HOOVER, Ala. -- Florida coach Will Muschamp said the NFL was "trying to help" with the rising number of underclassmen entering the NFL draft on Monday, but offered no explanation as to how.
Now we know what the changes will be, per NFL Media reporter Albert Breer, after Alabama coach Nick Saban hinted at them Thursday at SEC Media Days.
FYI: Saban was correct. Per @NFL, underclassmen will now be given 3 grades: 1st-round, 2nd-round, or neither, which equals "stay in school".â Albert Breer (@AlbertBreer) July 17, 2014
In the past, underclassmen had been given five grades: 1) as high as the first round, 2) as high as the second round, 3) as high as the third round, 4) not in the first three rounds, and 5) not draftable, Breer reported.
Saban also indicated that the NFL Draft Advisory Board, which provides underclassmen with feedback as to what their draft status would likely be, would limit the number of underclassmen from each school that can submit for feedback, which Breer confirmed.
And Saban also had limitations right. Only 5 underclassmen perschool get draft grades. Additional players can apply, but board can say no.â Albert Breer (@AlbertBreer) July 17, 2014
Previously, there was no limit to the number of underclassmen who could request feedback from the NFL for draft status, and that feedback was more detailed than what Saban described. Presumably, the five players chosen to receive feedback from the NFL will be the five with the most pro potential. The rest could be less inclined to turn pro early in the absence of a draft grade.
A record 98 underclassmen, plus another four players who had another year of football eligibility but had already earned a degree, declared for the 2014 NFL Draft.
Follow Chase Goodbread on Twitter @ChaseGoodbread.