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2010 NFL Draft Underclassmen


A list of officially declared underclassmen for the 2010 NFL Draft. I also offer my opinion on whether or not each prospect made a wise move by leaving school early.
This list has been updated on Jan. 16.



Underclassmen Declaring for the 2010 NFL Draft - Jan. 16:

Kareem Jackson, CB, Alabama
Height: 5-11. Weight: 190.
Projected 40 Time: 4.53.
Projected Round (2010): 2-3.

Kareem Jackson will probably be drafted in Round 2, so you have to like this decision.

The Verdict: Good move

Shawnbrey McNeal, RB, SMU
Height: 5-10. Weight: 190.
Projected 40 Time: 4.50.
Projected Round (2010): FA.

The Snozzberry ran for 1,188 yards and 12 touchdowns in June Jones' offense, but he'll have trouble getting drafted. Shawnbrey McNeal just turned 21 recently, so I really don't understand this decision.

The Verdict: Bad move





Underclassmen Declaring for the 2010 NFL Draft - Jan. 15:

Rob Gronkowski, TE, Arizona
Height: 6-6. Weight: 260.
Projected 40 Time: 4.70.
Projected Round (2010): 2-3.

This is a big risk - if Rob Gronkowski doesn't test out well after back surgery, he could fall. However, if doctors are convinced he's OK, he'll be chosen in the second round.

The Verdict: Mixed feelings





Underclassmen Declaring for the 2010 NFL Draft - Jan. 12:

Morgan Burnett, FS, Georgia Tech
Height: 6-1. Weight: 210.
Projected 40 Time: 4.58.
Projected Round (2009): 2-3.

Morgan Burnett is a likely second-round pick, but with all the other Yellow Jackets jumping into the NFL, Burnett made the right move.

The Verdict: Good move

Carlos Dunlap, DE, Florida - Scouting Report
Height: 6-6. Weight: 280.
Projected 40 Time: 4.70.
Projected Round (2010): 1-2.

Carlos Dunlap was charged with a DUI earlier in the year and has bouts of laziness. His athleticism and upside could get him drafted in the first round. Could another year at Florida with great production raised his stock? Absolutely.

The Verdict: Mixed feelings

Jonathan Dwyer, RB, Georgia Tech
Height: 6-0. Weight: 228.
Projected 40 Time: 4.44.
Projected Round (2010): 2.

Jonathan Dwyer is a second-round prospect, but his stock isn't going to improve anymore. There was no use in risking injury.

The Verdict: Good move

Chad Jones, S, LSU
Height: 6-3. Weight: 220.
Projected 40 Time: 4.59.
Projected Round (2010): 2.

Chad Jones probably would have been better off returning to school to get some more starting experience, but I don't think this is a terrible decision. Jones could be the third safety drafted.

The Verdict: Mixed feelings

Darius Marshall, RB, Marshall
Height: 5-10. Weight: 189.
Projected 40 Time: 4.43.
Projected Round (2011): FA.

Darius Marshall was arrested recently and probably won't be drafted.

The Verdict: Bad move

Rolando McClain, ILB, Alabama - Scouting Report
Height: 6-4. Weight: 256.
Projected 40 Time: 4.65.
Projected Round (2010): Top 15 Pick.

Inside linebackers tend to fall on Draft Day, but Rolando McClain is so talented that he could be an exception.

The Verdict: Good move

Derrick Morgan, DE, Georgia Tech - Scouting Report
Height: 6-4. Weight: 270.
Projected 40 Time: 4.74.
Projected Round (2010): Top 15 Pick.

Derrick Morgan is pretty much a top-15 lock, so he would have been a complete idiot if he returned to school.

The Verdict: Good move

Maurkice Pouncey, C, Florida
Height: 6-5. Weight: 318.
Projected 40 Time: 5.15.
Projected Round (2010): 2.

Maurkice Pouncey is a versatile player who can play center, guard and right tackle. He could be drafted early on Day 2.

The Verdict: Good move

Amari Spievey, CB, Iowa
Height: 6-0. Weight: 190.
Projected 40 Time: 4.56.
Projected Round (2010): 3-4.

Amari Spievey is a talented corner who had two interceptions in 2009, but has declared into a pretty deep cornerbacking class. He could be lost in the mix as a mid-round prospect depending on how he fares at the Combine.

The Verdict: Bad move

Major Wright, FS, Florida
Height: 6-1. Weight: 205.
Projected 40 Time: 4.48.
Projected Round (2010): 3-4.

Major Wright could be selected early on Day 3, so it's pretty puzzling why he would declare in the same draft with Eric Berry and Earl Thomas.

The Verdict: Bad move





Underclassmen Declaring for the 2010 NFL Draft - Jan. 11:

Rennie Curran, OLB, Georgia
Height: 5-11. Weight: 225.
Projected 40 Time: 4.59.
Projected Round (2010): 3-4.

Rennie Curran is 4-3 only, so he could slip this April. He just turned 21, so I don't see what the rush is. Curran would have been better off going back to school.

The Verdict: Bad move



Underclassmen Declaring for the 2010 NFL Draft - Jan. 10:

Carlton Mitchell, WR, South Florida
Height: 6-4. Weight: 210.
Projected 40 Time: 4.48.
Projected Round (2010): 5-6.

Carlton Mitchell had 40 catches for 706 yards and four touchdowns in 2009. He's a mid-late-round prospect, but with a new coach coming in, going into the draft early was probably the safe move.

The Verdict: Mixed feelings



Underclassmen Declaring for the 2010 NFL Draft - Jan. 9:

Joe McKnight, RB, USC
Height: 6-0. Weight: 200.
Projected 40 Time: 4.39.
Projected Round (2010): 2-4.

The writing was on the wall here, as the Communist NCAA was going to come down hard on him. Joe McKnight is very versatile and has a great chance of being drafted on Day 2 if he lives up to his expectations at the Combine.

The Verdict: Good move (no choice)

Demaryius Thomas, WR, Georgia Tech - Scouting Report
Height: 6-3. Weight: 229.
Projected 40 Time: 4.60.
Projected Round (2010): 4-5.

It's not like Demaryius Thomas was going to learn how to run routes in Georgia Tech's goofy offense. There was no use in him wasting another year there.

The Verdict: Good move

Earl Thomas, FS, Texas
Height: 5-10. Weight: 195.
Projected 40 Time: 4.41.
Projected Round (2009): Top 25 Pick.

Earl Thomas was only a redshirt sophomore, but he's making the right move. There's a good chance he gets selected in the top 20, so what's the point in going back to school and risking injury?

The Verdict: Good move

Damian Williams, WR, USC - Scouting Report
Height: 6-1. Weight: 190.
Projected 40 Time: 4.45.
Projected Round (2010): Top 20 Pick.

This was a no-brainer. Damian Williams will be selected in the first round, and with Pete Carroll potentially leaving, it was a move he had to make.

The Verdict: Good move



Underclassmen Declaring for the 2010 NFL Draft - Jan. 8:

Antonio Brown, WR/KR, Central Michigan
Height: 5-10. Weight: 179.
Projected 40 Time: 4.39.
Projected Round (2010): 4-5.

Antonio Brown is only 21, so I don't understand what the rush is here. Teams will look at him as a return specialist only.

The Verdict: Bad move

Jevan Snead, QB, Ole Miss
Height: 6-3. Weight: 215.
Projected 40 Time: 4.72.
Projected Round (2010): 3-4.

This may seem strange, but it's the right move; Jevan Snead had less talent around him this year than he did in 2008, and he would have had nothing in 2010. He was also in danger of being benched. Snead's upside will get him drafted early on Day 3 at the very worst.

The Verdict: Good move

Jason Worilds, DE/OLB, Virginia Tech
Height: 6-2. Weight: 254.
Projected 40 Time: 4.70.
Projected Round (2010): 4-5.

Jason Worilds is coming off a poor season, but told the media that he expects to be drafted in the first round. This has a chance of happening until Worilds wakes up.

The Verdict: Bad move



Underclassmen Declaring for the 2010 NFL Draft - Jan. 7:

Bryan Bulaga, OT, Iowa
Height: 6-6. Weight: 312.
Projected 40 Time: 4.92.
Projected Round (2010): Top 25 Pick.

This was a good move; Bryan Bulaga saw teammate Dace Richardson's career ruined because of a nasty knee injury. Bulaga is a projected first-round pick, so he was wise to leave school early.

The Verdict: Good move

Jason Pierre-Paul, DE, South Florida
Height: 6-6. Weight: 263.
Projected 40 Time: 4.76.
Projected Round (2010): 2.

Jason Pierre-Paul is a raw one-year wonder, but his stock is pretty high right now. He's making the right move by cashing in.

The Verdict: Good move



Underclassmen Declaring for the 2010 NFL Draft - Jan. 6:

Dominique Franks, CB, Oklahoma
Height: 6-0. Weight: 190.
Projected 40 Time: 4.46.
Projected Round (2010): 2.

The same Dominique Franks who called out Tim Tebow for being overrated. Aside from playing well at Oklahoma, Franks has nice size and speed. He'll probably be targeted in Round 2.

The Verdict: Good move

Thaddeus Gibson, DE/OLB, Ohio State
Height: 6-2. Weight: 240.
Projected 40 Time: 4.68.
Projected Round (2010): 5-6.

Thaddeus Gibson had 45 tackles and 13 TFL, but only four sacks. Not sure if I understand this one.

The Verdict: Bad move

Aaron Hernandez, TE, Florida
Height: 6-3. Weight: 250.
Projected 40 Time: 4.56.
Projected Round (2010): 2.

Aaron Hernandez had a monstrous year (68 catches, 850 yards, 5 TDs), and with Tim Tebow leaving, the time is right for Hernandez to move on as well.

The Verdict: Good move



Underclassmen Declaring for the 2010 NFL Draft - Jan. 5:

Navorro Bowman, OLB, Penn State
Height: 6-1. Weight: 228.
Projected 40 Time: 4.62.
Projected Round (2010): 2-3.

Navorro Bowman has legal issues in his past, and being strictly a 4-3 linebacker, a lacking demand for that position could force him into Round 3.

The Verdict: Bad move

Reshad Jones, SS, Georgia
Height: 6-2. Weight: 207.
Projected 40 Time: 4.54.
Projected Round (2009): 2-3.

Reshad Jones won't be a first-round pick, but as a 22-year-old fourth-year junior, the timing is probably right. No need to risk injury.

The Verdict: Mixed feelings



Underclassmen Declaring for the 2010 NFL Draft - Jan. 4:

Joe Haden, CB, Florida - Scouting Report
Height: 5-11. Weight: 185.
Projected 40 Time: 4.43.
Projected Round (2010): Top 10 Pick.

Joe Haden will be the first cornerback taken and has a shot at being selected in the top 10.

The Verdict: Good move



Underclassmen Declaring for the 2010 NFL Draft - Jan. 3 and Earlier:

Arrelious Benn, WR, Illinois
Height: 6-2. Weight: 214.
Projected 40 Time: 4.46.
Projected Round (2010): 2.

Arrelious Benn had a disastrous junior season mired by drops and poor effort. Still, it was a great move to get out of the Illinois sinking ship.

The Verdict: Good move

Eric Berry, S, Tennessee - Scouting Report
Height: 6-0. Weight: 195.
Projected 40 Time: 4.36.
Projected Round (2010): Top 5 Pick.

Compared to Ed Reed in the scouting report above, Eric Berry made the right move by declaring early; no need to risk any sort of injury next year.

The Verdict: Good move

Jahvid Best, RB, California - Scouting Report
Height: 5-10. Weight: 194.
Projected 40 Time: 4.37.
Projected Round (2010): 1-2.

Jahvid Best Best is a talented player, but his small frame and durability issues could push him into Round 2. Still, he can't risk another injury-ridden season.

The Verdict: Good move

Dezmon Briscoe, WR, Kansas
Height: 6-3. Weight: 200.
Projected 40 Time: 4.56.
Projected Round (2010): 4-5.

At just 20 years old, Dezmon Briscoe would have been better off staying in school to avoid a very top-heavy receiver class.

The Verdict: Bad move

Dez Bryant, WR, Oklahoma State - Scouting Report
Height: 6-2. Weight: 210.
Projected 40 Time: 4.54.
Projected Round (2010): Top 20 Pick.

Dez Bryant's hand was forced here after he was suspended by the communistic NCAA. He'll likely be the first receiver chosen in the 2010 NFL Draft, but putting him in the top 10 would be a reach.

The Verdict: Good move

Bruce Campbell, OT, Maryland - Scouting Report
Height: 6-7. Weight: 310.
Projected 40 Time: 5.00.
Projected Round (2010): Top 10 Pick.

Bruce Campbell has an outside shot at the top five if GMs are convinced that his past injuries are a non-factor.

The Verdict: Good move

Jimmy Clausen, QB, Notre Dame - Scouting Report
Height: 6-3. Weight: 217.
Projected 40 Time: 4.80.
Projected Round (2010): Top 5 Pick.

Though some of the big-media people are a little behind, Jimmy Clausen has a great shot at going No. 1. The only thing that could screw that up is contract negotiations. The Rams would be making a grave mistake by eschewing Clausen.

The Verdict: Good move

Anthony Davis, OT, Rutgers
Height: 6-6. Weight: 330.
Projected 40 Time: 5.24.
Projected Round (2010): Top 15 Pick.

Anthony Davis has declared for the 2010 NFL Draft. Davis is a massive blocker with some athleticism. He's an intriguing prospect and has an outside shot at the top 10.

The Verdict: Good move

Everson Griffen, DE, USC - Scouting Report
Height: 6-3. Weight: 280.
Projected 40 Time: 4.68.
Projected Round (2010): 1-2.

Everson Griffen is a 4-3 left end in the pros only (unless he loses the 20 pounds he packed on this year) whose production hasn't quite matched the hype. I think going back to school and rebounding with a strong senior campaign would have been the right move. He could still be drafted in the top 20, but it's not anywhere near a lock.

The Verdict: Bad move

Ryan Mathews, RB, Fresno State
Height: 5-11. Weight: 220.
Projected 40 Time: 4.45.
Projected Round (2010): 2-3.

Ryan Mathews' stock will never be higher than it is now, so he made the right decision.

The Verdict: Good move

Gerald McCoy, DT, Oklahoma - Scouting Report
Height: 6-4. Weight: 295.
Projected 40 Time: 5.01.
Projected Round (2010): Top 5 Pick.

Gerald McCoy can play both the 4-3 and 3-4, and is considered to be a top-five lock.

The Verdict: Good move

Brian Price, DT, UCLA
Height: 6-2. Weight: 300.
Projected 40 Time: 5.05.
Projected Round (2010): Top 25 Pick.

Brian Price just had an amazing junior campaign, so even though he's just 21 in April, coming out early and striking while the iron's hot was the right move.

The Verdict: Good move

Golden Tate, WR, Notre Dame - Scouting Report
Height: 5-11. Weight: 195.
Projected 40 Time: 4.41.
Projected Round (2010): 1-2.

The Golden Tate Warrior made an obvious decision. With Charlie Weis and Jimmy Clausen gone, Tate almost had to declare.

The Verdict: Good move

Donovan Warren, CB, Michigan
Height: 6-0. Weight: 182.
Projected 40 Time: 4.38.
Projected Round (2010): Top 25 Pick.

Donovan Warren is an excellent corner. He made the right move by capitalizing on an incredible junior campaign. He should be the second corner off the board.

The Verdict: Good move

Mike Williams, WR, Syracuse
Height: 6-2. Weight: 205.
Projected 40 Time: 4.43.
Projected Round (2010): 4-5.

Mike Williams quit on his team in the middle of the season to enter the 2010 NFL Draft. Not the brightest guy in the world.

The Verdict: Bad move





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