Nick Saban wants pre-draft feedback timing for underclassmen to be later

HOOVER, Ala. -- Alabama coach Nick Saban said he isn't in favor of the current timetable in which underclassmen receive feedback from the NFL regarding their projected draft standing, calling it a distraction from bowl-game preparation. Rather, he'd like to see that process take place after each player's final game.

"You're talking about a young person who has to deal with a lot now," Saban said at SEC media days in Hoover, Alabama, on Wednesday. "We had six guys in this situation last year and 11 the year before. So we're trying to get ready for a game, and then all of the sudden a guy finds out he's a first-round draft pick or a guy that thought he was a first-round draft pick isn't a first-round pick, and we're trying to get ready to play a playoff game.

"I think that it would be better not to submit that information to a player until he was finished competing in college. We've moved the draft back [from April to May]. We have not moved the date that a player has to declare back."

The pushback from coaches around college football, Saban said, is that it would affect teams' recruiting, as they would be unsure about which players were planning on entering the draft, creating holes on their rosters.

Currently, the MLB draft occurs during the College World Series. Recently the NCAA proposed a rule to allow early NBA draft entrants back in school.

"Last year our team chemistry from the SEC championship game to the playoff game was affected by something," Saban said, harking back to Alabama's loss to Ohio State. "I think that to have a December 15 deadline from when a junior can submit for a draft grade and then you get that assessment back in the sometime right before or right after Christmas and then you have a playoff game coming up on January 1 or 2, I think it's my obligation as a coach to inform that young man when he gets that information because it's his information, not mine."

Seventy-four underclassmen declared for the 2015 draft, 24 fewer players than were granted special eligibility into the draft in 2014. It was the first time since 2009 that the number of early-entry players dropped from the previous year.

Information from The Associated Press contributed to this report.