- Changes coming to NFL Draft underclassmen rule...There is a variety of reasons why players decide to declare early for the NFL, and most of them are financially driven. But the NFL believes more players will think twice about leaving school early with the new guidelines, and it will give college coaches more discussion points when attempting to convince players to stay in school. The first news of these changes came at SEC Media Days this week when Alabama head coach Nick Saban alluded to the revised process. No conference has suffered more early declarations in recent years than the SEC, especially the top programs including Alabama and LSU.
But with the growing number of underclassmen making the jump early, so is the number of players going undrafted and not making an NFL roster while leaving college eligibility on the table. The number of underclassmen declaring early for the NFL Draft hovered at approximately 50 per year over the past decade, but the number has grown each of the past six years, including a record 98 for the 2014 NFL Draft. In 2012, 82 percent of underclassmen who declared early were drafted, followed by 70 percent in 2013 and only 62 percent for the 2014 class. - Dane Brugler, NFLDraftScout.com