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NFL draft features 65 players leaving NCAA early

Andrew Luck AP

College football players are leaving the NCAA behind to enter the NFL draft after their junior seasons in increasing numbers.

The NFL announced today that 65 players have been granted special eligibility for this year’s draft. That’s an increase from 56 in 2011, 53 in 2010 and 46 in 2009.

Among the names on the list are many expected to be high first-round picks, including Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck, Baylor quarterback Robert Griffin III, USC offensive tackle Matt Kalil, LSU cornerback Morris Claiborne, Alabama running back Trent Richardson, Iowa tackle Riley Reiff and Oklahoma State receiver Justin Blackmon.

Click the link to see the full list of early entries in the 2012 NFL draft.

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17 Responses to “NFL draft features 65 players leaving NCAA early”
  1. zerocool62 says: Jan 19, 2012 11:31 AM

    wonder if state of economy has anything to do with it. like the need to collect a paycheck to help out the family.

  2. portlax12 says: Jan 19, 2012 11:37 AM

    Can anybody explain to me why Darron Thomas out of Oregon decided to go pro also?

  3. gmen1987 says: Jan 19, 2012 11:58 AM

    portlax12 says:
    Jan 19, 2012 11:37 AM
    Can anybody explain to me why Darron Thomas out of Oregon decided to go pro also?

    ==================================
    He likes Canada?

  4. philyeagles5 says: Jan 19, 2012 11:59 AM

    portlax12 says:
    Jan 19, 2012 11:37 AM
    Can anybody explain to me why Darron Thomas out of Oregon decided to go pro also?
    ================================
    im assuming he left Oregon is because he already has his degree. i dont think he can make it in the NFL, and if he doesnt, he can just go get a job. no point in just doing nothing in college.

  5. bdawk2020 says: Jan 19, 2012 11:59 AM

    I dont think the economy has much to do with it. It probably is because of the rookie salary cap. Before, the difference between a top 20 and a top 10 was massive and the top 30 was even bigger. Now, with there not being much benefit to increase your stock, guys are worried about getting that next contract and saving their bodies for the NFL. Sure, guys are gonna want to still get first round money, but it wont be the same as staying just to increase your chances from being selected number 20 to number 10 or from 10 into the top 5.

  6. sailorborn says: Jan 19, 2012 12:00 PM

    Many of the players cited are graduate students whose eligibility has been extended by ridiculous NCAA rules. let’s get with it luck and griffin are professionals that are not getting fairly paid. The whole thing is a sham

  7. dabigbangclock says: Jan 19, 2012 12:06 PM

    I think we are seeing more players enter the league because of the new salary structure. In the past it was worth it financially for juniors who were projected as mid to late 1st rd picks to stay in school in hopes of being a top 10 pick in the next year’s draft because of the absurd bonus money. However, now these guys are not going to be really cashing in until their 2nd contracts no matter where they are drafted, so it makes sense for everyone to enter the league a year early so they are a year closer to their 2nd contract. I expect the number of underclassmen to increase again next year, any decent agent has to be advising their clients to enter the draft because of this.

  8. otrd13 says: Jan 19, 2012 12:26 PM

    on darron thomas… anyone see a team turning him into a decent return guy/WR threat? i could see him being close to a ted ginn.

  9. bangitfootball says: Jan 19, 2012 12:27 PM

    Maybe some late 1st or 2nd round picks might leave early now becaus they wont make a huge difference to stay a year and try to be early 1st rounder but why do guys like Darron Thomas not stay in school and raise their draft value. Thomas is a probable 7th rounder or he wont get drafted at all. Dosent make any sense. Thomas evidently drank the kool aid . Drew Rosenhaus probably told him hed move way up after his combine workouts lol .

  10. bodester says: Jan 19, 2012 12:37 PM

    Can anybody explain to me why Darron Thomas out of Oregon decided to go pro also?
    ===============================

    The god awful uniforms, that’s why.

  11. patsfiend says: Jan 19, 2012 1:12 PM

    This report just in:
    NCAA is a joke.
    Everyone knows it.

  12. jfreeisthebeesknees says: Jan 19, 2012 1:53 PM

    Morris Claiborne is gonna look so pimp in those new Nike Pewter and Red’s

  13. jimmymcnultysbottleofjameson says: Jan 19, 2012 2:06 PM

    philyeagles5 says: Jan 19, 2012 11:59 AM

    portlax12 says:
    Jan 19, 2012 11:37 AM
    Can anybody explain to me why Darron Thomas out of Oregon decided to go pro also?
    ================================
    im assuming he left Oregon is because he already has his degree. i dont think he can make it in the NFL, and if he doesnt, he can just go get a job. no point in just doing nothing in college.
    __________

    Ummm how about having 20 yr old sillies to stroke at your beckon call? That would be more than enough reason for me. Real world can wait.

  14. Derty Ernie says: Jan 19, 2012 2:29 PM

    Most of these guys never had an intention of graduating. The NCAA was a stage to strut ones stuff for three years then turn pro.

  15. cantonbound13 says: Jan 19, 2012 2:35 PM

    Good news for Dolphin fans: Deep draft.
    Bad news for Dolphin fans: Ireland & Peterson are running the show.

  16. mhalt99 says: Jan 19, 2012 3:09 PM

    Are these kids crazy? The NCAA needs to make more money off of their backs…why would they go pro?

    They should stay in school. A college education is so rare in this day and age….they aren’t just given out as long as you can pay to go to the school…..its not like there are “Information Processing” degrees at prestigious universities like VA Tech or golf degrees at Penn State…….besides corporations need college grads in record numbers……it isn’t like there are a ton of graduates out there living with their parents looking for work or so underemployed that they can’t afford to live alone. not like the administration just changed loan payback for federal aid because of all of the defaults…..i mean if all that had happened there would be people protesting in tent cities in ny and washington……

    oh wait all that has happened? why would these “dumb” kids leave early to earn a higher starting average salary (actually a couple multiples higher) than an engineering major?………………….

  17. patsfiend says: Jan 19, 2012 4:05 PM

    @mhalt99

    Exactly. Come back after your 4 years and 5 million in the NFL, when you are still 26, and finish up that Communications degree from USC.

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