Saturday, January 17, 2009

NFL Early Entries

Now that the deadline has passed for college players to declare for the NFL Draft, let's assess which players made the best and the worst decisions.

Best Decisions to Leave Early

Donald Brown, RB, UConn: Brown (aka UConn's entire offense) was abused this season as he carried the ball 367 times in 13 games. To put that into perspective, only one running back in the NFL had more carries (Michael Turner - 373). Had Brown stayed in school, he would have been asked to shoulder a similar load. The shelf life of a running back is only so long.

With a solid showing at the combine, Brown could be a second round pick.

Shonn Greene, RB, Iowa: Greene, who sat out the entire 2007 season, came out of nowhere to lead the Hawkeyes. He was the only player in the nation to rush for at least 100 yards in every game this season. His stock will never be higher.

Greene too could hear his name called in the second round.

Vontae Davis, CB, Illinois: Quite simply, Davis mailed it in this year; for much of the season, it looked like he was playing not to get hurt. He possesses the physical skills to be a shutdown corner at the next level. Can he stay motivated? Ironically, the same question was asked about his big brother, Vernon.

Davis should come off the board in the middle of the first round.

Sean Smith, CB, Utah: Smith has great size for a defensive back (6'3") and played the best game of his career in the Sugar Bowl. Like Greene, his stock cannot go much higher.

Smith could be selected late in round one.

Worst Decisions to Leave Early

Percy Harvin, WR, Florida: No one argues with the athletic ability, but Harvin needs to prove he can stay healthy. With all key starters returning next season, he would have had a chance to crack the top 10 next season.

Harvin will be drafted in the mid-late first round.

Jeremy Childs, WR, Boise State: Childs led the Broncos in receptions and receiving yards. He was clearly QB Kellen Moore's go-to target. Another year working with Moore would have done wonders for Childs.

Childs figures to be a fifth or sixth round selection.

P.J. Hill, RB, Wisconsin: Hill picked a terrible year to declare for the draft. There are at least ten better prospects at the position including six other underclassmen. His performance this season failed to live up to expectations.

Hill may not get picked until late on Day 2.

To Be Determined

Glen Coffee, RB, Alabama: Coffee's is a curious one. The Crimson Tide lost bookend OT Andre Smith, but figure to be a National Title contender from Opening Day (not the case this past season). It seems like there is more to this story than meets the eye.

Coffee should go early on Day 2.

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