2009 NFL Draft early entry updated and where they're projected to go

It’s that time of year again when several superstar college players weigh whether or not they’re ready to make the big leap into the land of the mercenaries. The top players take off early to save drafts from the mediocre seniors who chose to stick around, and this year is no exception.

The rule of thumb for pro prospects is this: If your game relies purely on speed, come out. Every football player needs speed to some degree, but a receiver, running back or defensive back has only so many years of blazing speed in him. Any slippage in that top gear, and you’re out of the league. Running backs can take only so many shots and should come out as soon as possible. Everyone else should stay in school unless they’re a sure-fire first- or second-round pick. With that in mind, here are the early entries with where they’re projected to go.

Kenny Britt, WR, Rutgers
Projected: Late second round to early third
Good or bad move? With a 6-foot-4, 205-pound frame, he has the size and physical ability to go along with excellent deep speed. He was unstoppable over the second half of the year with six 100-yard efforts in his last eight games to finish with 1,371 yards and seven touchdowns on 87 grabs. He was also used more as a runner over the final few games. He has nothing left to prove on the collegiate level.

Eben Britton, OT, Arizona
Projected: First round
Good or bad move? Obviously good move. Arguably the best tackle in the Pac-10, he was ready to come out last year. While he won’t be the first offensive tackle taken in a good draft for the position, he’ll be seen as an incredible value pick late in the first round or early in the second.

Despite being the nation’s leading rusher, Donald Brown likely will fall to the second round. (Elsa / Getty Images)

Donald Brown, RB, Connecticut
Projected: Second round
Good or bad move? There’s only so much pounding a back can take. The nation’s leading rusher said he was on the fence about whether or not to come back, but a 261-yard day against Buffalo in the International Bowl and a 2,083-yard season with 18 touchdowns all but made the decision for him. He’s not huge, so he’ll have to be part of a rotation.

Everette Brown, DE, Florida State
Projected: First round
Good or bad move? After a strong sophomore season set the stage, Brown came up with a huge junior campaign with 13.5 sacks, an ACC-leading 21.5 tackles for loss, and 36 tackles overall. While he’s not huge and he might not be the prototype end, he’s a speed rusher whose motor is always running.

James Casey, TE, Rice
Projected: Third round
Good or bad move? It might seem like a curious move for the third-year sophomore, but he’s already 24 and he has the talent to stick on a roster. Second in the nation in receptions, catching 111 passes for 1,329 yards and 13 touchdowns, his hands and his route-running ability aren’t a question. The former minor-league pitcher ran the ball a bit and started out as a defensive end before settling in to his role on offense.

Glen Coffee, RB, Alabama
Projected: Fourth round
Good or bad move? He should’ve stuck around. A decent-sized back with good quickness and nice production this year with 1,383 yards and 10 touchdowns, he could’ve benefited draft-wise from staying one more year. He benefited greatly from running behind an elite offensive line, and he might have to prove himself on special teams early on.

Austin Collie, WR, BYU
Projected: Second day
Good or bad move? Among the nation’s leading receivers, he was big even when the team was struggling, catching 21 passes for 223 yards in the two losses to Utah and Arizona. He went over the 100-yard mark in 11 straight games and finished with 106 catches for 1,538 yards and 15 touchdowns, so the production is there. However, despite having decent functional speed, he’ll have to run well in the combine to be a first-day pick. The 24-year-old spent a few years on a church mission.

Emmanuel Cook, S, South Carolina
Projected: Fourth round
Good or bad move? A terrific tackler, he was an important piece of the puzzle for one of the nation’s best pass defenses. While he can hit, he has had problems staying healthy throughout his career and he’s questionable in coverage. Not necessarily a ball-hawker, he’s a big hitter who should find a job as a third or fourth safety in a rotation.

Jared Cook, TE, South Carolina
Projected: Second to third round
Good or bad move? Don’t be shocked if he becomes one of the high risers over the next few months. He has all the tools with good size, nice hands and a receiver’s route-running ability, but he was underutilized by Steve Spurrier. The biggest problem was erratic quarterback play, but Cook will pique someone’s interest on day one.

Michael Crabtree, WR, Texas Tech
Projected: Top 10 overall
Good or bad move? The two-time Biletnikoff winner came to Texas Tech as the most talented receiver ever to play in the Mike Leach era, and he showed why with 231 catches, 3,127 yards and 41 touchdowns in just 26 games. Great on the move, he’s the epitome of a YAC receiver (yards after the catch) who can make things happen when he gets the ball in a place where he can do something with it. If he’s not the first receiver taken, he’ll be No. 2.

Seattle Seahawks?

Andrew Davie, TE, Arkansas
Projected: Late second day
Good or bad move? The receiving stats aren’t there as the second fiddle behind D.J. Williams. Davie is more of a blocker who was decent around the goal line. If he gets drafted, it’ll be as a situational player in two-tight-end sets.

Vontae Davis, CB, Illinois
Projected: First round
Good or bad move? Davis could be the call of the draft. He followed up a great sophomore season with a mediocre junior campaign. He wasn’t bad, but he played like he was hanging around waiting to go to the next level; he went through the motions at times. However, the brother of San Francisco 49ers tight end Vernon Davis is a good tackler with 4.4 wheels. On measurables alone he might be a top-10 draft pick.

Josh Freeman, QB, Kansas State
Projected: Third round
Good or bad move? Freeman started as a true freshman and has learned on the job over the last three seasons. With good size, nice mobility and a better college career than was recognized — considering the quarterback stars in the Big 12 over the last few years — he’ll be seen as a decent developmental project with a world of upside. He had to leave with Bill Snyder, who’s more a fan of running quarterbacks, taking over.

Ricky-Jean Francois, DT, LSU
Projected: Second round
Good or bad move? While he’s not the space-eating, heart-and-soul type of anchor that Glenn Dorsey was, Francois is a nice, quick tackle who has the skills to blossom into a tremendous NFL starter if he wants it. Considering his talent, and the players around him, he didn’t have the huge year expected.

Shonn Greene, RB, Iowa
Projected: Second round
Good or bad move? It’s his time. The only runner in America to go over 100 yards in every game, Greene came out of nowhere to win the Doak Walker Award. Breakaway speed and quickness aren’t issues and he can run with a little bit of power, but he’s going to be 24 by the start of the NFL season and is considered a bit of a one-year wonder.

Greg Hardy, DE Ole Miss
Projected: First round
Good or bad move? On physical ability, the former Ole Miss basketball player has top-15 talent. However, durability issues and off-the-field concerns could move him down to the late first round or early second.

Darrius Heyward-Bey, WR, Maryland
Projected: Late first round, early second round
Good or bad move? He might have been the first receiver taken in last year’s draft. With elite wheels and a prototype deep-threat frame, he looks the part. He’ll wow everyone at the combine and will likely be a late first-round pick.

P.J. Hill, RB, Wisconsin
Projected: Fourth round
Good or bad move? The big man is wearing down. Tremendously productive as the best big back in Madison since Ron Dayne, Hill has a nice array of moves and quickness to go along with his power. Patient, oftentimes too patient, Hill is great at setting up his blockers. However, he can’t stay healthy and had to leave early to avoid another year of punishment.

Greg Isdaner, OG, West Virginia
Projected: Fourth round
Good or bad move? A big, physical blocker, he’s the type of anonymous guard who gets taken late in the first day or early on the second but finishes up with a 10-year career as a cog in someone’s system. He’s big with quick feet and he can pound away.

Paul Kruger, DE, Utah
Projected: Second round
Good or bad move? After getting the word that he’d be a relatively high pick, the star third-year sophomore, who spent a few years on a church mission, has the speed to blow past most tackles and the frame to get bigger to handle the more physical ones.

Jeremy Maclin, WR, Missouri
Projected: Top 15 overall
Good or bad move? A poor man’s Percy Harvin, every offensive coordinator in the NFL wants Maclin as a fun weapon to have at the ready. Despite an ankle injury, he still caught 102 passes for 1,260 yards and 13 touchdowns. He’ll also be used as a kick and punt returner at the next level.

jeremy maclin

Sen’Derrick Marks, DT, Auburn
Projected: First round
Good or bad move? One of the most versatile linemen in the draft, he can be a big end in a 4-3 or a nice-sized tackle in the 3-4. While he’s not a blot-out-the-sun tackle, he’s tremendously quick and could grow into a strong interior pass rusher.

Aaron Maybin, DE Penn State
Projected: First round
Good or bad move? The third-year sophomore is a top-shelf pass rusher with top-10-overall ability. However, he’s not all that big and needs to fit a system. Depending on which team likes him, he could go as high as 10 and, with a bad workout, as low as the early second round.

Gerald McRath, LB, Southern Miss
Projected: Fourth round
Good or bad move? The ultra-productive Golden Eagle has his degree and has been around the program for five years. He has the speed and the production, but he’s built like a big safety and will need the right system to be a star.

Captain Munnerlyn, CB, South Carolina
Projected: Fifth round
Good or bad move? The only knock is his size, and that’s not going to change enough to stay for a senior year. He’s a willing hitter with 4.3 speed who’ll make someone’s defensive coordinator happy.

D.J. Moore, CB, Vanderbilt
Projected: First round
Good or bad move? A star kick returner and a top receiver when he had his chance, Moore is more than ready to go to the NFL. He’s a good hitter who makes big plays and picks all over the field. While he’s not huge, he plays big for his size with safety-like hitting ability and top-20 overall pick athleticism.

Knowshon Moreno, RB, Georgia
Projected: First round
Good or bad move? There’s a chance Moreno goes in the top 10 if someone falls in love with him. A special back with great quickness through the hole and a burst to change gears in a heartbeat, he’s a great all-around runner who can work inside or out. If he was eligible, he would’ve been gone to the NFL after last year; he was ready.

knowshon moreno

Hakeem Nicks, WR, North Carolina
Projected: Late first round, early second round
Good or bad move? Coming off a stellar Meineke Car Care Bowl performance in the loss to West Virginia and with 68 catches for 1,222 yards and 12 touchdowns for the season, he showed the hands, breakaway speed and dominance to be a No. 1 receiver at the next level. Ultra-productive, with 181 career catches for 2,840 yards and 21 touchdowns despite not having a quarterback with a pulse to throw to him, Nicks could blow up if paired with the right passer.

Kevin Ogletree, WR, Virginia
Projected: Fifth round
Good or bad move? Ogletree came off a devastating knee injury to make 58 catches for 723 yards and five touchdowns as a steady target for the Cavaliers. While his decision to leave early was met with surprise, and reportedly, good riddance from the coaching staff, he has enough talent to make a roster. However, it might be a surprise if he goes anywhere near the first four rounds.

Jerraud Powers, CB, Auburn
Projected: Fourth round
Good or bad move? Size is an issue, but if he shows off excellent speed and quickness to the scouts, he could sneak into the first day. A willing hitter who isn’t afraid to come up with a big play like a safety, Powers was growing into a strong SEC cover-corner when he chose to take off early. With another year and with the defensive-minded coaching staff coming in, Powers could’ve become a top-60 draft pick had he stuck around.

Andre Smith, OT, Alabama
Projected: Top five overall
Good or bad move? The agent issue that cost him the Sugar Bowl aside, Smith is the best left tackle in the draft and could go No. 2 overall. The nation’s top recruit three years ago, he started as a freshman and last year he was able to match his experience with his skills

Sean Smith, CB, Utah
Projected: Second round
Good or bad move? To no one’s surprise, the playmaking Ute corner is making the leap, and he’s ready. The measureables are nearly perfect. He’s 6-foot-3, around 220 pounds with 4.5 speed and huge hitting ability. He projects to be a safety in the NFL, but someone might see him as a big corner prospect to match up against the bigger, stronger targets. The former wide receiver will wow them at the combine.

Matthew Stafford, QB, Georgia
Projected: Top five overall
Good or bad move? In today’s day and age of spread quarterbacks, the true NFL-caliber bomber is a rare commodity. Stafford could go No. 1 overall to Detroit, but at the very worst, he’ll end up being taken in the top five. The scouts have been drooling over Stafford’s arm for the last three years, and this season he showed more mobility when it came to keeping passing plays alive and he showed better decision-making ability.

Chris Wells, RB, Ohio State
Projected: First round
Good or bad move? The only knock is his health. In the two big games of this year, he missed the USC debacle with a foot injury and he was knocked out of the Fiesta Bowl by Texas. With his blend of power, size and breakaway speed, he could be the first back taken and he could end up being taken in the first five picks. If he’s part of a rotation, he’ll be devastating.

Brandon Williams, DE Texas Tech
Projected: Third round Good or bad move? While he has hardly a top recruit, Williams blossomed into one of the Big 12’s premier pass rushers. Close to graduating, the time is right for him to try to test the waters. If he goes lights out in the workouts, he could be a top-50 pick, but he’ll more likely be an early second-day guy. A bit rangy at 6-foot-4 and 255 pounds, he has room to bulk up a bit.

FOX Sports on MSN – COLLEGE FOOTBALL – The early entries and where they’re projected to go.