Thursday, January 15, 2009

So long, farewell, adieu, etc.

The deadline for underclassmen to declare for the draft has come and gone, and the list is a big one -- in volume, anyway.

In star power, the damage was actually not as bad as originally feared. As mentioned in my previous post, all three Heisman trophy finalists as well as several of the nation's top defenders will be back next year, so the damage was somewhat limited.

The big losses were at running back and receiver: Beanie Wells, Knowshon Moreno, LeSean McCoy, Donald Brown, Shonn Greene, Michael Crabtree, Jeremy Maclin, Percy Harvin, Austin Collie, Kenny Britt, etc.

In all, four of the top 10 rushers and six of the top 14 receivers gave up at least one season of eligibility, and that doesn't include Moreno or Harvin.

But considering what we heard early on about possible defections, as well as who could have left early -- Tim Tebow, Sam Bradford and Colt McCoy, specifically, but also guys like C.J. Spiller, Charles Scott, Jermaine Gresham, Greg Hardy, Taylor Mays and Brandon Spikes -- I'm considering this offseason a net win.

Barring any late filers, there were 48 players who petitioned for early entry this year, five fewer than last year.

Here's the complete list, pending NFL verification:

Asher Allen, CB, Georgia
Chris Baker, DT, Hampton
Kenny Britt, WR, Rutgers
Eben Britton, OT, Arizona
Donald Brown, RB, Connecticut
Everette Brown, DE, Florida State
Jairus Byrd, CB, Oregon
James Casey, TE, Rice
Jeremy Childs, WR, Boise State
Glen Coffee, RB, Alabama
Austin Collie, WR, BYU
Emanuel Cook, S, South Carolina
Jared Cook, TE, South Carolina
Michael Crabtree, WR, Texas Tech
Andrew Davie, TE, Arkansas
Nate Davis, QB, Ball State
Vontae Davis, CB, Illinois
Maurice Evans, DE, Penn State
Josh Freeman, QB, Kansas State
Shonn Greene, RB, Iowa
Brian Hartline, WR, Ohio State
Percy Harvin, WR, Florida
Darrius Heyward-Bey, WR, Maryland
P.J. Hill, RB, Wisconsin
Greg Isdaner, G, West Virginia
Ricky Jean-Francois, DL, LSU
Paul Kruger, DE, Utah
Brandon LaFell, WR, LSU
Jeremy Maclin, WR, Missouri
Sen'Derrick Marks, DL, Auburn
Aaron Maybin, DE, Penn State
LeSean McCoy, RB, Pittsburgh
Gerald McRath, LB, Southern Mississippi
D.J. Moore, CB, Vanderbilt
Knowshon Moreno, RB, Georgia
Captain Munnerlyn, CB, South Carolina
Hakeem Nicks, WR, North Carolina
Kevin Ogletree, WR, Virginia
Jerraud Powers, DB, Auburn
Anthony Reddick, S, Miami
Mark Sanchez, QB, USC
Andre Smith, OT, Alabama
Sean Smith, DB, Utah
Matthew Stafford, QB, Georgia
Donald Washington, CB, Ohio State
Chris "Beanie" Wells, RB, Ohio State
Brandon Williams, DE, Texas Tech
James Williams, CB, Southern Connecticut

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