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Head Start

Jan. 18, 2016
Jan. 18, 2016

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Jan. 18, 2016

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Head Start

Do early birds get burned?

THE NFL BEGAN allowing underclassmen to enter the draft in 1990, and since '95 an average of 45.9 players made themselves eligible. But after 2010, the number increased steadily until peaking in '14, when a record 98 underclassmen declared. Over that span the percentage of underclassmen to go undrafted has risen too, coming in at more than 30% in three of the last five years and hitting a high in '14 at 36.7%. This year's deadline to file for the draft is Jan. 18, and despite the decreasing odds of getting drafted, as of Monday, 82 hopefuls had decided to make the jump before their senior years.

This is an article from the Jan. 18, 2016 issue

[The following text appears within a chart. Please see hardcopy or PDF for actual chart.]

Drafted in 1st round

Drafted in later rounds

Undrafted

74

18

32

29.0%

2015

98

16

46

36.7%

2014

73

14

39

27.4%

2013

65

19

25

32.3%

2012

56

14

24

32.1%

2011

53

17

27

17.0%

2010

PHOTOJOE MURPHY/GETTY IMAGES (LYNCH)Paxton Lynch CHART