The NFL is trying to regulate the number of underclassmen who declare for the league’s draft each year and has made two major changes to the way players can request information.
According to an NFL.com report, only five total players from each college team can now request an NFL grade from the College Advisory Committee, which evaluates college talent and gives feedback to prospective players. There were no team limits prior to the ruling, and close to 250 underclassman requested a grade before the 2014 NFL Draft.
The second significant change is the draft grade underclassmen will receive from the advisory board. In the past, players would receive one of five grades: first round, at least second round, at least third round, fourth to seventh round or undrafted. Now, the only three options college players can receive are first round, second round, or stay in school.
College football coaches received an email from NFL Executive Vice President Troy Vincent regarding the changes earlier this week.
“We want the kid to make an informed decision,” Vincent told NFL.com. “Use our resources, make an informed decision. Each institution has those resources for every prospect and every head coach. The numbers and the facts speak for themselves.”
Of the 107 underclassmen who declared for this year’s draft, 45 went undrafted, according to NFL.com.
Alabama head coach Nick Saban spoke to the media Thursday, supporting the NFL’s concern for the increasing number of undrafted underclassmen.
“All these players that went out for the draft, they went out for the draft late or didn’t get drafted, they were potential draft picks next year,” Saban said. “They’re not in the draft next year. They’re not playing college football either.”
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