2008 NFL Draft Good Decision: Oregon Safety Patrick Chung Turns Pro
Oregon safety Patrick Chung says he has filed paperwork to enter the 2008 NFL draft, although he hasn't hired an agent and might still change his mind and return to Oregon for his senior season.
Chung is an intriguing prospect for a few reasons. First and foremost, there's his age: He's only 20 years old (he turns 21 in August), but he's already spent four years at Oregon, including one redshirt season as a 17-year-old freshman. Chung, who was born in Jamaica, is a couple of months younger than Texans rookie Amobi Okoye and would be the youngest player in the NFL next year.
The other interesting question about Chung is how high a draft pick a team would spend on a guy who's a pure special teams player. Although Chung has started 38 games at safety in the last three years, and would presumably develop into a defensive starter, he would likely play mostly on special teams as a rookie. He has experience both in returning kicks and in covering kicks, and he would make an immediate impact there.
The bottom line, from this perspective, is that although Chung could probably move up a bit with a solid senior season, he's already most likely a first-day pick, and therefore he's making the right move by going pro.
UPDATE: So much for that. Chung has changed his mind and will return for his senior season.
See the full list of 2008 NFL draft early entries.