A 2011 lockout will impact the players, owners, and fans of the NFL. However, it could also have an impact on the decision of underclassmen and seniors who are eligible for the 2011 NFL Draft. What college players will be impacted by a 2011 NFL Lockout?
A 2011 NFL Lockout presents the possibility for the upcoming season’s draft picks to be without football for a season. Seniors must enter the NFL Draft or play in another league. If underclassmen are confident in a potential lockout, they could decide against leaving school early and play another season in college.
Guaranteed millions could now be jeopardized by thirteen or fourteen collegiate football games. Injuries will dampen their projected draft position. The worst scenario is if they’d sustain an injury that would end their football careers. Fortunately, they’ll be farther advanced in their degree and find work outside of athletics.
Reserves are often waiting to showcase themselves at the college level. Unless an injury transpires, their best opportunity is securing a starting position once the original starter has left for the NFL or graduated.
Consider the running back situation in Alabama. Mark Ingram returned for his junior season after winning the Heisman in 2009. There’s a strong possibility that Ingram would vacate his senior eligibility and become a potential first round draft prospect in 2011. His backup, sophomore Trent Richardson, would become the Crimson Tide starting tailback in 2011.
A lockout might convince underclassmen like Ingram to stay. What could have been Richardson’s starting tailback position will likely be delayed until his 2012 senior season. This will decrease his playing time and ability to impress NFL scouts. In situations where both players are juniors, then the backup may never get the opportunity to start, which could impact a potential NFL career.
Basically, the NFL Lockout could prevent some reserve players from getting their opportunity to start. With less playing time and game film for scouts to dissect, it could affect their draft status. They might even be undrafted once the lockout subsides.
Low Round Draft Picks
What if a NFL holdout lasts the entire season? The 2011 NFL draft picks could go an entire season without football. They’ll be competing with roster spots from 2012 draft prospects who were playing collegiate football just the past season. Unless the 2011 draftees are allowed to play in less prestigious football leagues, they’ll be at a disadvantage when competing for roster spots against the 2012 rookies because they wouldn’t have played college or professional football for a year.
The most vulnerable players will be low round draft choices. The 2011 and 2012 rookie classes would be vying for the limited roster positions. It wouldn’t be 7 rookies from the 2011 class fighting for spots, but it’d be 14 rookies fighting for the same number of spots in 2012.
Rookies who may have made rosters in 2011 may be overshadowed by the 2012 draft class.
A 2011 NFL lockout could prevent underclassmen from prematurely entering the NFL Draft. This would give college football fans a season that could have greater star power as more red-shirt sophomores and juniors would entertain playing another season in order to avoid being sidelined from football for an entire season.
Visit my website HERE for more sports editorials and predictions