How the 2010 NFL Draft will transform the Big Ten

Submitted by umhero on January 5th, 2010 at 12:24 AM
As I suggested in an earlier diary, "The NFL Uncapped Year and Donovan Warren", the NFL draft in 2010 may set a record for the most juniors to leave early in a season.  I recently heard on the NFL network that more than 75 underclassmen may put their names in for draft consideration.

The reasons this coming draft is inspiring so many to try to grab the brass ring are all the result of the expiring labor agreement between NFL Players and owners.  First, it is likely that the next agreement will include a slotted rookie draft with lower starting salaries, like the NBA currently has, so some players may be entering during an uncapped year to maximize the pay in their first contract.  Second, the next contract may extend the period before players can become unrestricted free agents, so they would like to get in now to start their counter toward that time.  Finally, the number one reason college underclassmen are being advised to enter now is the potential lockout in 2011, players getting in now can ensure themselves a payday rather than risking a year without a season.

The prospects for a lockout are very real.  The NFL Players Association is desperately trying to get the owners to negotiate a new contract but the owners are unwilling to meet.  The owners are looking forward to the uncapped year, not so that they can spend like crazy, instead it provides them an opportunity to dump bad contracts without penalty while locking up their young stars.  While many current NFL players have been looking forward to the uncapped year as a windfall, the owners included language in the contract that adds an extra transition tag to protect a teams best players and extends the unrestricted free agency period from four years to six for this coming season; locking up many of the league's best young stars when they expected their freedom.

Since we all know that most of college football's top players are merely using the NCAA as a launching pad to the NFL, they don't need too much encouragement to take a shot at the league.  Here's a list of players that have already declared or indicated that they are strongly considering it (I included the Scout star ranking when they left high school or junior college):

PosPlayerTeamStatusRank
QBSam BradfordOklahomaDeclared4 star
QBJevan SneadMississippi 4 star
QBRyan MallettArkansas 5 star
QBJimmy ClausenNotre DameDeclared5 star
QBCase KeenumHouston 2 star
RBJonathan DwyerGeorgia Tech 4 star
RBEvan RoysterPenn StateDeclared3 star
RBJohn ClayWisconsin 4 star
RBBrandon SaineOhio State 4 star
RBToby GerhartStanford 3 star
RBJahvid BestCaliforniaDeclared4 star
RBDeMarco MurrayOklahoma 5 star
RBHarvey UngaBYU 2 star
RBJoe McKnightSouthern California 5 star
RBDarren EvansVirginia Tech 4 star
RBDelone CarterSyracuse 4 star
RBRyan MathewsFresno StateDeclared2 star
WRDez BryantOklahoma StateDeclared4 star
WRArrelious BennIllinoisDeclared5 star
WRDamian WilliamsSouthern California 4 star
WRDezmon BriscoeKansasDeclared2 star
WRDemaryius ThomasGeorgia Tech 3 star
WRGolden TateNotre DameDeclared4 star
WRVincent BrownSan Diego State 3 star
WRChris BellNorfolk State 5 star
WRDane SanzenbacherOhio State 4 star
WRMike WilliamsSyracuseDeclared2 star
TERob GronkowskiArizona 4 star
TEAaron HernandezFlorida 5 star
TEWeslye SaundersSouth Carolina 4 star
TEJermaine GreshamOklahomaDeclared4 star
OTBrian BulagaIowa 4 star
OTAnthony DavisRutgersDeclared5 star
OTGabe CarimiWisconsin 3 star
OTJason PinkstonPittsburgh 4 star
OTBruce CampbellMarylandDeclared4 star
OLBryant BrowningOhio State 3 star
OLJustin BorenOhio State 5 star
OLMaurkice PounceyFlorida 4 star
OLMike PounceyFlorida 4 star
DECarlos DunlapFlorida 5 star
DECliff MatthewsSouth Carolina 5 star
DECameron HeywardOhio State 4 star
DEDerrick MorganGeorgia Tech 4 star
DEEverson GriffenSouthern CaliforniaDeclared5 star
DEGreg RomeusPittsburgh 2 star
DEJason Pierre-PaulSouth Florida 5 star JC
DEThaddeus GibsonOhio State 4 star
DEAdrian ClaybornIowa 4 star
DEJustin TrattouFlorida 5 star
DERyan KerriganPurdue 3 star
DEKevin BaspedNevada 2 star
DEDontay MochNevada 2 star
DTGerald McCoyOklahomaDeclared5 star
DTBrian PriceUCLADeclared5 star
DTMarvin AustinNorth Carolina 5 star
DTAllen BaileyMiami (Fla.) 5 star
DTStephen PaeaOregon State 3 star JC
DTAbe KoromaWestern IllinoisDeclared3 star
ILBRolando McClainAlabama 4 star
ILBScott LutrusUConn 2 star
ILBQuan SturdivantNorth Carolina 4 star
ILBTravis LewisOklahoma 4 star
OLBGreg JonesMichigan State 3 star
OLBNavorro BowmanPenn StateDeclared4 star
OLBRennie CurranGeorgia 4 star
OLBBruce CarterNorth Carolina 3 star
OLBVon MillerTexas A&M 4 star
CBJoe HadenFloridaDeclared4 star
CBDeAndre MorganNorth Carolina State 3 star
CBRas-I DowlingVirginia 2 star
CBDonovan WarrenMichiganDeclared5 star
CBKareem JacksonAlabama 3 star
CBDominique FranksOklahoma 4 star
CBAmari SpieveyIowa 2 star
CBJohnny PatrickLouisville 3 star
CBChimdi ChekwaOhio State 2 star
CBJimmy SmithColorado 3 star
CBKendric BurneyNorth Carolina 3 star
CBDevon TorrenceOhio State 4 star
SEric BerryTennesseeDeclared5 star
SMorgan BurnettGeorgia Tech 4 star
SReshad JonesGeorgia 4 star
SMajor WrightFlorida 5 star
SChad JonesLSU 5 star
SDeunta WilliamsNorth Carolina 4 star
SJermale HinesOhio State 4 star
Source: www.Scout.com, www.NFLdraftbible.com

As you can see, of the 87 players on the list 21 have already made their intentions known.  The 2009 draft had 46 early entrants, but only nine had declared before January 1.

So how will this impact the Big Ten?

There are 20 Big Ten players on the list and four of those have already declared.  Nine of the players play for Ohio State.  It is unlikely that all of the players above will enter the draft, however it is likely many will.  If you combine this group with graduating seniors the power in the Big Ten could change dramatically.  Here is a list of  contributors that will be gone from each team in the Big Ten:


IllinoisIndianaIowaMichigan
QBJuice Williams    
RBDaniel Dufrene* Demetrius McCray*  Brandon Minor
RB Bryan Payton*  Carlos Brown*
WRArrelious Benn** Trey Stross Greg Matthews
WRChris Duvalt  LaTerryal Savoy*
WRJarred Fayson   
TEMichael Hoomanawanui Troy WagnerTony Moeaki  
TE Brian Zematis  
OT Rodger SaffoldKyle CallowayMark Ortmann
OT  Bryan Bulaga** 
OT    
OT    
OGJon AsamoahPete SaxonAndy Kuempel*David Moosman
OG Mike Reiter*Dace Richardson 
OG  Dan Doering* 
CEric Block  Rafael Eubanks 
C    
     
DEAntonio JamesGreg MiddletonChad Geary*Brandon Graham
DEDoug PilcherJammie KirlewAdrian Clayborn**Adam Patterson*
DE    
DTRahkeem Smith* Travis Meade* 
DTSirod Williams   
DT    
LB Will PattersonA.J. Edds  
LB Justin Carrington*Pat Angerer  
LB Matt Mayberry  
LB    
CBDere Hicks Amari Spievey**Donovan Warren**
CB    
CB    
SDonsay HardemanAustin Thomas Steve Brown
S Collin Taylor*  
S Nick Polk  
S Matt Kurz*  
     
K   Jason Olesnavage
PAnthony Santella   Zolton Mesko
Total15161412
     
 Michigan StateMinnesotaNorthwesternOhio State
QB  Mike Kafka 
RB   Brandon Saine**
RB    
WRBlair WhiteBen Kuznia*Andrew BrewerRay Small*
WR  Kevin FrymireDane Sanzenbacher**
WR    
TE Nick Tow-Arnett Jake Ballard
TE    
OTRocco CironiMatt Stommes*Kurt Mattes*Jim Cordle
OTMike Schmeding*   
OT    
OT    
OGBrendon Moss Desmond Taylor*Bryant Browning**
OG   Justin Boren**
OG    
CJoel Nitchman  Andrew Moses*
CJohn Stipek*   
     
DETrevor AndersonCedric McKinleyCorey Wootton Cameron Heyward**
DEColin NeelyBarrett Moen Thaddeus Gibson**
DE Derrick Onwuachi* Lawrence Wilson*
DTMichael Jordan*Eric SmallAdam HahnTodd Denlinger
DT Garrett BrownMarshall Thomas* Doug Worthington
DT   Rob Rose
LBBrandon DensonSimoni Lawrence Austin Spitler
LBGreg Jones** Rex Sharpe*  
LBAdam Decker*Nate Triplett  
LB Lee Campbell   
CBJeremy WareTraye SimmonsSherrick McManis Chimdi Chekwa**
CBRoss Weaver* Marcus Sherels Devon Torrence**
CB   Andre Amos*
SK. Davis-Clark* Brad Phillips Kurt Coleman
SAshton Henderson*  Brendan SmithAnderson Russell
SDan Fortener   
S    
     
KBrett Swenson   
P Blake Haudan Jon Thoma
Total18151121
     
 Penn StatePurdueWisconsin 
QBDaryll ClarkJoey Elliott  
RBEvan RoysterJaycen Taylor* John Clay** 
RB  Garrett Graham 
WRBrett BrackettRoyce Adams*  
WRGraham Zug Aaron Valentin   
WRPatrick Mauti*   
TEMickey Shuler Mickey Turner  
TEAndrew Quarless*   
OTDennis LandoltZach Jones   
OTDeOn'tae Pannell   
OTAko Poti*   
OTNerraw McCormack*   
OGLou EliadesZach Reckman  
OG    
OG    
CDoug Klopacz*Jared Zwilling  
C    
     
DEJerome HayesKeyon Brown* O'Brien Schofield  
DETom Golarz*    
DE    
DTJared OdrickMike Neal Daniel Moore 
DTOllie Ogbu Dan Cascone*  
DT  Jeff Stehle  
LBSean LeeJason Werner Jaevery McFadden  
LBNavorro Bowman   
LBJosh Hull   
LBBani Gbadyu*   
CBKnowledge TimmonsBrandon King   
CBA.J. Wallace*David Pender   
CBS. McCullough*   
SCedric Jeffries*Torri WilliamsChris Maragos  
S Dwight Mclean  
S    
S    
     
KCollin Wagner   
PJeremy BooneChris Summers   
Total27159

* indicates non-starting contributor
** indicates early entrant
Source: www.rivals.com, www.foxsports.com, www.scout.com

Mgoblog readers can extrapolate the data anyway you choose, but a few things to note.  Only two teams lose fewer player than the 12 that Michigan loses; Northwestern loses 11 and Wisconsin only loses nine.  Penn State loses 27 contributors while Ohio State loses 21 and Michigan State loses 18.  These departures don't include any transfers, nor do they include any disciplinary departures (see Spartans). 

We all know that good teams reload and often players on the bench outshine the player they replace, but I am happy to see how few holes we will need to fill relative to the rest of the conference.

It will be an interesting off season.  The NFL has made it a little more interesting.  We will know how many players are truly leaving on January 15, the last day to declare for the draft.

Go Blue!

Comments

tundcivic

January 5th, 2010 at 12:35 AM ^

Juice Williams, Arrelious Benn, Corey Wootton, Brandon Saine, Cameron Heyward, Daryll Clark, Evan Royster, Andrew Quarless, Sean Lee, Navarro Bowman, John Clay

Seeing these key B10 players on the list make me feel so much better about next year

Beavis

January 5th, 2010 at 3:07 AM ^

Yeah this is great and all - but you still forgot Graham and Warren.

We're losing our two best players.

The # of players LOST is certainly encouraging, but the talent lost tells a different story. In terms of stars lost, PSU clearly leads, and Illinois might be second, but we might come in at #3.

Number 7

January 5th, 2010 at 11:59 AM ^

I agree with the other responder that you're wrong that our 2 losses make us the #3 talent loser in the conference (Warren fell off a lot in second half; Graham should have been co-B10 D-player of year, but along with fellow departers Jones, Bowman, and Angerer.) Still, I tipped you one to undo an undeserved negbang.

to me, turnover among stars will matter most for the second tier teams (ie, not OSU, PSU, Iowa, or Wisc -- don't ask where I think UM fits). Losing a Kafka or a Benn, or even an Elliot, is a big setback for a Northwestern, an Illinois, or a Purdue. Off the cuff, then, among the four I singled out (plus MSU and us, for good measure), it is the loss of trench-men and defensive stars that hurt.

Among those 6, I'd say Iowa takes the biggest hit, Sparty the second (assuming Jones goes). PSU is next, but may be better able to reload than UM, which is fourth. OSU has presumptive reloading prospects, and Wiscy take a pretty light hit, assuming that there is someone there to replace Clay (as there was after Dayne, and after Calhoun).

Jivas

January 5th, 2010 at 12:51 AM ^

Kudos to you, sir. Fine effort.

I do have one piece of constructive feedback, and that would be to go one step further with some qualitative analysis. The issue with quantifying the turnover in this fashion is that it does not distinguish the loss of Brandon Graham from Jason Olesnavage - each simply add 1 to the total loss column. In order to better understand how these losses are likely to affect each team on the field next year, a more nuanced (and subjective) analysis would need to be performed.

But again - great job, and thanks for taking the time to compile the data.

umhero

January 5th, 2010 at 8:31 AM ^

You are right. I considered excluding kickers and punters all together, but I decided to include everyone and let the readers interpret the data themselves. Obviously the loss of Zoltan may mean more to us than the loss of a mere mortal punter to another team.

As I mentioned in another post, it's hard to quantify the value of certain players to their teams. Adam Patterson is listed as a "contributing back up" and that is debatable. It is difficult to identify true losses to a team unless you are a close follower of that team. That's why we can point to Patterson and Savoy and say "no big loss", as other teams can probably say the same thing about a few of their own players.

umhero

January 5th, 2010 at 8:46 AM ^

With regards to Penn State, they redshirt just about everyone so their depth is exceptional. I suspect they will be slightly impacted by losses since they are losing eight offensive starters and seven on defense but like pre-RR Michigan, the system seems to be in place to reload on the fly.

I have to say the same thing about OSU (I'm sure they have quality depth), losing 10 starters on defense and six on offense may take some time to effectively "reload" but I'm sure they have talent hidden on the bench.

Clearly PSU and OSU recruit well every year so losing stars won't hurt them as much as other teams in the Big Ten.

DoubleMs

January 5th, 2010 at 2:55 AM ^

Next year is going to be a strange year for college football. I feel like there will be far fewer huge senior years, since a large portion of the big-talent juniors are looking to up and leave.

Interesting notion: What if the NFL required a degree in order to play? I think it'd improve the college game.

BleedingBlue

January 5th, 2010 at 1:05 PM ^

I understand. I was providing some context there. You would lose half of the players as it stands now. obvs it would go up, but with that high of a percentage there is now way it would ever pass and is probably ridiculously illegal to discriminate in that way (lawyers on here could clarify I'm sure). As a hypothetical, it would with all possible certainty improve the quality of players and play in college.

BleedingBlue

January 5th, 2010 at 4:31 PM ^

true...don't know what I was thinking about there. It definitely would not make sense for the NFL to have that requirement - an athletically based job requiring a degree for employment. I don't think the owners would ever want it and and the NFLPA would never let it happen, regardless.

Mgobowl

January 5th, 2010 at 9:15 PM ^

As another poster said, the NFLPA would not go for it. However, with the average playing life of an NFL player at 3.52 years (http://www.seattlepi.com/football/362412_nflhealth09.html) it would be in the best interest of the players to get the degree so they could do something with their lives once they are done. How many stories have there been over the years of players entering bankruptcy because they have blown through all the money they have made during their careers. Throw in there the number of career ending or crippling injuries every year and the NFL becomes a real crap shoot.

Maybe an alternative to requiring a degree to enter the NFL would be to require players to complete their degrees within X number of years.

EGD

January 6th, 2010 at 12:01 AM ^

As a college FB fan, I too am disappointed every time a talented underclassman leaves early for the pros (except, of course, when the player in question belongs to a UM rival). However, if I put myself in the player's shoes, it's a no-brainer: if I am good enough to go pro, I do it as soon as I can, every time.

Between a decent signing bonus and a couple seasons at $1M or close to it, you can be financially set for life by your early to mid twenties. From a purely financial perspective, I'd feel a hell of a lot more secure with $2.5 million in the bank than with a four-year BGS degree. If you have the money, you can always go back to school later--but if you blow out your knee or get a couple concussions, you may not be able to repair the damage to your NFL draft prospects.

The fact of the matter is, major college football programs, with the complicity of the NFL, exploit the heck out of their star players. A full-ride scholarship is a pretty good deal for most guys on the roster, but not for the handful that could be raking in hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars per year, but for arbitrary rules like the "3 years from high school" policy. Requiring players to remain in college yet another year, let alone to obtain a college degree as a condition for playing NFL ball, would only deepen the inequity.

Mgobowl

January 6th, 2010 at 2:15 AM ^

I see your point. However, where you or I may be financially set with 2.5 million dollars, many professional athletes squander that money.

Take a look at this article: http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/vault/article/magazine/MAG1153364/inde…

The number that stood out to me was that 78% of former NFL players are bankrupt or under financial stress. Even if they are able to pay their creditors, they will not have money to live off the interest and without a college degree they are not very employable.

I understand the "go now because you may blow out your knee tomorrow" mantra, however the NFL needs to do a better job of educating their players in regards to long term financial health. Players cannot be expected to do it alone when there are agents, friends, companies all clamoring for the players to sign endorsement deals and invest in can't miss businesses.

It may not be realistic to force players to complete their degree prior to entering the NFL, but it might be reasonable for there to be a system in place for completing their degrees over a few years. I think teachers in Michigan are required to complete a certain number of credits beyond their bachelor's degree after so many years of teaching (I'm not sure of the details). Obviously this is not completely analogous, but why is it so far fetched to do this in professional sports? I think there is a generalization that many pro athletes are uneducated and this would be one way to change the NFL's image. Chances are this will not happen.

More realistically, the NFL should set up a system that requires players to participate in financial education and potentially go so far as help them manage their finances.

umhero

January 6th, 2010 at 7:13 AM ^

Completing a degree doesn't guarantee that they will learn anything about money management. Nor does it mean that they will complete a degree that provides a marketable skill when they start looking for a job.

I think your suggestion the the NFL should do a better job of educating players is a good one. Most of these players are short-sighted. They don't believe that their career will only last 4 or 5 years. It might make more sense for the NFL to encourage a portion of each contract to be deferred until a player exits the league. At least then, they will know that they have entered the real world with a limited budget.

jbibiza

January 5th, 2010 at 8:07 AM ^

I have not studied the other teams, but clearly Patterson has never been a key contributor to the Michigan defense; more like the Invisible Man. Most of us had great hopes for #99 when he surprisingly went Blue, but he has been singularly unimpressive to three defensive coordinators and countless assistants. The fact that he has been given almost no playing time at a position of little depth speaks volumes, and this culminated last year when he was buried beneath Heininger (no disrespect). He is the Doug Dutch of the defensive line and this is despite that fact that he is rumored to be a hard worker (as per GBMW).
I would also strike Savoy from the list as he was in no way "key". Did we really take him over DeSean Jackson?!
Even Olesnavage is marginal as we have a fine redshirt freshman kicker to take his place and he was only reasonably competent.

So my count for UM would come to only 9 which makes us look even better except for the obvious and already posted fact that we are losing the three best players from our dismal defense and that includes BG who was an Extraordinary talent by any standard. That said, I understand that this is a generalized overview of what teams will be losing and I very much appreciate the effort put into it and the inspiration to invent this interesting perspective. Thanks.

umhero

January 5th, 2010 at 8:36 AM ^

This is based on the depth charts from Rivals, player stats from Fox Sports (which only show offensive stats), and eligibility from Scout.

I agree that it's hard to call Patterson and Savoy "key contributors" but it's hard to distinguish our questionable back ups from the other team's questionable back ups. I'm sure MSU fans or OSU fans could point to players on the list that weren't valuable to them either, so it made no sense to distinguish.

I have changed the label from "key contributor" to "contributor."

Tater

January 5th, 2010 at 8:19 AM ^

Since I have been expecting a "we're baaaaack" 9-3 record the last two years, I have no reason to change my expectations. Hopefully, this is the year that UM regains its spot in the "Big Three." And, of course, this is hopefully the year when the evil scarlet and gray watches the pendulum swing back toward Michigan.

Maize.Blue Wagner

January 5th, 2010 at 10:16 AM ^

Considering how things are playing out in the NFL, this seems like it might be the best time for Michigan to have a few "down years" (though I would prefer that there were none). Sure losing Warren is big, but better this happens now, than a year we were stocked with non-seniors, e.g. 2006 with Henne, Hart, and co, who would be tempted to jump to the NFL sooner than they might in a normal year.

Again, I would prefer 13-0 every year, but if we have to have a down era, this seems to be the best time for it to happen.

stmccoy

January 5th, 2010 at 10:57 AM ^

An update from Iowa for what it is worth, Adrian Clayborn has already declared he is going to stay and the word here is that Bulaga and Spievey are both leaving early. Bulaga will annouce tonight after the Orange Bowl. Thought this might update the numbers a litte.

BleedingBlue

January 5th, 2010 at 4:32 PM ^

Great post - thanks for the work. Very interesting to see where teams need to fill holes. We saw that Penn State had a tough time replacing offensive line starters and the entire wide receiving corp and kick returners. (obvs still kicked Michigan's ass, but didn't really compete for the conference championship).

Conversely, OSU reloaded that defense like whoa. I don't know if they can do that 2 years in a row, though.

Wisconsin only losing 9 people potentially is SCARY...although Schofield and Clay were enormous for their team this year, that team should be crushing people next year. NW losing Kafka really hurts.

Iowa will most likely take a step back as their players typically take longer to develop.

EARLY prediction of conference results based on flimsy evidence:

1 Wisconsin
2 OSU
3 Michigan (whaaa!!?!?!)
4 Iowa
5 MSU
6 NWU
7 PSU
8 MINN
9 PUR
10 ILL
11 IU

Logan88

January 5th, 2010 at 4:43 PM ^

I see the order more like this in 2010:

1) OSU
2) Wisconsin
3) Iowa

The above three will be the clear leaders in the conference, fighting for the Big 10 title IMO.

4) Penn St.
5) Michigan St.
6) Michigan
7) Northwestern
8) Purdue

The five listed above will qualify for bowl games.

9) Minnesota
10) Indiana
11) Illinois

Frown-ey faces for the above three teams.

FL_Steve

January 6th, 2010 at 1:17 AM ^

I think Indiana will surprise next year. They showed a lot of improvement and i think they could finish as high as 6th in the big ten. Also I think Minnesota will finish last, MSU is the wild card after playing well in the bowl game but losing so many players next season.

1 OSU... lets be real, i know it sucks
2 Wisconsin
3 Michigan
4 Iowa
5 PSU
6 PUR
7 NWU
8 IU
9 MSU
10 ILL
11 MINN

jlvanals

January 6th, 2010 at 12:35 PM ^

The only problem is that IU loses its three best defensive players (Kirlew, Marberry and that other end who is good, but not as good as Kirlew) and that was their weakest area as a team. I don't see how they can lose the only three guys they had who were good in run support and suddenly be formidable enough to stop big ten offenses.

bronxblue

January 5th, 2010 at 12:55 PM ^

Good stuff. The breakdown was especially helpful for offense/defense.

Outside of Grahama, Mesko, and (somewhat) Warren, the team isn't losing anyone I would term irreplaceable. Sure, Graham was as dominant a defensive player as anyone in the country (and that includes Suh) and Mesko bailed out the offense numerous times with great field position for the D, but the heart of this team returns, and that is encouraging.

Of the teams on this list, I expect Illinois, MSU, and PSU (somewhat) to show the greatest drop in performance with all of the matriculation. Illinois is going to lose most of its gamebreakers in Benn and Juice, and if Dell is also suspended along with White leaving, that offense isn't going to scare anyone, plus their defense loses one of the few major pieces in Jones. Others have chronicled who is leaving PSU, but that offense will look drastically different than the HD one that has been dominating the Big 10 for the past few years.

Enjoy Life

January 5th, 2010 at 1:26 PM ^

It looks like college football is morphing into the problems of college basketball. Sure, it will never be as bad as a football player coming for a single year (like basketball) but the better the player the less likely he will ever stay around for the 4th year of eligibility.

The fact that Henne, Hart, and Long all stayed (and probably saved Lloyd from a most inauspicious departure) is unlikely to ever happen in the future.

aaamichfan

January 5th, 2010 at 2:19 PM ^

I actually believe the exact opposite of what you say will occur. With a future cap on rookie contracts, it may encourage players to come back for a 4th year because they will no longer be guaranteed to make millions if they happen to slide in the draft.

As long as the "Three years removed from high school" rule stays in place, college football will continue to have far more talented players than college basketball.

This potential uncapped year bodes very well for Michigan in 2010. I would feel much better about our chances in the Wisconsin game if John Clay weren't playing.

Wolverine In Exile

January 5th, 2010 at 10:03 PM ^

1) The NFL has a lot more roster spots available every year compared to the number of NBA slots for college players. In the NBA, you have to jump when your stock peaks the first time so that you get that roster spot with a 1st rd pick.

2) One thing that may change the calculus is the UFL. I know a lot of people laughed it off this year, but if the NFL locks out in 2011, there still will be a cadre of graduating NCAA football players looking for work who would typically be 1-3 rd draft picks that will not be in the NFLPA getting strike checks. These players may go to the UFL to get a paycheck, immediately upgrade the talent and profile of the UFL, and consequently may unintentionally setup the UFL as a minor league for the NFL when the NFL comes back from the lockout.

gte896u

January 5th, 2010 at 1:48 PM ^

not Georgia Tech University

unless you were making fun of stephon marbury, if so i will +1 you accordingly

for what its worth, i think only Morgan goes

the AJC is reporting that 2011 MNC talk has begun among the players

blue in ak

January 5th, 2010 at 7:18 PM ^

How much do our low numbers have to do with the stats posted in the Decimated Defense article? If no one's left from 5 years ago, and like 5% from 4 years ago, there aren't a whole lot of players to leave.

PhillipFulmersPants

January 5th, 2010 at 11:04 PM ^

With 20 of the 87, the B10 is disproportionately represented in the early entry interest list in comparison to other major conferences. The SEC is close. At any rate, that probably doesn't bode well for conference strength in near term if a lot of these kids go.

By comparison and my own informal count of other BCS conference players on list:

SEC = 17 (Florida with 6)
ACC = 13 (NC with 5, Ga Tech with 4)
B12 = 10 (Oklahoma with 6)
Pac10 = 8
Big East = 5

Username2

January 6th, 2010 at 10:06 AM ^

That is a list of everyone who requested their draft rating from the NFL. By NO means are the majority of those people going pro.

Looking at OSU specifically:
Brandon Saine? - no
Chmidi Chekwa? - no, has stated he will return
Cameron Heyward? - could, but has declared he will return
Dane Sanzenbacher? - no
Bryant Browning? - no
Justin Boren? - no
Devin Torrence? - no
Jermale Hines? - maybe
Thaddeus Gibson? - gone

That's one, maybe 2 of those that will not return.

OSU_Mike

January 6th, 2010 at 10:37 AM ^

UMHero....I think your numbers are off on starters/contributors.
If you go by the last depth chart of the year, OSU returns 9 starters on O and 5 on D.

Tha Quiet Storm

January 6th, 2010 at 1:55 PM ^

As was stated, there are a lot of maybes involved with the players who could declare early. The fact that most of the teams in the league are going to have to replace upperclass starters and contributors while the bulk of UM's talent is located in its upcoming JR and SO classes bodes well for the near future.

name redacted

January 6th, 2010 at 3:29 PM ^

..a third asterisk by Justin Boren's name. Should have read:

Justin Boren***

* indicates non-starting contributor
** indicates early entrant
*** indicates complete douche bag

jmblue

January 6th, 2010 at 4:12 PM ^

Really interesting to see the breakdown. PSU, wow, that's a rebuilding job. It's too bad we have to play them on the road. I didn't realize MSU was losing so much; they'll probably be overrated by the media because their QBs/RBs are coming back, but they've got massive holes to fill. Iowa, too, could have problems replacing so many guys up front.

ShockFX

January 6th, 2010 at 9:04 PM ^

Penn State and ND will be in a world of hurt next year. IIRC, PSU classes from 2006 to 2008 had a complete lack of skill players, and ND from 2006-2008 had very, very few defensive recruits. I could be wrong, but this might finally catch up to PSU with sophomore Newsome at QB. Also, even with Kelly, ND is going to be in a world of hurt (losing Claussen, Tate, 3 OL, 5 defenders).