Alabama Crimson Tide linebacker Christian Harris (8) causes Georgia Bulldogs quarterback Stetson Bennett (13) to fumble and turn over the ball Monday, Jan. 10, 2022, during the College Football Playoff National Championship at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.

Alabama LB Christian Harris declares for NFL draft

Alabama linebacker Christian Harris declared for the 2022 NFL Draft on Monday.

The 6-foot-2, 232-pound junior had 79 tackles (12.5 for losses), 5.5 sacks, three pass breakups and two forced fumbles in 15 games this season for the Crimson Tide.

Harris delivered three sacks, four tackles for loss and a forced fumble in last week’s loss to Georgia in the national championship game.

“After carefully weighing my options with my family, I know I am ready to accomplish my next goal,” he posted Monday on Instagram.

Harris, a semifinalist for the Butkus and Lombardi awards, is rated as the No. 3 inside linebacker in the draft class by ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr.

Harris is one of eight Alabama players to declare for the upcoming draft. While he won’t return to the Crimson Tide’s defense, fellow linebacker Henry To’o To’o announced last week that he will.

–Field Level Media

Jan 10, 2022; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Georgia Bulldogs running back Zamir White (3) against the Alabama Crimson Tide in the 2022 CFP college football national championship game at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Georgia RB Zamir White declares for NFL Draft

Zamir White is leaving Athens, Ga. for the National Football League.

The Georgia junior running back announced Friday on his Instagram account that he is declaring for the upcoming NFL Draft, which will be held April 28-30.

“This season was an absolute thrill from start to finish and bringing a National Championship to Athens was the ultimate reward,” White wrote in a statement. “These are memories I will never forget and will surely last a lifetime. It’s what prepared me for this next step as I proudly announce my intention to declare for the 2022 NFL Draft!”

White is the second Georgia running back to declare for the draft. James Cook announced his decision Wednesday.

White was the leader in the backfield this season for the Bulldogs. He rushed for 856 yards and 11 touchdowns, averaging 5.4 yards per carry. He also caught nine passes for 75 yards.

In the national championship, White scored the first touchdown of the game on a 1-yard rush in the third quarter. White had 13 carries for 84 yards for the Bulldogs, who went on to a 33-18 win over Alabama.

White leaves Georgia having rushed for 2,043 yards and 25 touchdowns across three seasons.

With White and Cook departing, the Bulldogs likely will lean on Kenny McIntosh and Kendall Milton in the backfield next season. The duo combined for 592 yards and four touchdowns on the ground in 2021. McIntosh also had 242 receiving yards.

–Field Level Media

Dec 31, 2021; Arlington, Texas, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide offensive lineman Evan Neal (73) in action during the game against the Cincinnati Bearcats in the 2021 Cotton Bowl college football CFP national semifinal game at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Alabama’s Jameson Williams, Evan Neal, Phidarian Mathis enter draft

Three key players off Alabama’s College Football Playoff finalist team say they are entering the NFL draft.

Wide receiver Jameson Williams, offensive tackle Evan Neal and defensive lineman Phidarian Mathis all announced they won’t return to Tuscaloosa for the 2022 season.

Williams made his announcement Thursday at the end of a highlight-reel video he posted to his Instagram account.

“Bama fans, thank y’all for welcoming me and making Tuscaloosa home for me and my family,” he posted, in part. “With all that being said, I am starting the next chapter and taking my talents to the 2022 NFL Draft.”

Williams, a junior, had been viewed as a first-round pick before Monday’s national championship game, in which he sustained a knee injury. ESPN reported he tore the ACL in his left knee during the 33-18 Georgia victory.

The receiver played one season at Alabama after transferring from Ohio State. He led the Crimson Tide with 79 receptions for 1,572 yards, scoring 15 touchdowns and averaging 104.8 yards per game over 15 games.

Another junior, Neal also declared for the draft on Thursday after a big season that saw him earn All-America honors. ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr. lists the 360-pound left tackle as the top offensive tackle in the draft.

“It’s been a hell of a ride Bama nation! Now it’s on to the next chapter,” he posted to Twitter. “Roll tide forever!!”

Mathis announced Wednesday that he was giving up his final year of eligibility. The 6-foor-4 lineman had 53 tackles (12 for loss) nine sacks, six quarterback hits, two fumble recoveries and a forced fumble.

Kiper lists him as the No. 5 defensive tackle available.

–Field Level Media

Jan 9, 2022; Jacksonville, Florida, USA;  Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence (16) moves out to pass n the second half against the Indianapolis Colts at TIAA Bank Field. Mandatory Credit: Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports

Jaguars clinch No. 1 pick in 2022 NFL Draft

The Jacksonville Jaguars own the first overall pick in the NFL draft for the second year in a row.

The Jaguars wrapped up the 2021 season Sunday at 3-14, the worst record in the league, earning the No. 1 selection in 2022 after they chose Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence first overall last spring.

Jacksonville earned a surprising 26-11 home win over the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday. But the Jaguars’ sole competitors for the No. 1 pick, the Detroit Lions, also won in a 37-30 upset over the Green Bay Packers. That moved the Lions to 3-13-1 on the year and locked them into the No. 2 pick.

The Jaguars saw out a tumultuous season that included the firing of coach Urban Meyer after just 13 games following several embarrassing episodes and an accusation of kicking former player Josh Lambo.

The first 18 picks of the draft will be settled by the end of Sunday night’s game between the Las Vegas Raiders and Los Angeles Chargers. The order of the non-playoff-bound teams will be determined by then, while the order of the 14 playoff teams will be sorted out based on how far they make it into the postseason.

–Field Level Media

Sep 18, 2021; Baton Rouge, LA, USA; LSU Tigers cornerback Derek Stingley Jr. (7) reacts after making a tackle against the Central Michigan Chippewas at Tiger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Scott Clause/The Advertiser via USA TODAY NETWORK

LSU cornerback Derek Stingley Jr. declares for NFL draft

Highly coveted LSU cornerback Derek Stingley Jr. declared for the NFL draft on Thursday.

Stingley, a consensus All-American in 2019 when the Tigers won the national championship, announced his decision through The Players’ Tribune.

“Becoming a national champion and being a part of the real DBU,” Stingley wrote, citing his school’s penchant for producing NFL-caliber defensive backs. “Those experiences will last me a lifetime, and I’m proud to say I contributed to that. I’ll always rep LSU and the brotherhood forever.

“Right now I know that I am ready to lock in and focus on what’s next. I wanted you to hear it from me first that I’ll be declaring for the 2022 NFL draft.”

Stingley is considered the top cornerback in the draft with some prognosticators forecasting he will be one of the top five selections.

His 2021 season was short, ending after three games due to a left foot injury that required season-ending surgery.

All six of Stingley’s interceptions at LSU came in 2019. He had 73 tackles and two forced fumbles in 25 career games (24 starts).

Stingley is the grandson of the late Darryl Stingley, a former New England Patriots receiver who was paralyzed by a hit from Oakland Raiders safety Jack Tatum in a 1978 preseason game.

–Field Level Media

Feb 26, 2020; Indianapolis, Indiana, USA; General view of snow outside of the Indiana Convention Center during the NFL Scouting Combine. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

NFL: Teams can lose draft picks for disrespecting prospects

NFL teams could lose draft picks and face fines if they treat draft prospects unprofessionally, according to a memo obtained by The Associated Press on Wednesday.

The league warned that a team would forfeit a draft pick between the first and fourth rounds and be fined at least $150,000 if a club representative exhibits “disrespectful, inappropriate, or unprofessional” conduct in interviews.

“We aim for dignity, respect and professionalism,” NFL executive vice president of football operations Troy Vincent told the AP.

Draft prospects are encouraged to report any offensive conduct without fear of retaliation.

In 2010, the Miami Dolphins apologized to wide receiver Dez Bryant for asking if his mother was a prostitute. In 2016, the Atlanta Falcons apologized to cornerback Eli Apple after he was questioned about his sexual preference.

“All clubs should ensure that prospective draft picks are afforded a respectful and professional NFL environment — one that is consistent with state and federal law and our shared commitment to respect, diversity and inclusion,” the memo states. “The same is true of free agents whom your club may consider signing. It is also important for your club to reinforce to prospective players the value your club places on character and the standards of conduct expected of everyone associated with the NFL.”

According to the memo, the NFL also is eliminating the controversial Wonderlic test and revising some drills for the annual scouting combine to better simulate game situations. For example, wide receivers and tight ends will run crossing routes instead of wheel routes, while running backs will run option routes instead of corner and post patterns.

The combine is scheduled for March 1-7 in Indianapolis. The 2022 NFL Draft is April 28-30 in Las Vegas.

–Field Level Media

Dec 4, 2021; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Michigan Wolverines linebacker David Ojabo (55) against the Iowa Hawkeyes in the Big Ten Conference championship game at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Michigan LB David Ojabo declares for NFL draft

Michigan linebacker David Ojabo declared for the 2022 NFL Draft on Tuesday after a breakout season.

The 6-foot-5, 250-pound junior registered 11 sacks and five forced fumbles this season as the Wolverines advanced to the College Football Playoff.

“Coach (Jim) Harbaugh took a chance on a kid who had only played the sport for a year. I am eternally grateful for that opportunity,” Ojabo posted on Twitter. “Thank you to the Michigan coaches and staff for accepting me with open arms. Thank you to my brothers on the team who made me feel at home every day; was a pleasure working with you guys.”

Born in Aberdeen, Scotland, Ojabo didn’t start playing football until his junior year of high school after moving to the United States.

He did not appear in any games for Michigan as a freshman in 2019 and registered just one tackle in six games in 2020.

ESPN draft analyst Mel Kiper Jr. has Ojabo ranked as the No. 1 outside linebacker and the No. 9 prospect overall in the 2022 draft class.

–Field Level Media

Mississippi State wide receiver Makai Polk (10) receives a pass for a touchdown past Vanderbilt cornerback Allan George (28) during the second quarter at Vanderbilt Stadium in Nashville, Tenn., Saturday, Oct. 23, 2021.

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Mississippi State WR Makai Polk declares for NFL draft

Mississippi State receiver Makai Polk announced Sunday that he is declaring for the NFL draft.

Polk established single-season records of 105 receptions and 1,046 receiving yards for the Bulldogs. He also caught nine touchdown passes.

The transfer from Cal thrived in the offense ran by coach Mike Leach and the tutelage of receivers coach Steve Spurrier Jr.

“I am so thankful and appreciative for Coach Steve Spurrier and Coach Mike Leach for giving me the opportunity to play in the SEC with Mississippi State University,” Polk wrote in his announcement on Twitter. “Also a big shout out to my teammates as I have decided to declare for the 2022 NFL Draft and pursue my next goal and dream of playing at the professional level in the National Football League.”

Polk had just 36 catches for 478 yards and three scores in 12 games over two seasons at Cal.

–Field Level Media

Oregon's Verone McKinley III comes up with an interception at the goal line against Stony Brook during the second quarter.

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Oregon All-American S Verone McKinley III enters NFL draft

Oregon Ducks consensus All-American safety Verone McKinley III announced Sunday that he is entering the NFL draft.

McKinley tied for the national lead with six interceptions this season. He also had 77 tackles, six for loss. In four seasons, he had 11 interceptions in 38 games with Oregon.

“Once a Duck, always a Duck!” McKinley said in his announcement on Twitter. “I’m excited about the future and what lies ahead. So, after much thought, prayer, family discussion and preparation, I have decided to forego my remaining years of eligibility and pursue my lifelong dream by declaring myself eligible for the 2022 NFL Draft.”

McKinley, out of Hebron High in Carrollton, Texas, becomes the fourth Oregon player to announce that he’s leaving early for the NFL draft since coach Mario Cristobal left for Miami and a 10-year, $80-million contract on Dec. 6.

He joins defensive end Kayvon Thibodeaux, cornerback Mykael Wright and wide receiver Devon Williams in leaving with college eligibility remaining. McKinley was the only one of the four to play with the Ducks in the Alamo Bowl, a 47-32 loss to Oklahoma.

McKinley was named a first-team All-American by five organizations and a second-team choice by two others. He was first-team All-Pac-12 and was a finalist for the Jim Thorpe Award, which was won by Cincinnati’s Coby Bryant.

–Field Level Media

Nov 6, 2021; Tuscaloosa, Alabama, USA; LSU Tigers running back Tyrion Davis-Price (3) is tackled for a loss by Alabama Crimson Tide linebacker Christian Harris (8) during the second half at Bryant-Denny Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Butch Dill-USA TODAY Sports

LSU star RB Tyrion Davis-Price declares for NFL draft

LSU star running back Tyrion Davis-Price opted out of the Texas Bowl and declared for the NFL draft on Friday.

Davis-Price set an LSU single-game record with 287 rushing yards in a 49-42 win over Florida on Oct. 16. He completed the season with 1,003 rushing yards and six touchdowns.

“I would like to thank everyone that has been a part of my amazing journey,” Davis-Price said in his announcement. “I’m grateful for every minute of it, the good and bad; for these life experiences help mold and prepare me for what’s to come next in my future.

“After prayerful consideration, my family and I decided that it is best for me to forego the bowl game and my senior year at LSU. I’m excited to embark on a new chapter in my life. I will be entering the 2022 NFL Draft.”

Davis-Price rushed for 1,744 yards and 15 touchdowns and caught 28 passes for 185 in 35 career games over three seasons for the Tigers.

LSU (6-6) plays Kansas State (7-5) at the Texas Bowl on Tuesday in Houston.

Davis-Price is the third member of the Tigers to opt out and declare for the draft. Linebacker Damone Clark and defensive tackle Neil Farrell Jr. are the others.

–Field Level Media