Draft Notes: Hunter, Darby, Hackett, Harper

A report last month suggested that LSU defensive end Danielle Hunter was leaning toward playing college ball for one more season, but Hunter announced today that he’ll turn pro after all.

“After fully considering all aspects related to mine and my family’s future, I have decided to declare for the NFL draft,” Hunter wrote in a statement on Twitter. “Coming to LSU was the best decision of my life so far. It has been an incredible experience and I thank you all for the opportunity and the great support.”

Hunter appears likely to come off the board on the second day of the draft this spring. He doesn’t currently place among Mel Kiper’s top 10 defensive end prospects, but Matt Miller of Bleacher Report has him ninth at the position, while CBSSports.com ranks him fifth among DEs.

Here are a few more updates on NCAA underclassmen who will be entering the 2015 draft:

  • According to Rand Getlin of Yahoo! Sports (via Twitter), cornerback Ronald Darby is leaving Florida State a year early and declaring for the 2015 draft. CBSSports.com projects Darby as a fourth-rounder, and he falls outside of Kiper’s top 10 cornerbacks, but Miller is bullish on the FSU product, giving him a second-round grade and tweeting that he has “big room to rise,” given his speed and instincts.
  • TCU junior safety Chris Hackett will forgo his final year of college eligibility and enter the 2015 draft, tweets Travis L. Brown of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. Hackett doesn’t project as a top pick, but Tony Pauline of DraftInsider.net wrote earlier in the season that scouts were “raving” about the safety’s play.
  • Cal wideout Chris Harper announced this week that he’ll forgo his final college season and enter the draft, according to a press release from the school. Harper racked up 159 receptions, 1,969 receiving yards, and 14 touchdown grabs during his three years with the team.
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