Baylor running back Lache Seastrunk is among the college underclassmen toying with the idea of entering the NFL draft early.
But the dynamic speedster who ran for 1,060 yards on just 141 carries for the Bears this season doesn't have to look too deep into the history books to see that players at his position should proceed with caution where early entry is concerned. No running backs were chosen in the first round last year, and the Green Bay Packers are among the clubs whose patience was rewarded in the form of rookie Eddie Lacy. The previous year, Alabama's Trent Richardson was drafted No. 3 overall as an underclassman, but after being traded in his second season and delivering limited production for both the Cleveland Browns and Indianapolis Colts, the draft investment in Richardson won't do Seastrunk any favors.
The NFL's deadline for underclassmen to declare draft eligibility is Jan. 15.
As for the draft competition at his position, Seastrunk won't have to worry about Wisconsin's Melvin Gordon, who announced he will return to school for another season. The field will certainly include outgoing seniors Carlos Hyde of Ohio State and Heisman Trophy finalist Andre Williams of Boston College. Other top underclassmen running backs who could be available include Arizona's Ka'Deem Carey, LSU's Jeremy Hill, Auburn's Tre Mason and Washington's Bishop Sankey.