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Marcus Lattimore enters NFL draft, may miss rookie year

Georgia v South Carolina Getty Images

Marcus Lattimore, a South Carolina running back who has first-round talent but is coming off an injury so serious he might be sidelined for a year or more, has decided to enter the 2013 NFL draft.

Lattimore thinks rehabbing with NFL team doctors is the best way to recover, a source told ESPN’s Joe Schad, and that’s the biggest reason he has decided that now is the time to go pro.

However, Lattimore may have to sit out his entire rookie season while recovering. Although some players, most notably Vikings running back Adrian Peterson, have suffered a torn ACL at the end of one season and returned in time to play well at the start of the next season, not all torn ACLs are created equal. And Lattimore’s injury seems to be serious enough that it’s no sure thing he’ll be ready to play at any point in 2013.

That injury — combined with the fact that Lattimore previously had a torn ACL in his other knee — will surely make his draft stock slip. But even if he’s making nothing more than the league minimum while doing nothing more than rehabbing his knee at an NFL team facility in 2013, that’s still better than making zero while doing nothing more than rehabbing his knee at South Carolina in 2013.

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25 Responses to “Marcus Lattimore enters NFL draft, may miss rookie year”
  1. ccjcsr says: Dec 10, 2012 12:25 PM

    5th rounder at best

  2. source7769 says: Dec 10, 2012 12:31 PM

    pretty smart get 2 yrs paycheck in case you never recover then go back for your degree instead of risking never recovering in college and not getting drafted someone will draft him

  3. walker615 says: Dec 10, 2012 12:33 PM

    He’ll be back, the kid has heart. I’d take him for the Broncos in a heartbeat.

  4. vancouvernfl says: Dec 10, 2012 12:34 PM

    Can compare this guy with AP… AP is a different breed.

  5. jimmygrahamchrisivory says: Dec 10, 2012 12:36 PM

    He would be a huge steal in any round after the 3rd for teams that need a major boost to their run game, especially playoff contending teams like the packers. It’s no guarantee he’ll play his rookie year as well as being the same player, but it’s a chance definitely worth taking late in the draft since it’s not much of a risk.

  6. pcwilkie says: Dec 10, 2012 12:41 PM

    As a Carolina born and bred fan, I wish him the best! He gave everything to South Carolina! He’s a fine young man and I can’t blame him! I live in the area he played his high school ball and Marcus has done more as a man than a football player. He’s a fighter, and he will be back! I hope he has a great career! I can’t wait to see that number 21 run onto an NFL field!

  7. nicksabansanahole says: Dec 10, 2012 12:43 PM

    Good Luck Marcus! I hope that you can return to your old form. Kid has a good head on his shoulders and an amazing work ethic. All the best young man.

  8. morty999 says: Dec 10, 2012 12:49 PM

    May be smart short term to make the league minimum for a year while rehabbing, but over the course of the next 3-5 years it could cost him a ton of money. If he came back and showed he was healthy, got drafted in the 1st, he may sign a 3 year deal worth $12-$18 million. Now he signs a 3 year deal worth $1.5 million. Short term gain, long term loss.

  9. ilovefoolsball says: Dec 10, 2012 12:49 PM

    Has any running back ever had a successful career after blowing out both knees?

  10. freedomispopular says: Dec 10, 2012 12:54 PM

    Sounds like Willis McGahee.

  11. Sarcasm says: Dec 10, 2012 1:03 PM

    Good luck Marcus. A good kid, with a work ethic.

  12. Sarcasm says: Dec 10, 2012 1:04 PM

    Has “ilovefootball” ever heard of Willis Mcgahee?

  13. dejohns says: Dec 10, 2012 1:04 PM

    One name comes to mind Mike Bush. The raiders took him in the 4th round and he was a steal after he sat out his rookie year.Raiders could have done wonders this year with him. Someone will take him hope my raiders take him and let him sit cause everyone knows the raiders need players with heart. Its a good decision makes no sense risking another injury by staying in college get paid to re hab. Good Luck Marcus

  14. cornbredd says: Dec 10, 2012 1:10 PM

    ilovefoolsball says:
    Dec 10, 2012 12:49 PM
    Has any running back ever had a successful career after blowing out both knees?
    ———————————————————-
    I’d say Frank Gore has been pretty successful. He tore both ACLs at Miami in separate injuries.

  15. dukemarc says: Dec 10, 2012 1:13 PM

    Teddy T. keep on eye out for this guy in the 3rd round.

  16. janvanflac says: Dec 10, 2012 1:18 PM

    “Has any running back ever had a successful career after blowing out both knees?”

    Correll Buckhalter tore his ACL during the playoff in his rookie year, and then tore the patellar tendon twice in the other leg, missed 2 full seasons then had a productive career with Philadelphia and Denver for several years.

  17. fwippel says: Dec 10, 2012 1:33 PM

    In answer to a question posted above, Terry Allen (former Clemson RB) blew the ACL out of both of his knees, one in college and the other in the pros, and recovered to rush for 1,000 yards in the NFL following both.

    That said, I can’t help but think this is bad move on Lattimore’s part. If he had stayed in college and came back even 80%, he would be a first round pick in 2014. Now, he’ll get drafted on day 3 in April, and will be locked into a low-wage (for NFL scale) rookie contract for four years. Given the that shelf life of RBs is less than that, he’s taking a chance that may end up costing him millions of dollars.

  18. donreid1027 says: Dec 10, 2012 1:35 PM

    Frank Gore was a pretty good 3rd rounder

  19. albertmn says: Dec 10, 2012 1:37 PM

    Terry Allen tore his second ACL in 1993, and had most of his success in the NFL after that. Eight more seasons after the second ACL, three 1,000 yd seasons (two of those over 1,300), 58 rushing TDs after the second ACL. And, that was almost 20 years ago, so ACL surgery and rehab has improved since then.

  20. blockedshotnyr says: Dec 10, 2012 1:38 PM

    Would be a nice futures pick for a team on the rise like Indianapolis, who probably can get by with Brown/Ballard for 2013 while improving the rest of the roster…

    Could be a fit in Denver with McGahee back and Hillman – they should be alright in 2013, could be a major force there in 2014.

    Also Minnesota – with AP getting up there (although admittedly showing no signs of slowing down) – could prolong AP for another few years by taking away some touches with little slouch in production.

    Probably, as someone else said, no better than a 5th Rnder, but has potential steal written all over him.

  21. seamhereseamthere says: Dec 10, 2012 2:30 PM

    Not sure about who he needs to handle his rehab but he definitely needs Willis MaGahee’s agent.
    If he could Willis into the first round he ought to be able to get Lattimore into the third-as opposed to a 5th-7th rounder as most see him now.

  22. kozbee says: Dec 10, 2012 2:39 PM

    ML will go in the draft but imo the later rounds,injurys will hurt his top round picks.

  23. themagicman1223 says: Dec 10, 2012 2:52 PM

    ML will go in the draft but imo the later rounds,injurys will hurt his top round picks.
    ———————————————————-
    How’d you figure that one out?

  24. onbucky96 says: Dec 10, 2012 4:09 PM

    Marcus to GB. Ted, its time. Get some talent @RB.

  25. celly84 says: Dec 10, 2012 5:03 PM

    we’ll take him here in Tampa to back up Dougie in 2014. Blount will be an unrestricted free agent after next season and it’ll be nice to have Lattimore waiting in the wings. That’d be a nice compliment to Martin.

    If its one thing the Tampa trainers know how to do is take care of knee injuries (see: Winslow, Kellen; Bowers, DeQuan; Williams, Carnell).

    Go Bucs!

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