Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh proposed an idea for NFL Draft requirements in an open letter to the “football community” on Thursday. He believes that college football players should be able to declare for the draft “after any season he chooses.”
Harbaugh wrote in the letter that any player who is selected within the first 224 picks or signs a free-agent contract would sacrifice any remaining college eligibility, and those players who go undrafted would be allowed to return to their respective schools.
The way the system is currently structured, players need to be three years removed from high school before they can declare for the NFL Draft. Harbaugh, who spent five years as a quarterback at Michigan, ended up as a decent player at the next level, but he believes his path to a professional career shouldn’t be the only way.
"While that was great for me and can be for many current football athletes, it may not be best for all,” Harbaugh wrote. “There are 'early bloomers,' capable of competing in the NFL and earning a livelihood at an earlier age. The goal would be to create a scenario that makes adjustments for all current and future student-athletes that puts the timeline for transition to professional football at their discretion and that of their family. I propose an option that allows them to make the decision that is best for them."