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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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Walter 01-13-2011 03:32 pm xxx.xxx.xxx9.63 (total posts: 40)
17     17

Good point, Randall.
Randall R 01-13-2011 09:15 am xxx.xxx.xxx.109 (total posts: 1)
18     17

I totally disagree that Tyler Sash going into the draft is a bad move. First of all he's 23 years old...he's a 4th year junior. I don't think the NFL is really into 24 year old rookies, not to mention that if he makes it in the NFL he'd obviously like to maximize the number of paychecks he gets.

Second, he's been a three-year starter at Iowa. What else does he have to prove? He's not going to get taller or grow longer arms.
Mark S 01-12-2011 08:57 pm xxx.xxx.xxx9.21 (total posts: 7)
17     17

I can see Clay as a goal line back like T.J. Duckett was. I think someone could see that and take in rounds 6 or 7.
Cole 01-12-2011 06:39 pm xxx.xxx.xxx1.23 (total posts: 17)
17     18

http://www.nationalfootballpost.com/Iowas-Tyler-Sash-to-enter-the-NFL-draft.html

Tyler Sash to declare.
Cole 01-12-2011 06:34 pm xxx.xxx.xxx1.23 (total posts: 17)
18     17

Nick Claytor declared. OT Georgia Tech
http://ramblinwreck.cstv.com/sports/m-footbl/spec-rel/011211aaa.html

Also Utah DT Sealver Siliga declared...I have no idea who this is.
http://twitter.com/CFTalk
mitch 01-12-2011 06:21 pm xxx.xxx.xxx.170 (total posts: 1)
19     18

I have no idea why Quizz declared.?? Had a chance to shine & contend in the new Pac-12 Agree, John Clay not a legit pro prospect
Ian 01-12-2011 05:43 pm xxx.xxx.xxx.111 (total posts: 1)
17     17

@Walter He is a power back that lost his job due to injury and monte Ball being a complete beast he will get picked up in the late rounds IMO
Walter 01-12-2011 02:54 pm xxx.xxx.xxx9.63 (total posts: 40)
19     17

@Tito - A slow, injured back with nothing to offer in the passing game? Teams aren't going to be lining up for him.
Mel Kiper 01-12-2011 10:03 am xxx.xxx.xxx.173 (total posts: 8)
18     18

No problem.
Tito Santana 01-12-2011 09:29 am xxx.xxx.xxx3.10 (total posts: 2)
18     19

John Clay will not be drafted? I would bet money he is. Dumb dumb diddy.
Mark S 01-12-2011 08:31 am xxx.xxx.xxx9.21 (total posts: 7)
18     19

Illinois DT Corey Liuget has declared.
Dan 01-12-2011 02:42 am xxx.xxx.xxx.155 (total posts: 1)
17     17

Henry Hynoski (FB) from Pittsburgh has declared.
Emmitt Smith 01-11-2011 06:18 pm xxx.xxx.xxx.192 (total posts: 6)
17     19

Thank you very many for this information Kiper.
Mel Kiper 01-11-2011 03:31 pm xxx.xxx.xxx.173 (total posts: 8)
17     17

Emmitt Smith, if you act like a retard you get called out on it, deal with it. You're an underclassman because everybody is an underclassman if you're not a senior. You aren't under your class your under the senior class. Call Walter stupid for using common English I'll call you a retard. You don't need to use empty threats.
Guy wondering something 01-11-2011 03:23 pm xxx.xxx.xxx.173 (total posts: 8)
20     17

Mikel Leshoure first off? Even with Ingram declaring? That seems odd, but your the proffesional.


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