The NFL released the full list of players to receive special exemption into the 2011 NFL Draft on Wednesday. In layman’s terms, these are the players choosing to forgo college eligibility while meeting the requirements for entry into the NFL Draft. Players must have exhausted three years of eligibility at the college level while also declaring for the draft, signing a statement renouncing the remainder of their college eligibility.
Here’s a few players of local interest.
Akeem Ayers, linebacker from UCLA
Lawrence Guy, defensive tackle from Arizona State
Thomas Keiser, linebacker from Stanford
Javes Lewis, linebacker from Oregon
Rahim Moore, defensive back from UCLA
Jacquizz Rodgers, running back from Oregon State
Tyron Smith, tackle from USC
Shane Vereen, running back from Cal
Taiwan Jones also declared, though he was not on the early entry list. Washington and Washington State made it through unscathed, with only Chris Polk taking a serious look at the draft.
In total, 56 players declared early, besting 2009’s mark by three. Over the last decade, the number of early entrants has jumped, almost tripling in size. For the full list, check out SB Nation’s StoryStream.