NFL Draft

Why Would Top NFL Draft Prospects Play In 2020?

Caleb Farley Virginia Tech
Virginia Tech cornerback Caleb Farley is a playmaker who recently opted out of the 2020 NCAA season. He has now been joined by 7 others. Can you blame them?

Sports activities are slowly returning after almost five months of inactivity. However, since the coronavirus pandemic is not under control yet, athletes taking part in all sports expose themselves to a higher risk of being infected by the virus. On the other hand, bettors on Rivers Sportsbook are having a great opportunity for relishing the return of sports as they get the opportunity to stake on their preferred teams and sports. For college football players, the risk significantly outweighs the reward in 2020.

At the professional level, millions of dollars are at stake, and the restart plans are more realistic, but players are still opting out of the 2020 season. So, why would top NFL Draft prospects play in 2020? Why would these athletes at college level risk being infected, and they don’t receive a single dollar of the millions of dollars to bring to their colleges and the NCAA?

As the college football season approaches, already one top-tier prospect in the 2021 NFL Draft has pulled out. Caleb Farley, Virginia Tech cornerback, revealed that he would pass over playing for the Hokies in the college football season this fall to turn his attention on turning pro. 

Farley is the first distinguished player to pull out. He will most likely be taken in during the first round in April next year. More players could follow suit, and it would make sense if they did. It would make sense for prospects at universities who have a chance of winning the championship to try to finish their career at the college level by winning everything. But, for a player like Farley, who has already developed a robust resume that NFL teams could assess, he wouldn’t gain much.

Often, it is not preferable for a draft-eligible prospect that is a preseason favorite to move higher in the draft to continue playing in college. 

The new regulations for the restart also seem extreme for the players. The COVID-19 helmets could also negatively affect players on the field. After evaluating the new design helmets, several LSU players recorded themselves, saying that it would be difficult to breathe with the helmets on. 

Reports suggest that a good number of college football players are expected to pull out. Many college athletes would want to leave the amateur level as soon as possible because of the injury risks presented by the game. However, in 2020 there seems to be an even higher risk that makes it unreasonable to continue playing, especially without any financial gain. 

Like Farley, more players are expected to make a similar decision and pull out of the 2020 college football season. They’ll instead focus on early-round picks in 2021. Players that already have a good resume will not have a hard time moving to the next level.

Some of the top prospects for 2021 include Chase Young, Joe Burrow, Jeffrey Okudah, and Isaiah Simmons, among others. As the whole world tries to navigate the pandemic, these prospects need to evaluate their situation to decide the best possible path for their careers.

Damond Talbot

NFL Draft Diamonds was created to assist the underdogs playing the sport. We call them diamonds in the rough. My name is Damond Talbot, I have worked extremely hard to help hundreds of small school players over the past several years, and will continue my mission. We have several contributors on this site, and if they contribute their name and contact will be in the piece above. You can email me at

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