Alabama trio to finalize jump to NFL

The feeling in and around the Alabama football program coming out of its 42-14 win over Notre Dame in the Discover BCS National Championship was that offensive tackle D.J. Fluker, running back Eddie Lacy and cornerback Dee Milliner had all played their final games for the Crimson Tide and would declare early for the NFL draft.

The school has called a news conference for Friday at noon ET, and all three are expected to make it official and announce that they're headed to the NFL. The deadline for underclassmen to declare is Tuesday.

Milliner is expected to be the top cornerback taken in the draft. He's No. 10 overall on ESPN analyst Mel Kiper's latest Big Board of the top 25 draft prospects. Kiper has Lacy rated as the No. 2 junior running back in the draft, while Fluker is rated as the No. 3 junior offensive tackle in the draft.

On Thursday, two of the SEC's top offensive linemen announced that they were returning to school for their senior seasons. Texas A&M tackle Jake Matthews and Mississippi State guard Gabe Jackson both said that they would be back.

Counting the three Alabama juniors, that's 32 SEC underclassmen making the jump this year. Six of those underclassmen are ranked among the top 10 prospects on Kiper's latest Big Board:

1. Georgia OLB Jarvis Jones

2. Texas A&M DE Damontre Moore

3. Texas A&M OT Luke Joeckel

7. Georgia LB Alec Ogletree

8. LSU DE Barkevious Mingo

10. Alabama CB Dee Milliner.

Below is an updated team-by-team list of the SEC underclassmen leaving early for the NFL draft:


  • OT D.J. Fluker

  • RB Eddie Lacy

  • CB Dee Milliner