Tracking All the College Football Players Leaving Early for the NFL Draft


Several notable players have started announcing their intent to forego any remaining NCAA eligibility to declare for the NFL draft. Whether the decision to leave was due to injury, as a precautionary measure or to simply have more time to prepare for their professional future, here are the top players to announce an early departure from their college teams:

Javon Leake – Maryland, RB

Leake was named the Big Ten return specialist of the year after running for 736 yards and averaging 7.2 yards per carry in 2019. He announced his decision to forgo his senior season one day after fellow running back Anthony McFarland Jr. also said he would enter the NFL draft.

Laviska Shenault – Colorado, WR

Shenault joins what is expected to be a deep class of receivers in this year's draft. He finished 2019 with 56 catches, 764 yards and four touchdowns for the Buffaloes. His breakout year came in 2018 when Shenault caught 86 passes for 1,011 yards and six touchdowns.

Anthony McFarland Jr. – Maryland, RB

McFarland, a redshirt sophomore, will forgo his final two years of eligibility at Maryland to enter the draft. In 2019, he had 114 carries for 614 yards and eight touchdowns.

Trystan Castillo – Missouri, OT

Castillo is the third Tiger to announce his decision to enter the draft after the firing of coach Barry Odom. He had another year of eligibility remaining. The 6-foot-4 center was a 2017 SEC All-Freshman team member.

Jalen Reagor – WR, TCU

The 5'11" speedster earned All-Big 12 honors in 2018 with 1,061 receiving yards and nine touchdowns, but Reagor's production dipped in 2019. His statistical struggles coincided with poor quarterback play for TCU as the Horned Frogs finished 5–7.

J.J. Taylor – RB, Arizona

Taylor forfeited his senior season with the Wildcats after tallying 1,010 yards from scrimmage in 2019. The 5'6" running back is a receiving threat out of the backfield, finishing the season with 32 receptions. 

Yetur Gross-Matos – DE, Penn State

Gross-Matos will suit up for the Nittany Lions in their bowl game before leaving for the 2020 draft. He led Penn State with eight sacks and 13.5 tackles for loss in 2019. 

Albert Okwuegbunam – Missouri, TE

Okwuegbunam rebounded from shoulder surgery to return to the Tigers for one more season. As a redshirt freshman, he caught 11 touchdown passes before his production dropped to 43 catches for 466 yards and six touchdowns as a sophomore. He finished this season with 26 catches for 306 yards and six touchdowns, which are all career-lows.

Jordan Elliott – Missouri, DT

The redshirt junior announced his plans just a day after Odom was fired as head coach. He led Missouri with 8.5 tackles for loss in 2019.

CJ Henderson - Florida, CB

Henderson led the team with 11 pass breakups, eight more than any other Gator, and tallied 33 tackles. He's projected by many draft analysts to be a first round pick and has decided to sit out Florida's upcoming bowl game.

This post will be updated as more players announce their intent to declare for the draft.