The SEC’s undrafted underclassmen have been a popular topic at the SEC spring meetings.
Players such as Arkansas offensive lineman Denver Kirkland and Mississippi State wide receiver De’Runnya Wilson are players who were stars in the SEC, but found themselves as undrafted rookies following last month’s NFL draft.
Alabama coach Nick Saban has a potential solution to this problem, and he used his Tuesday afternoon meeting with the media to make his case.
Saban would like underclassman to be able to participate in a “Junior Day,” which could help them get a better idea of how the NFL scouts view their chances of being drafted.
Nick Saban: One idea to help underclassmen make NFL decisions is have a "Junior Day" combine with NFL after spring practice.
— Jon Solomon (@JonSolomonCBS) May 31, 2016
Said he'd like there to be a 'junior day" pro day shortly after the season just for underclassmen to be watched.
— Dustin Dopirak (@TennesseeBeat) May 31, 2016
Saban’s main complaint about the way things are currently conducted is that juniors don’t have enough information on their draft prospects when the season ends in December, but are expected to make the life-altering decision to go pro or stay for a senior season.
Saban: The issue for us and for them is they don't have enough information when they give out junior in December.
— Aaron Suttles (@AaronSuttles) May 31, 2016
The proposed workout could certainly help with that.
But this is about more than just players that went undrafted. It’s also about players that are selected in rounds much lower than anticipated when making their decision to turn pro.
And for that, Saban laid some of the blame for the SEC’s undrafted underclassmen at the feet of the NFL, citing inaccurate evaluations.
It’s clear that some change to the process could be on the horizon, and Saban is often a leading voice for change in college football, meaning his comments and suggestions are likely not to be taken lightly.