Inside The Bills

The underclassmen count in NFL draft’s top 10

Posted by Chris Brown on January 20, 2014 – 1:33 pm

A record number of underclassmen declared themselves eligible for the 2014 NFL draft. In the eyes of some current and former personnel executives around the league some should’ve stayed in school. Still, it’s hard to disagree with the top flight underclass talent that deepens the talent pool and impacts the top 10. Here’s a look at how underclassmen have impacted the the last three NFL drafts from 2011 to 2013.

In 2011 a record eight underclassmen came off the board in the top 10 selections, including Buffalo’s Marcell Dareus with the third overall pick.

In 2012 there were seven underclassmen taken in the first 10 picks. That group included Buffalo’s Stephon Gilmore who went 10th overall.

Last year however, there were only three underclassmen taken in the top 10.

In 2014, it’s believed the number of third-year sophomores and junior eligibles taken in the top 10 could rebound to be more like it was in 2011 and 2012. One of the main reasons is three quarterbacks, who are widely ranked near the top of the draft board, are all underclassmen. Louisville’s Tedy Bridgewater, Texas A&M’s Johnny Manziel and UCF’s Blake Bortles all could go in the top 10 selections.

Add in underclassmen talents like Auburn OT Greg Robinson and Clemson WR Sammy Watkins and South Carolina DE Jadeveon Clowney and the number is already at six. We’ll see if the number stands a chance of increasing over the next couple of months.

Posted in Inside the Bills
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