NFL Draft 2011: Andrew Luck 10 Guys Who Haven't Declared But Should
Talk about the 2011 NFL Draft being in full swing. Players like Cam Newton and Nick Fairley are coming out for the draft, while others like Andrew Luck and Justin Blackmon are staying in college for another year.
Of course, you all know all of this by now.
Most of you have seen more mock drafts, talent breakdowns and position rankings than you can possibly handle, so let's keep this one light, shall we?
A few days ago I took a look at 10 underclassmen who declared who really shouldn't have, so let's flip the script on this one.
Here is a look at 10 guys who should declare for the draft but haven't gotten around to it yet.
Let's start this one off with a bang, shall we?
Justin Blackmon's draft stock will never get higher than it is right now, plain and simple. As it stands, he is right up there with guys like A.J. Green and Julio Jones, and he has the potential to come off the board in the top half of the first round in the 2011 draft.
However, Blackmon has chosen instead to return to Oklahoma State for another season.
I have a lot of respect for this decision in some regard. By returning for another season to Oklahoma State, he has the chance to help the Cowboys become a top 10 team next year, and he gives himself the chance to finish his education, which shows what a class act he is.
All that aside, though, it would really be a smart move for him to declare. There is a lot of need for top end wide receiver talent in this draft, so Blackmon would not be short on first-round suitors.
It's easy to say that LaMichael James should stay at Oregon, because the Ducks ended up losing the BCS National Championship game.
What if they had won? Would he be on this list?
Who knows, but the point is, if the close game he helped decide against Auburn isn't enough to push up his draft stock, there isn't much he can do for himself aside from winning the Heisman, which will be tough with Andrew Luck remaining in school.
There isn't a whole lot of top-end running back talent in this year's draft, so James could find himself coming off the board earlier should he choose to come out for the 2011 draft.
With Justin Blackmon off the board, there really are only two big talent receivers on the board (well, three if you count Jonathan Baldwin, but his inconsistent catching ability concerns me), which means that DeVier Posey would fit right into the mix of mid-to-high talent receivers sitting below the two superstars, which could get him into the second round, which is about as high as he can hope for.
Aside from that, Posey is one of five Ohio State players currently staring down a five-game suspension at the beginning of next season, which is only going to end up sinking him in the draft order.
Different player, same story.
Another year of development in college could really help Pryor, but the extreme need for top-end quarterback talent in the 2011 draft and the lack of Andrew Luck could potentially boost him into the first round.
At the same time, Pryor has to look to next season as well, where he, like DeVier Posey, is one of the five Ohio State players who will be serving a five-game suspension in the beginning of the season, something that will not do good things for him come draft day in 2012.
Daniel "Boom" Herron
I promise, this is the last you'll hear of the five players that will be serving a five game suspension at Ohio State next season.
Boom Herron is a talented running back, showing consistent improvement and an ability to take on full sized loads year after year. He also plays in a pro-style offense, which would make his transition to the NFL fairly smooth.
He has the proper measureables, and he would be entering a draft that is lacking in top-end running back talent, so why not skip the five-game suspension and head off for greener pastures?
Despite the fact he had an off-year, which subsequently sent his draft stock down to the second round, Hightower still should figure on declaring for the NFL draft this year.
As it stands, there really is only one viable inside linebacker option above him, North Carolina's Quan Sturdivant, which means that Hightower still has a chance at coming off the board in the second, or possibly, the first round of the draft.
Besides, Alabama probably isn't going to make a run at another National Championship next year, so why not?
Jeff Demps is a lot like Dexter McCluster. A legitimate track star in college, Demps has the speed to out pace anyone in college or in the NFL.
He is primarily a running back, but he can be used as a utility player to return kicks, take end-arounds and do all sort of fun stuff.
He wouldn't be taken terribly high up in the draft, but his draft stock probably isn't getting much higher, and he might as well take advantage of the fact there isn't much talent at the running back or utility back position in April's draft.
The fact that Janoris Jenkins is currently on the side of not declaring for the NFL draft still surprises me.
As it stands, there are really only two great cornerbacks in the draft this year—Patrick Peterson and Prince Amukamara.
Meanwhile, there are more than two teams that need a first-round cornerback talent.
If Jenkins were to declare this year, he would easily be taken in the first round, which is (I'm assuming here) what his goal is in remaining at Florida.
Aside from all of that, there really isn't much left for him at Florida. He'd be better served heading off to the pros.
Let's be honest here. Considering the fact Boise State is going to lose a lot of key players this year, they probably aren't headed for a National Championship next year.
With that in mind then and with Kellen Moore riding a season in which he posted over 3,800 yards and 35 touchdowns, does it not make sense for him to enter the draft?
There is a huge need for quarterbacks (as I've said more than enough times already), so Moore will enter a market that's actively searching out players like him.
The only thing that might deter NFL teams from looking at him would be his size, and that's ultimately not something another year in college would change.
You didn't think I was going to leave him off this list, did you? His name is in the title after all.
From a personal standpoint, I am more than happy to see Andrew Luck back on the Stanford campus. It means I get to enjoy at least one more year of great football on the Farm.
I also have a lot of respect for Luck for forgoing the money to get his degree. It shows a lot of integrity on his part.
That having been said, though, Luck really should have declared this year. It's impossible to estimate what will happen next year, and an injury or something to that effect could end up derailing his career.
The better career move would be to declare for the draft, but that seems highly unlikely at this point.