Record Number of Early Entrants For 2012 NFL Draft

The applications of 65 players have been accepted for early entry into the 2012 NFL Draft.

Heisman Trophy winner QB Robert Griffin III of Baylor and Stanford QB Andrew Luck top the list of young men who are leaving school with eligibility remaining. Under NFL rules, a player can move into the league through the annual Draft or as a free agent when he’s three years removed from high school. At this point, any player who left high school with the Class of 2009 can attempt to play in the league.

Running backs topped the list with 13, including Alabama’s Trent Richardson and LaMichael James of Oregon. Also in that group is Wichita native Bryce Brown (right), who played briefly at both Tennessee and Kansas State.

The 65 players gaining early entry this year topped the previous record of 56 set last season.

The 2012 NFL Draft begins on Thursday, April 26 at 7 p.m. CDT with the first round. The next day, it’s the second and third rounds starting at 6 p.m. CDT with the rest of the draft on Saturday, April 28 starting at 11 a.m.

Over the coming weekend, we will provide more details on these 65 players, since most of them have not been on the draft radar for the last year. Here are the early entrants:

Quarterbacks (5) – Robert Griffin III, Baylor; Andrew Luck, Stanford; Brock Osweiler, Arizona State; Darron Thomas, Oregon; Barrett Trotter, Auburn.

Running backs (13) – Alvester Alexander, Wyoming; Edwin Baker, Michigan State; Mike Ball, Nevada; Jamison Berryhill, Texas; Bryce Brown, Kansas State; Jewel Hampton, Southern Illinois; Ronnie Hillman, San Diego State; LaMichael James, Oregon; Lamar Miller, Miami; Bernard Pierce, Temple; Trent Richardson, Alabama; Darrell Scott, South Florida; David Wilson, Virginia Tech.

Wide receivers (11) – Justin Blackmon, Oklahoma State; Chris Givens, Wake Forest; Dorian Graham, Syracuse; Stephen Hill, Georgia Tech; Alshon Jeffery, South Carolina; Aldarius Johnson, Miami; Damaris Johnson, Tulsa; Eric Page, Toledo; Rueben Randle, LSU; Mohamed Sanu, Rutgers; Tommy Streeter, Miami.

Tight ends (3) – Dwayne Allen, Clemson; Orson Charles, Georgia; Tiree Eure, Minnesota.

Offensive line (8) – David DeCastro, Stanford; Matt Kalil, Southern California; Peter Konz, Wisconsin; Jonathan Martin, Stanford; Bobby Massie, Mississippi; Ken Plue, Purdue; Riley Reiff, Iowa; Brandon Washington, Miami.

Defensive line (12) – Michael Brockers, LSU; Fletcher Cox, Mississippi State; Marcus Forston, Miami; Max Holloway, Boston College; Chandler Jones, Syracuse; Ronnell Lewis, Oklahoma; Whitney Mercilus, Illinois; Donte Paige-Moss, North Carolina; Nick Perry, Southern California; Dontari Poe, Memphis; Olivier Vernon, Miami; Jerel Worthy, Michigan State.

Linebackers (4) – Vontaze Burfict, Arizona State; Dont’a Hightower, North Carolina; Luke Kuechly, Boston College; Terrell Manning, North Carolina State.

Secondary (9) – Morris Claiborne, LSU; Stephon Gilmore, South Carolina; Cliff Harris, Oregon; Jayron Hosley, Virginia Tech; Janzen Jackson, McNeese State; Dre Kirkpatrick, Alabama; Josh Robinson, Central Florida; Johnny Thomas, Oklahoma State; Phillip Thomas, Syracuse.

17 Responses to “Record Number of Early Entrants For 2012 NFL Draft”

  • January 19, 2012  - Johnfromwichita says:

    What a total relief to stop thinking about Haley/Pioli. I’m already getting excited about 2012. Oh, sweet draft. As much as I’ve bitched about the offense line, I would’t get too ansy to pick up one in top half of picks. I’d prefer gaining them thru free agencey; no learning curve. Probably not a lot agreeing with me but I want first pick, and maybe even second, to get running backs. Our passing game won’t change much, I’m afraid. Our best chance to move the ball will probably be on the ground. Sounds like Martyball all grown up. Whatever it takes to win.

  • January 19, 2012  - Blake says:

    I like DeCastro, I know lots of Chiefs have been saying this but if he really is as good as everyone says and he is an elite guard, then why not recreate the oline from 03 and have all day to throw and run the ball on anyone we want. We could put any RB behind that oline and even Cassel might have some success. We would still need a RT but I would rather have an elite guard than a good RT in the first round. There are lots of good juniors this year! Brock Osweiler looks like an intriguing pick, 6’8 and athletic, can throw the deep ball. If he goes after round 3 he looks like he could develope into a good QB he just needs time and coaching.

    Biggest needs this offseason: LG, RT, ILB, NT, backup RB and TE, depth at all other positions. We have to resign our guys: Bowe and Carr, I want McClain back, Orton if he would be willing.

    Just a thought but you know how some guys get their new contract and are never the same (LJ). Do you think Bowe or Carr could be like this? Carr sounds like he could be, just working for that contract and then he doesn’t give a damn. Bowe wants to be a superstar so I don’t see it in him as much but it is just a thought on why these guys aren’t already resigned…

  • January 19, 2012  - Niblick says:

    Amen to posting about something other than Haley and Pioli. We definitely need a big back to supplement Charles. However, you can find good backs later. IE-Charles in the 3rd round. Look at this years final four-Gore 3rd round, Jacobs and Branshaw 3rd and 6th, Pats- all in later rounds, and the Ravens with Rice in the 2nd round. I guess I still would go O-line. There are three highly rated tackles and one should be there. I would love to see a blockbuster trade with the Rams to draft RG3. I highly doubt it would ever happen. I hope we can sign Carr and perhaps franchise Bowe. If we don’t sign Carr we may have to look for a corner in the 1st round.

  • January 19, 2012  - Tim says:

    I agree…keep an eye on QB Osweiler. The kid is an athlete & can run. Anybody watch ASU v Mizzou??? He’s not a stiff & he has an arm.

  • January 19, 2012  - Johnfromwichita says:

    Tim, the thought of the Chiefs picking a QB in early round scares the crap out of me. Remember Todd Blackledge? First picked by KC QB followed by, later, Dan Morino, Jim Kelly and four others I can’t remember. Four HOF and two superbowl winners. The only draft bust to come close to that bad was Percy Snow. A linebacker named Percy. Doomed from the start. Fell of a moped in traing camp and never recovered from the ankle injury. Jeeez. Actualy, even at that, he was better than Blackledge. Dark ages for Chiefs (1972-1988). Please don’t try to pick a first round quartorback.

  • January 19, 2012  - Blake says:

    Osweiler wont go in the first round

  • January 19, 2012  - Michael says:

    Right now, Osweiler isn’t expected to go until RD 3-4. Nick Foles might be a good pick later in the first round or in the 2nd. Another late round QB to keep an eye on is Chatanooga QB B.J. Coleman, moblie, 6-5,235, with a strong arm and pretty accurate. Level of competition is the main issue. Later round RB’s I like are Tennessee’s Tauren Poole, 5-10, 216 with a good size/speed ratio and Cinci RB Isiah Pead, 5-10,200, with speed to burn. San Diego St. RB Ronnie Hillman is a big banger with some speed, who would compliment Charles nicely. Man, now this is the stuff I love to talk about-the draft and free agency! I always get excited for the start of free agency, get my list of players I think KC should go after and then, thud! Last few years Pioli hasn’t brought much. Last year Breaston was one of my “gets”, and Kregg to a lesser extent; I liked the Siler signing, and was all about getting Orton. But, that’s not much. I’m happy to see the record number of underclassmen come out because it makes the pool of quality players available bigger.

  • January 19, 2012  - txchief says:

    I too fear another Turd Blackledge incident if the Chiefs reach for a QB in the first round. If they don’t trade up to get Luck or Griffin (and the price would likely be way too high), they should grab the best offensive lineman available or perhaps Trent Richardson. Richardson and Charles in the same backfield would be a tremendously potent combination. Perhaps the OL could be adressed through free agency if they take the RB.

    Signing Bowe and Carr is absolutely needed. There are possible players available in rounds 2-4 who could fill needs at NT and ILB. If Jackson and Dorsey could begin to live up to expectations, and Berry and Siler return healthy, the Chiefs would suddenly have a top defense.

    I really wish that Cassel or Orton were the answer at QB, but either one tops out as a very average NFL QB. Unless Manning were somehow to land in KC, Pioli ought to consider keeping Orton and Cassel for one more year and hope for something at QB next year. Taking an expensive flyer on Matt Flynn could be a distrous mistake a la Frank Reich.

    I’m available to come in as GM if Hunt changes his mind on Pioli. I work cheap too!

  • January 19, 2012  - Johnfromwichita says:

    tx, I’ll do it for free. I don’t like Orton because of the interceptions, but Cassel took far too long to deliver last year. Even a good O-line would of had problems trying to protect him. I’m willing to go medicore at QB and stock up on running backs. God help us all.

  • January 19, 2012  - el cid says:

    With the Chiefs being designed to be a running team, add the refusal, so far, for a QB who can shoulder the lot and win a game on his skill only, you cannot have enough RBs. Charles got hurt, he will be fine but once injured, it happens more easily the next time. And Battle ain’t gonna do it, no matter what Pioli may say.

    Now if the Chiefs go a different direction than Cassel in 2012, forget the need at RB. The team will be rebuilding anyway, extra RBs will be the least of their worries.

    Stick with Cassel and you cannot have enough quality RBs.

  • January 19, 2012  - Michael says:

    One player already on the team I hope the Chiefs put some time into developing and getting playing time is WR Jeremy Horne. He played on the same college team as WR Victor Cruz of the Giants(Massachusetts), and they produced similar stats in their college years. Then, they were both signed as rookie free agents for the Chiefs and Giants. Horne is slightly taller, but just as fast.

  • January 20, 2012  - Blake says:

    I also like Horne, one guy that I thought might get brought back would be Verran Tucker, he played in to many games to get put on the practice squad so he has been a FA for the season. I kinda thought he might get resigned but he could have been a Haley guy and if that’s true then Romeo might not like him as much as Haley did.

  • January 20, 2012  - James says:

    I agree with Blake on DeCastro. Wouldn’t be a sexy pick but he comes in and starts from day one and should play for 10 years. Much cheaper than Grubbs or Nicks. As long as Cassel’s here we’ll be a run oriented team. GB’s Grant and Atlanta’s Snelling are RB’s that would complement Charles and not break Clark’s piggy bank. Fear Carr will walk, probably to Detroit. Anyway it’s a good time for me with the combine and free agency coming up.

  • January 20, 2012  - Michael says:

    James, I don’t think you can go wrong with DeCastro; he’s been called the next Steve Hutchison. So that gives you Albert, DeCastro, Hudson, Asamough and still have to fix right tackle. I’d be fine with Grant or Snelling at RB, but I’d be better with Mike Tolbet from the Chargers or even more so Peyton Hilis from the Browns. The Browns are not sure yet if they will try to retain Hillis. He was injured much of this year, but a healthy Hillis and Charles combo could be awesome. Even if one of these backs were signed, I’d still draft a guy with speed, just so you don’t lose that element if Charles goes down.

  • January 20, 2012  - Blake says:

    I’m not a huge Hillis fan, he is injury prone and fumbles and has only had one good season. Maybe for the right price but I would go in a different direction. I like Tolbert, he would give us a good power runner. I want us to draft a RB that is short but a tough power runner, kinda like a Ray Rice or Jones-Drew.

  • January 20, 2012  - Niblick says:

    We desperately need a young nose tackle. I’ve read that Still from Penn State and Pow from Mempjis are the two best. I think Pow is more of a reach and Still may be more pro ready. If Pow were to slip to the 2nd round, he may be a good pickup. I still think I would take an OT in round one, but some mock drafts have us taking Still. Like I posted earlier, if we don’t sign Carr, that may change our direction entirely. We might have to go corner in one or two, if there’s a good one still left on the board.

  • January 20, 2012  - Michael says:

    That one year was a helluva year for Hillis, though, with not the greatest supporting cast around him. I agree it would have to be at the right price, however. Worthy of Michigan St. is another NT to consider. I don’t know how far Poe could fall; NT’s are in high demand. The Chiefs better sign Carr. He’s a young solid corner on the rise. If it means signing Bowe first and franchising Carr, whatever it takes. Otherwise, you’re going backwards, and as you said, they’d have to get a corner high in the draft or sign a free agent. They should sign a free agent, anyway.

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