Consider Florida State wide receiver Travis Rudolph an example of an early-entry mistake.
Of the 253 selections in the recent 2017 NFL draft, 32 were wide receivers, but none were named Travis Rudolph.
Rudolph (6 feet, 190 pounds), the No. 6 wide receiver and No. 43 player overall in the 2014 recruiting class according to 247Sports, had a fairly productive Seminoles career by totaling 153 receptions for 2,311 yards and 18 touchdowns over his three years in Tallahassee.
Still, his decision to declare for the draft after his junior year left a lot of people puzzled.
Rudolph was never the biggest, fastest or most-dynamic receiver for the Seminoles, which is why many figured another year of development would certainly benefit him. You have to wonder what exactly swayed him to leave without a huge consensus of being a draft pick.
It’s hard to believe that coach Jimbo Fisher, or anyone for that matter, would have urged Rudolph to leave.
Rudolph isn’t the only Seminole to fall victim to this mistake, as another player finds himself in similar waters. Offensive lineman Roderick Johnson (6-7, 311) is a mountain of a man and his size alone gave him more reason than Rudolph to declare early.
Johnson was selected in the fifth round by the Cleveland Browns, but he also could have greatly benefited from another solid collegiate season.
Now, size for an offensive lineman is half the battle, and was surely a factor in Johnson’s selection. If Rudolph was 6-foot-4, then sure, he would have been drafted, although it’s still less of an influence on his particular position.
To simplify things, teams just didn’t see enough on the field for Rudolph to select him as draftee. While Florida State fans will certainly bid him good luck, Rudolph’s future in the NFL looks bleak.
(You can follow Jordan Spina on Twitter @jspina904)
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