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NFL Draft: Give more power to college players

by Berry Tramel Modified: January 28, 2009 at 4:48 am •  Published: January 28, 2009

/> That’s not a good thing for college football?

The NFL would respond by drafting fewer juniors, even if it countered by allowing franchises to retain the draft rights to players picked but not signed.

College coaches’ long-time sermon — how their players would be better off staying in school longer — would come to fruition. Which means less concern about filling that open scholarship late.

The elite players still would go. Adrian Peterson. Larry Fitzgerald. The guys you don’t have to have debates about.

"They’ll say they don’t want young players, but they’re lying,” said Pat Jones. "The phenoms, they want. Don’t think they don’t want Adrian Peterson.”

Jones was head coach at Oklahoma State for 11 years and an NFL assistant coach for a decade. He’s seen both sides. He lost Barry Sanders a year early to the NFL and saw his Dolphin and Raider teams annually discuss drafting juniors.

Jones’ thoughts on my idea? Intriguing, and he offered another benefit: cutting the legs off agents. Rather than having agents in their ear, predicting draft slot, players could wait for the real thing and know precisely where they were picked.

Another benefit: More players attending school in the spring semester, since they need to keep their grades up if there’s a possibility of returning to school.

This is a win-win proposition, and even the NFL might come around to the idea. Fewer juniors picked means fewer unknowns.

It’s difficult for people in power to release some of that power. But giving college football players more knowledge and more options would be better not only for them, but for the game they play.

Berry Tramel: 405-760-8080; Berry Tramel can be heard Monday through Friday from 4:40-5:20 p.m. on The Sports Animal radio network, including AM-640 and FM-98.1.

by Berry Tramel
Berry Tramel, a lifelong Oklahoman, sports fan and newspaper reader, joined The Oklahoman in 1991 and has served as beat writer, assistant sports editor, sports editor and columnist. Tramel grew up reading four daily newspapers — The Oklahoman,...
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