The deadline for underclassmen to declare themselves for the 2022 NFL Draft passed Monday, but not until more than 120 star players chose to advance to the next phase of their careers. The final list of early entrants will be released in the coming days - and some key contributors will return for another year - but nine of the top 10 players on the CBS Sports Prospect Rankings are underclassmen who declared. Their losses will be felt across college football when teams try to replace them.
Consistent NFL producers like Alabama and Georgia are built to handle such attrition. For other programs, significant losses can be devastating.
Here are 10 programs that were hardest hit by early registrations for the 2022 NFL Draft, including a handful of new-age forces facing their first major list test.
Aggies lose Kenyon Green and DeMarvin Leal, the first pair of consensus all-Americans at Texas A&M since 2013. In addition, tight-end Jalen Wydermyer and running back Isaiah Spiller were consistent All-SEC performers. The Aggies have players in the pipeline, but coach Jimbo Fisher's first wave of stars is cycling out of the program.
The Wolverines will start from scratch in the defense after losing important contributors to the NFL. Chris Hinton and David Ojabo joined senior Aidan Hutchinson as defensive linemen on their way to the next level, while safety Daxton Hill leaves a hole in the back. New defensive line coach Mike Elston has worked on himself to find players who will fill those gaps up front. The crime will have to be escalated in 2022 in both ways.
The Aztecs got the first season with 12 wins in program history behind a three-pronged approach: defense, field position and driving the ball. San Diego State loses leaders in all three approaches after star-pass rusher Cameron Thomas (20.5 tackles for loss, 10.5 sacks), Ray Guy Award winner Matt Araiza (51.2 yards per point) and offensive guard William Dunkle ( highest race blocking degree in PFF history) declared for the draft.
4. Georgia Bulldogs
Most national championship teams end up on lists like this, and the Bulldogs are no different. Linebacker Nakobe Dean, defensive end Travon Walker and defensive back Lewis Cine are joining a wave of talented seniors taking their talents to the draft. Offensively, leading rusher Zamir White and wide receiver George Pickens go to the league. Dawgs will look very different in 2022.
The ducks have been stacking elite recruiting classes over the past four years, and the first wave of departures has begun to hit. Defensive Kayvon Thibodeaux will compete to become No. 1 overall. Defensive star players Verone McKinley III and Mykael Wright played a major role in Oregon's defensive development. Offensively, the Ducks lose top receiver Devon Williams. Dan Lanning's new staff must quickly find some answers before Oregon plays Georgia next season.
Starting quarterback Matt Corral is on his way to the NFL after playing his way into the Heisman Trophy conversation. Star runners Snoop Conner and Jerrion Ealy joined him to declare early. These three players alone were responsible for 5,378 yards - more than 80% of the Rebels' total offensive production.
Boilermakers lost two players to early access. Unfortunately, they are the best players on either side of the ball. Wide receiver David Bell was arguably the best in college football last season, while defensive George Karlaftis made himself noticed in outraged victories. Both will compete for starting spots in the NFL right away.
8. Alabama Crimson Tide
As the nation's leading producer of professional talent, Crimson Tide is hit every year, and 2022 is no exception. Top receivers Jameson Williams and John Metchie III declared the draft, along with Evan Neal, who is generally regarded as the top offensive lineman in the draft and a handful of defenders. The only thing that keeps Tide lower on the list is that Alabama also unexpectedly benefited from having safety Jordan Battle and linebacker Henry To'o To'o back for another year.
Security Kyle Hamilton was a superstar from the moment he entered campus. The only thing that made his loss a little more manageable was that Fighting Irish were to play the second half of the 2021 season without him. Leading rushing Kyren Williams and receiver Kevin Austin Jr. also joined senior quarterback Jack Coan in the draft, meaning offensive coordinator Tommy Rees will virtually start from scratch in 2022.
Wide receiver Drake London was the best wide receiver in college football - long - before he suffered an ankle fracture that ended the season. New coach Lincoln Riley has been working to replace London. Defensively, both starting corners Chris Steele and Isaac Taylor-Stuart are gone, along with top-pass rusher Drake Jackson.
Honorable Mentions: Western Michigan, Cincinnati, Iowa