Utah DL Joe Kruger skipping senior season, will enter NFL draft

Utah defensive end Joe Kruger is headed to the NFL (US Presswire)

Utah junior defensive end Joe Kruger has elected to forego his final season of eligibility and make himself available for the 2013 NFL draft, Utah announced on Wednesday.

Kruger, a 6-foot-7, 280-pound defensive end, led the Utes with six sacks in 2012. He also had 30 tackles, including eight of them behind the line, an interception and two forced fumbles.

The decision by Kruger means that Utah will lose two key members off its defensive line from 2012. Big tackle Star Lotuleilei is expected to be one of the top picks in the draft.

Kruger is definitely an intriguing prospect with his size, wingspan and athletic ability and, if he tests well, a team might fall in love with him and take him in the first few rounds. His brother, Paul, was a second round pick for the Baltimore Ravens in 2008.

Rising senior Niasi Leota, Kruger's backup this past season, looks to be the favorite to replace him in 2013.

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