Ole Miss wide receiver Donte Moncrief is going to have a difficult decision at the end of the Rebels’ season which will include a second straight bowl game. But for Moncrief that may be his last game with Ole Miss.
Moncrief has the look of a potential first round pick in most NFL drafts when you see the 6-foot-3, 226-pound receiver operating in Hugh Freeze’s offense the last two seasons, but I’d recommend he stay in school.
Related: Donte Moncrief NFL Draft Profile
The draft-eligible wide receivers in this year’s class will make it awfully difficult for Moncrief to crack the first round. These guys include Marqise Lee, Sammy Watkins, Mike Evans, Jordan Matthews, Paul Richardson, Odell Beckham, Jr and Jarvis Landry.
Moncrief will have to ask himself if he is comfortable being a mid-second rounder now or return to Oxford for a season that could be pretty special and be a candidate to be the first receiver taken in 2015. He could work himself into the late first round mix if he runs the 40 in 4.4 and blows scouts away, but he’s putting the onus on his head coach Hugh Freeze.
“It’s just whatever coach Freeze thinks is best, I could come back or leave. Whatever he says, I’m going to go with it,” Moncrief tells Parrish Alford of the Daily Journal.
The native of Raleigh, Miss. has 41 receptions for yards 647 and five touchdowns on the season for the 6-3 Rebels, but Moncrief still has work to do to improve his game for the next level.
The biggest criticism I had about Moncrief entering his junior season is his tendency to disappear. Moncrief had six games with four or fewer receptions of less than 40 yards as a sophomore and went through a six-week stretch with a single touchdown.
As a junior he has improved his consistency a bit, but he did have a one catch, three-yard stinker in the three-point loss vs. Texas A&M. In his his last three SEC tilts, excluding the Aggies game, he has topped the century mark and accumulated three touchdowns. He flourished at the end of 2012, and if that happens again this season Freeze will have no choice but to tell him to go pro.
He is a beloved fan favorite at Ole Miss and undoubtedly would feel pressure to return, but he has to do what’s best for him and I can imagine it’s awfully difficult to turn down millions of dollars.
Moncrief is a great college receiver and has a bright future, but I think his future will be even brighter by delaying his NFL career by one year and trying to bring an SEC title to Ole Miss.
Patrick’s a college football writer for Rant Sports and radio host on Sportstownchicago.com. Follow him on Twitter @PatrickASchmidt and Google and email him at SchmidtPatrick@gmail.com for media inquiries.