First, it was Virginia Tech cornerback Caleb Farley who announced he was sitting out of the 2020 college football season due to COVID-19 and will instead prepare for the 2021 NFL draft. Then it was Minnesota wide receiver Rashod Bateman who followed suit. Now, it's Penn State linebacker Micah Parsons, a sure-fire top-five pick next April, who won't suit up for the Nittany Lions this fall.
According to Yahoo Sports' Eric Edholm, Parsons will forgo the 2020 season and focus on his already highly-valued draft stock. He should be the first defensive prospect picked from the 2021 class and didn't have much to prove this season in order to elevate his standing in the scouting community. One could argue that the only direction his stock could go was down, especially if he got injured.
That won't be the case now, and it's unlikely Parsons will be the last high-profile prospect to set his sights on the NFL.
In a strange and twisted way, this is actually good news for the Bears, who will have a first-round pick in 2021 after two seasons without one following the Khalil Mack trade in 2018. Players like Farley, Batemen, and Parsons are all first-round worthy. By sitting out, they'll be healthy and ready to go next April. The more first-rounders who opt-out in 2020, the more healthy first-rounders there will be in April.
And let's be honest: the 2020 college football season is setting up to be an absolute trainwreck because of the novel coronavirus. It makes sense, as a business decision, for the top-tier players to preserve their bodies instead of taking a risk for a reward that will carry an asterisk next to it anyway.
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