NCAA Football Coaches and the 2011 Draft: What to Do for the Juniors

With the collective bargaining agreement yet to be decided upon for next season in the NFL, college coaches are biting their tongues and hoping that an agreement is reached.  However, the agreement includes changes to rookie wages and the length of the season.  Commissioner Roger Goodell gave a whisper of hope, but everyone knew something this substantial won’t be resolved upon a wish.  Both the rookie wages and the season length will not fall into college juniors’ favors in hopes of reaching the professional stage of their career.  There will be much discussion after this 2010 NFL season is over.

Alabama coach Nick Saban is warning his juniors to consider the gravity of the situation, if they intend on entering the 2011 NFL draft.  The current players on the Crimson Tide roster who are currently seeking entry are defensive end Marcell Dareus, running back Mark Ingram, wide receiver Julio Jones, safety Mark Barron and linebacker Dont’a Hightower.

Meanwhile, on the other side of the coin, professional agents in the NFL are urging  juniors to enter the draft promptly for fear of cutting of rookie wages.

If I was a junior in the position, I would still push my entrance into the draft.  However, I would take it with a grain of salt and lower expectations that an agreement would be finalized.  If I was a coach, I would suggest that juniors do the same.  This will be a turbulent period in college players’ potential NFL careers, as they may have to go in for their final year and wait for the draft then.  However, by that time, more college players will have entered the pool for the draft, and competition will be that much tougher as a senior.