More underclassmen have declared for this year’s NFL draft than in any year prior, and in fact the number of underclassmen who’ve declared for the NFL draft has increased steadily since 2009. It’s been reported that 65 underclassmen have been granted eligibility for this year’s draft, which is an increase from 56 in 2011, 53 in 2010 and 46 in 2009.
On top of that, the players expected to be taken with early 1st-round picks this year are mostly underclassmen. Players such as Andrew Luck, Robert Griffin III, Matt Kalil, Justin Blackmon, Morris Claiborne, Dre Kirkpatrick and Trent Richardson are all underclassmen.
So with more and more underclassmen declaring for the draft, the importance of the Senior Bowl only increases. The Senior Bowl is now the most important moment for the nation’s top seniors because it’s their opportunity to showcase themselves to the NFL at a time when the NFL is not otherwise concerned with underclassmen.
Even more important than the actual game, though, is the week of preparation leading up to the game. NFL coaches and scouts will cram in as many interviews off the field with these seniors this week because when NFL teams descends upon Indianapolis in late February for the Combine, much of their focus when it comes to the all-important interview process will be on underclassmen.
Yes, the fact that so many underclassmen are declaring for the draft does take some attention away from the nation’s best senior players at times such as the Combine, pro days and even draft day. But that just makes this week’s event – the Senior Bowl in Mobile, Alabama – even more important.
Tags: Senior Bowl
Posted in All, Mike Wobschall | 3 Comments »