Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Flurry of Underclassmen Declare for NFL

Some notable names have made public their intentions of heading to the NFL. Here is the list of big name prospects so far, in order my rank. January 15th is the deadline to declare. After the Rose Bowl there should be some more names, such as; Reggie Bush, LenDale White, Darnell Bing and you can count Vince Young in for sure if Texas wins the National Championship (50/50 if they lose).

Mario Williams, DE, NC State
Vernon Davis, TE, Maryland
Laurence Maroney , RB, Minnesota
Santonio Holmes, WR Ohio State
Leonard Pope, TE, Georgia
Antonio Cromartie, CB, Florida State
Winston Justice, OT, USC
Maurice Drew, RB, UCLA
Greg Lee, WR Pittsburgh
Bernard Pollard, SS, Purdue
Ray Edwards, DE, Purdue
Devin Hester, CB, Miami

Williams, Davis, Maroney and Holmes were all expected and good decisions. Maurice Drew is a little surprising, but like Ryan Moats last year, staying in school won't help his stock. If you're looking for a 3rd or 4th round kick returner and change of pace back--Drew is your guy.

As always, too many players declare, hurting themselves in the long run. The earlier they declare, the more you have to wonder, like with Pollard and Edwards from Purdue. Other players I'd say made a bad call are Devin Hester and Greg Lee. Lee just hasn't progressed enough and could have improved his stock with a more consistent year. Hester has so much natural talent, it would really have benefited him to go back and dedicate himself to either CB or WR. As a corner his 4.3 speed could have put him in the PacMan Jones class. Now he may not get consideration inside the first two rounds or fall out of the first day altogether.

Antonio Cromartie is an interesting case. He has the talent to be the first CB selected. But after being injured all year, he has a lot to prove to scouts before the draft. If he checks out, he could sneak into the 1st round. If not he could fall out of the first day.


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