NFL draft advisory board will urge more players to stay in school

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After an all-time high of 98 underclassmen declared for this year’s NFL draft, the NFL’s College Advisory Committee has changed some of its policies to encourage more players to stay in school.

The draft advisory board’s new guidelines, which the league has provided to PFT, state that players who don’t project as a first- or second-round pick will be told they should remain in school. In the past, players who projected as third-round picks or later would be told that. Now they’ll just be told they should play another year of college football.

The NFL has also said it will limit requests for evaluations to five underclassmen per college team. That new policy was first revealed today by Alabama coach Nick Saban, although that policy may not apply to Saban’s program: The policy says that the College Advisory Committee may decide on a case-by-case basis to evaluate more than five players on one college team, and Saban’s talent-loaded Crimson Tide would surely be one of the teams that ends up getting more than five evaluations.

The ultimate effect of the new policy will be to encourage all but the best prospects to keep playing college football. That could end up being bad news for some players who would like to turn pro if they’re expected to be third-round picks but will now be told that they shouldn’t enter the draft. But the NFL would prefer that most players fulfill their NCAA eligibility, and this new policy is a step toward reducing the number of underclassmen who are tempted to enter the draft.

24 responses to “NFL draft advisory board will urge more players to stay in school

  1. Of course the NFL wants college players to stay in school, more free labor and bigger paychecks for the football factories…er I mean “Schools” to use on things such as new stadiums, hush payouts, bribes, and probably the most egregious form of human trafficking that is considered normal at this point.

    Death to the NCAA and the entitled college towns that guard the administrators and athletes from true justice only to protect “The Program”

  2. The correct metric is how many underclassmen went undrafted out of those 98. Then its how many made the team. If its in line with the norm of all drafted players (Seniors & Underclassmen) then there is no reason for them to go back to school.

  3. Bridgewater should have stayed in school until he was fully grown. That waif of a man is going to get destroyed in the NFL. He can’t even stop his fall with those puny hands.

  4. So just another layer of having the NFL determine which players are the premium prospects that deserve to be slotted with more guaranteed money than others that think they are the better player. Sounds totally unfair and bogus yet consistent with the image of the league trying to control the lives of young people that are passionate about football yet have no leverage in how they go about the pursuit of making a career out of it.

    Some of these well-paid players that get lucky at the right time should be giving tip money to Roger Goodell, after all he’s the chief conductor of the system that got them paid.

  5. “players who don’t project as a first- or second-round pick will be told they should remain in school. In the past, players who projected as third-round picks or later would be told that. ”

    Maybe I’m misreading this but isn’t a player projected as 3rd round or later the exact same thing as someone who doesn’t project as a first or second rounder?

  6. Or maybe they shouldn’t give third round grades to 100 players. It seemed like every player picked from the fourth round up had a third round grade.

  7. Let them go back to school if they aren’t selected in the first two rounds.

  8. Just another recruiting tool to be used by the blue chip programs. Come here and we’ll be able to make sure you can get an evaluation from the NFL advisory committee, go there and you probably won’t.

  9. linvillegorge,

    Good argument except…they said case by case basis.

    NFL teams go where the talent is. If all the projected first round picks transferred down to Mount Union tomorrow then the NFL teams would adjust their schedules. They would ALL go in to Mount Union.

    Any school who has more than 5 potential top 100 underclassmen will be an exception to the rule. The problem is that never happens. In fact, Alabama would probably try and use this to stop kids from going to say Vanderbilt or Kentucky rather than East Carolina or UAB. I doubt Alabama ever has to really compete with someone who is not a power BCS team for a player.

  10. So the NFL is condemning large poor, minority kids to another year in indentured servitude/slavery. Let freedom ring…

  11. I see this as an unintended consequence of the rookie wage scale. Players used to stay to try to increase their stock and get a mega payday. Now, the way it is viewed is that the earlier they come out, regardless of round drafted, the sooner they can negotiate their second contract.

    I like the suggestion above that would allow a player to go back and regain eligibility if their draft position doesn’t live up to what they were told it would be.

  12. I like the idea. These guys get told by shady agents and leachy family members to go in the draft to get paid then they end up going undrafted and they are screwed.

    Another solution is in addition to the above,allow a player that declares for the draft that goes undrafted, to be able to return to school

  13. Scouting football players is such an inexact science. if I’m a player and I think I’m good enough, I’m not going to care where some scout “projects” that I get drafted. These scouts can only pick the obvious players anyway.

  14. To clarify, any prospect that was projected as a 3rd round pick or later was told “you are projected to go in the 3rd round or later”. Now those prospects will be told “you should play another year of college football” instead. Meaning, dude, you ain’t ready. No delusions of grandeur.

    Also, this does NOT prevent an underclassman from declaring despite that projection.

    I also agree with a comment above where if an underclassman goes undrafted, then he can go back to play at college. The only issue here is that ALL underclassmen would declare. So, I guess it could be relegated to the evaluated players.

  15. Every change can have unintended consequences, right?

    I think this change could have the opposite effect, where every kid who is told that he shouldn’t enter the draft early will take it as “you’re a third rounder, guaranteed!” and be encouraged to leave school.

  16. What difference does it really make if these players stay in school? A lot of them can’t read and write anyway and got free rides into these colleges. Getting them out of school as soon as possible leaves more room for actual college students who want to go there to learn and study. What these players really need is a required crash course on how to manage and invest their millions when they make the NFL.

  17. If I was a player who has demonstrated his talent on the field for two years and wanted to enter the draft I would tell the Advisory Committee to stick it. If the Committee can’t prevent someone from declaring then they have no say in what the player does IMO.

  18. This policy change makes sense now that NCAA school can buy insurance policies for their players. If you are a player that is looking like you might be drafted in the third round but another year at school could push you into the first or second round, it is worth staying at the college level for a year to collect a bigger check and be protected against injury. It is good for big college programs and good for the NFL. The only people that don’t really win in this scenario are the players, but who cares about them, right?

  19. [i]The draft advisory board’s new guidelines, which the league has provided to PFT, state that [b]players who don’t project as a first- or second-round pick will be told they should remain in school. In the past, players who projected as third-round picks or later would be told that. [/b][/i]

    So, no change?

  20. The pros should keep their money soaked hands off these kids until at least their junior year,for a lot of reasons.
    It sends the wrong message to kids coming behind them. If someone dangles enough cash in your face it is okay to break your word.

    You don’t even have to make the team,you get a big bonus just for signing,and you don’t have to give it back if you don’t make the team
    Student players get a full ride from these schools,yet instead of an education,they use the school as a stepping stone to the pros. Students should be made to keep their commitments.

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