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Tag:draft departures
Posted on: January 14, 2012 7:57 pm
 

LSU leading WR Rueben Randle entering draft

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

LSU may have kept one receiver in the fold. But their best one is off to the NFL.

Junior Rueben Randle -- the Tigers' leading receiver in their undefeated (and ultimately unfulfilled) march to the BCS National Championship game -- announced Friday that he would be forgoing his final season in Baton Rouge to enter this April's NFL draft. Randle's father Emmett Randle confirmed that his son had filed the necessary paperwork to join the draft as a third-year player.

“There was no one particular thing,” Emmett Randle told the Baton Rouge Advocate. “It was a combination of things that told him he needed to move on.”

One of those things is likely that Randle could prove to be a first-day draft pick; Emmett said that the NFL had graded Rueben as a potential second-round pick, and with prototypical pro size at 6'4", 208 pounds, Randle's stock shouldn't be harmed by pre-draft workouts.

It's that same rare combination of size and athleticism that made Randle one of the nation's most elite, highly sought-after recruits in the class of 2009, when he was regularly tabbed as one of the top five prospects at any position. The sky-high expectations meant that his production as a freshman and sophomore -- 44 total receptions, just over 700 yards -- was viewed as something of a disappointment.

Randle made good on his potential and then some in 2011, however, leading the Tigers with 53 receptions, 917 yards, and 8 touchdowns. His 17.3 average yards per-reception led the SEC among receivers with at least 50 catches. (We here at Eye on CFB named him first-team All-SEC for the impact his downfield receiving threat made on the LSU offense.)

So the move makes sense from Randle's perspective. But it won't make it any easier for the Tigers to take, not with Morris Claiborne and Michael Brockers having already elected to enter the draft as well. Fellow receiver Russell Shepard will be staying in Baton Rouge, but the national title game (as well as the Tigers' first meeting with the Tide) showed how badly the LSU offense needs to develop its deep passing game against truly elite defenses--and now the Tigers will lose their only bona fide downfield threat. The hole left by Randle's decision won't be an easy one for Les Miles to fill.

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Posted on: December 16, 2011 4:37 pm
Edited on: December 16, 2011 4:39 pm
 

Report: USC's Nick Perry to enter draft

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

For the second time in as many days, a key USC Trojan has reportedly elected to enter the 2011 NFL Draft.

Thursday it was tackle Matt Kalil announcing he would forgo his senior season in L.A., and on Friday ESPNLosAngeles.com's Pedro Moura reported that two-year starting defensive end Nick Perry had made the same decision. Sources cited in the report said that Perry had already signed with sports agency Lock Metz Malinovic, which currently represents multiple other former Trojans.

Perry is projected to be selected as early as the late first-round and could play as either a down lineman or a 3-4 outside linebacker at the next level.

Though not a surprise, Perry's decision will leave a sizable hole in the Trojans' 2012 defensive line rotation. His 9.5 sacks led the Pac-12, put him among the top 20 pass-rushers nationally, and equaled the output of the entire rest of the Trojan defensive line combined. His 13 tackles-for-loss were on shy of doubling the high for any other player on the team, and he ranked fifth on the Trojans in tackles overall.

Lane Kiffin has never shied away from encouraging his players to leave for the pros if their draft projection was optimistic enough, and even after Kalil and Perry he may not be done with 2011's early defections yet; quarterback Matt Barkley has been the subject of much speculation and safety T.J. McDonald could also decide to make the leap.

Posted on: January 9, 2011 1:01 pm
Edited on: January 9, 2011 5:54 pm
 

A.J. Green officially declares for NFL draft

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

Back on Dec. 22, Georgia wide receiver A.J. Green took to Twitter to angrily deny a report that he had already elected to forgo his senior season and enter the NFL Draft . You can't blame him, with his Bulldogs in the process of preparing for a bowl game that could -- and eventually would -- doom them to a losing season at the time.

But no one save a handful of glass-entirely-full Bulldog fans expected that to mean anything but a delay of the inevitable, and now the inevitable is official : Green will be turning pro a year early.

He leaves Athens on the shortlist of the greatest receivers in Georgia history, with 166 receptions for 2,619 yards and 23 touchdowns in only three injury- and suspension-shortened seasons. Green and fellow class-of-2008 blue-chipper Julio Jones -- Green the acrobatic, elegant yin to Jones' beastly, uber-athletic yang -- both entered college football with outsized expectations. Both more than lived up to them as "A.J. or Julio?" debates sprang up across the SEC during their three years. And now both will see their names called in the first round of the same draft.

But if Green is remembered as having personally delivered on his immense potential, he'll also be remembered for playing on teams that didn't deliver on theirs. As we wrote when the first reports of Green's declaration surfaced, his three years in red-and-black coincide with the three most disappointing seasons of the Mark Richt era in Athens: the 2008 fall from preseason No. 1, the 2009 7-5 underachievement, and now the 2010 crash-and-burn all the way below .500. No one who's watched Green would blame him for those failings, but it won't change the feeling that Richt and the Bulldogs could have accomplished more with arguably the most purely talented college receiver since Larry Fitzgerald at their disposal.


Posted on: January 4, 2011 11:57 am
 

Miami CB Brandon Harris declaring early

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

With Randy Shannon gone from Miami , any Hurricanes he recruited to Coral Gables aren't too likely to stick around if they believe the NFL will give them a fair shake in the draft. So it's no surprise that two-time All-ACC cornerback Brandon Harris has elected to move on to the next level after his junior season :

“I’ve done a lot of thinking, going over it with my family and I got some advice for some former coaches, people who have been involved with me closely and I just decided that it was just time for me to declare for this year‘s NFL Draft,” Harris announced to InsideTheU Wednesday morning.

Harris finished seventh on the team with 45 tackles this past season. He also had one interception, two forced fumbles, and nine pass break-ups en route to second-team all-conference honors.

He received an encouraging grade from the NFL Draft advisory committee prior to the Sun Bowl that he was satisfied with.

“The committed told me some great things after they evaluated my film,” Harris said. “The position I was in it was kind of the point that it was hard to turn down. I’ve worked my butt off to get to this point, I did everything I could possibly do to set myself up to be in this position one day. Now that I am actually here, it’s time to take that next step, and see where I can go from here.”

The advisory committee hasn't always had cornerbacks' best interests in mind (witness Michigan's Donovan Warren coming out last spring after an encouraging grade, only to go undrafted), but with a handful of 2009 All-American honors under his belt, a major role on the nation's third-ranked pass defense, and a firm spot on the NFL's radar , Harris isn't in any danger of slipping too far down the draft.

But if the move makes a lot of sense from Harris's position, it's not going to help a Miami secondary that's already losing two seniors from the two-deep at corner. Al Golden will have to find some players willing to grow up in a hurry to keep the 'Cane pass defense anywhere near the lofty perch it enjoyed in 2010
Posted on: January 3, 2011 3:24 pm
 

Indiana wideout Tandon Doss to declare for draft

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

It's not just the Alabamas and Ohio States of the world who have to deal with early departures for the greener grass of the NFL, unfortunately for teams like Indiana, who despite their 5-7 record appear to be losing second-leading receiver Tandon Doss. According to this report from the Indiana student paper, Doss has already informed new Hoosier head coach Kevin Wilson that he will enter the draft and not return for his senior season in Bloomington.

One the one hand, it's a surprise almost by definition for a player with the label "Indiana's second-leading receiver" to be declaring early; Indiana's never been a hotbed of draftable talent, and Doss's statistics -- 63 receptions, 706 yards, 7 touchdowns -- are nice but don't exactly scream "NFL-ready receiving prospect." On top of that, Wilson's Oklahoma offenses were consistently some of the most explosive in the country, and even without departed senior quarterback Ben Chappell, Doss might have found himself riding the updrafts from a suddenly-buzzworthy Hooiser attack next season.

But on the other: without Chappell and with Wilson learning the ropes as a head coach, there's nothing guaranteed for anyone on the Hooiser offense, particularly not a receiver battling the likes of current No. 1 Damarlo Belcher and rising big-play threat Duwyce Wilson for catches. Doss should be able to turn at least a few pro heads, too, as a 6'3", 200-pound target with hands enough to collect 140 receptions the last two years. He may be entirely correct that another year in Bloomington won't do a thing for his draft stock, while it's always possible an injury or crater year for the offense lowers it past the point of being drafted.

Indiana fans won't be happy. But Doss has as many reasons for going as for staying, and it's hard to blame any prospect in that situation from trying to earn a paycheck as quickly as possible.

Posted on: December 22, 2010 9:46 pm
Edited on: December 23, 2010 1:59 am
 

Report: A.J. Green to declare for draft [UPDATED]

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

[UPDATE: Green has told his Twitter followers that this report is "100% false." It's unclear whether that means he has not decided to declare for the draft or that he is definitely returning to Georgia.]

It's not surprising -- in fact, it's the complete opposite of surprising -- but it appears Georgia wide receiver A.J. Green will be declaring for the 2011 NFL Draft. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution , citing a report from a local Atlanta television station, is reporting that Green has made his decision and that he is "100 percent" committed to turning pro after his junior season.

While the timing of the report could be better where the Bulldogs' focus for a tricky-looking Liberty Bowl date against UCF is concerned, Green's decision has been expected virtually from the moment he arrived in Athens and put 963 receiving yards on more than 17 yards a completion as a true freshman. Over his three-year career, no one in the country hauled in highlight-worthy receptions more often than Green, and it will be a shock if Green goes any lower than the first six or seven selections in the draft.

So while Georgia can't claim to have not seen this coming, it won't keep them from being disappointed. Even for all of Green's immense talent, his three years in red-and-black coincide with the three most disappointing seasons of the Mark Richt era in Athens. The 2008 Bulldogs were ranked No. 1 preseason and lost three games, including a 49-10 humiliation against Florida; the 2009 team limped into the bowl season at 7-5 after an upset loss to Kentucky; and the 2010 Dawgs dropped all the way to .500 after even Green's return from suspension couldn't save them from falling to hopeless Colorado.

Green will be fondly remembered by Bulldog fans for his jaw-dropping talent, incredible catches, and even his blocked field goal to save a game against Arizona State in 2009. But assuming the Liberty is in fact his last performance for Georgia -- and there's no reaso nto think it won't be -- he'll also be remembered with the tinge of disappointment that the Bulldogs couldn't accomplish more with him around.



Posted on: December 11, 2010 2:41 pm
 

Possible lockout won't affect Green pro decision

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

As the will-they-go-or-won't-they talk surrounding college football's draft eligible juniors heats up, there's been a substantial amount of chatter that the potential NFL lockout might encourage players to stay in school rather than risk murky draft waters polluted by a work stoppage.

But if A.J. Green is any indication, that talk isn't going to be anything more than wishful thinking on the part of college football fans:
Green said Saturday that a possible NFL lockout will “not be a part of my decision,” of whether to enter the NFL draft.

Green would stun most observers if he doesn’t enter the draft because he’s projected as a top-five overall draft pick.

“I’m close,” Green said about his decision. “I’m going to talk to my parents a little more and we can see.”

Green said he was among several Georgia players that met with Atlanta Falcons president Rich McKay last week on campus ... McKay has served on the NFL Management Council working group that helps advise on collective bargaining issues.

Green said that his thoughts on the NFL lockout were based in part on hearing McKay, who serves on several NFL committees.

“I’m not going to think about the lockout,” Green said.

Because of that top-five appraisal, Green's situation isn't the same as another potential early-entrant who might land closer to the second or third round or even the draft's second day; with talent like his, Green's going to be financially secure no matter when he declares.

But nonetheless, if what Green is hearing point-blank from NFL sources that the lockout isn't something to worry over, it's doubtful many other top prospects are going to hear differently when there's so much money at stake. Until an equally high-profile draftee says otherwise, don't expect the lockout to do much to slow the usual exodus.

 


 
 
 
 
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