Record 56 leave college early for NFL draft - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Record 56 leave college early for NFL draft

NEW YORK (AP) - Cam Newton and Nick Fairley of national champion Auburn are among 56 non-seniors applying for April's NFL draft - a record total, but only three more players than left college early a year ago.

The uncertainty surrounding the league's labor situation does not appear to have had a significant effect on underclassmen opting to declare for the draft. The NFL released the names on Wednesday.

Newton, a quarterback, and Fairley, a defensive tackle, are joined by three other All-American juniors heading to the draft: Kentucky receiver-returner Randall Cobb, Clemson defensive end Da'Quan Bowers and LSU cornerback Patrick Peterson.

The draft is April 28-30, even if there is no new collective bargaining agreement to replace the one that expires in early March.

Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press.

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