Former South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney could have left college after two years. But how often does a player like Clowney come along? Once every few years? Once a generation?
The demands of football make it difficult, if not impossible, for a player to be ready for the NFL right out of high school. However, there are a select few who could make the jump in less than three years after leaving high school—the minimum requirement.
With college football at a crossroads, more and more players are leaving early searching for a paycheck. If the three-year rule was lifted, many more would make that decision earlier.
Which rising juniors (redshirt or otherwise, along with redshirt sophomores) are actually NFL ready now, though? We take a look in the following slides.