Arkansas’ Bret Bielema pushing for later date for underclassmen to declare for NFL Draft

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College football coaches continue to push for a later deadline for underclassmen to declare for early draft eligibility. The subject came up during SEC Media Days on Monday when Arkansas coach Bret Bielema said several coaches advocate moving the “declaration date.”

The NFL sets a mid-January filing date for underclassmen to declare, although they get a 72-hour window to withdraw without losing NCAA eligibility.

We had more discussions this past spring about what we can do to progressively make this a little better if they do declare themselves [draft eligible], and move back that declaration date,” Bielema said, via Chase Goodbread of NFL.com. “I know Nick [Saban] and several other coaches in our league have proposed moving that date back a little bit to allow our guys to have a better understanding. There are times now where we have a bowl game in January, and a kid feels pressure or is hearing from outside sources that he needs to make a decision sooner than later. Then he makes a decision before the bowl game even takes place. That tells me that A.) he’s not focused on his priorities, and B.) he’s getting information from people who really shouldn’t be gathering and giving information, and it leads to an uninformed decision.”

Saban spoke out about a later NFL declaration deadline before Alabama’s College Football Playoff title game against Clemson. Bielema said a few extra days will make a big difference for college players without impacting the NFL.

“I had a young man two years ago who left early for the draft, didn’t get drafted, and he has the ability to possibly start in the NFL in Year 2. For him to be an undrafted free agent, the money that he lost will never be regained,” Bielema said. “I knew he had the ability, but we were just all in a hurry. We’re in the microwave world where everyone wants things done in 20 seconds, but sometimes it needs to cook for two hours.”

5 responses to “Arkansas’ Bret Bielema pushing for later date for underclassmen to declare for NFL Draft

  1. I like Coach B. It’s good to have an opinion, especially when so many people are far too politically correct. Right or wrong, he tells you what he thinks.

  2. I think that this is a reasonable request. I would think the combine is
    a primary reason for the date or certainly a factor, however, how many
    players have refused to run the 40 time at the combine? I can’t really think of any player who has opted out of tests at combine really getting
    hurt by that decision.
    The other issue is the fact that if a player declares he cannot change his
    mind. ( outside the 72 hours) no player should lose his eligibility even
    if he goes through the draft or hires an agent. Especially of he has not
    received any money.
    The NCAA has some really stupid rules. I don’t see how it would hurt the NCAA if a player came back. If a player is good he will just make the NCAA richer …..because that is really what the NCAA is about.

  3. I also don’t think it would hurt the NCAA if a player explored his options and even allow them to worked out for NFL teams. If they are at least allowed to work out for NFL teams they can hear right from the scouts that yes you should go or no you should stay. As long as they don’t hire an agent I don’t see the problem with that.

    Right now the declaration date for the draft is mid January with the combine not taking place until the 28th of February until early March. I don’t know how it works for who gets invited and when they get invited to the combine but I can’t see how it could hurt to give the players an extra week.

  4. Hes talking about raider ol Denver Kirkland hes the 1st arkansas underclassmen to declare early and go undrafted since jason peters in 04. So its gotta be him. He’s Bsing a lil bc he definitely isnt gonna start but he is 1 of their top backups. Who they believe can be really good 1 day.

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