Every year the NFL Draft is filled with underclassmen who ultimately make up the best talent in the draft. Conversely, some of the underclassmen who go pro do so unwisely. This year is no different. Here are five underclassmen who could be on the fringe of entering the draft and maybe shouldn't.
Landry Jones, QB, Oklahoma
More than any other player in the nation, Jones needs more time to develop. The Oklahoma offense will always be something of a hindrance to Jones due to its scheme, but the issue is Jones' tentativeness in the pocket. As we're seeing this season with Blaine Gabbert on the Jaguars, if quarterbacks can't step up into the pocket and deliver the ball, they're going to struggle. Jones has been surpassed by Matt Barkley and Robert Griffin III, but could rebuild his stock next season.
Joseph Fauria, TE, UCLA
The situation at UCLA is tumultuous. There is no head coach and the Bruins' quarterback play has been shaky for years. Fauria should also receive a favorable grade from the draft advisory committee. He's more physically gifted than just about every other tight end in the nation at 6-foot-7 and 252 pounds. If NFL teams are looking for the next Rob Gronkowski, it might be Fauria. So why not go pro? Fauria is still developing and has had only one good season. He had a solid year, but still only finished with 34 receptions for 445 yards and 6 touchdowns.
Devin Taylor, DE, South Carolina
Taylor, a lanky and athletic end, was expected to breakout season. Instead, it was teammate Melvin Ingram who did so. Taylor finished the season with only 6.5 tackles for loss and 5 sacks. But next season, Ingram will be gone. Taylor also won't have to worry about double teams with freshman star Jadeveon Clowney opposite him. If Taylor came out this year, it's hard to see him getting picked in the first two rounds. If he comes back and plays like he's expected to, he could become a first rounder.
Donte Paige-Moss, DE, North Carolina
How good was Paige-Moss last season? So good he was considered a top 10 player coming into the year following a sophomore year where he had 10.5 sacks. But Paige-Moss struggled to get on the field this season on a talent-rich defensive line. Now he's a barely mentioned prospect and desperately needs to resurrect his possible pro career.
Jayron Hosley, CB, Virginia Tech
In 2010, Hosley had 9 interceptions and 17 total pass deflections. This season, his production dipped to 3 interceptions and 11 total pass deflections. That wasn't just a case of teams not throwing at Hosley. He just wasn't making as many plays as he did last season and got burned on several occasions. For a player with average size (5-foot-10, 171 pounds), Hosley can't give up big plays. This year he did too often and if he goes pro, he may not be a top 75 pick.