There are an NFL-record 111 underclassmen in this year’s draft pool and Lions General Manager Bob Quinn thinks a fair number of them are going to be disappointed once the seventh round comes to an end.
Last year’s draft ended with 36-of-106 underclassmen undrafted and Quinn said at a Thursday press conference that, based on his team’s evaluations, some players are getting “bad information” about their prospects. He expects there will be “a lot of disappointment” once this year’s draft is over as a result.
“So I think this year is going to be pretty interesting to sit back after the draft and kind of do the numbers and say how many juniors were picked in 2018 compared to how many juniors were picked in 2019,” Quinn said, via ESPN.com. “It’s probably going to be about the same number, if I were to guess, but you’re going to have X amount of guys that aren’t drafted and now they’re out of college eligibility and now there’s no AAF so there’s no other place to play. So where do these guys go? Where do those other 40 guys go? I’m not sure.”
Quinn was asked about a change to the system that would allow players to return to school if they went undrafted and said it “probably could work” although he wasn’t advocating that the NFL and NCAA adopt such an approach.
Another option — unmentioned on Thursday — might be to have a date ahead of the draft where players could pull out after going through the Combine and/or other meetings with teams. Quinn said some don’t “believe the evaluation they get from the NFL” about their chances so that might not result in a significant change in the number of players who wind up vying for work as undrafted free agents.