Every year there are some surprise early entrants into the NFL Draft. Meet this year's:
Nevada defensive lineman Kevin Basped will enter the draft. He's a player with tremendous upside. He's a 6-foot-6, 240-pound defensive end. He's made his name as a pass rusher, notching 9.5 sacks and 12.5 tackles for a loss in 2009. At times this season Basped shifted inside on passing downs to get more pressure on the quarterback.
Basped's stock is probably somewhere in the third or fourth round range. If he returned, bulked up further, he could have slipped into the second round. He's fairly quick off the snap and his frame is clearly impressive.
The other surprise entrant is another big defensive end. However, South Carolina's Clifton Geathers is even bigger. At 6-foot-8 and 281 pounds, Geathers has dangerous potential. The reason Geathers gave South Carolina coaches is that he is worried about getting injured in his final year. Geathers had a quiet year with 41 tackles and 3.5 sacks.
He's purely a potential player at this point. But the potential is as immense as his size. Geathers might be at his best playing end in the 3-4. With so many teams moving to that scheme, Geathers could actually hear his named called in the first 100 picks.
Note: LSU safety Chad Jones also announced that he will enter the draft. Some expected Jones to pursue a career in baseball.