Underclassmen Tracker: January 2nd

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Tony Pauline

Draft Analyst Writer

Only two weeks are left for underclassmen who wish to enter the 2017 draft to submit their paperwork to the league.  Here are a few short notes from what I’ve been told throughout the weekend.

I would expect Derek Barnett of Tennessee to officially declare for the draft in the coming days as the defensive end is near completion in his search for an agent.  The junior pass rusher, who broke Reggie White’s school record for career sacks, finished with 13 sacks and 19 tackles for loss in 2016.  Barnett presently grades as a second round pick on our board.

Tomorrow, January 3rd, could be the first of many announcements coming from underclassmen in the Washington Husky program on their intentions to enter the draft.  I would expect at least five underclassmen from Washington to announce in the next week they are going pro.

The word is Husky defensive lineman Vita Vea will stay in school for another year but I’ve been told people close to him are gathering information just in case.  The overriding opinion is Vea would be the first Husky selected in the draft if he enters the event.

I’m told Wyoming quarterback Josh Allen, a week twelve riser,  is considering entering the draft which would be a mistake in my opinion.  I firmly believe Allen has first round potential but needs more experience.  The fact he struggled late in the season does not help his draft stock.

During the week twelve Risers and Sliders article I listed Caleb Brantley as a prospect moving up boards. I’ve been told Brantley has met with agents but there’s no real feeling at this time if he’ll enter the draft.  Brantley does have size and scheme limitations, which reduces his attractiveness, and his draft stock may be at its peak.