Heisman Finalists translating to NFL Stars?

With the Heisman Award presentation taking place on saturday, the 2011 Heisman was awarded to Robert Griffin III from Baylor.  Of the five finalists there was zero who are seniors academically, which means all five finalists are eligible to return to school and play at least one more year.

We already know that Andrew Luck is prepared to enter the NFL draft and he is the consensus #1 pick believed by pretty much everyone.  And he is believed to be one of the best players out of college of all time.  So the chances that he can translate into an NFL superstar are pretty high.  But what about the rest of the candidates.

Heisman Winner: Robert Griffin III

Before this year Griffin was not really known by many of the NFL draft experts, but by the time he finishes his bowl game, he will most likely be the 3rd best quarterback prospect and most likely a 1st round pick since so many NFL teams are in need of a quarterback.  Griffin rocketed up draft boards for his athletic ability and also for his ability to throw the ball deep down the field.  The one question experts have is about his size, though he is listed at 6’2″ many experts believe his actually shorter than that.  Griffin also has one more year of eligibility if he decides to put off the NFL for one more season.

Trent Richardson

Richardson finished third in the Heisman voting and is considered the best running back prospect by many NFL draft experts, he is comparable to his former teammate Mark Ingram, who was the first running back drafted last year, but Richardson is bigger. Richardson is almost a sure lock to be the first running back drafted if he decides to enter the draft rather than stay at Alabama for one more year.

Montee Ball

Ball, a junior from Wisconsin, finished 4th in the voting although he led the country in rushing.  He will most likely break Barry Sanders record for touchdowns in one season during there bowl game because he is just 1 touchdown behind the record of 39.  The touchdowns along with the fact that Ball led the country in rush yards would make many think he should have finished higher in the voting.  The one reason many believe he did not deserve to finish higher is because he plays in the B1G, which did not have a team in the top 10 of the BCS. But if you look closer, Ball faced better defenses than the other running back finalist, Richardson.  Ball has one more year of eligibility and he will most likely go back to school because he has not been targeted as one of the top running backs by experts even though his stats are pretty incredible.

Tyrann Mathieu

Mathieu, a sophomore from LSU, was one of the most dynamic players in college football this year.  A cornerback and a punt returner, Mathieu had 4 touchdowns this season, two on returns and two on fumble recoveries.  He led the country in fumbles forced and many say he is just always around the ball and makes things happen.  Mathieu has been compared to his former teammate and first round pick Patrick Peterson because of there ball skills and return abilities.  Mathieu is ineligible to enter the draft this year, but next year he will surely be a hot commodity, with the only shots at him being his size, he is 5’9″, and his suspension for testing positive for marijuana.

Of all five who are the stars of the NFL in the future?

I would say Luck, Mathieu are the closest to locks, with Griffin and Richardson having a shot.  Ball has a chance but he is more of a wildcard.

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