The NFL draft used to be the Cleveland Browns Super Bowl... or so many said. Now, the actual Super Bowl is the only goal for the Browns and their fanbase. The blowout loss to the Houston Texans in the Wild Card round of the NFL playoffs wasn’t good enough.
Cleveland also doesn’t have a ton of top draft assets in 2024 but finally gets to select in the first round in 2025 for the first time since 2021. This year, GM Andrew Berry has eight selections to work with but most are on Day 3 of the draft.
Perhaps Berry knew what we are finding out today: Draft classes are just not going to be as deep in young players as in the past.
Today, the NFL announced the list of underclassmen that have applied to be selected in the 2024 NFL draft. The list is just 53 players deep. For reference, just a few years ago it was often in the triple digits:
This list was 63 names long last year, 73 the year before and consistently in the 90s or 100s the previous seven years. https://t.co/h5Jm8ph7zA— Mike Garafolo (@MikeGarafolo) January 19, 2024
While WR Marvin Harrison Jr. and QBs Drake Maye and Caleb Williams still declared, the transfer portal and NIL money have kept more players in the college game.
The Ohio State Buckeyes, for example, only lost two of at least eight players who were expected to be drafted in the first three rounds of this year’s draft. While DT Michael Hall and Harrison departed, CB Denzel Burke, RB TreVeyon Henderson, WR Emeka Egbuka, OL Donovan Jackson, DEs JT Tuimoloau and Jack Sawyer and DT Tyleik Williams are all back for next year.
Do you think it is better or worse for the NFL that players are staying longer in college?