(CBS) It’s been no secret that NFL personnel have concerns about the increasing number of college underclassmen leaving early to enter the draft. Our own Adam Hoge wrote about the problem a couple weeks ago, the concern being what happens to a youngster who leaves school early only to then see his professional dreams die.
But there’s also another angle to that idea: How much is the NFL Draft hurting college football? It’s a topic that the Wall-Street Journal addressed in an article Tuesday.READ MORE: 2 Children, 2 Adults Hospitalized After Crash On Lake Shore Drive
From the WS-J:
Throughout the offices and film rooms of NFL teams, the whispers are building: This may be the deepest NFL draft ever. It also may be the one that ruins college football.READ MORE: Woman In Critical Condition After Being Shot In Car In Park Manor
There will be at least 98 underclassmen available in May’s NFL Draft, an 85 percent increase from 2010, the year before the latest collective bargaining agreement, WS-J reported. A change in the latest CBS is believed to have set this shift in motion, as the salaries of top draft picks were scaled back (Eric Fisher, the 2013 No. 1 overall pick, got a four-year, $22-million deal; Sam Bradford got six years and $78 million in 2010).
As WS-J reports, “the financial incentive to stay in school and improve one’s draft position is gone.”
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This seismic shift has set off a bit of a panic in the college ranks. “You look at a team like LSU. You lose so many guys that you are reloading with freshmen,” said former Arkansas and Mississippi coach Houston Nutt, who is now a CBS Sports analyst. “It gets to be like John Calipari with Kentucky: You are talking about starting over every year. It’s just so hard.”