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NFL notebook: League will limit pre-draft evaluations

| Friday, July 18, 2014, 7:57 p.m.

The NFL will limit the number of underclassmen who can receive evaluations for the draft to five from a single school, although special exceptions will be allowed.

Concerned about the record 107 underclassmen who applied for this year's draft, and with 37 of them not selected, the league's College Advisory Committee developed new guidelines for players considering forfeiting their final years of eligibility.

Troy Vincent, the league's head of football operations, said Friday the underclassmen will be advised on their potential to be picked in the first or second round. They also could be advised to stay in school.

Previous assessments dealt with the first through third rounds and whether a player had no potential of being selected.

“When you look at our accuracy rate, we did a good job evaluating first- and second-round picks,” Vincent told SiriusXM NFL Radio. “Below — the third, fourth and fifth rounds — a lot of these players were not getting drafted. It's better for these young men to remain a student-athlete for another year.”

Only two schools, LSU and California, had more than five underclassmen in this year's draft. Six of LSU's seven players were chosen, while only two of the six from Cal were drafted.

5 ex-players sue over concussions

Five former NFL players, including six-time Pro Bowl defensive end Neil Smith, are suing the union for not providing accurate information about the risk of head injuries.

The lawsuit on behalf of Smith, Ladell Betts, Anthony Davis, Christian Ballard and Gregory Westbrooks was filed Thursday in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri, with the plaintiffs claiming the NFL Players Association “withheld information from the players about the risks of head injuries.”

The former players are seeking medical monitoring and financial compensation for long-term chronic injuries, financial losses, expenses and intangible losses. It refers to the “pathological and debilitating effects of traumatic brain injuries (TBI) caused by concussive and sub-concussive impacts.”

Around the league

Former Jets quarterback Erik Ainge had all charges against him from a DUI arrest from last summer dropped. ... When the seven newest members of the Pro Football Hall of Fame are inducted Aug. 2, 90 current members are expected to attend. ... A judge has sentenced 49ers linebacker Aldon Smith to three years of probation and to spend 11 days with a work crew after he pleaded no contest to drunken-driving and assault-weapons charges.

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