For the 2014 NFL Draft, a record of 98 underclassmen have declared for the draft(1).

What are the guidelines for declaring for the NFL Draft? The NBA has a "one year rule" in that players are eligible for the NBA draft one year after attending high school(2). Is there a similar rule for the NFL?

1 Answer 1


The NFL requires that three years pass between a player graduating from high school and declaring for the draft. While this can include a 'Redshirt' year in which a player does not play in competitive games but practices with a college team, so often players are draft eligible by their 'sophomore' year.

You can read up on the rules in full here, however the three year cutoff is a bit buried in the legalese. You'll find a much more succinct summary of the eligibility guidelines as actually applied, given the various ease of access to things like commisioners waivers on the relevant Wikipedia page.


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