Below are prospects who have stated their intent to opt out of the college football season amid the COVID-19 pandemic and enter the 2021 NFL Draft.
Underclassmen (denoted with an asterisk in this post) typically have until a mid-January deadline to file declaration papers with the league, with a 72-hour period to reconsider after filing.
The 86th NFL draft is scheduled to be held April 29-May 1, 2021 in Cleveland, Ohio.
NOTE: Heights and weights listed below are via school measurements.
Paulson Adebo, Stanford*: Adebo has excellent size for the position (6-foot-1, 192 pounds) and was a two-year starter for the Cardinal, twice named All-Pac-12. In 2019, his redshirt sophomore year, he intercepted four passes and broke up 10 in just nine starts before an injury ended his season. In 2018, he led the nation with 24 passes defended (four INTs, 20 breakups).
Elijah Blades, Texas A&M: Blades (6-0, 185) initially announced an opt-out with the intention to return to the Aggies for the 2021 season, but he changed course on Sept. 29, stating in a tweet that he intends to enter the 2021 NFL Draft. The Arizona Western Community College transfer missed six games last season -- his only campaign with Texas A&M -- and underwent offseason shoulder surgery. He started six of his seven games in 2019, recording 19 tackles, 2.5 for loss (1.5 sacks), and three passes defensed.
Caleb Farley, Virginia Tech*: Farley was the first high-profile prospect to announce he was opting out, revealing his decision on July 29. He has the traits teams covet in a big cornerback and led the ACC with 16 passes defensed in 2019.
Mark Gilbert, Duke: Gilbert (6-1, 175) missed most of 2018 and all of last season due to a severe hip injury, and returned to the field this year. He appeared in two games for the Blue Devils, making one interception. He was a first-team All-ACC selection in 2017, his last healthy full season, leading the ACC in pass defenses with 21 (15 breakups, six interceptions).
Thomas Graham Jr., Oregon: Graham (5-11, 193), a senior, cited the Pac-12's postponement of the football season due to the COVID-19 pandemic in explaining his decision. Graham entered 2020 as the FBS active leader in career pass breakups (32) and on an impressive streak of 39 consecutive starts dating back to his freshman year.
Tay Gowan, UCF: Gowan, a senior, revealed in his announcement that he has tested positive for COVID-19 in the past. The junior-college transfer has one year of starting experience at the FBS level, recording 31 tackles, two interceptions and eight passes defensed in 2019.
Jaycee Horn, South Carolina*: Horn, a junior, announced on Nov. 16 that he's opting out of the remainder of the season to prepare for the 2021 NFL Draft. The 6-1, 205-pounder led the Gamecocks with six pass breakups at the time of his opt-out. He is the son of former NFL wide receiver Joe Horn, who was selected to four Pro Bowls.
Bryan Mills, North Carolina Central: Mills told SB Nation he intends to forego his final season of eligibility and enter the 2021 NFL Draft. A first-team All-Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference pick in 2019, he was among 250 players selected to the Reese's Senior Bowl Top 250 watch list this year. He posted a team-high five INTs last season.
Israel Mukuamu, South Carolina*: The junior announced his decision to opt out on Nov. 17, one day after teammate Jaycee Horn did the same. A long defensive back (6-4, 205), Mukuamu was a second-team All-SEC pick in 2019 after recording a team-high four interceptions. He suffered a groin injury early in the 2020 season and it seemed to hamper him throughout the campaign, though he did pick off two passes in the five games he played.
Asante Samuel Jr., Florida State*: The 5-10, 184-pounder announced his intention to enter the 2021 NFL Draft on Nov. 29. He lacks ideal size, but has shown his ability as a playmaker, leading FSU with three interceptions through the first eight games of the season. Samuel's father is a four-time Pro Bowl selectee and two-time Super Bowl champion.
Ambry Thomas, Michigan: Thomas earned third-team All-Big Ten honors in 2019, his only season as a starter for the Wolverines. Thomas recorded 38 tackles, three interceptions and two fumble recoveries last season. He returned a kickoff for a touchdown against Notre Dame in 2018.
Kary Vincent Jr., LSU: Vincent (5-10, 189) is a senior, but he did mention in his opt-out announcement that he intends to begin prepping for the 2021 NFL Draft. He played a nickel-back role in the Tigers' vaunted secondary last year, making eight starts and intercepting four passes (second-most on the team). He also ran track at LSU and clocked a wind-aided 10.07 100-meter dash at the LSU Invitational in 2018. His late father, Kary Sr., was a sixth-round pick of the New Orleans Saints in 1992.
Rachad Wildgoose, Wisconsin*: The junior announced his opt-out decision on Nov. 27, stating that he intends to enter the 2021 NFL Draft. Wildgoose, who has experience starting outside and in the slot, played in two games this season before injuring his right shoulder in the Badgers' Nov. 21 loss to Northwestern.
Levi Onwuzurike, Washington: Onwuzurike was a first-team All-Pac-12 pick in 2019 after posting 45 tackles, including six for losses (two sacks). It was the redshirt senior defensive tackle's only season as a full-time starter.
Tyler Shelvin, LSU*: The 6-3, 346-pounder adds a burly interior run stopper to the 2021 draft field, one who has battled weight issues in his college career but has shown the ability to take on double teams and clog rushing lanes. Shelvin, a former five-star recruit, has only 1.5 sacks for his career but led a stout run defense in his first year as a starting nose guard in 2019 with 39 tackles.
Jay Tufele, USC*: The fourth-year junior is opting out of the upcoming football season after USC's fall schedule was postponed by the Pac-12 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Tufele (6-3, 315) was the Trojans' Defensive Lineman of the Year in 2018 and 2019, and earned All-Pac-12 first-team honors last year, with 41 tackles and 6.5 tackles for loss (4.5 sacks) from an interior position.
Jaylen Twyman, Pittsburgh*: Twyman noted his decision to opt out is not related to the COVID-19 pandemic. "This past year has been crazy for so many people, it makes you realize you have responsibilities beyond yourself," he wrote in a Tweet. "That's why I have decided to opt out of the 2020 season and declare for the 2021 NFL draft, and to return home to be with my family. This isn't about COVID-19. It's about my family's needs, now and in the future." Twyman (6-2, 290) would have been a fourth-year junior this fall. The defensive tackle was a key member of one of college football's most talented defensive lines, with a special ability to rush the passer from the interior. Twyman's 10.5 sacks in 2019 made him the first interior DL to lead Pitt in sacks since All-Pro Aaron Donald posted 11 in 2013.
Greg Rousseau, Miami*: The Hurricanes lost a special talent when Rousseau informed coach Manny Diaz that he would be opting out on Aug. 6. NFL.com analyst and former scout Daniel Jeremiah called Rousseau the top 2021 draft prospect he's studied this summer. The former Hurricane racked up 15.5 sacks as a redshirt freshman in 2019 (only 2020 No. 2 overall pick Chase Young had more QB takedowns). Jeremiah has compared him to Vikings Pro Bowl defensive end Danielle Hunter.
Joe Tryon, Washington*: A post to agent Joe Panos' Instagram account welcomed Tryon (6-5, 262 pounds) to the Athletes First family, indicating that Tryon is forgoing his remaining two seasons of eligibility. He's coming off a breakthrough redshirt sophomore campaign in which he earned second-team All-Pac-12 honors after recording 12.5 tackles for loss, including eight sacks. The vast majority of that production (10 TFL, six sacks) came in three games: vs. Utah, at Oregon State and vs. Washington State.
Micah Parsons, Penn State*: The reigning Big Ten Linebacker of the Year announced his intentions on Aug. 6. Jeremiah has placed a higher grade on Parsons than he did for any of the three off-ball linebackers selected in the first round of this year's draft (Kenneth Murray, Patrick Queen, Jordyn Brooks).
Donavaughn Campbell, Louisiana Tech: A graduate transfer from LSU, Campbell announced on Nov. 16 that he would opt out of the remainder of the season and begin preparing for the draft. He started six games at left tackle for the Bulldogs, but figures to slide inside to guard at the next level.
Samuel Cosmi, Texas*: A fourth-year junior, Cosmi announced his decision on Nov. 29. He started at left tackle in each of the Longhorns' seven games before opting out and made 33 starts total since 2018, earning a reputation as one of the nation's top O-line prospects.
Teven Jenkins, Oklahoma State: The 6-6, 320-pound redshirt senior announced on Nov. 30 that he was opting out of the remainder of the season and intends to enter the 2021 NFL Draft. The offensive tackle started every game he played in over the past three seasons and has accepted an invitation to the 2021 Reese's Senior Bowl.
Walker Little, Stanford: Little's decision adds one of the nation's top offensive linemen to the NFL draft field for 2021. A 6-7, 320-pounder, Little suffered a season-ending knee injury in the Cardinal's first game of 2019, against Northwestern. He was a first-team All-Pac-12 choice at left tackle as a sophomore in 2018.
Penei Sewell, Oregon*: As a sophomore last year, Sewell became the first Oregon player to win the Outland Trophy as college football's top lineman. He played the left tackle position for UO with stellar pass protection, allowing no sacks over 926 snaps in 2019, and only one sack over 1,376 career snaps. Jeremiah recently scouted three game tapes of Sewell's from last season -- against Auburn, Stanford and USC -- and found him to be exceptional in both run blocking and pass blocking.
Rashawn Slater, Northwestern: The standout tackle is opting out of his senior year to prepare for the 2021 NFL Draft. Slater (6-4, 315) has amassed a wealth of starting experience at NU at both left and right tackle, making 11 starts on the left side in 2019 among 37 for his career. He was an honorable mention pick for the 2019 All-Big Ten Team.
Trey Lance, North Dakota State*: The third-year sophomore announced his plans just three days after leading the Bison to a 39-28 win over Central Arkansasin their lone game of the fall. Lance does not intend to take part in the Bison's spring season, which will begin in February. Unrecruited as a quarterback by FBS programs, Lance was largely unknown until 2019, when he became NDSU's starter. Jeremiah saw similarities to Andrew Luck in scouting three of Lance's '19 game tapes earlier this year, and he was reminded of Dak Prescott when he studied Lance's performance vs. Central Arkansas.
Jamie Newman, Georgia: Newman left Wake Forest as a graduate transfer in January and chose Georgia, within days of former UGA QB Jake Fromm announcing that he would enter the 2020 draft as an underclassman. He was outstanding for the Demon Deacons in 2019, his only full season as a starter at the college level. He threw for 2,868 yards and 26 TDs with 11 interceptions, and rushed for 574 yards and six scores.
Rakeem Boyd, Arkansas: Boyd, a senior, announced he was opting out of the remainder of the season on Dec. 1. He had his best season in 2019, when he ran for 1,133 yards and eight TDs on 184 carries (6.2 average).
Javian Hawkins, Louisville*: Hawkins announced an opt-out on Nov. 16 to prepare for the 2021 NFL Draft. The Cardinals had fallen out of ACC contention at 2-6, though Hawkins was having a stellar season individually, averaging 6.2 yards per carry (133 for 822) with seven touchdowns in seven games. At 5-9, 196, the third-year sophomore is small for a pro at the position but his breakaway speed and slippery moves in the open field earned him the nickname "PlayStation." As a redshirt freshman in 2019, he broke the school's single-season freshman rushing record (1,525 yards). Hawkins plans to complete the academic semester.
Justin Henderson, Louisiana Tech: Henderson announced his opt-out decision on Nov. 20, citing his own recovery from COVID-19 and the uncertainty caused by the pandemic. He had a breakout 2019 season, rushing for 1,062 yards (5.6 per carry) and 15 TDs, but he was not able to replicate that production as a senior, rushing for 252 yards (3.4 per carry) and two TDs in seven games.
Kylin Hill, Mississippi State: A senior, Hill gained 295 yards from scrimmage in three games this season before announcing on Nov. 3 that he's opting out and intends to enter the 2021 NFL Draft. He broke through in 2019, rushing for 1,350 yards (third most in the SEC behind 2020 draft picks Lynn Bowden Jr. and Clyde Edwards-Helaire). His opportunities diminished under new head coach Mike Leach in 2020, as he rushed just 15 times for 58 yards.
Chuba Hubbard, Oklahoma State*: Hubbard, one of the nation's top backs, is opting out of the remainder of the season and intends to enter the 2021 NFL Draft, Cowboys coach Mike Gundy announced on Dec. 12. The 6-foot, 208-pound redshirt junior was the FBS rushing king in 2019, earning Big 12 Player Offensive Player of the Year honors after running for 2,094 yards and 21 TDs. Hubbard battled injuries in 2020, gaining 625 yards on the ground with five TDs in seven games. He last played on Nov. 21.
Brady Breeze, Oregon: He served as a starter for just half a season, breaking out late in the 2019 campaign before earning Rose Bowl Defensive MVP honors. A senior this year, Breeze tied for the FBS lead in defensive TDs last season with three. League coaches selected him to the Pac-12 first team for special teams in 2019.
Andre Cisco, Syracuse*: An All-ACC second-team pick in 2019, Cisco entered 2020 as the FBS active leader in interceptions (12). He revealed his decision a day after Syracuse coach Dino Babers announced the junior was out for the season with a lower-body injury, which he suffered during pre-game warmups two weeks earlier.
Paris Ford, Pittsburgh*: Ford opted out after starting the first seven games of the season and announced his intention to enter the 2021 NFL Draft 10 days later. A redshirt junior, he recorded 41 tackles and three interceptions for the Panthers in 2020. He earned first-team All-ACC honors in 2019 after leading the team in tackles (97) and INTs (3).
Jevon Holland, Oregon*: Holland, one of the nation's top defensive back prospects, announced his opt-out decision a few days after the Pac-12 released plans for a seven-game 2020 season that will begin on Nov. 6. The 6-1, 200-pounder recorded nine interceptions over the past two seasons, tied for the third-most in the FBS during that span. He also returned punts for the Ducks in 2019 (16 for 244; 15.3 average).
Caden Sterns, Texas*: The junior started seven of eight games for the Longhorns this season. He was tied for second on the team in tackles (52) and had one INT at the time of his Nov. 30 opt-out announcement. Sterns (6-1, 207) was the Big 12 Defensive Freshman of the Year in 2018.
Tutu Atwell, Louisville*: The speedy Atwell, a junior, announced on Dec. 8 that he intends to forgo his remaining college eligibility and enter the 2021 NFL Draft. He led the Cardinals in receptions (46) and TD catches (7) at the time of his announcement and was second on the team with 625 receiving yards. Atwell (5-9, 165) led the ACC in receiving yards (1,276) and TDs (12) in 2019.
Jhamon Ausbon, Texas A&M: A leader for the Aggies who was entering his senior season, Ausbon recorded a team-high 66 catches for 872 yards and five touchdowns in 2019. "This was not an easy decision at all!" Ausbon stated in a Tweet announcing his plans. "Sounds cliche, but when I decided to come back for my fourth year, I would've never imagined not playing this season with the guys that I love and call brothers. These are bonds that I will hold for a lifetime and I mean that wholeheartedly."
Rashod Bateman, Minnesota*: Bateman, one of the nation's top WR prospects, announced on Nov. 25 that he's opting out of the remainder of the season after the Gophers' game against Wisconsin was canceled amid a COVID-19 outbreak. He set school records for receiving yards (1,219) and touchdowns (11) in 2019. Jeremiah had high praise for the 6-2, 210-pounder this summer, likening him to Saints All-Pro Michael Thomas.
Ja'Marr Chase, LSU*: Chase set SEC single-season records in both receiving yards (1,780) and touchdown catches (20) as a sophomore last season, helping LSU win the national title. Jeremiah compared him to Steve Smith Sr. and Anquan Boldin in terms of competitiveness and after-the-catch skill.
Damonte Coxie, Memphis: Coxie, a redshirt senior, left the Tigers in the days before their Oct. 17 game against UCF and announced his intention to enter the 2021 NFL Draft on Oct. 19. He's one of the most productive receivers in Memphis history, posting back-to-back 1,100-yard campaigns before making 16 grabs for 175 yards and a TD in two games this season.
Adrian Hardy, Louisiana Tech: The senior announced his opt-out decision on Nov. 19. He was the Bulldogs' leading receiver at the time of his departure, with 33 catches for 440 yards (13.3 average) and four TDs in seven gams. It was a bounce-back year for Hardy, who struggled as a junior coming off a breakthrough sophomore season (75-1,145-6).
Warren Jackson, Colorado State: A 6-6, 215-pound senior, Jackson earned first-team All-Mountain West honors in 2019 after leading the Rams with 77 catches for 1,119 yards and eight touchdowns.
Terrace Marshall Jr., LSU*: Marshall led the Tigers with 48 catches for 731 yards and 10 TDs at the time of his opt-out announcement on Nov. 29. The 6-3, 200-pound junior is among the nation's top prospects at the receiver position.
Sage Surratt, Wake Forest*: Surratt, a fourth-year junior, cited the "many uncertainties and risks" associated with COVID-19 for his decision. He had a breakout season for Wake Forest in 2019, with 66 catches for 1,001 yards and 11 touchdowns in just nine games, suffering a season-ending injury against Virginia Tech in early November. He set a school record with TD catches in seven consecutive games and was chosen to the All-ACC first team.
Marlon Williams, UCF: A 6-0, 215-pound receiver, Williams announced on Dec. 1 that he's played his final college game. He led the Knights with 71 receptions for 1,039 yards and 10 TDs in eight games this season. The senior ranked fourth in yards after catch among FBS WRs at the time of his opt-out with 444, per PFF.