Dabo Swinney isn’t sure DeAndre Hopkins made the right call when he announced Thursday that he’s leaving early for the NFL draft.
“I felt like he needed another year”, Swinney said. I felt like another year would be beneficial to him from an overall growth standpoint. That’s my opinion. I’ve said this before: unless you are a first rounder I just don’t think it’s worth giving up your senior year in college. That’s what my life experience tells me. I’ve been in college football for 24 years as a player and coach I just think you are always better off more times than not in another year of college maturing physically and mentally in every regard…unless you have a chance to be a first rounder.”
It was rather odd to hear Swinney compare Hopkins’ potential to earn seven figures next year in the NFL to his own decision to return to Alabama for a senior season as a reserve wide receiver (He started his career as a walk-on at Alabama). Dabo pointed out, a million dollars doesn’t go as far as it used to and that another year to develop mentally and physically would have been invaluable for Hopkins.
“I don’t think where it is today second round money or third round money, after you pay the government and agent and buy a car and a few clothes and give momma something…I don’t think that’s worth it. Now that’ s my opinion. I’ve been a senior and I wouldn’t take anything for the experience I had as a senior. I certainly wasn’t going to be a second round draft pick. I hope that Nuk can be. I hope that he can possibly move up, but I just don’t know.”
Swinney said his opinion is that Hopkins won’t be a first rounder. He said Hopkins received a second round grade, but his concern is that he could potentially drop. Even though Swinney doesn’t necessarily agree with Hopkins decision to turn pro now, Swinney is confident he will do well in the NFL.
“I know this, he’s going to be a great pro, Swinney said. “Whoever gets him, there’s no doubt about that. It’s not a matter of can he go play. I think he’s going to play at a high level. I think he’s going to be a great player. The challenge is you have to play four or five years. If you don’t go in at a high level you have to play four or five years to get to a second contract and the odds are way against you to do that.”
Take a listen to Swinney’s comments below: