Maybin,DE, Penn State - After a spectacular season for one of the nation’s best defenses, Maybin has reached a decision to enter the NFL draft. With speed pass rushers heavily coveted on draft day, look for Maybin to get looks at the end of the first round. However, at this point Maybin lacks NFL ability with a lean frame and plays an unpolished game. He informed Coach Paterno Thursday night. Projected Round: 1st-2nd.


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Re: NFL Draft - Underclassmen

Post  Big_Pete on Sun Jan 04, 2009 9:35 am

continued

Underclassmen Watch: Linebackers
By: Roshan Bhagat | Updated: 1/9

Undecided Predictions

Mark Herzlich, OLB, Boston College [Prediction: Returning 75%] – ACC Defensive Player of the Year Mark Herzlich has said numerous times that he plans on returning to Boston College for his senior year. However as the year pushed on and he just continued improving from week to week, Herzlich’s stance became less firm. Though he’s still expected to return, there’s an outside shot that he may leave early in which case he’d be a first round selection. Projected Round: 1st.

Sergio Kindle, LB, Texas [Prediction: Returning 85%] – After talking with defensive coordinator Will Muschamp, Kindle was pitched the idea that he could be next season’s Brian Orakpo who has blossomed into a top 10 selection. Kindle made his name this season as a lethal blitzer, finally adding production to his athleticism. Kindle’s father, Johnny Walker who was also at the meeting with Muschamp said that Kindle would surely leave if he was projected in the 1st round and would definitely return if it was in the 3rd or later. However, if he’s projected in the 2nd round, it would be a 50/50 shot. Kindle will take a week or so then make his decision, but his father has already said that Kindle will be returning for his senior season. Projected Round: 2nd.

Brandon Spikes, ILB, Florida [Prediction: Declaring 70%] – Spikes could easily be the first inside linebacker taken this year, even before big names Rey Maualuga and James Laurinaitis. He’s repeatedly shown his ability as a run stopper and coverage backer. Additionally, he showed versatility lining up with a hand on the ground rushing against the nation’s top offensive linemen, Andre Smith in the SEC Championship game. He showed a lot of speed and strength around edge and will surely be a high first round pick if he declares. He’s filed his paperwork to check on his draft status, but it’s unlikely he’ll make a decision prior to the team’s National Championship Game. There are strong rumors that both he and teammate Percy Harvin are headed to the NFL. Projected Round: 1st.

Declared

Gerald McRath, OLB, Southern Mississippi - For the second straight season, linebacker Gerald McRath has led his team in tackles (137) by a very wide margin. He moves well and can cover a lot of ground in the passing game. However, his 6’3 frame is packed with only 220 pounds, his listed weight on the team website. McRath will need to bulk up this offseason and test well to move into day one of the draft. After completing his degree, he’s ready to take on new challenges in the NFL using his simple philosophy: “get to the football.”

Eric Norwood, OLB, South Carolina – Linebacker Eric Norwood will leave South Carolina as the Gamecocks’ all-time leader in tackles for loss (43). He’s a big body who plays the run exceptionally well. However, he’s particularly limited in pass coverage and will consequently drop a couple rounds. Look for him to be a mid-round selection. Projected Round: 4th


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Re: NFL Draft - Underclassmen

Post  Big_Pete on Sun Jan 04, 2009 9:37 am

continued

Underclassmen Watch: Defensive Backs
By: Roshan Bhagat | Updated: 1/9

Undecided Predictions

Trevard Lindley, CB, Kentucky [Prediction: Declaring 65%] – Lindley has developed into one of the finer cover corner prospects in the nation. After submitting his name for evaluation, Lindley said that he would only consider leaving early if he was an early draft pick, though not to say that he still wouldn’t return. In the team’s Bowl game, he played well early only to be curtailed after hyperextending his elbow on a pass break-up in the end zone. While he has first round potential, scouts currently project him to go in the second round. He’s expected to make the jump to the NFL, though nothing official has come from players or coaches. Projected Round: 2nd.

Myron Rolle, S, Florida State [Prediction: NOT Declaring 75%] – The only thing definite from Myron Rolle is that he has played his last game for the Florida State Seminoles. He must now decide whether he wants to enter the NFL draft where he’d be a mid-round selection or accept his Rhodes Scholarship and a full ride to Oxford. Myron Rolle seems very dedicated to school and has said he’s leaning towards this extremely rare opportunity to attend Oxford, so we’ll probably see him forgo the NFL. Projected Round: 4th.

Taylor Mays, S, USC [Prediction: Declaring 85%] – After the game, Mays said that he was leaning towards going pro and that the Rose Bowl victory would be the perfect way to end his career at USC. While graduating is typically not a bad decision, it may be risky for Taylor Mays considering his peaking stock. He’s believed to crack the 4.3 barrier, which at his size would all but assure a selection in the top ten. Even with just a good 40 time, Mays should be the first safety off the board. Projected Round: Top 15 Selection.

Declared

Emanuel Cook, S, South Carolina – South Carolina’s hard-hitting strong safety declared a while ago when he decided to not keep up with his academic responsibilities. He was forced to sit out the team’s bowl game which all but guaranteed that he had played his final collegiate game. Cook’s had off-field problems which in addition to his academic ineligibility may create a cause for concern when teams look in his direction. Projected Round: 3rd

Vontae Davis, CB, Illinois - Davis has quickly entered his name into the NFL Draft. He says, “It has been a goal of mine for a long time to have the opportunity to play in the NFL.” After spending three years at Illinois, he’ll follow the footsteps of his brother, TE Vernon Davis of the 49ers, to the NFL. Davis is an incredible athlete known as an aggressive playmaking corner with the ability to shut down receivers in zone coverage. He should be one of the first corners taken within the first 15 selections in the Draft. Projected Round: Top 15 Selection

D.J. Moore, CB, Vanderbilt – After his team defeated Boston College in the Music City Bowl, Moore announced in a post-game interview that he had just finished playing his last game for Vanderbilt. He said he’d reached the decision midway through the season, but kept it to himself to prevent it from becoming a distraction. Moore is one of the better corners in the draft and has added value as a kick returner. He’ll look to go in the 1st round this coming April. Projected Round: 1st-2nd

Captain Munnerlyn, CB, South Carolina – After receiving a 1st to 3rd round grade from the Draft Advisory Committee, Munnerlyn has decided to declare early. While his season failed to reach preseason expectations with a couple of sloppy games, Munnerlyn is still a good mid-round value. He said that his decision laid heavily upon his mother who was unable to work this past year because of a blood condition and it was time for him to move on. Projected Round: 2nd-3rd

Jerraud Powers, CB, Auburn - 5’9, 191 pound cornerback Jerraud Powers could hear his name among the media as a sleeper pick. While he lacks the ideal height and is entering a class deep at cornerback, Powers has plenty of upside. He was hampered by injuries this season and wasn’t a shutdown cornerback at Auburn. It may have not been the best decision by Powers to leave early this year when he could have fought for a first day selection next year. Projected Round: 4th-5th.

James Williams, CB, Southern Connecticut - Junior James Williams has recently announced that he will declare for the NFL Draft. We’ve seen a number of small school defensive backs receive opportunities in the NFL, so the same opportunity could open itself up for Williams. He looks fluid with great ball skills so it will be interesting to see where and how he works out on his Pro Day. Projected Round: Undrafted


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Re: NFL Draft - Underclassmen

Post  Big_Pete on Sun Jan 04, 2009 9:53 am

This list is a good starting point, but it isn't complete by any means

Last year 53 underclassmen declared for the draft. there is every indication that a similar number will declare again; currently 12 have declared for 2009.

Here are a few other underclassmen who may or may not declare for the draft (and their projections from gbnreport)

QB

Todd Reissing, Kansas, 6-7


RB

James Starks, Buffalo, 3-4


WR

Austin Collie, BYU, 2-3


TE

Dennis Pitta, BYU, 2-3

Ed Dickson, Oregon

Michael Hoomanawanui, Illinois



OL

Sergio Render, Virginia Tech, 2

Adam Ulatoski, Texas

Sam Young, Notre Dame


DE

Maurice Evans, Penn State, Late first

Jerry Hughes, Texas Christian, 1-2

Corey Wootten, Northwestern, 1-2

Auston English, Oklahoma, 2-3

Jermaine Cunningham, Florida, 3-4

Brandon Graham, Michigan, 3-4


DT

Terrance Cody, Alabama, Mid-first

Arthur Jones, Syracuse, 3

Vince Oghobaase, Duke


LB

Gerald McGrath, Southern Miss, 2-3

Joe Pawalek, Baylor, 3-4

Sean Weatherspoon, Missouri

Rico McCoy, Tennessee


Ricky Sapp, Clemson


CB

Asher Allen, Georgia, 2-3

Jairus Byrd, Oregon, 2-3

Sean Smith, Utah



S

Kam Chancellor, Virginia Tech, 3-4

Nate Allen, South Florida
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Re: NFL Draft - Underclassmen

Post  Big_Pete on Sun Jan 04, 2009 10:28 am

btw from kffl.com

# Number of players that left early in 2008: 53
# Number of players that left early in 2007: 37
# Number of players that left early in 2006: 48
# Number of players that left early in 2005: 48
# Number of players that left early in 2004: 27
# Number of players that left early in 2003: 46
# Number of players that left early in 2002: 36
# Number of players that left early in 2001: 39
# Number of players that left early in 2000: 26
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Re: NFL Draft - Underclassmen

Post  Big_Pete on Sun Jan 11, 2009 9:06 am

I have updated the original post with the newer version

whilst not definitive it gives a decent indication of how it may all shake down and what some prospects bring to the table
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