Saturday, January 10, 2009

Mass exodus

The onslaught has begun.

Michael Crabtree’s father says the Texas Tech receiver is going to the NFL, according to a newspaper report.

His father, also named Michael Crabtree, told the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal on Friday that draft projections in the top 10 were too good to pass up. His dad says a nagging ankle problem in 2008 raised concerns about bigger injuries next season.

I can't blame Crabtree, of course. The guy will be a top-10 pick, and he's done pretty much all he can do -- in two years, he's won the Biletnikoff Award twice.

How about Jeremy Maclin, also a redshirt sophomore and probably the second-best receiver in the country?
Two-time All-American receiver Jeremy Maclin announced his widely expected decision to turn pro Friday—but not before breaking down in tears at the microphone before a crowd of reporters, grateful teammates and coaches.

“This decision hasn’t been easy,” Maclin said, adding that he didn’t completely make up his mind until 10 minutes before the news conference. “As much as I love you guys … I feel like I’m ready for the next level.”
Damn. Again, he's a two-time All-American with little more to prove. As a fan, though, it's always nice to see some of the big-time playmakers stick around and give us a few more thrills.

Also declaring for the draft this week were Georgia's Matt Stafford and Knowshon Moreno, Ohio State running back Chris Wells and Penn State defensive end Aaron Maybin, all of whom are expected to be first-round picks, as well as Wisconsin running back P.J. Hill, Alabama running back Glen Coffee (projected as a mid-round pick by the draft advisory committee), UConn running back Donald Brown (the 14th 2,000-yard rusher in D-I history), BYU receiver Austin Collie (who led the nation in receiving yards), Maryland receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey and West Virginia offensive lineman Greg Isdaner.

And if he decides to become a liar and declare for the draft, which appears to be a foregone conclusion, Pitt's LeSean McCoy would jump into the discussion with Wells and Moreno to be the top running back off the board.

Speaking of liars, don't do this:
"I'm not coming back," (Donald) Brown said. "I'm going to the NFL. I know I told you guys earlier that I was coming back, but that was to eliminate the distractions on our team. We had enough internal distractions going on and they didn't need that one as a burden as well, so I apologize for 'lying' for what I did to protect my team."
If you're thinking about declaring, just be honest -- we can handle it.

Back to the draft, though, the big name still out there is Sam Bradford. One recent report has him going pro, but that has yet to be corroborated by any of the major media outlets.

Bradford is only a redshirt sophomore, of course, but depending on tight end Jermaine Gresham's decision, it's possible that Bradford could lose his top three receivers as well as his entire offensive line, which should certainly factor into his decision.

The early-entry deadline is Thursday.

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