Top underclassmen declare for NFL Draft

Posted Jan 16, 2018

Many of college football's top prospects declared for the NFL Draft over the past month: 

The deadline for underclassmen to file declaration papers for the 2018 NFL Draft has passed.
While the official list of underclassmen accepted by the NFL will be released to teams later this week, many of the top prospects announced their intentions over the past month as the bowl season came to an end.

That group included Josh Rosen, Sam Darnold and Josh Allen, who are widely regarded as the top quarterbacks in their class. Meanwhile, Penn State running back Saquon Barkley, viewed by some as the best overall player, will also wait to hear his name called by the commissioner when the draft kicks off April 26 at AT&T Stadium.

Last year, 95 players were granted special eligibility, and the Giants drafted one of them – Clemson running back Wayne Gallman. Since 1990, 18 of the No. 1 overall picks have been underclassmen, including the past four -- Jadeveon Clowney, Jameis Winston, Jared Goff and Myles Garrett. The Giants hold the second pick this year, their highest selection since they chose Lawrence Taylor second overall in 1981.

Below are notable underclassmen who have declared:

•  Josh Rosen, QB, UCLA
•  Sam Darnold, QB, USC
•  Josh Allen, QB, Wyoming
•  Lamar Jackson, QB, Louisville
•  Saquon Barkley, RB, Penn State
•  Quenton Nelson, G, Notre Dame
•  Connor Williams, OT, Texas
•  Minkah Fitzpatrick, DB, Alabama
•  Roquan Smith, LB, Georgia
•  Vita Vea, DT, Washington
•  Derwin James, S, Florida State
•  Denzel Ward, CB, Ohio State
•  Courtland Sutton, WR, SMU
•  Orlando Brown, OT, Oklahoma
•  Calvin Ridley, WR, Alabama
•  Arden Key, OLB, LSU
•  Derrius Guice, RB, LSU
•  Christian Kirk, WR, Texas A&M
•  Ronald Jones, RB, USC
•  Tremaine Edmunds, LB, Virginia Tech
•  Ronnie Harrison, S, Alabama
•  Sam Hubbard, DE, Ohio State

Notable players intending to return to school, according to
•  Austin Bryant, DE, Clemson
•  T.J. Edwards, LB, Wisconsin
•  Clelin Ferrell, DE, Clemson
•  Ryan Finley, QB, N.C. State
•  Myles Gaskin, RB, Washington
•  Will Grier, QB, West Virginia
•  Porter Gustin, OLB, USC
•  Damien Harris, RB, Alabama
•  Mitch Hyatt, OT, Clemson
•  Dre'Mont Jones, DT, Ohio State
•  Drew Lock, QB, Missouri
•  Bryce Love, RB, Stanford
•  David Sills, WR, West Virginia
•  Cameron Smith, LB, USC
•  Jarrett Stidham, QB, Auburn
•  Clayton Thorson, QB, Northwestern
•  Christian Wilkins, DT, Clemson