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Archive for Wednesday, December 19, 2007

NFL inquiries don’t worry Mizzou

December 19, 2007

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— Missouri coach Gary Pinkel doesn't mind his underclassmen seeking information about their NFL potential. In fact, he encourages it.

Five juniors have submitted their names to the NFL draft advisory board to request feedback on their projection for next April's draft, including quarterback and Heisman Trophy finalist Chase Daniel.

"I think it's a plus for our program and a statement for our program," Pinkel said after seventh-ranked Missouri practiced Tuesday in preparation for the Jan. 1 Cotton Bowl against No. 25 Arkansas.

"I hope we have five to 10 every year. That's what you want. We're on the same team here. As we mentioned to our team in a meeting yesterday and told all the players in general, looking at that opportunity has nothing to do with loyalty toward Missouri.

"Be thankful and proud that you worked that hard to be in that position."

Daniel, tight end Chase Coffman, safety William Moore, defensive tackle Ziggy Hood and defensive end Stryker Sulak have requested draft projections from the NFL advisory board.

They are among several juniors from around the Big 12 who have reportedly done the same, including Kansas offensive tackle Anthony Collins and cornerback Aqib Talib.

After the players' names are submitted, the board evaluates their stock for April's seven-round draft to give the players an indication whether it's worthwhile to forego college eligibility and enter the draft pool.

Last year, Missouri tight end Martin Rucker and wide receiver Will Franklin requested draft evaluations from the board. Rucker said he was projected as a fifth-round selection, prompting his return to Missouri as well as Franklin's.

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