‘Tis the season for draft-eligible redshirt sophomores and juniors to get their draft grades back from NFL scouts and talent evaluators about their prospects of reaching their ultimate goal of playing in the NFL.
Two SEC running backs have already declared in South Carolina’s Marcus Lattimore and Arkansas’ Knile Davis.
Lattimore made the right decision to head off to the NFL. He’ll be missed by South Carolina, but this is no doubt his best move for the future. He’s been described as a wildcard-type pick by draft guru Mel Kiper, and Kiper went on to say that he’s the only elite back in the draft when he’s healthy.
Lattimore actually lost money again this year after tearing his ACL last season and then suffering another gruesome season-ending knee injury this year against Tennessee, in which he dislocated his knee and damaged three or four other ligaments in the process.
Joining Lattimore will be Arkansas running back Knile Davis. One had to think this was surely coming, because he almost jumped to the NFL last season after missing the entire year with an ankle injury. Davis showed some flashes in 2012 but just didn’t look healthy this year, either, and backup Dennis Johnson emerged as the one back the Hogs’ coaching staff could trust. Davis had issues holding onto the football, too, and his best game of the season came against Jacksonville State in the opener in which he ran for 70 yards on 18 carries.
Everyone, including me, thought Davis was due a monster season after the flashes he showed in 2010, rushing for 1,322 yards. But we have learned that much of Arkansas’ success can be attributed to Bobby Petrino’s play calls.
Now that Lattimore and Davis are heading to the NFL, Alabama junior running back Eddie Lacy could be next. According to Tony Pauline from SI.com, Eddie Lacy will enter the NFL Draft, along with his teammate DJ Fluker.
Sources have confided RB’s Giovani Bernard/UNC & Eddie Lacy/Alabama will enter the draft…DJ Fluker/T/Albama will follow suit
— Tony Pauline (@TonyPauline) December 12, 2012
Although Lacy may not be another Trent Richardson or Marcus Lattimore, the one thing he risks is a serious career-threatening injury like Lattimore suffered this season. After all, how can you blame these draft-eligible players who get a decent grade about their NFL prospectus to return to school and risk a serious injury?
Photo Credit: Brett Davis-US PRESSWIRE