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2011 NFL Draft Underclassmen


A list of officially declared underclassmen for the 2011 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. 19.



Underclassmen Declaring for the 2011 NFL Draft - Jan. 19:

Darvin Adams, WR, Auburn
Height: 6-3. Weight: 185.
Projected 40 Time: 4.49.
Projected Round (2012): 5-7.

Darvin Adams is a late-round prospect.

The Verdict: Bad move

Justin Houston, DE/OLB, Georgia
Height: 6-3. Weight: 257.
Projected 40 Time: 4.65.
Projected Round (2011): 1-2.

Justin Houston could go as high as No. 21 to Kansas City or even No. 18 to San Diego, so he's making the right move.

The Verdict: Good move





Underclassmen Declaring for the 2011 NFL Draft - Jan. 16:

Jamel Hamler, WR, Fresno State
Height: 6-2. Weight: 195.
Projected 40 Time: 4.58.
Projected Round (2011): 7-FA.

Probably UDFA fodder.

The Verdict: Irrelevant

Taiwan Jones, RB, Eastern Washington
Height: 6-1. Weight: 200.
Projected 40 Time: 4.48.
Projected Round (2011): 6-FA.

Taiwan Jones led Eastern Washington to a Division 1-AA championship. He may not be drafted.

The Verdict: Irrelevant







Underclassmen Declaring for the 2011 NFL Draft - Jan. 15:

Nick Fairley, DE/DT, Auburn
Height: 6-4. Weight: 299.
Projected 40 Time: 4.95.
Projected Round (2011): Top 2 Pick.

If Nick Fairley isn't taken by the Panthers, he'll be headed for Denver.

The Verdict: No-brainer

Jerrard Tarrant, S, Georgia Tech
Height: 6-0. Weight: 205.
Projected 40 Time: 4.57.
Projected Round (2011): 4-6.

Jerrard Tarrant is a talented player, but has some character concerns. Not sure why he's declaring early, but it's a poor football move.

The Verdict: Bad move





Underclassmen Declaring for the 2011 NFL Draft - Jan. 14:

Randall Cobb, WR/PR, Kentucky
Height: 5-11. Weight: 188.
Projected 40 Time: 4.43.
Projected Round (2011): 4-6.

A mid-round prospect, Randall Cobb probably made a mistake declaring for the 2011 NFL Draft.

The Verdict: Bad move

Cameron Newton, QB, Auburn
Height: 6-6. Weight: 250.
Projected 40 Time: 4.57.
Projected Round (2011): Top 25 Pick.

Cam Newton could go as high as No. 3 to Buffalo, but will probably be selected in the teens. He had to declare; his chances of getting away with another 1-year, $180,000 contract were pretty slim.

The Verdict: Good move

Stevan Ridley, RB, LSU
Height: 6-0. Weight: 223.
Projected 40 Time: 4.60.
Projected Round (2011): 5-7.

Stevan Ridley is a power back who doesn't offer much in the passing game.

The Verdict: Bad move



Underclassmen Declaring for the 2011 NFL Draft - Jan. 13:

Nick Claytor, OT, Georgia Tech
Height: 6-6. Weight: 285.
Projected 40 Time: 5.25.
Projected Round (2011): FA.

Who???

The Verdict: Irrelevant

Henry Hynoski, FB, Pittsburgh
Height: 6-2. Weight: 260.
Projected 40 Time: 4.85.
Projected Round (2011): 4-5.

Henry Hynoski is a tremendous blocker with solid pass-catching ability. He's only a mid-round prospect, but you can't blame him for declaring early given all the turmoil at Pittsburgh.

The Verdict: Good move

Corey Liuget, DE/DT, Illinois
Height: 6-3. Weight: 295.
Projected 40 Time: 5.10.
Projected Round (2011): 1-2.

Corey Liuget is parlaying his tremendous 2010 campaign into a possible first-round spot.

The Verdict: Good move

Tyler Sash, SS, Iowa
Height: 6-1. Weight: 210.
Projected 40 Time: 4.60.
Projected Round (2012): 3-4.

Not sure if Tyler Sash is desperate for money or not, but this is a poor football move. He is 23 though, so you can't blame him for declaring early.

The Verdict: Mixed feelings

Sealver Siliga, DT, Utah
Height: 6-3. Weight: 300.
Projected 40 Time: 5.10.
Projected Round (2011): FA.

Lacks game, but has a cool name.

The Verdict: Irrelevant



Underclassmen Declaring for the 2011 NFL Draft - Jan. 12:

Mikel Leshoure, RB, Illinois
Height: 6-1. Weight: 228.
Projected 40 Time: 4.51.
Projected Round (2011): 1-2.

Mikel Leshoure could actually be the first running back off the board.

The Verdict: Good move



Underclassmen Declaring for the 2011 NFL Draft - Jan. 11:

Jonathan Baldwin, WR, Pittsburgh - Scouting Report
Height: 6-5. Weight: 225.
Projected 40 Time: 4.50.
Projected Round (2011): 1-2.

Jonathan Baldwin is coming off a poor season, but could still be a first-round pick depending on how he looks at the Combine.

The Verdict: Good move

Dion Lewis, RB, Pittsburgh
Height: 5-8. Weight: 195.
Projected 40 Time: 4.48.
Projected Round (2011): 2-4.

You can't blame Dion Lewis for declaring; Pittsburgh's football program is in complete disarray.

The Verdict: Good move

Patrick Peterson, CB, LSU
Height: 6-1. Weight: 218.
Projected 40 Time: 4.47.
Projected Round (2011): Top 5 Pick.

One of the top cornerback prospects in a long time, Patrick Peterson could go as high as No. 2 overall.

The Verdict: No-brainer

Quizz Rodgers, RB, Oregon State
Height: 5-7. Weight: 191.
Projected 40 Time: 4.45.
Projected Round (2011): 4-6.

Why? Quizz Rodgers is a mid-round prospect. There's no reason he should have declared.

The Verdict: Bad move

Ryan Williams, RB, Virginia Tech
Height: 5-10. Weight: 206.
Projected 40 Time: 4.43.
Projected Round (2011): 2-4.

Ryan Williams has a wide draft range because he really struggled in 2010, and will need a very strong Combine to move back into Round 2 consideration. Williams should have returned to school.

The Verdict: Bad move

Martez Wilson, ILB, Illinois
Height: 6-4. Weight: 250.
Projected 40 Time: 4.57.
Projected Round (2012): 1-2.

Entering a very weak linebacker class, Martez Wilson is projected to be the No. 1 inside linebacker in the 2011 NFL Draft.

The Verdict: Good move



Underclassmen Declaring for the 2011 NFL Draft - Jan. 10:

Robert Sands, S, West Virginia
Height: 6-5. Weight: 215.
Projected 40 Time: 4.62.
Projected Round (2011): 2-3.

Robert Sands is a Day 2 safety prospect. I don't feel strongly either way about his decision.

The Verdict: Mixed feelings



Underclassmen Declaring for the 2011 NFL Draft - Jan. 9:

Lawrence Guy, DE/DT, Arizona State
Height: 6-5. Weight: 293.
Projected 40 Time: 4.91.
Projected Round (2011): 3-4.

Lawrence Guy had a down year and is just a mid-round prospect. I don't get this decision.

The Verdict: Bad move



Underclassmen Declaring for the 2011 NFL Draft - Jan. 8:

John Clay, RB, Wisconsin
Height: 6-1. Weight: 248.
Projected 40 Time: 4.64.
Projected Round (2012): 7-FA.

John Clay lost his job last year and fell to third string on Wisconsin. He probably won't be drafted.

The Verdict: Irrelevant

Jamie Harper, RB, Clemson
Height: 6-0. Weight: 235.
Projected 40 Time: 4.50.
Projected Round (2011): 3-4.

I'm all for running backs avoiding injury, but Jamie Harper is a late Day 2 prospect (at best) entering a league that currently doesn't have a high demand for running backs.

The Verdict: Mixed feelings

Julio Jones, WR, Alabama
Height: 6-4. Weight: 210.
Projected 40 Time: 4.42.
Projected Round (2011): Top 25 Pick.

Julio Jones is a top-25 prospect and could go as high as No. 14 to St. Louis.

The Verdict: Good move

Rahim Moore, FS, UCLA
Height: 6-1. Weight: 197.
Projected 40 Time: 4.48.
Projected Round (2011): 1-2.

Rahim Moore is the top-rated safety. This was an easy choice.

The Verdict: Good move

Aldon Smith, DE, Missouri
Height: 6-5. Weight: 260.
Projected 40 Time: 4.64.
Projected Round (2011): Top 20 Pick.

Aldon Smith is a highly athletic pass-rusher with a ton of upside who produced as a mere redshirt freshman at Missouri. He should come off the board in the early teens.

The Verdict: Good move



Underclassmen Declaring for the 2011 NFL Draft - Jan. 7:

Marcell Dareus, DE/DT, Alabama
Height: 6-3. Weight: 306.
Projected 40 Time: 4.90.
Projected Round (2011): Top 10 Pick.

Pretty much a top-10 lock, Marcell Dareus is obviously making the right choice.

The Verdict: No-brainer

Darren Evans, RB, Virginia Tech
Height: 6-0. Weight: 210.
Projected 40 Time: 4.52.
Projected Round (2011): 4-6.

Darren Evans was once a highly regarded prospect, but tore his ACL last year. He's currently a mid-round running back.

The Verdict: Mixed feelings

Mark Ingram, RB, Alabama - Scouting Report
Height: 5-10. Weight: 215.
Projected 40 Time: 4.44.
Projected Round (2011): Top 25 Pick.

If you're a running back projected to go in the top two rounds, you almost have to declare early to avoid injury.

The Verdict: Good move

Thomas Keiser, DE/OLB, Stanford
Height: 6-5. Weight: 252.
Projected 40 Time: 4.75.
Projected Round (2011): 3-4.

At least one Stanford Cardinal made the right decision today. Thomas Keiser is a mid-round prospect, but is currently an academic senior. With a new coach at Stanford, Keiser is making the right move.

The Verdict: Good move

Ryan Mallett, QB, Arkansas - Scouting Report
Height: 6-7. Weight: 238.
Projected 40 Time: 5.05.
Projected Round (2011): Top 15 Pick.

Despite his single-digit IQ and unbelievably long release, Ryan Mallett is projected to go in the top 15. It's hard to believe that he made a better decision than a Stanford student athlete.

The Verdict: Good move

J.J. Watt, DE/DT, Wisconsin
Height: 6-6. Weight: 287.
Projected 40 Time: 4.90.
Projected Round (2011): Top 20 Pick.

J.J. Watt's pretty much in the same situation that Cameron Heyward was in last year - a Big Ten defensive lineman capable of playing the 3-4 or 4-3 projected to go in the top 20. Unlike Heyward, Watt's making the right decision by declaring a year early. He just had a monstrous year.

The Verdict: Good move



Underclassmen Declaring for the 2011 NFL Draft - Jan. 6:

Da'Quan Bowers, DE, Clemson
Height: 6-4. Weight: 280.
Projected 40 Time: 4.60.
Projected Round (2011): Top 10 Pick.

Da'Quan Bowers could go as high as No. 4 to Cincinnati, so this move was a no-brainer.

The Verdict: No-brainer



Underclassmen Declaring for the 2011 NFL Draft - Jan. 5:

Brandon Harris, CB, Miami
Height: 5-11. Weight: 195.
Projected 40 Time: 4.41.
Projected Round (2011): Top 20 Pick.

So much for being "85-percent sure" about returning to school. Brandon Harris was the No. 3 corner in the 2011 NFL Draft, but getting torched by Michael Floyd in a winter practice game wasn't a good sign. Still, it's a good move because there's a coaching change in Miami.

The Verdict: Good move

Zane Parr, DE/DT, Virginia
Height: 6-6. Weight: 275.
Projected 40 Time: 4.92.
Projected Round (2011): 6-FA.

Who???

The Verdict: Irrelevant

Kyle Rudolph, TE, Notre Dame
Height: 6-6. Weight: 260.
Projected 40 Time: 4.60.
Projected Round (2011): Top 40 Pick.

Kyle Rudolph is a borderline first-round prospect. He's making the right move by declaring.

The Verdict: Good move



Underclassmen Declaring for the 2011 NFL Draft - Jan. 4:

Akeem Ayers, OLB, UCLA
Height: 6-4. Weight: 252.
Projected 40 Time: 4.64.
Projected Round (2011): Top 25 Pick.

This is a no-brainer. Barring injury, Akeem Ayers is pretty much locked into the first round.

The Verdict: Good move

Brandon Burton, CB, Utah
Height: 6-1. Weight: 187.
Projected 40 Time: 4.50.
Projected Round (2011): 1-2.

Brandon Burton was once a hot commodity, but he really struggled down the stretch. He'll need great workouts to sneak into Round 1.

The Verdict: Mixed feelings

Tandon Doss, WR, Indiana
Height: 6-3. Weight: 199.
Projected 40 Time: 4.52.
Projected Round (2011): 3-5.

Tandon Doss is a mid-round prospect, but with a new coach and quarterback at Indiana, you can certainly understand why he's declaring early.

The Verdict: Mixed feelings

Blaine Gabbert, QB, Missouri
Height: 6-5. Weight: 240.
Projected 40 Time: 4.71.
Projected Round (2011): Top 20 Pick.

Blaine Gabbert is fat, inaccurate and unprepared to play in an NFL offense. That's why he'll be a top-20 pick. Umm... what?

The Verdict: Good move



Underclassmen Declaring for the 2011 NFL Draft - Jan. 3:

Tori Gurley, WR, South Carolina
Height: 6-4. Weight: 230.
Projected 40 Time: 4.59.
Projected Round (2011): 3-5.

Tori Gurley is a mid-round prospect, but you can't fault him for declaring early considering his age (23).

The Verdict: Good move

Muhammed Wilkerson, DT, Temple
Height: 6-5. Weight: 301.
Projected 40 Time: 5.09.
Projected Round (2011): 2-3.

You can't blame Muhammed Wilkerson for declaring amid a coaching change. He'll probably be taken on Day 2.

The Verdict: Good move



Underclassmen Declaring for the 2011 NFL Draft - Jan. 2:

Jordan Todman, RB, Connecticut
Height: 5-9. Weight: 189.
Projected 40 Time: 4.41.
Projected Round (2011): 2-3.

Jordan Todman is striking while the iron's hot. He has a good chance of being drafted in the second round.

The Verdict: Good move

Shane Vereen, RB, California
Height: 5-10. Weight: 198.
Projected 40 Time: 4.45.
Projected Round (2011): 2-3.

Shane Vereen probably should have waited a year, but I have no problem with a running back trying to avoid injury.

The Verdict: Mixed feelings



Underclassmen Declaring for the 2011 NFL Draft - Jan. 1:

Aaron Williams, CB, Texas
Height: 6-1. Weight: 189.
Projected 40 Time: 4.44.
Projected Round (2011): 1-2

Aaron Williams is a borderline first-round pick, and it helps him that Brandon Harris said he's 85-percent sure he's going back to Miami.

The Verdict: Good move



Underclassmen Declaring for the 2011 NFL Draft - Dec. 31:

DeAndre Brown, WR, Southern Miss
Height: 6-6. Weight: 228.
Projected 40 Time: 4.48.
Projected Round (2011): 4-6.

DeAndre Brown is injury-prone and lethargic. He also has character issues. Some team may give him a chance because of his unbelievable talent, but other teams won't even have him on their draft board.

The Verdict: Bad move



Underclassmen Declaring for the 2011 NFL Draft - Dec. 30:

Torrey Smith, WR/KR, Maryland
Height: 6-1. Weight: 200.
Projected 40 Time: 4.41.
Projected Round (2011): 2-3.

Torrey Smith won't be a first-round pick in all likelihood, but given the coaching change, you can understand why he declared early.

The Verdict: Good move



Underclassmen Declaring for the 2011 NFL Draft - Dec. 24 and Earlier:

Jurrell Casey, DT, USC
Height: 6-1. Weight: 295.
Projected 40 Time: 5.04.
Projected Round (2011): 2.

Jurrell Casey will likely be drafted in the second round. He apparently needs the money for a sick family member, which is a shame because he could use another year at USC.

The Verdict: Mixed feelings

A.J. Green, WR, Georgia
Height: 6-4. Weight: 190.
Projected 40 Time: 4.48.
Projected Round (2011): Top 8 Pick.

A.J. Green could go as high as No. 2 to Cincinnati. He had to come out early.

The Verdict: No-brainer

Will Hill, FS, Florida
Height: 6-1. Weight: 202.
Projected 40 Time: 4.53.
Projected Round (2011): 2-4.

You can't really blame Will Hill for declaring early considering the coaching change at Florida.

The Verdict: Good move

Jerrell Powe, NT, Ole Miss
Height: 6-2. Weight: 330.
Projected 40 Time: 5.35.
Projected Round (2011): 2-3.

Jerrell Powe is 24 years old. He had to declare.

The Verdict: Good move

Robert Quinn, DE, North Carolina
Height: 6-5. Weight: 268.
Projected 40 Time: 4.60.
Projected Round (2011): Top 10 Pick.

Robert Quinn was unjustly suspended by the corrupt NCAA.

The Verdict: No-brainer

Tyron Smith, OT, USC
Height: 6-6. Weight: 285.
Projected 40 Time: 5.02.
Projected Round (2011): 2.

Tyron Smith is a young tackle with a ton of upside. The problem is that sub-300-pound tackles are seldom drafted in the first round. His draft status really depends on how he performs and weighs in at the Combine.

The Verdict: Mixed feelings



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