2009 NFL Draft Underclassmen-Updated

Published on January 14, 2009 by     Seahawk Fanatic

2009 NFL Draft Underclassmen

A list of officially declared underclassmen for the 2009 NFL Draft. I also offer my opinion on whether or not each prospect made a wise move by leaving school early.

This list has been updated on Jan. 15.

Underclassmen Declaring for the 2009 NFL Draft – Jan. 15:

Brian Hartline, WR, Ohio State
Height: 6-2. Weight: 186.
Projected 40 Time: 4.53.
Projected Round (2009): 7.

I don’t understand this. Why would Brian Hartline declare after such an awful year? He had just 21 receptions, 479 yards and four touchdowns as a junior.

The Verdict: Bad move

Brandon LaFell, WR, LSU
Height: 6-3. Weight: 209.
Projected 40 Time: 4.49.
Projected Round (2009): 2-3.

Brandon LaFell probably would have been better served returning to school and avoiding all of the competition in this class. He’s a Round 2-3 prospect, but he could have been a No. 1 pick in 2010.

The Verdict: Bad move

LeSean McCoy, RB, Pittsburgh
Height: 5-11. Weight: 207.
Projected 40 Time: 4.44.
Projected Round (2009): 1.

One week after he announced he was returning to school, LeSean McCoy, living up to his nickname (shady) officially declared for the 2009 NFL Draft. This was the right move; barring an awful combine, McCoy will be in the first round.

Underclassmen Declaring for the 2009 NFL Draft – Jan. 14:

Asher Allen, CB, Georgia
Height: 5-10. Weight: 197.
Projected 40 Time: 4.44.
Projected Round (2009): 3.

I don’t agree with Asher Allen’s decision to declare a year early. With another year in school, Allen could be a sure-fire Day 1 prospect. This class is way too top-heavy for that to happen.

The Verdict: Bad move

Jeremy Childs, WR, Boise State
Height: 6-0. Weight: 190.
Projected 40 Time: 4.42.
Projected Round (2009): 6-7.

I understand that Boise State probably doesn’t pay its athletes like some of the major football schools, but that’s no reason to senselessly declare early.

The Verdict: Bad move

Nate Davis, QB, Ball State
Height: 6-2. Weight: 217.
Projected 40 Time: 4.77.
Projected Round (2009): 3.

Nate Davis had an awful ending to a brilliant season. He’ll feel the effect on Draft Day. I think he should have stayed in school.

The Verdict: Bad move

Aaron Maybin, DE, Penn State
Height: 6-4. Weight: 240.
Projected 40 Time: 4.61.
Projected Round (2009): Top 15 Pick.

Exhibit A as to why you can’t trust anything college athletes say. A month ago, Aaron Maybin was adamant about coming back for his junior year. On Tuesday, he declared two years early for the 2009 NFL Draft. Despite having just one productive year at Penn State, Maybin will be a first-round pick because of his potential.

The Verdict: Good move

Sean Smith, S/CB, Utah
Height: 6-3. Weight: 214.
Projected 40 Time: 4.50.
Projected Round (2009): 2.

Coming off a dynamic championship season in Utah, Sean Smith’s stock is probably never going to be higher. With a great combine, he could sneak into the bottom of the first round. I see him as more of a safety than a corner.

The Verdict: Good move

Brandon Williams, DE, Texas Tech
Height: 6-5. Weight: 245.
Projected 40 Time: 4.72.
Projected Round (2009): 3-4.

Brandon Williams has chosen to declare for the 2009 NFL Draft a year early. I can’t say I agree with this. Unless he has an amazing combine, Williams has no shot to be a Day 1 pick. Williams recorded 15.5 TFL and 13 sacks as a junior.

The Verdict: Bad move

Underclassmen Declaring for the 2009 NFL Draft – Jan. 12:

Paul Kruger, DE, Utah
Height: 6-5. Weight: 260.
Projected 40 Time: 4.64.
Projected Round (2009): 3.

Coming off a national championship victory over Alabama, Paul Kruger has decided to declare for the 2009 NFL Draft as a mere redshirt sophomore. Though he could stay in school until he’s 2011, I really don’t have a problem with this; chances are, his stock will never be higher than it is now. Then again, he could continue to get better and eventually increase his stock enough that he becomes first-round material.

The Verdict: Mixed feelings

Underclassmen Declaring for the 2009 NFL Draft – Jan. 10:

Glen Coffee, RB, Alabama
Height: 6-1. Weight: 205.
Projected 40 Time: 4.49.
Projected Round (2009): 4-5.

Glen Coffee has declared for the 2009 NFL Draft, even though he’s just a mid-round prospect. Coffee rushed for 1,383 yards and 10 touchdowns, and also caught 16 passes, but he’s light and won’t dazzle anyone at the Combine.

The Verdict: Bad move

Austin Collie, WR, BYU
Height: 6-2. Weight: 206.
Projected 40 Time: 4.52.
Projected Round (2009): 3-4.

I don’t like this decision. Yes, Austin Collie just had a great year, but he’s declaring into a very top-heavy class comprised of dynamic receivers. He’d go much higher in 2010.

The Verdict: Bad move

Greg Isdaner, G, West Virginia
Height: 6-4. Weight: 315.
Projected 40 Time: 5.16.
Projected Round (2009): 6-7.

Greg Isdaner has declared early for the 2009 NFL Draft. He graduated already, so he thinks it’s “now or never” for him.

The Verdict: Mixed feelings

Jeremy Maclin, WR, Missouri
Height: 6-1. Weight: 199.
Projected 40 Time: 4.33.
Projected Round (2009): Top 20 Pick.

No surprise that Jeremy Maclin has declared for the 2009 NFL Draft. He and Michael Crabtree are the only first-round locks in this receiving class.

The Verdict: Good move

Underclassmen Declaring for the 2009 NFL Draft – Jan. 9:

Chris Baker, DT, Hampton
Height: 6-2. Weight: 310.
Projected 40 Time: 5.03.
Projected Round (2009): 3-4.

I actually like this choice – this defensive tackle class is weak once you get into the middle rounds.

The Verdict: Good move

P.J. Hill, RB, Wisconsin
Height: 5-11. Weight: 233.
Projected 40 Time: 4.64.
Projected Round (2009): 7.

In a very curious move, P.J. Hill has declared for the 2009 NFL Draft. There’s a good chance he won’t be drafted, so I don’t know what he’s thinking.

The Verdict: Bad move

Chris Wells, RB, Ohio State
Height: 6-1. Weight: 232.
Projected 40 Time: 4.48.
Projected Round (2009): Top 20 Pick.

I’m shocked that Chris Wells declared. Completely shocked.

The Verdict: Good move

Underclassmen Declaring for the 2009 NFL Draft – Jan. 8:

Everette Brown, DE/OLB, Florida State
Height: 6-4. Weight: 250.
Projected 40 Time: 4.60.
Projected Round (2009): Top 15 Pick.

Pretty much a no-brainer for Everette Brown to declare early. He just had a big year and he already graduated.

The Verdict: Good move

Jared Cook, TE, South Carolina
Height: 6-5. Weight: 242.
Projected 40 Time: 4.61.
Projected Round (2009): 2.

Jared Cook looks like he’ll be a second-round, early-third round selection. I certainly can’t fault him for declaring early.

The Verdict: Good move

Darrius Heyward-Bey, WR, Maryland
Height: 6-2. Weight: 205.
Projected 40 Time: 4.33.
Projected Round (2009): 1-2.

As expected, Darrius Heyward-Bey has declared for the 2009 NFL Draft. If he runs a low 4.3, he could be taken in the first round.

The Verdict: Good move

Knowshon Moreno, RB, Georgia
Height: 5-11. Weight: 207.
Projected 40 Time: 4.44.
Projected Round (2009): Top 20 Pick.

Definitely a given – Knowshon Moreno has declared for the 2009 NFL Draft.

The Verdict: Good move

Kevin Ogletree, WR, Virginia
Height: 6-2. Weight: 190.
Projected 40 Time: 4.47.
Projected Round (2009): 6.

Not really sure why Kevin Ogletree is declaring early when he’s a late-round prospect at best, but hey, all the luck to him.

The Verdict: Bad move

Matt Stafford, QB, Georgia
Height: 6-3. Weight: 237.
Projected 40 Time: 4.74.
Projected Round (2009): Top 3 Pick.

Matt Stafford has declared for the 2009 NFL Draft. No one really expected otherwise; he’s a top-three lock.

The Verdict: Good move

Underclassmen Declaring for the 2009 NFL Draft – Jan. 7:

James Casey, TE, Rice
Height: 6-4. Weight: 240.
Projected 40 Time: 4.66.
Projected Round (2009): 3.

1/7/09: James Casey is a true sophomore, but he’s 24 years old, so it’s time for him to declare.

The Verdict: Good move

Jerraud Powers, CB, Auburn
Height: 5-9. Weight: 188.
Projected 40 Time: 4.46.
Projected Round (2009): 4-5.

Unless he completely dazzles at the Combine, Jerraud Powers won’t get a whiff of Day 1. I have no idea why he declared early.

The Verdict: Bad move

Underclassmen Declaring for the 2009 NFL Draft – Jan. 6:

Michael Crabtree, WR, Texas Tech
Height: 6-3. Weight: 210.
Projected 40 Time: 4.48.
Projected Round (2009): Top 5 Pick.

1/6/09: Michael Crabtree has told reporters and coaches that he’s declaring for the 2009 NFL Draft. This has always been a no-brainer; I don’t think Crabtree has ever left the top eight selections in my 2009 NFL Mock Draft

The Verdict: Good move

Hakeem Nicks, WR, North Carolina
Height: 6-1. Weight: 210.
Projected 40 Time: 4.51.
Projected Round (2009): 2.

Might as well ride the wave. Hakeem Nicks is one of the hottest prospects right now, and if he has a strong combine, he could sneak into the first round.

The Verdict: Good move

Underclassmen Declaring for the 2009 NFL Draft – Jan. 5:

Gerald McRath, OLB, Southern Miss
Height: 6-3. Weight: 220.
Projected 40 Time: 4.56.
Projected Round (2009): 2.

Gerald McRath is probably the top weakside linebacker in this draft – only he’s not a weakside linebacker. Confused? McRath plays middle linebacker at Southern Miss, but he’s way too small to play that position in the NFL. Thus, he’ll have to learn a new position, bulk up a bit and run a fast 40 at the Combine. That’s a lot to ask. McRath may have been better served trying to fill out in his senior year, but if he takes care of business, he has nothing to worry about.

The Verdict: Mixed feelings

Underclassmen Declaring for the 2009 NFL Draft – Jan. 4:

Kenny Britt, WR, Rutgers
Height: 6-4. Weight: 205.
Projected 40 Time: 4.50.
Projected Round (2009): 1-2.

There’s a good chance Kenny Britt gets drafted late in the first round. With Mike Teel graduating, it was pretty much a lock Britt would declare early.

The Verdict: Good move

Eben Britton, OT, Arizona
Height: 6-6. Weight: 310.
Projected 40 Time: 5.05.
Projected Round (2009): 1-2.

Eben Britton’s stock soared late in the year when he moved over to left tackle. Might as well ride the hot wave into the NFL Draft.

The Verdict: Good move

Donald Brown, RB, Connecticut
Height: 5-10. Weight: 210.
Projected 40 Time: 4.44.
Projected Round (2009): 2.

Donald Brown brought the Bubble Lead and then some in a win against D.Wily and the Buffalo Bulls, rushing for 261 yards and a touchdown on 29 carries. After the game, Brown said he’s declaring for the 2009 NFL Draft. No one can blame him for doing so.

The Verdict: Good move

Brandon Mason, RB, Stony Brook
Height: 6-2. Weight: 225.
Projected 40 Time: 4.58.
Projected Round (2009): FA.

A long shot to be drafted. Brandon Mason graduated from Stony Brook, so he’ll likely be searching for a job in another field come September.

The Verdict: Insignificant

Anthony Reddick, FS, Miami
Height: 6-0. Weight: 205.
Projected 40 Time: 4.60.
Projected Round (2009): FA.

He’s way too injury-prone to warrant draft consideration. Anthony Reddick probably should have stayed another year to prove that he can stay off the injury report every week.

The Verdict: Bad move

Andre Smith, OT, Alabama
Height: 6-5. Weight: 339.
Projected 40 Time: 5.26.
Projected Round (2009): Top 5 Pick.

1/4/08: Andre Smith was suspended for the game against national champion Utah, but only because he talked to an agent. A few days later, Smith declared. This will not affect his draft stock.

Smith has a very good chance of being the first offensive tackle chosen in the 2009 NFL Draft. This was a no-brainer.

The Verdict: Good move

Underclassmen Declaring for the 2009 NFL Draft – Jan. 1 and Earlier:

Emanuel Cook, SS/FS, South Carolina
Height: 5-10. Weight: 203.
Projected 40 Time: 4.49.
Projected Round (2009): 2.

Unless Emanuel Cook completely bombs his combine, he’ll be chosen in the second round. I can’t really blame him for declaring early.

The Verdict: Good move

Andrew Davie, TE, Arkansas
Height: 6-5. Weight: 265.
Projected 40 Time: 4.84.
Projected Round (2009): FA.

Andrew Davie is 25, so I guess he decided that it’s “now or never” for him. Good luck.

The Verdict: Insignificant

Vontae Davis, CB, Illinois
Height: 6-0. Weight: 200.
Projected 40 Time: 4.39.
Projected Round (2009): Top 25 Pick.

Though Vontae Davis was benched this season, he has the combine numbers to repair any damage he may have suffered to his draft stock. He won’t fall out of Round 1.

The Verdict: Good move

Josh Freeman, QB, Kansas State
Height: 6-6. Weight: 249.
Projected 40 Time: 4.83.
Projected Round (2009): 2-3.

If you’re a quarterback and you have a shot at getting drafted in the first two rounds, I think you have to declare. Just look at other signal callers who have regressed in the past and even fell out of draft consideration. The coaching change at Kansas State makes Josh Freeman’s choice even easier.

The Verdict: Good move

Shonn Greene, RB, Iowa
Height: 5-11. Weight: 235.
Projected 40 Time: 4.54.
Projected Round (2009): 2-3.

There’s a good chance Shonn Green is drafted in the second round. As a running back, he can’t afford to risk an ACL tear.

The Verdict: Good move

Ricky Jean-Francois, DT, LSU
Height: 6-3. Weight: 285.
Projected 40 Time: 4.83.
Projected Round (2009): 4.

Ricky Jean-Francois is a bit of a tweener, so his draft prospects aren’t all that great. He could have used another year at LSU. The Verdict: Bad move

Sen’Derrick Marks, DT, Auburn
Height: 6-1. Weight: 291.
Projected 40 Time: 4.89.
Projected Round (2009): 2.

With a coaching change in Auburn (if you want to call Gene Chizik a head coach), it was pretty smart for Sen’Derrick Marks to get out of dodge.

The Verdict: Good move

D.J. Moore, CB, Vanderbilt
Height: 5-10. Weight: 183.
Projected 40 Time: 4.41.
Projected Round (2009): Top 25 Pick.

Pretty much a no-brainer; D.J. Moore was one of the best players at his position this year. Save for a bad combine, it’ll be a bit surprising if he falls out of the first round.

The Verdict: Good move

Captain Munnerlyn, CB, South Carolina
Height: 5-9. Weight: 185.
Projected 40 Time: 4.35.
Projected Round (2009): 3-4.

Captain Munnerlyn could have the combine numbers to possibly get him into the second round, but I would have liked to have seen him return for his senior year. His stock has slipped considerably after a pedestrian junior campaign.

The Verdict: Bad move

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