Thursday, January 24, 2008

2008 Undeclared Underclassmen...Right, Wrong, or Indifferent

by Jason Jones

Undeclared Underclassmen

  1. Darren McFadden-RB
  2. Kenny Phillips-FS
  3. James Laurinaitus-ILB
  4. Ryan Clady-OT
  5. Vernon Gholston-DE
  6. Calais Campbell-DE
  7. Jonathan Stewart-RB
  8. Malcolm Jenkins-CB
  9. Malcolm Kelly-WR
  10. Kevin Smith-RB
  11. DeSean Jackson-WR
  12. Aqib Talib-CB
  13. Felix Jones-RB
  14. Rashard Mendenhall-RB
  15. Pat Sims-DT
  16. Derrick Harvey-DE
  17. Jerod Mayo-ILB
  18. Jamaal Charles-RB
  19. James Hardy-WR
  20. Geno Hayes-OLB
  21. Ray Rice-RB
  22. Mario Manningham-WR
  23. Steve Slaton-RB
  24. James Davis-RB
  25. Adrian Arrington-WR
  26. Justin King-CB
  27. Brian Robiskie-WR
  28. Mario Urrita-WR
  29. Jack Ikegwuonu-CB
  30. Erin Henderson-OLB
  31. Brandon Flowers-CB
  32. Earl Bennett-WR
  33. Martellius Bennett-TE
  34. Devin Thomas-WR
  35. Chilo Rachal-OLB
  36. Phillip Merling-DE
  37. Jermichael Finley-TE
  38. Anthony Collins-OT
  39. Joe Burnett-OT
  40. Branden Albert-G
  41. DaJuan Morgan-FS
  42. Taj Smith-WR
  43. Johnny Dingle-DE
  44. Orlando Scandrick-CB
  45. Ryan Grice-Mullen-WR
  46. Darius Reynaud-WR
  47. Victor Harris-CB
  48. Franklin Dunbar-OT
  49. Davone Bess-WR
  50. James Banks-WR

As a draft analyst, it is generally my contention that 85% of eligible players should make themselves eligible for the NFL Draft. In this era of pro football, given a couple years even 6th rounders make contributions, and dollars. This is the first year I can remember that sure fire top 15 picks have chosen to return to school. One can always find examples (i.e. Matt Leinart). Ironically, the only players on this list who absolutely are NOT entering the draft are Ohio State Buckeyes. Granted, the national consensus is that the Buckeyes were a year ahead of schedule. This could be the only excuse I can fathom. I don’t mean to upset the traditionalists who think all college players should graduate before entering the draft, but ALL of the Ohio State players minus Robiskie SHOULD go pro without hesitation. The only first 3 round worthy players on the fence are: Jerod Mayo, Mario Urrita, Brandon Flowers, Chilo Rachal, Phillip Merling, and Joe Burnett. Jerod Mayo is by far the biggest name on that short list. Since James Laurinaitis is out, officially, that makes Jerod Mayo no worse than the second best ILB in the draft. As well as considering various team needs and Laurinaitis’ exit from draft consideration Mayo could find himself in the top 25. The top 15 of this list are no doubt about it first round selections. With Laurinautis and Malcolm Jenkins out, should open the door for other seniors to move up. Those seniors can be seen at the Under Armor Senior Bowl this Saturday. Later on you can look forward to seeing a Senior Bowl recap.

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