With the 2010 college football season over and only the most pointless bowl games left, it’s now time for the true fun of the college season to begin - the 2011 NFL Draft. Even with all the uncertainty surrounding the NFL labor situation, this year’s NFL draft looks to be loaded with talent.
Every draft has what scouts refer to as “blue chippers,” prospects who are the cream of their respective draft crop. These are potential franchise changing prospects. For instance the blue chippers for the 2010 Draft were Ndamukong Suh, Sam Bradford, Eric Berry, Gerald McCoy and Russell Okung.
The 2011 Draft is no different, and depending on whether or not these prospects decide to declare, there are potentially five blue chip prospects in the upcoming draft. These are players who are all but assured of going in the top 10 of that year's draft because they have the potential to be franchise players.
Every single one of these players is an underclassman and as such none of these players have announced whether or not they will go pro. If it does indeed look like a lockout will happen, I wouldn’t be surprised if some if not most of these players would return for their senior or redshirt junior seasons.
Also take into account that even if a labor agreement is reached that agreement will surely include language to curtail the massive payments to rookie players. The days of $40 million plus guaranteed contracts going to rookies is over.
However, should these five players decide to declare, regardless of trades or what teams are picking, they are guaranteed to be picked in the top 10.
In no particular order…
*I do work for the NFL Draft Bible as a draft analyst, but visit NFLDraftbible.com for comprehensive coverage of the 2011 NFL Draft.