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Jim Harbaugh Proposes Changes To NFL Draft Rules

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Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh has made a few proposals for the NFL to make changes on draft rules and college player eligibility. Michigan insider Brandon Brown breaks down which of Harbaugh's proposals are realistic suggestions.

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Kaitlin O'Toole: Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh is proposing that the NFL make changes on draft rules. Joining me now to discuss this, from Wolverine Digest, is Brandon Brown. Brandon, Harbaugh outlined three proposals that he believes could reshape the future for college football players. What are your thoughts on this?

Brandon Brown: First thought was: Jim Harbaugh is a little bored like the rest of us. You know, he's kind of a recluse. He doesn't talk to the media when he doesn't really have to. So this was that was kind of interesting in the first place that we got a letter from him like this. But I mean, he's always kind of been on this pro student athlete kick. Last year at Big Ten Media Days, he talked about the transfer rule and how he would love for people to be able to transfer and play right away no matter what, because there's been so many inconsistencies with who is eligible, who's not, why are they eligible, why are they not? And he mentioned that again in his letter today as well. But he did he did come up with some some new ideas, you know, being able to leave whenever you want. A guy like Trevor Lawrence, for instance, from Clemson, who might have been the first pick in the draft as a true freshman, now has to play two more years, and for what? Hoping he doesn't get hurt and, you know, trying to get better, I guess, when he would have been the top overall pick, probably. You know, being able to come back to school if you're not picked as high as maybe you thought. A case that comes to mind right away as Donovan Peoples-Jones, a standout wide receiver for Michigan this past season. I'm not sure what he was told his draft grade would be, but a lot of people thought maybe third round, probably fourth round somewhere there, and he falls all the way to the sixth round. Now, Jim Harbaugh said picks two twenty four and after would be eligible to come back to school, and Donovan People's Jones was one eighty seven, so not quite there, but I get the idea of giving these kids a chance to come back if it doesn't work out how they thought. So being able to talk to lawyers and consult and make sure that they have the best possible fit and then also to come back to school after their NFL career and still have the school honor their scholarship. That was a new one that I never heard of before. So some pretty forward thinking ideas and something that Harbaugh has kind of been about since he's been at Michigan.

Kaitlin O'Toole: Real quick. He's also a big proponent of college athletes being able to use their name, likeness, image, he supports that legislation. Do you see any foreseeable changes for that in the future?

Brandon Brown: It seems inevitable. I don't know when it will be, but it just seems to be moving that way. I think at some point, eventually kids will be able to, you know, whether it's sign autographs and get paid for it or be on a poster or do a sponsorship deal with a local car dealership... I mean, whatever, whatever the case may be, I think that's going to happen, and I think that that makes sense. I don't like the idea of schools paying kids. I think that gets a little murky, and I just don't I don't know what you do with all the hundreds of other athletes for the non-revenue sports, the Olympic sports. I just think it gets really, really messy. But if a kid's worth money to somebody else, I don't know why they shouldn't be able to capitalize on that, and I don't know how many coaches Jim Harbaugh or anybody across the country are going to be able to shoot that down with a with a straight face when they're making, you know, upwards of six, seven million dollars a year. So, yeah, he's been out he's been out front on that as well. And I think a lot of other coaches are going to follow suit. 

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Michigan's Jim Harbaugh Proposes Changes to NFL Draft Rules in OpenLetter