There will be an NFL record 74 underclassmen entering the 2013 NFL Draft. Among them, 17 are projected to go in the first round of Dan Kadar's latest mock draft, with five in the Top 10. With so many players foregoing their senior seasons, it is somewhat of a relief when big name talent decides to spend another year in college. This year, there is plenty of that as well.
With that, here is a look at some of the most intriguing underclassmen who will be entering their names in the draft, and the top underclassmen who won't.
Going Pro: Tyler Bray, QB, Tennessee - Many will argue that Bray should have stayed another year in college considering the Volunteers' 2012 season and his troubles off-field. He still put up gaudy numbers, however, and he wasn't guaranteed to boost his draft stock under a new head coach. He is No. 5 on Dan Kadar's list of the top quarterback prospects in the draft, so there's a good chance he will be selected on the second day.
Not Going Pro: Tajh Boyd, QB, Clemson; Aaron Murray, QB, Georgia; Logan Thomas, QB, Virginia Tech - Boyd said he was told he would have been a Top 60 selection, and Murray may have been as well (No. 8 in Kadar's rankings). Both are battling concerns about their size, however, and may benefit from another year to let Russell Wilson change perceptions about height as a quarterback in the NFL. Thomas is 6'6, but struggled mightily as a junior after a promising sophomore season. If he can rebound next year, he has the physical tools to be among the first quarterbacks taken in the 2014 draft.
Going Pro: Luke Joeckel, OT, Texas A&M - Joeckel is the consensus top left tackle in the 2013 draft, and is a popular projected No. 1 overall pick to the Kansas City Chiefs. He paved the way for an incredibly productive Aggies offense, led by Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel.
Not Going Pro: Taylor Lewan, OT, Michigan - Lewan played very well against South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney in the Outback Bowl, and had been projected to be the second offensive tackle and a potential Top 10 pick behind Joeckel. His draft stock can't get much higher, but he said he still has "unfinished business" with the Wolverines to take care of.
Going Pro: Giovani Bernard, RB, North Carolina - Depending on who you ask, Bernard is arguably the top running back prospect in the draft this year. Kadar praised him as the most complete back among his peers in terms of strength, speed, pass-catching and blocking. His lack of elite tools, coupled with the fact that running backs aren't in high demand in the NFL at the moment, could knock Bernard out of the first round, however.
Not Going Pro: Silas Redd, RB, USC - Redd transfered from Penn State to USC in the wake of scandal, perhaps largely thinking of his NFL prospects. He had a solid year, averaging 5.4 yards per carry, but he had inconsistent success towards the end of a down season for the Trojans. Redd has shown flashes of big-time potential going back to his sophomore season with the Nittany Lions. With Curtis McNeal gone, he should have more opportunities to fulfill his potential next season.
Going Pro: Keenan Allen, WR, Cal; Cordarrelle Patterson, WR, Tennessee - Allen and Patterson are jockeying to be considered the top WR in 2013 draft. Kadar has Allen as the first receiver off the board at No. 22 overall in his latest mock draft, which should tell you off the bat this isn't a very deep year for the position. Patterson has the higher upside, and has been projected to be a Top 10 pick in some mocks. The variance is greater with him, however.
Not Going Pro: Mike Davis, WR, Texas - Davis announced he would be entering the NFL Draft, then quickly rescinded. He made a lot of big plays for the Longhorns last season, averaging 16.5 yards per reception, but he likely did himself a favor by returning considering his somewhat underwhelming production (57 receptions, 939 yards and seven touchdowns) for someone hopeful for a high draft pick.
Going Pro: Bjoern Werner, DE, Florida State; Damontre Moore, DE, Texas A&M - Werner and Moore are 1a. and 1b. in terms of defensive ends in this year's draft, though their skill sets differ a bit. Werner is a technician who can play the run well, whereas Moore is more of a pure pass rusher. You'll find both projected as the first DE off the board, depending on what mock draft you look at.
Not Going Pro: James Gayle, DE, Virginia Tech - Considering the talent at his position entering the draft, it's easy to see why he decided to return. On top of Werner and Moore, Barkevious Mingo, Ezekiel Ansah and Sam Montgomery are also potential first round DEs. Gayle has the potential to work his way back into the first round with a strong senior season.
Going Pro: Jarvis Jones, OLB, Georgia - Jones is another player with Top 10 potential, after recording 14.5 sacks among his 86 total tackles last season. Kadar has Jones going No. 9 overall to the New York Jets, where he would fit very well within a 3-4 scheme.
Not Going Pro: C.J. Mosley, OLB, Alabama - Mosley isn't the fearsome pass rusher that Jones is, but he has great speed to go with his size, and the smarts to potentially play inside linebacker at the next level. He could have possibly been a late first rounder if he declared, and with the season he had perhaps he should have. In any case, he'll try to improve his stock next season with the Crimson Tide.
Going Pro: Dee Milliner, CB, Alabama - Milliner appears to be the consensus top pick at his position in this year's draft. After a consensus All-American season, foregoing his senior season likely wasn't too difficult a decision, but Milliner could fall out of the Top 10 due to concerns that he doesn't have elite speed. He has great size at 6'1, 199 pounds, however, and won every matchup he faced in his last season.
Not Going Pro: Ahmad Dixon, SS, Baylor - Dixon is considered the total package at safety, with a solid frame (6'0, 210 pounds), and natural speed and cover skills. With that said, an extra year to mature may do him some good. The term "character concerns" has dogged him a bit, probably unfairly, after he changed his pledged from Texas, to Baylor, to Tennessee, then back to Baylor coming out of high school as a highly-touted prospect.