Number Of Early NFL Draft Entrants Hits Nine-Year Low At 73
Jan 21, 2022, 10:02 AM | Updated: 10:04 am
(Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
AP – The NFL announced that 73 underclassmen have been granted special eligibility for the draft, the fewest in the last seven years.
All-American linebacker Nakobe Dean was one of four players from national champion Georgia on the list along with receiver George Pickens, safety Lewis Cine and defensive lineman Travon Walker.
That’s a very small number, though more and more we’re getting underclassmen graduating early and they are a separate category that doesn’t need special eligibility to be drafted. https://t.co/ITX2PvHfid
— Ralph D. Russo (@ralphDrussoAP) January 21, 2022
The number of players granted special eligibility was down from 98 in 2021 and 99 in 2020. A record 106 juniors entered the draft without completing degrees in 2018.
The only other season since 2014 when the number of underclassmen entering the NFL draft with special eligibility fell below 95 was 2015 when the number was 74.