NFL Draft 2012: 5 Underclassmen Who Should Stay in School

T.J. McaloonContributorJanuary 6, 2012

NEW YORK - APRIL 22:  Derrick Morgan from the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets holds up a Tennessee Titans jersey after the Titans selected Morgan number 16 overall during the first round of the 2010 NFL Draft at Radio City Music Hall on April 22, 2010 in New York City.  (Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)
Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images

The NFL can make a young football player accomplish their dream of being a professional football player. However, for these five players, they have to make the smart move by staying in school for one more year, instead of entering the draft, and killing their chances at having a successful career in the NFL. 

Arkansas Razorbacks Quarterback: Tyler Wilson 

BATON ROUGE, LA - NOVEMBER 25:  Tyler Wilson #8 of the Arkansas Razorbacks throws a pass against the Louisiana State University Tigers at Tiger Stadium on November 25, 2011 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.  (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
Chris Graythen/Getty Images

Wilson had a great junior year at Arkansas with 3,422 passing yards and 22 touchdowns. He was able to lead the Razorbacks to be the best passing offense in the SEC.  

Wilson could declare for the draft this year, however, he would be better suited to wait another year where he could be one of the top three quarterbacks in the 2013 draft.  

With another year where Wilson throws for over 3,000 passing yards and 20 touchdowns, he will make himself either a late first-round, or early second-round draft pick. 

Michigan Wolverines Quarterback: Denard Robinson 

NEW ORLEANS, LA - JANUARY 03:  Denard Robinson #16 of the Michigan Wolverines celebrates as he runs off of the field after Michigan won 23-20 in overtime against Virginia Tech Hokies during the Allstate Sugar Bowl at Mercedes-Benz Superdome on January 3,
Chris Graythen/Getty Images

The man they call, “Shoelace” has been electrifying for the last two years as the starting quarterback. He could declare for the draft, and has reportedly  filed paper work for the NFL. 

However, he should come back for another year to improve his draft stock, by putting up better passing numbers in his senior year. His 20 touchdown passes and 15 interceptions will turn potential NFL teams away from drafting him as a quarterback.  

He is an phenomenal athlete, however, he just needs another year to become a better quarterback. 

LSU Tigers Wide Receiver: Rueben Randle 

ATLANTA, GA - DECEMBER 03:  Rueben Randle #2 of the LSU Tigers against the Georgia Bulldogs during the 2011 SEC Championship Game at Georgia Dome on December 3, 2011 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Randle had a great junior season, despite playing with a subpar LSU passing game that ranked 105th in college football, catching 50 passes, with 904 yards and eight touchdowns. 

Randle has been rumored to be entering the draft after the BCS national championship game. However, he would be smart to return to school for his senior year. 

If he would enter the draft, he would be stuck behind a deep crop of receivers like: Oklahoma State’s Justin Blackmon, Notre Dame’s Michael Floyd, Baylor’s Kendall Wright and South Carolina’s Alshon Jeffery.  

If Randle waits for another year, he can enter the 2013 draft as one of the top receiving prospects in the draft, instead of being lost in the crowd. 

Texas Longhorns Defensive End: Alex Okafor 

AUSTIN, TX - OCTOBER 15:  Defensive end Alex Okafor #80 of the Texas Longhorns tackles running back Joseph Randle #1 of the Oklahoma State Cowboys in the fourth quarter on October 15, 2011 at Darrell K. Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium in Austin, Texas.  Okla
Erich Schlegel/Getty Images

Okafor had a great junior year, anchoring a Longhorns defense that only gave up 22 points per game. He had career highs this year with 50 tackles, and seven sacks. Those stats would be good enough to get Okafor drafted, however, it wouldn’t be until the second to third round. 

If he would come out for the 2013 draft, he would be the best defensive end in the draft, and would be one of the top picks. 

Florida State Kicker: Dustin Hopkins

ATLANTA, GA - DECEMBER 31:  Dustin Hopkins #8 of the Florida State Seminoles against the South Carolina Gamecocks during the 2010 Chick-fil-A Bowl at Georgia Dome on December 31, 2010 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Hopkins has been a solid kicker for the Seminoles in his three years with the team. He’s seen his field goal percentage increase every year, going from 70 percent in his freshman year, to 81.5 percent this year.  

Hopkins could get drafted this year, if he would come out, but if he waits until 2013 he will be the top kicker to enter the draft. He can wait another year, while he improves his field goal percentage in his senior season. 

These five players all could be lured away by the NFL. However, the smart decision is to stay another year in college, and wait so they can improve their draft position.