This past weekend 38 out of the 98 underclassmen (players with college eligibility remaining) that declared for the NFL Draft went undrafted. Among this list were quite a few big names like Adrian Hubbard (Alabama), Henry Josey (Missouri), Loucheiz Purifoy (Florida), Kelcy Quarles (South Carolina), James Wilder Jr (FSU), Kapri Bibbs (Colorado State), Brendan Bigelow (Cal), Isaiah Crowell (Alabama State) and Anthony Johnson (LSU).
Some blame this on draft experts getting it wrong while others blame the system that the NFL has in place. Playing at the “next level” is what these players have been dreaming about since they were playing Pee-Wee football and now they will fight for their dream one more time as they attempt to make an NFL franchise as an undrafted rookie free agent. Some will make it, some will end up on a practice squad, some will head to Canada and others will try to find work outside of football.
With nearly 40% of the underclassmen who declared this season going undrafted, it begs the question if the system we have in place needs to be changed.
For many college players, the decision on whether to go pro or stay another year will be the biggest decision of their life. What if they make the wrong decision? Would it be such an atrocity to give them the opportunity to come back to college football (even if it’s at a lower division) for one more year provided that they don’t sign with an agent upon declaring for the draft?