Five Mizzou juniors likely to play out college careers

Updated: December 29, 2007, 8:26 PM ET
Associated Press

DALLAS -- Chase Daniel and the four other Missouri juniors who submitted their names to the NFL draft advisory board requesting feedback on their projection for the April draft are all likely to finish their college careers.

Daniel, the Heisman Trophy finalist, said he wouldn't be surprised if evaluators rated him a fifth or sixth-round pick.

"I still have a lot of work to do," Daniel said. "It wasn't a big deal and it got blown up more than it should have."

Other Missouri players who have submitted their names are tight end Chase Coffman, safety William Moore, defensive tackle Ziggy Hood and defensive Stryker Sulak. Sulak also said it was no big deal, just a quick form to fill in after a strong junior season.

"It's no harm, so you might as well do it," Sulak said. "It took two minutes."

Hood wanted an outside assessment while he still has a chance to do something about it.

"It was about if I did leave, which I knew I wasn't, where would I go?" Hood said. "This will give me a jump start for what I have to do, but I know I'll be back."

One reason Daniel wasn't that optimistic was tight end Martin Rucker's experience last year, when he was projected as a second-day draft pick. This year Rucker is an All-American and one of the top tight end prospects in the country.

"I was offended more than him," Daniel said. "How can he not be a first- or second-round pick?"

For coach Gary Pinkel, it's just nice for the school to have this sort of attention. Missouri (11-2) won the Big 12 North and is tied for the school record for victories heading into the Cotton Bowl against Arkansas (8-4) on Tuesday.

"I think it's flattering for our program, the more players that apply for their status," Pinkel said. "It's about time we have quite a few players that did that.

"We'll let that run its course and see what happens."

Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press