NFL Draft analysts weigh in on Rutgers receiver Leonte Carroo's eligbility decision
PISCATAWAY — As November drags on, more and more draft-eligible juniors or redshirt sophomores will gauge their stock to see if early entry is a viable option.
Leonte Carroo, arguably Rutgers' top candidate, hasn't spoken publicly about leaving early for the NFL Draft, but two analysts are lukewarm about his prospects this year.
"I don’t know that he’s a guaranteed top 100 pick," said Rob Rang, senior NFL Draft analyst for CBS's nfldraftscout.com. "To me, the top 100 is where you’re looking at if you’re an underclassmen. To give up that security for a chance at the NFL, you’re going to have to be elite."
Carroo, a junior, has 41 receptions for 808 yards — a 19.7 yards-per-catch average — and six touchdowns this season. He says he will wait until after the season to make a decision.
"I'll talk to my family about it and see what can happen from there and just make my decision based off how my family feels and what I think is the best decision for me," Carroo said Monday. "
But another potentially deep draft class at receiver — Amari Cooper, Jaelen Strong, Devin Funchess and Dorial Green-Beckham could all leave early, too — could dissuade Carroo.
"If there are the same quality of underclassmen that come out, it’s going to be really strong," Rang said. "You’re going to have to work out really well or risk slipping down the field.”
Rang said a draft-eligible junior should heed the draft advisory committee's pre-draft evaluation — left guard Kaleb Johnson returned, partly, because of his grade — instead of listening to his agent or friends and family.
Still, Carroo possesses a lot of traits that are transferable to the NFL, which could make his decision more difficult, said Kyle Crabbs, director of scouting at NDT Scouting.
“I really like the way Carroo gets on top of defenders down field," said Crabbs, who watched Carroo in person at the Wisconsin game. "With the amount of big plays vertically he shows the ability to separate with ball in the air, and that helps with the trends nationally of downfield passing."
Crabbs said he would tentatively slate Carroo in the fourth or fifth round.
"It’s difficult to get a full picture of what he does," Crabbs said. "I like that he can work in middle of the field and vertically. I think Carroo’s still a little raw in some of his aspects, which might hurt."
More scout evaluations on Carroo
Rang: "A first-round receiver anymore generally has something about him that makes him … dynamic. I see a very good football player, but also one that does a lot of little things there. He’s got the agility, he’s a good route runner, like I said. There are some things I to see him improve on. He needs to get his head around quicker on early routes."
Crabbs: "I like the way he tracks the football in the air. He looks back and locates very well. He turns his shoulders to get square to the football. I really like his concentration, too. He makes some tough catches on balls that are challenging to receivers’ catch radius.”