“If you want to be a football player, I play football.”

David Shaw tries to thread the needle between “When I was an NFL coach, the first film I grabbed for every player was their bowl game, because I wanted to see what they were like when they were fresh. It wasn’t the middle of the season,” and his blessing on his star player Christian McCaffrey’s early departure — bowl game, that is — for his pro career with this observation:

“Saying, ‘This game is not important for me, and I don’t need it,’ is different than saying, ‘I don’t need it to further my career,’” Shaw said. “The McCaffrey situation is that, I’ve put so much great film out there, I’ve broken so many records, playing in this bowl game won’t change my draft status.

That is certainly a valid distinction and I get where Shaw is coming from.  I’m not a college junior weighing my choices, though, and the problem there, it seems to me, is that those kids don’t have enough information to make the best decision for themselves.  Couple that with the fact that declaring early for the NFL draft is a no-look back decision, unlike other collegiate sports where you can announce your interest, but as long as you don’t sign with an agent, your declaration is revocable, allowing a return to school, and that’s how you get to a situation where almost a third of this year’s early departees went undrafted.

If the NCAA is sincere about its turning pro finger wagging, maybe it ought to take a look at this.  Who knows?  Maybe it would keep a few extra kids playing in bowl games.


Filed under It's Just Bidness, The NCAA, The NFL Is Your Friend.

5 responses to ““If you want to be a football player, I play football.”

  1. Russ

    Zero reasons why that decision can’t be reversed.


  2. ApalachDawg

    If this scenario were to play out, how are teams going to stay under 85 scholarships when these juniors have declared for the draft / their evaluations? Signing dates would have to change, no? Because I’m sure the NFL will not change their draft day, etc???

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Not sure it really means anything, but surprised me how many of those undrafter were fairly big name WR’s in college.


  4. 69Dawg

    The answer is really simple, don’t count the undrafted returnees against the 85. I know the Auburns and Alabama’s of this world would make all of their Juniors declare for the draft just to be able to have more players. The NFL only allows a limited number of Juniors to be evaluated as to their prospective draft status, so the rule should be if the NFL evaluated you but you were not drafted then you can come back. Remember, even those that are not drafted could still sign free agent agreements. The old “but he signed with an agent” crap needs to just be ignored.


  5. Macallanlover

    I also feel some of those entering the draft early have academic issues that are pushing them out of college, you can only tread water so long if you haven’t been serious during your first couple of years on campus.