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Undrafted Underclassmen from the 2018 NFL Draft

Don’t Be a Fool, Stay in School

NCAA Football: Georgia vs Florida
Former #1 prospect Trenton Thompson.
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

A record 106 underclassmen declared for early eligibility into the 2018 NFL Draft. Only 69 of them heard their names called. For most juniors or RS sophomores, it make total sense. But then there are the real head-scratchers.

Some of the time, it is troublemakers who bounce around from program to program. Some are those who don’t think they need no book-learnin’. Most often, it is guys getting bad advice from money hungry family/friends/hanger-ons/agents/social media or it is their own ego.

Not everyone is going to have a Tom Brady career. According to the NFL Players Association, the average career length is about 3.3 years. The NFL claims that the average career is about 6 years (for players who make a club’s opening day roster in their rookie season). Getting a degree should be a goal for every student-athlete.

There were 37 underclassmen who went unselected (35%). Some of the names you may recognize:

  • Trenton Thompson, DT, Georgia - First-ever former No. 1 recruit to go undrafted. Some reports say he had academic issues but he never fully developed like he should have logging 10 career starts, three in 2017.
  • Kamryn Pettway, RB, Auburn - Reportedly many NFL scouts saw “character flags” in the former Prattville High School star. He was oft-injured and did not make the Peach Bowl trip with Auburn. Read into that what you want.
  • Eddy Pineiro, K, Florida - You may recall Bama plucked this guy out of an obscure juco program and then he returned the favor by flipping to Florida.
  • Jeff Holland, LB, Auburn – Played the Buck LB which is a lot like the Jack LB who rushes the QB. Holland was not asked to drop back in coverage as a true linebacker and is perceived as not having the size, length, or speed to play edge rusher in the NFL.
  • Travonte Valentine, NT, LSU – Signed with LSU and was kicked off the team. Signed with Arizona Western, kicked off the team. Transferred to “Last Chance U” Mississippi Gulf Coast. Resigned with LSU and again, kicked off the team.
  • Toby Weathersby, T, LSU – Has had a few injuries and frankly is not NFL ready.
  • Kevin Toliver, DB, LSU – Talented, good size and speed. What went wrong? Reports out of the Combine said he came off as a bit entitled. This seems to be a trend for LSU players lately.
  • Josh Adams, RB, Notre Dame – Had some injuries but probably read too many press clippings about how wonderful he was.
  • Kyle Allen, QB, Houston – Remember this guy? He was a starter at TAMU but did not like competition and transferred to Houston. After sitting out a year, he started the first three games before seeing the bench due to “coach’s decision”. Is it any surprise he was not drafted? Allen had remaining college eligibility, but notified the league office that he fulfilled degree requirements and was eligible for selection.
  • Taylor Hearn, G, Clemson – Also had remaining college eligibility and notified the league office that he fulfilled degree requirements.
  • Matt Fleming, WR, Benedictine – WHO???
  • Jalen Wilkerson, DE, Florida State – Played in 16 career games with one start. What was he thinking?
  • Holton Hill, DB, Texas - off-field issues
  • Van Smith, DB, Clemson - 5’ 11” 186 lbs, 4.61 in the 40. That’s all you need to know.
  • Tarvarus McFadden, DB, Florida State – Looked like a second day pick but had poor showings at the Combine and refused to do some drills.
  • Dwayne Orso-Bacchus, T, Oklahoma – Key & Peele All-Star
  • Deontay Burnett, WR, USC – barely 6’0” plus injuries.
  • Du’Vonta Lampkin, DT, Oklahoma – Two career starts. Ego.
  • Olasunkanmi Adeniyi, DE, Toledo
  • Simmie Cobbs, WR, Indiana
  • Vosean Crumbie, DB, Nevada
  • J.J. Dallas, DB, Louisiana-Monroe
  • Nick Gates, T, Nebraska
  • Frank Ginda, LB, San Jose State
  • Quadree Henderson, WR, Pittsburgh
  • J.C. Jackson, DB, Maryland
  • Courtel Jenkins, DT, Miami
  • Chase Litton, QB, Marshall
  • Tavares Martin, WR, Washington State
  • Hercules Mata’afa, DE, Washington State
  • Quenton Meeks, DB, Stanford
  • Ryan Nall, RB, Oregon State
  • Austin Roberts, TE, UCLA
  • Korey Robertson, WR, Southern Miss
  • Maea Teuhema, T, Southeastern Louisiana
  • Chris Warren, RB, Texas
  • JoJo Wicker, DT, Arizona State
  • Eddy Wilson, DT, Purdue
  • Juante Baldwin, DB, Pittsburg State
  • Byron Pringle, WR, Kansas State


Should the NCAA allow underclassmen to return to college if they do not get drafted.

This poll is closed

  • 42%
    Uh, DUH! Yes!
    (236 votes)
  • 12%
    It depends (see my comments below).
    (68 votes)
  • 5%
    No, it would screw with spring football.
    (30 votes)
  • 39%
    No, they need to learn the harsh lessons of a cold-hearted world.
    (219 votes)
553 votes total Vote Now