A hot topic between now and mid-January: should the top juniors in college football declare for the 2010 NFL Draft? In recent weeks, Jimmy Clausen and Jake Locker have shown the two sides of this decision.
The Draft Lab's take on matters of this nature stems from something Bill James said in his "Baseball Abstract" books; he was asked quite frequently whether or not certain baseball stars near the end of their careers should hang it up or continue to play at a lesser level and possibly hurt their reputation in the process.
James' standard response to this was best summed up when he said, "It's my time and my talent and my life, and these are three of my most precious possessions. Why should I let [anyone] tell me what to do with them?" He didn't want someone making decisions of that nature for him or even trying to pressure him one way or the other, as he felt perfectly capable of making choices for himself. He also believed it wasn't fair to do it to anyone else and therefore would not weigh in on the matter
As such, when I evaluate juniors, I will not be suggesting whether they should stay in college or turn pro; they know their individual situation far better than I ever could.
What I can do is approach this from an NFL team perspective and indicate whether or not the metric and scouting research say that the player is NFL-ready at this time.
With that, let's talk about Anthony Davis, a junior offensive tackle on the Rutgers Scarlet Knights.