This year, a number of talented juniors are choosing to forgo their final season of eligibility and declare for the NFL Draft. Even those who aren’t considered top picks or suffered injuries that caused them to miss significant time this season are hoping to impress at NFL attended showcases and cash in on their extraordinary talent.
Today, Florida Gators linebacker Alex Anzalone announced that he will not be using his final year of collegiate eligibility, and will instead enter the 2017 NFL Draft.
Anzalone, who was a key piece of the ferocious Gators defense this year, broke his arm in November and missed the remainder of the season as a result. His sophomore season was also cut short by injury, and durability concerns loom when considering him as a prospect.
When Anzalone is healthy, he is a talent. In a shortened season, he still managed 53 tackles and three sacks. A vocal leader on the field, there is no denying he has the skills necessary to earn a spot on a professional roster.
But with the injury concerns, it makes him the type of gamble an NFL decision maker in the war room on draft day won’t want to take in the early rounds.
Anzalone will slip well beyond the first day of the draft, though has the talent to make an impact once signed to a team.