Logan Ryan makes it official, headed to NFL

Rutgers junior cornerback Logan Ryan made it official Monday, deciding to forego his final year of eligibility to enter the NFL draft.

Ryan is the fifth player since 2008 to leave Rutgers early to turn pro.

“Logan embodies everything we look for when recruiting a potential student-athlete,” Rutgers coach Kyle Flood said in a statement. “He is a smart, tough, disciplined player with a tremendous work ethic and talent. He has represented our program in first class fashion and we know he will continue to excel when playing on Sundays.”

Those who have left school early since 2008 have been quite successful at the next level. Ray Rice was a second round pick of the Baltimore Ravens in the 2008 NFL draft. Kenny Britt was a first round pick of the Tennessee Titans in 2009, while Anthony Davis was selected with the 11th overall pick in 2010 by the San Francisco 49ers.

Last year, Mohamed Sanu left early and became a third-round pick of the Cincinnati Bengals.

Ryan was an All-Big East selection the last two seasons. This year, he finished second on the team with 94 tackles, and is the only player in the nation with at least 90 tackles, four interceptions and 18 passes defended. Ryan currently ranks first in the conference and tied for eighth nationally in passes defended, averaging 1.5 per game.

ESPN NFL draft analyst Mel Kiper has Ryan rated one of the top junior cornerbacks available for the draft and is rated the No. 39 overall player. Given the way he has played, and all of his pro potential, this move does not come as much of a surprise. He is the highest rated of all the current Rutgers play on the roster, and clearly got a good enough grade from the NFL draft advisory board to come out.

His departure means Rutgers will have to replace seven starters off one of the best defenses in the Big East.