Alabama coach Nick Saban said players eligible for the NFL draft, who express interest, go through an evaluation process. Saban said his staff collects information from as many as half the NFL teams to determine where they might select Alabama's players, or what teams might have interest.
"Based on that information we've done a pretty good job of getting that because every guy that has gone out the last couple of years has been a first-round draft pick," Saban said. "That's the information that we have. The guys that chose to stay in school were probably second- or third-round draft picks based on the evaluations we got from these teams."
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Read more.Saban said the decision-making process for Fluker was no different than for any other underclassmen considering the draft. If they were first-round material, leaving school was the right choice.
If not, another year of development couldn't hurt.
"Based on the information we had, D.J. made a very mature decision about his readiness and the business part of what he should do relative to his development," Saban said.
Bottom line: Few coaching staffs do a better job of advising players when it's in their interest to leave the program early and enter the NFL draft. This is one of the reasons why Alabama continues to recruit so well--prospects with legitimate NFL potential know they'll get the best development and the best advice.