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New draft evaluation guidelines may see NFL advise underclassmen to stay in school

2014 NFL Draft Getty Images

The NFL Draft this past spring saw a record number of underclassmen declare to be eligible to be drafted. More often than not, underclassmen were left at the mercy of the undrafted free agent pool. A rising number of underclassmen leaving school early for a shot at the NFL has been a growing concern on both sides of the football world, college and pro, and now the NFL is looking to find a way to discourage underclassmen from making a bad decision.

The NFL will cut down on the number of underclassmen who will receive a draft evaluation for a draft. Under the new guidelines, no more than five underclassmen per school will receive an evaluation. A total of 98 underclassmen declared for the 2014 NFL Draft and 37 of those players went undrafted.

According to the Associated Press, Troy Vincent (a former Wisconsin Badger and the NFL’s head of football operations) says underclassmen will be advised on their potential to be drafted in either of the first two rounds of the upcoming draft. Previously players were given a draft evaluation up to three rounds. Players may also be advised to stay in school. That would be a win-win for the NFL and college football if agents do not interfere with the decision-making. Advising players clearly not worthy of an early draft pick to stay in school allows those players an opportunity to get better while playing a key role in the college program. At the same time those players would theoretically become better NFL prospects, capable of making an impact or finding a role on an NFL roster faster.

It is good for the college football product and in turn makes for a better NFL product.

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8 Responses to “New draft evaluation guidelines may see NFL advise underclassmen to stay in school”
  1. friarjack61 says: Jul 18, 2014 3:31 PM

    If they are told to stay in school, do they still have to attend classes, especially English Composition ?

  2. jimmy53 says: Jul 18, 2014 4:36 PM

    Yeah right. If the league or a team thinks a college kid can make them money they’re gonna advise him to come out. Hell, if they thought a kindergarten kid could make them money, and they could take him–they would.

  3. jimbo75025 says: Jul 18, 2014 5:01 PM

    Very simple, make it a requirement for any player to come out before using up all of their eligibility to have a second round or above rating.

    Too many juniors or redshirt sophs coming who realistically can only hope to make a CFL roster on their best days.

    Also forbid agent signings until after the draft. If a player is given a first/second grade and falls out of the draft due to no fault of their own (injury, mistake by committee, etc), then allow them to return to school. If they fall because they got arrested, then sorry Charlie.

  4. dmvtransplant says: Jul 18, 2014 10:51 PM

    Nobody wants the NFL to turn into the NBA tons of fresh out of school talent with almost no real techniques or trained up skill to use. Teams don’t want to constantly draft “Projects” unlike pro basketball.

  5. ytownjoe says: Jul 18, 2014 11:03 PM

    Change the requirement to be drafted requiring players to be 21 years old or older on draft day.

  6. beartastic45 says: Jul 19, 2014 9:17 AM

    It’s a free market they are old enough to sign up for military service at 18. Why hold them back until they reach 21? Personally, I don’t think these kids are ready to make the jump until they have a few years to grow and mature. But who are we kidding, a vast majority of these kids come from challenging socio economic factors and have no intention of going to classes or experiencing college. Why prevent them from getting paid at what they are good at. If an nfl team feels an 18 year old can contribute to their team and is draft ready I have no problem with that.

  7. dmvtransplant says: Jul 19, 2014 10:08 AM

    @ beartastic45

    The military comparison isn’t an apples to apples comparison. When a kid joins the military by the time they graduate from technical training their ready to be a military cop, mechanic, airplane mechanic, intelligence analyst, etc..

    Plenty of kids go into the draft that aren’t ready to play in the NFL. Aaron Rodgers spent 3 yrs learning on the bench before he ever started, depending on the position you can’t come right out of college and have enough skills to perform at a high enough level.

  8. corvusrex96 says: Jul 19, 2014 7:01 PM

    Enough of the school requirement , the NFL needs to start a minor league

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