Lynch Expects Middleton to Test NFL Waters

Bloomington – IU Coach Bill Lynch expects junior defensive end Greg Middleton to test the waters for the 2009 NFL Draft. Middleton is one of two Hoosiers that the Hoosier coach expects to get feedback from the NFL advisory board...

Bloomington – IU Coach Bill Lynch expects junior defensive end Greg Middleton to test the waters for the 2009 NFL Draft.

College players have until Saturday to fill out the paperwork to receive feedback from an NFL advisory board about their draft prospects. Lynch said he hasn't heard that Middleton has officially submitted his paperwork, but the 6-6, 275-pound junior has indicated that he intends to do so.

"I don't know for sure if he's done it (yet)," Lynch said. "The first deadline is Dec. 13, but I would anticipate Greg will."

While requesting draft feedback is the first step in making oneself eligible for the Draft, it does not preclude Middleton from returning to IU for his senior season if he doesn't like his draft prospects. So long as he doesn't hire an agent, he would still have the option of returning to IU in the fall.

After getting the feedback from the board, college players have until Jan. 15, 2009, to officially make themselves eligible for the NFL Draft.

Middleton led the nation in sacks in 2007 with 16, but saw his productively drop off significantly in 2008. The Indianapolis native totaled four sacks, five tackles for loss and 18 total tackles for the Hoosiers, who slipped to 3-9 this season.

In addition to Middleton, Lynch said he also expects junior wide receiver Andrew Means to get feedback from the advisory board as well. Means has already made it clear that he won't return for his senior season as he pursues a career in professional baseball, but he also wants to find out what his prospects would be in professional football as well.

While Means and Middleton are two potential losses in 2009, Lynch believes junior defensive end Jammie Kirlew won't test the waters and will be back next fall. Kirlew earned first-team All-Big Ten honors this season and was one of six finalists for the Ted Hendricks Award, awarded annually to the nation's best defensive ends. Kirlew totaled 10 ½ sacks, 19 ½ tackles for loss, and ranked second on the team with 74 total tackles.

"(Jammie and I) talked about it a little," Lynch said. "But I don't think he will do it."


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