All 32 NFL personnel departments are frantically sifting through college tapes and making calls to head coaches, offensive coordinators, position coaches, pro liaisons, academic advisors and trainers at the college level for background information and injury history. They are also calling high school coaches for all 80 underclassmen who have declared for the 2013 NFL Draft.

The NFL’s personnel department, located in the league office, and their committee, made up of general managers, VP’s of player personnel and directors of college scouting, have evaluated all players who submitted their name for a round grade based off the most recent film, or DNA. The players are contacted by the NFL league office with the round grade (ie round 1, 1-2, round 2, 2-3 etc) received from the committee, the committee then makes a call to the college contact person with the same information. Each of the 80 players have completed a league mandated three years of college eligibility and all had to submit a written application with the signature of the student athlete and the head coach by January 15th.

These early out juniors have been granted what the NFL calls “special eligibility,” and will be a part of the biggest off season event, the 2013 NFL Draft. It will be held on April 25-27th in New York. The 1st round will be held on Thursday, April 25. The 2nd & 3rd rounds will be on Friday, April 26. Rounds 4-7 will be held on Saturday, April 27.

I worked on the Underclassmen Committee for seven years. Ten years ago the NCAA and Grant Teaff, the Executive Director of the AFCA, approached the NFL and their message was, help us! We don’t want to lose these young players if they are not ready for the next level of competition, we don’t wont agents and their runners to lure them for the wrong reasons, we don’t want our graduation rates to suffer. They responded by developing a process that is still in place, the NFL’s Underclassmen Committee was born.

Each year we have seen the numbers for early out juniors grow for several reasons, below is the number of underclassmen who have declared for the NFL Draft each year for the last ten years.

2013 (80) 2008 (53)

2012 (65) 2007 (40)

2011 (56) 2006 (52)

2010 (53) 2005 (51)

2009 (46) 2004 (43)

The players granted special eligibility for the 2013 NFL Draft:

Number Player Pos. College

1 Allen, Keenan WR California

2 Amerson, David DB North Carolina State

3 Armstrong, Ray-Ray Miami DB (Fla)

4 Bailey, Alvin G Arkansas

5 Bailey, Stedman WR West Virginia

6 Bakhtiari, David T Colorado

7 Beckford, Dwayne LB Purdue

8 Bell, Le’Veon RB Michigan State

9 Bernard, Giovani RB North Carolina

10 Boyce, Josh Texas WR Christian

11 Bray, Tyler QB Tennessee

12 Brown, Terrence DB Stanford

13 Carter, Duron WR Ohio State

14 Davis, Knile RB Arkansas

15 Edwards, Mike DB Hawaii

16 Eifert, Tyler TE Notre Dame

17 Elam, Matt DB Florida

18 Ertz, Zach TE Stanford

19 Escobar, Gavin TE San Diego State

20 Faulk, Chris OT Louisiana State

21 Floyd, Sharrif DT Florida

22 Fluker, D.J. OT Alabama

23 Ford, Michael RB Louisiana State

24 Frederick, Travis C Wisconsin

25 Geathers, Kwame NT Georgia

26 Gholston, William DE Michigan State

27 Hankins, Johnathan DT Ohio State

28 Harley, Jajuan DB Middle Tennessee

29 Hopkins, DeAndre WR Clemson

30 Hunter, Justin WR Tennessee

31 Jamison, Jawan RB Rutgers

32 Jefferson, Stefphon RB Nevada

33 Jefferson, Tony DB Oklahoma

34 Jenkins, Jelani LB Florida

35 Joeckel, Luke T Texas A&M

36 Jones, Jarvis LB Georgia

37 Jose, Jose DT Central Florida

38 Kruger, Joe DE Utah

39 Lacy, Eddie RB Alabama

40 Lattimore, Marcus RB South Carolina

41 Lemonier, Corey DE Auburn

42 Logan, Bennie DT Louisiana State

43 Maponga, Stansly DE Texas Christian

44 Mathieu, Tyrann DB Louisiana State

45 Milliner, Dee DB Alabama

46 Mingo, Barkevious DE Louisiana State

47 Minter, Kevin LB Louisiana State

48 Montgomery, Sam DE Louisiana State

49 Moore, Brandon DT Texas

50 Moore, Damontre DE Texas A&M

51 Ogletree, Alec LB Georgia

52 Parker, Thomas LS North Carolina

53 Patterson, Cordarrelle WR Tennessee

54 Pugh, Justin OT Syracuse

55 Randle, Bradley RB Nevada-Las Vegas

56 Randle, Joseph RB Oklahoma State

57 Reed, Jordan TE Florida

58 Reid, Eric DB Louisiana State

59 Reid, Greg DB Florida State

60 Rhodes, Xavier DB Florida State

61 Richardson, Sheldon DT Missouri

62 Robey, Nickell DB Southern California

63 Ryan, Logan DB Rutgers

64 Sanders, Ace WR South Carolina

65 Sentimore, Darrington DT Tennessee

66 Simon, Tharold DB Louisiana State

67 Sims, Dion TE Michigan State

68 Spence, Akeem DT Illinois

69 Stills, Kenny WR Oklahoma

70 Toilolo, Levine TE Stanford

71 Ware, Spencer RB Louisiana State

72 Watson, Menelik T Florida State

73 Werner, Bjoern DE Florida State

74 Williams, Steve DB California

75 Wilson, Marquess WR Washington State

76 Wing, Brad P Louisiana State

77 Wood, Cierre RB Notre Dame

78 Woods, Robert WR Southern California

79 Wort, Tom LB Oklahoma

80 Wright, Jeremy RB Louisville

Three years from now will tell the tale on the careers of these early out juniors. How many will be in the league for a cup of coffee and go back to school to finish their degree or bounce from team to team on practice squads? Who will ascend into pro bowlers, all pros or become Super Bowl champions? Time will tell.