You never know why a person makes the decisions they do unless you're inside their head, unless you're walking in their shoes. But on the surface, it sure appears to me that Curtis Lofton is making a mistake by heading early to the NFL Draft. I think it's a professional mistake.
Curtis is smart, always in the right place at the right time, big hitter, sure tackler. I expect he'll be a solid pro. But financially I think he's hurting himself. Most prognosticators pencil Lofton in around the 3rd round. If Curtis came back to OU next year he would enter the season as one of the most heralded defensive players in the nation...among the Butkus Award favorites...a chance to become a marquee name nationally. I think he might have a shot at vaulting into the 1st round, maybe even into the upper half of the 1st round. That's a difference in millions of dollars in signing bonuses and guaranteed money.
Obviously that's no certainty. But it is certainly more likely that he climbs the draft ladder than slides down it. I hope Curtis wows them in the pre-draft workouts and the NFL Combine, and that what he's hearing about being a 1st-round pick this year comes true. He's an easy guy to root for. I just hope he's not getting bad advice.