Every year at about this time all of the announcements start coming in about who is coming back for their senior season and who is leaving early for the NFL.
Every year the numbers get higher and higher as more and more college players are in a hurry to get out of school and start getting paid to play football.
I approve of early entries into the draft only if the guy is a sure fire 1st round draft pick. Or, if the player has already graduated from college.
A lot of these guys are leaving early without a degree and then they don’t get drafted. Some sign a free agent contract, but most of those guys don’t even make the team and then they are cut.
Either they can try out again for another team, or they can get a job, or they can then return to school and get their degree. Only this time, they will have to pay their own way and won’t have the same advantages as before such as tutors or any other kind of help.
Some of these guys are kind of painful to watch.
At the University of Florida, Defensive End Dante Fowler Jr has declared for the NFL draft. Fowler is a good player with a probable NFL future, but he lacks ideal NFL size. He possesses excellent quickness and is very aggressive and will need to test well.
Running Back Matt Jones has already declared his intentions to leave as well. Jones has run for 1,400 yards in his Florida Gator career, but his playing days have been limited by injury.
Good talent, but will an NFL team want to draft a player that has proven to be unreliable on the college level?
This season will see Melvin Gordon of Wisconsin, Todd Gurley of Georgia, and Tevin Coleman of Indiana who rushed for over 2,000 yards.
There will be other Running Backs that will either be coming out early or they are seniors such as David Cobb of Minnesota, Buck Allen of Southern Cal, Jay Ajayi of Boise State, Ameer Abdullah of Nebraska and Cameron Artis-Payne of Auburn.
That’s a lot of talent at Running Back and the NFL is not that crazy about drafting Running Backs very highly, so where does that leave Matt Jones of Florida?
Jones will have to test off of the charts and blow some NFL GMs’ out of the water. I’m not saying he can’t do it, but it’s not looking good for him.
Also on the Gators, Offensive Guard Tyler Moore has declared for the draft. Top Offensive Tackles are all the rage and will go quickly in the draft and demand top dollars. Offensive Guards are usually much less popular on draft day and the top ones may move into the late 1st round even but usually the guards will go later. Tyler Moore will not be among the top guards in the 2015 draft and I am not sure who is telling him he even has a shot at a roster spot.
I would be surprised if Tyler Moore is drafted at all and it’s probably not in his best interest to come out at this time.
At Offensive Tackle, Gator DJ Humphreys is also coming out. He is not considered even in the top 20 at this point for potential Offensive Tackle draft picks for the 2015 NFL draft.
The question then becomes who is advising these guys to come out early?
This is not minor league baseball. This is college football and the main objection of college is to get a college education and to get your degree and a potential better life.
I do understand that some are in it for the money and for making a name for themselves. But, at the end of the day, it’s still about getting that degree.
If you are a high draft pick you can easily go back and get that degree later if you must and that’s fine. But, if you are not drafted and you don’t make the big bucks in the professional ranks then the opportunity for a free education has passed.
I am not picking on the Florida Gators because this is happening at every big time school across the country and particularly in the SEC.
103 players entered the 2014 NFL draft with eligibility remaining, with several of those earning their college degrees. 14 draft picks in the first round were underclassmen.
But, overall almost 40 percent of those 103 declarations did not get drafted at all.
It’s really gotten out of hand.