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Former NFL G.M. in favor of moving back the early-entry date

2014 NFL Draft Getty Images

As long as there are only seven rounds in the draft and just 32 NFL teams, it seems a good bet that multiple underclassmen will go unselected in any given year. The competition for jobs in pro football’s premier league is just too strong.

As The Associated Press noted in a story published this weekend, 39-of-102 early entrants for the 2014 NFL Draft were not selected. Former Browns G.M. Phil Savage, who is now the executive director of the Senior Bowl, suggested to the AP that moving back the early-entry deadline from January 15 to February 1 would give players a chance to get more information about their draft positioning.

“If it’s not high enough, the player would still have the chance to go back to school for spring practices,” Savage told the AP.

This would be a logical move, especially with the draft no earlier than late April and also with college bowl season stretching farther and farther into January. Giving underclassmen more time to make a major career decision seems appropriate for all parties.

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13 Responses to “Former NFL G.M. in favor of moving back the early-entry date”
  1. minnesotablizzard says: May 31, 2014 9:45 PM

    Sounds like a common sense move, naturally it will be opposed. America 2014!

  2. purplengold says: May 31, 2014 9:48 PM

    Let everyone be eligible for the draft, if you’re not selected then you can go back to your college and play another year.

  3. jjb0811 says: May 31, 2014 10:43 PM

    I’d do the draft in early March. From end of Nov to January there’s plenty of time to visit schools and test. Right after the last bowl game do the combine, set boards & draft. Then do FA late April/May and the winter and spring months are filled out for entertainment.

    @purplengold great idea to let kids go back to school if not drafted. If you can’t find a job after getting a BA, it’s common to go back for more education.

  4. mantastic54 says: Jun 1, 2014 12:11 AM

    If you need the extra time to get evaluated to see if you should enter the draft, it sounds like you are better off staying in school

  5. 49faithful says: Jun 1, 2014 12:34 AM

    But does it make the NFL more money? Cause that’s all they care about not common sense..

  6. chris6523 says: Jun 1, 2014 1:30 AM

    In a perfect world, if kids haven’t latched on to an agent and haven’t been drafted, they could go back to college. Problem is, they declare in February, the school allocates their scholarship to someone else and they go undrafted in April/May and the school likely doesn’t have a scholarship available to them.

  7. mshawn75 says: Jun 1, 2014 1:40 AM

    Doesn’t matter when the date is if the players listen to the McShays, Mayocks, and Keipers of the world. Don’t they already have the “big boards” set up for next year?

  8. darrkkomens says: Jun 1, 2014 1:50 AM

    That’s the most logical sense to let them go back to school of they’re not selected, it’s a win-win for the player and the NFL.. And it might make them even more driven to learn to be better players then if they come out again and the next time get drafted they may have an even better chance of being successful.. Just make them have to get rid of their agents 48 hours from not getting drafted

  9. wlouden77 says: Jun 1, 2014 5:43 AM

    the option to go back to school would be or underclassmen only, not those finishing school.

  10. natigator says: Jun 1, 2014 8:51 AM

    Why not just hold a pre draft camp like the NBA? All potential prospects can show up, work out in front of actual talent evaluators, and get first hand evaluations on expected draft position, things to work on, etc. if they grade out poorly then they can go back to school armed with what they need to work on and a realistic draft slot.

    Seems better than relying on third hand info from agents, Mel Kiper, etc

  11. reasonableeaglefan says: Jun 1, 2014 9:09 AM

    The problem here is that most schools start Spring classes before Feb 1. These underclassmen drop out and prep for the combine full time if they declare for the draft.

  12. bassplucker says: Jun 1, 2014 11:20 AM

    My solution? If a kid declares for the draft, he forfeits his scholarship but not his eligibility. In other words, if he has another year left to play college ball and the team wants him back, he is welcome to do so, but on his own dime.

    If a kid is willing to pay his own way his final season and he gets drafted the next year, even a rookie minimum deal will more than pay that investment back. OTOH if he’s not willing to gamble on himself and foot a final year of college, then he probably didn’t belong in school in the first place cause he never really had an interest in a degree anyway.

  13. simonator917 says: Jun 1, 2014 5:03 PM

    Why not just hold a pre draft camp like the NBA? All potential prospects can show up, work out in front of actual talent evaluators, and get first hand evaluations on expected draft position, things to work on, etc. if they grade out poorly then they can go back to school armed with what they need to work on and a realistic draft slot.
    ==========
    What a great idea! Had to do more than just give a thumbs up.

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