This past college football season began with an interesting decision for players all across the country — especially for those with future NFL hopes. Is it worth it to risk injury during an unprecedented COVID-19 season?
For players who elected to opt out of the 2020 season, their decision may now be having the opposite intended effect.
According to an inside league source, at least one NFL owner picking in the top 10 is “hesitant” to draft a player who chose to opt out of last season, per PFT’s Mike Florio. If one executive has this line of thinking, it’s likely that concern may be widespread across the league.
And it’s not just late-round talent we’re talking about here — some of these opted-out players have franchise-altering potential. Headlining the list for 2020 opt-out prospects are LSU wide receiver Ja’Marr Chase, Northwestern offensive tackle Rashawn Slater and Oregon offensive tackle Penei Sewell — all of whom have been projected within the top 10 on various draft boards.
Here are a few other big names who decided to sit out in 2020 to prepare for the draft:
- Thomas Graham, CB, Oregon.
- Levi Onwuzurike, DL, Washington.
- Jevon Holland, S, Oregon.
- Caleb Farley, CB, Virginia Tech.
- Micah Parsons, LB, Penn State.
With over a year-long hiatus from the game of football, is their any risk in taking these former college standouts now?