Another AU Junior Considering NFL Draft

Will the Tigers have a second junior declare for the National Football League draft?

Auburn, Ala.--Jonathan Palmer, a redshirt junior on the 2005 Auburn football team, is taking a look at entering the 2006 NFL draft.

His father, Roy Palmer, says that he hopes the offensive lineman will return to Auburn for his redshirt senior season and finish his degree.

"JP is going to sit down with Coach Nall (Auburn offensive line coach Hugh Nall) and discuss it this week," Roy Palmer says. "He got an evaluation from the NFL that he could go anywhere from the first round to the fourth round."

Palmer is Auburn's most versatile offensive lineman. He plays center, guard and tackle, but has yet to become a regular starter as a collegian.

Palmer started at guard vs. Ball State and Kentucky in 2005 and started at center vs. Alabama after taking over for Joe Cope, who was injured in the fourth quarter of the Georgia game. In the bowl game in Orlando, Palmer played three snaps at guard, but did not see action at center or tackle.

"I think one of the reasons he is considering the draft is that Marcus (senior offensive tackle Marcus McNeill) is going to be in the draft," Roy Palmer says. "The two have played together since they were kids. They rode together to and from the bowl game and this is something they talked about on the trip."

Jonathan Palmer is expected to be a key performer for the Tigers if he returns for the coming season.

At 6-5, 320 pounds, the former Cedar Grove High lineman from Decatur, Ga., enrolled at Auburn in 2002 and redshirted that season. He played on special teams in 2003 and saw action as a reserve in nine games the following year. He is enrolled for classes at Auburn that began today.

"There is no doubt that JP has the ability to be a really strong offensive lineman," Nall said during the 2005 season. "The key thing for him to get more playing time is to become more consistent."

McNeill, a consensus All-American who broke into the starting lineup at tackle as a true freshman, said, "Coach Nall would be the first to tell you that he is the most naturally talented offensive lineman we have. With his body, his size and his great footwork he looks like an offensive lineman, plays like an offensive lineman and he has great athletic ability at the same time."

Palmer and other juniors have until Jan. 15th to declare for the 2006 draft. Defensive end Stanley McClover has already announced he will enter the NFL draft.

Auburn's two senior starting offensive tackles, McNeill and Troy Reddick, are getting serious looks from NFL teams. Auburn's starting guards, juniors Tim Duckworth and Ben Grubbs, will be seniors in 2006 as well Joe Cope, the starter for most of the 2005 season at center.

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