The National Football League and the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) announced an agreement on Monday to make several changes to the predraft process for underclassmen.
The agreement will provide NFL scouting personnel with greater access to underclassmen, who decide to forgo their final year of college and apply for special eligibility for the NFL Draft.
The goal of these changes is to allow NFL scouts to obtain additional background information for a limited number of underclassmen that will help the NFL College Advisory Committee provide better assessments of a players’ draft potential.
These changes will go into effect starting in February of 2017.
Each FBS school can designate a maximum of five underclassmen who may apply for special eligibility for the 2018 Draft. These players will be permitted additional scouting including being timed, tested and interviewed prior to their 2017 college seasons.
FBS schools have the option to request more players to be reviewed for the upcoming draft, but it will be subject to the determination of the NFL.
“The more information our College Advisory Committee has, the better evaluations they can make for student-athletes who are at a critical juncture of their lives,” said NFL Executive Vice President of Football Operations Troy Vincent. “While there is no question that obtaining a college degree is a transformative experience for so many people in society and a goal to which we encourage everyone to aspire to, for those talented few individuals that have the ability to succeed in the NFL prior to exhausting their college football eligibility, this new agreement will ensure they have better information with which to make their decision. We appreciate the efforts of our partners at the AFCA in making this new agreement a reality.”
“On behalf of the AFCA, I would like to thank our committee of collegiate coaches and the NFL for working diligently over the last several months to assist our student-athletes,” said AFCA Executive Director Todd Berry. “This opportunity will allow our student-athletes to make better and more informed decisions. This continues to show the commitment and cooperation of both entities to solve issues relating to this major decision.”