NFL execs weigh in on how they evaluate players' decisions to skip bowl games
Over the last few seasons, a number of top college athletes have decided to skip their teams’ bowl games in order to protect their NFL Draft stock.
But, what do NFL scouts think of those decisions? And, does it actually hurt their stock? AL.com spoke with a handful of executives who weighed in on the growing trend.
The consensus seems to be that NFL executives don’t hold business decisions against potential top players, although they do find certain parts of the decision-making process annoying:
“I don’t hold it against them,” one executive said.
Another executive added that “old school” evaluators in the league might take issue with it but he understands they are business decisions.
One circumstance that annoyed a third executive was a player skipping a bowl game but deciding to play in an all-star game, citing West Virginia quarterback Will Grier passing on the Camping World Bowl last season but participating in the Senior Bowl.
The same executive said he gave additional credit to Kentucky pass rusher Josh Allen for playing in the Citrus Bowl last season. The 2018 SEC Defensive Player of the Year had already solidified his spot near the top of the draft but still suited up against Penn State, recording three sacks in his final college game. He later went No. 7 overall to the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Several players are sitting out again this year, but others, like Alabama WR Jerry Jeudy and Auburn DT Derrick Brown, have opted to suit up once again.