Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Decision Time: WR Brandon LaFell, LSU

LSU wide out Brandon LaFell has pulled out of the 2009 NFL Draft and will instead return to LSU for his senior season. All underclassman who declared and did not sign with an agent had 72 hours following the Thursday deadline to declare. He has 118 career receptions for 1,725 yards and 18 touchdowns, including 63 receptions for 929 yards and a SEC-leading eight touchdowns this past season. “We are extremely excited to have Brandon returning to the LSU football team for his senior season,” head coach Les Miles said on Sunday. “We were going to support him no matter what decision he made. We tried to give Brandon as much information as we could to help him with this decision, but ultimately it was a decision that Brandon and his family had to make. The news of Brandon coming back to school is big for our football team. His contributions to our football program have been very significant and I’m glad we are going to get another year with him.”

Mancini's Take: It sounds as though LaFell wanted to get a feel of where he was going to be drafted more than anything. What really baffles me here is that the LSU standout was ranked fifth among receivers entering the draft by a number of different services, making him second-round pick at worst. I think that LaFell can be faster version of Dwayne Bowe right now. Maybe LaFell thinks he can do better than that. This is a big roll of the dice, but one that can come up snake eyes.

Mandel's Take: Yeah, Rev--his hands were a problem this season, and might be why he--ahem--LaFell down the draft boards. He was wise to avoid hiring an agent and with his speed and size, all he needs to do is show the NFL scouts that his drops are a thing of the past. If he does so, he'll be a late first round pick after 2009.

Photo Credit: SEC Sports Media