Marq Burnett's In My Opinion: Too many players leaving early for NFL draft
by Marq Burnett
Jan 17, 2014 | 1010 views |  0 comments | 12 12 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Ha Ha Clinton-Dix (6) is leaving Alabama early for the NFL draft. (Photo by Trent Penny)
Ha Ha Clinton-Dix (6) is leaving Alabama early for the NFL draft. (Photo by Trent Penny)
TUSCALOOSA — The deadline for underclassmen to declare for the NFL draft has passed and the number of early entries is near triple digits.

A record 96 underclassmen have decided to leave school early to enter the NFL draft, according to USA Today.

Players leave for varying reasons.

Some are projected first round draft picks and the earning potential at the next level is too great to pass up. Some are fourth-year juniors and have already earned their degrees. Others don’t like being in school and would rather make a living in the NFL than play for free in college.

But whatever the reason, 96 players is way too high.

Compare that to last season when a record 73 players left school early. Of the 73, only 52 were drafted, according to, meaning nearly 30 percent went undrafted.

Yes, players can still make a team as a free agent, but that’s an uphill battle that many often lose.

The problem becomes the amount of bad advice the players are receiving. Someone should step in and tell these young players that they aren’t prepared for everything that comes with the NFL and once you leave, there’s no coming back.

Hopefully it will work out for all of the players who left school early. But if last year is any indication, it likely won’t.
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