Say what you will, the 0-16 Detroit Lions at least are doing something to alleviate complaints that too many top-flight college athletes are jumping ship early and skipping out on finishing their degrees. From today’s Detroit Free Press:
There has been speculation that the fear of becoming a Lion was one of the variables Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Sam Bradford considered when he opted to remain at Oklahoma. It was also a consideration for Texas quarterback Colt McCoy, who’ll return to the Longhorns….
The deadline for declaring for the draft came Thursday. There were surprises along with Sanchez. Mississippi junior defensive end Greg Hardy, who had 8 1/2 sacks and 9 1/2 tackles for loss last season, opted to remain at Ole Miss. He could’ve become this draft’s Mario Williams, who rose up the rankings through the combine and became the No. 1 overall pick three years ago.
But now Hardy is not an option for the Lions.
Who’s next? Apparently, with a few exceptions, the word is getting through the grapevine to the cream of college football talent: Stay in school. It beats having to play for a demoralizing, career-killing, amateur-quality franchise.
But what happens in the very likely event the Detroit Lions also have the Number 1 overall pick in the 2010 NFL Draft? Sam Bradford, Colt McCoy, and company might be pushing and shoving each other around, saying: “No, take him. He’s really the best.” It might be the closest to modesty we ever see from a lot of this nation’s best young football players.