Everybody can appreciate a nice fair evaluation of their performance. Well, maybe not everybody. Maybe not Mike Gundy. Gah, it never gets old.
Anyway, there are a few junior Gamecocks who are looking for guidance from NFL scouts this winter. And that's all they're doing. Period.
Clifton Geathers, Chris Culliver, Wesley Saunders, and Ladi Ajiboye have made it official that they want to be evaluated as NFL draft prospects. You may remember that last year guys like Captain Munnerlyn did the same thing, said they were just testing the waters and would come back, then changed their minds and bolted for the NFL. (Or, in the case of Emmanuel Cook, the Jet's practice squad.)
Hopefully this group of underclassmen have learned their lesson from those who went before them, and the one who stayed- Eric Norwood. Norwood scared the crap out of me at a gas station a year ago when he told me he was going to turn pro. I didn't really know what to say, since you don't tell a guy like that he's making the wrong decision, so I just went with "Wow. Good luck!" Wood's return, however, has proven to be the right move: playing an extra season of college football has earned him a surefire 1st or 2nd round pick, and therefore several million more dollars than he would have made leaving as a Junior to be taken in the 4th or 5th round. It's all about the money.
Besides, none of these juniors are ready for the NFL like Jared Cook probably was last year. Geathers has just about every measureable feature that NFL scouts look for in a D lineman, but has had legal issues, and lacks the production to go with his size. Ajiboye is good but lacks size, Saunders has been injured and isn't a terrific blocker, and Culliver drops interceptions on the regular. These guy will all be served well by staying, because I'm really not sure any of them would be taken higher than the 6th round, if at all.