Mass exodus Part Deux?
The LSU Tigers are slated to play their last game of this season in the Outback Bowl against Iowa. The New Year's Day contest will be the last college game for LSU's seniors.
But it could also be the end of the road for Tigers with eligibility remaining.
After LSU's Chick-fil-A Bowl loss to Clemson last season, the Tigers saw 10 underclassmen declare for the NFL draft. This was, by a wide margin, the biggest number in Les Miles' tenure.
LSU missed those players dearly this season, particularly on defense. The Tigers were uncharacteristically average.
This offseason for LSU underclassmen could get ugly, too. This time, it will be the offense that will face major question marks.
The Tigers' top running back, Jeremy Hill, has rushed for more than 1,100 yards and 14 touchdowns. Hill can do a little bit of everything and has a favorable matchup against the Hawkeyes in the Outback Bowl.
Former LSU running backs Michael Ford and Spencer Ware left early last season despite average production. Hill might follow in their footsteps, especially seeing the success Stevan Ridley has had with the New England Patriots compared to other Tigers running backs. Ridley left after his junior season.
Hill will more than likely leave for the NFL draft this offseason.
One of Hill's best blockers on the offensive line is his former high school teammate La'el Collins. The junior has made an impressive switch this season from left guard to left tackle.
Collins has been solid overall. He is a mauler in the run game and decent in pass protection. Some believe Collins' NFL future is at guard. No matter the position, there is no denying his talent.
Collins can certainly play at the next level. Is he ready? Probably not, but expect him to jet.
Last, but certainly not least, is the wide receiving duo of Odell Beckham Jr. and Jarvis Landry.
Beckham Jr. and Landry both complement each other spectacularly. Each has more than 1,000 yards receiving and a combined 18 touchdowns thanks to crisp route-running and great hands.
Beckham Jr. is more explosive than Landry. He is a better deep threat and can also return kicks.
Landry is better in the slot and the red zone. He is also a proven special teamer if necessary.
Both have the ability to be long-time professional receivers. Landry is rated slightly higher amongst draft evaluators. His stock rose when he performed at a high level without Beckham Jr. on the field.
Because Landry and Beckham Jr. are so close, LSU could be in a for a package deal. In the end, both will probably leave considering senior quarterback Zach Mettenberger will be gone.
LSU is a talent factory. It annually is amongst the top five schools with former players currently in the NFL, a good deal of whom left school early.
The Tigers could be in for another massive talent turnover, especially on the offensive side of the football. Les Miles will be fighting an uphill battle if he loses all of these valuable weapons.
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