The pandemic dramatically altered the 2020 college football season. It has prompted the NFL and the NFL Players Association to after the rules for the 2020 draft.
An agreement struck recently by the league and the union treats the 2020 season as a year of participation. In other words, even if a player did or didn’t play in 2020, 2020 counts toward his four years of eligibility for draft purposes.
This means that, for example, if a player opted out in 2020 and otherwise has played three years of college football, he’ll automatically enter the 2022 draft — even though he has an extra year of college eligibility. Such players, if they want to refrain from entering the draft, must affirmatively opt out of the 2022 draft.
So be aware, college players who have three years of participation other than 2020. You’ll automatically become part of the next draft class if you don’t exercise your right to opt out of the 2022 pool.