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Andrew Luck, Robert Griffin III Among 65 Underclassmen Entering NFL Draft
The NFL officially announced Thursday morning that 65 players filed the necessary paperwork by the Jan. 15 deadline to renounce their remaining college eligibility and enter April’s NFL Draft.
Among the players who will leave early include Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck, who is expected to be selected by Indianapolis with the first overall pick, as well as Robert Griffin III, the Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback from Baylor, co-Fiesta Bowl MVP Justin Blackmon, the receiver from Oklahoma State, and three who led Alabama to the BCS National Championship – running back Trent Richardson, defensive back Dre Kirkpatrick and linebacker Dont’a Hightower.
In order to be eligible for the NFL Draft as an early entrant, three years must have passed since a player graduated high school. All players who finished their senior years are eligible to be selected.
The Washington Redskins currently hold the No. 6 pick in the first round and, as of now, have eight picks in the draft. That can change based upon trades and the awarding of compensatory picks after the free agency period begins in mid-March.
The NFL Draft, a three-day affair for the third consecutive season, will begin April 26 at 8 p.m. with the first round. The second and third rounds will be held April 27, beginning at 7 p.m., while rounds four through seven will be held April 28 starting at noon.
The complete list of underclassmen who will leave college early for the NFL is as follows:
Quarterbacks (5): Robert Griffin III, Baylor; Andrew Luck, Stanford; Brock Osweiler, Arizona State; Darron Thomas, Oregon; Barrett Trotter, Auburn.
Running Backs (13): Alvester Alexander, Wyoming; Edwin Baker, Michigan State; Mike Ball, Nevada; Jamison Berryhill, Texas; Bryce Brown, Kansas State; Jewel Hampton, Southern Illinois; Ronnie Hillman, San Diego State; LaMichael James, Oregon; Lamar Miller, Miami; Bernard Pierce, Temple; Trent Richardson, Alabama; Darrell Scott, South Florida; David Wilson, Virginia Tech.
Wide Receivers (11): Justin Blackmon, Oklahoma State; Chris Givens, Wake Forest; Dorian Graham, Syracuse; Stephen Hill, Georgia Tech; Alshon Jeffery, South Carolina, Aldarius Johnson, Miami; Damaris Johnson, Tulsa; Eric Page, Toledo; Rueben Randle, Louisiana State; Mohamed Sanu, Rutgers; Tommy Streeter, Miami.
Tight Ends (3): Dwayne Allen, Clemson; Orson Charles, Georgia; Tiree Eure, Minnesota.
Offensive Tackles (5): Matt Kalil, Southern California; Jonathan Martin, Stanford; Bobby Massie, Ole Miss; Riley Reiff, Iowa; Brandon Washington, Miami.
Offensive Guards (2): David DeCastro, Stanford; Ken Plue, Purdue.
Centers (1): Peter Konz, Wisconsin.
Defensive Ends (7): Max Holloway, Boston College; Chandler Jones, Syracuse; Ronnell Lewis, Oklahoma; Whitney Mercilus, Illinois; Donte Paige-Moss, North Carolina; Nick Perry, Southern California; Olivier Vernon, Miami.
Defensive Tackles (5): Michael Brockers, Louisiana State; Fletcher Cox, Mississippi State; Marcus Forston, Miami; Dontari Poe, Memphis; Jerel Worthy, Michigan State.
Linebackers (4): Vontaze Burfict, Arizona State; Dont’a Hightower, Alabama; Luke Kuechly, Boston College; Terrell Manning, North Carolina State.
Cornerbacks (7): Morris Claiborne, Louisiana State; Stephon Gilmore, South Carolina; Cliff Harris, Oregon; Jayron Hosley, Virginia Tech; Janzen Jackson, McNeese State; Dre Kirkpatrick, Alabama; Josh Robinson, Central Florida.
Safeties (2): Johnny Thomas, Oklahoma State; Phillip Thomas, Syracuse.