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NFL News and Notes: More Entrants in NFL Draft

While you were watching Florida destroy Ohio State in shocking fashion in last night's BCS National Championship Game, there was some other news coming from the college world.  A couple more players declared themselves for the draft, a college coach is now headed to the NFL, and another could be on the way.  

  • Georgia Tech wide receiver Calvin Johnson will enter the draft.  The prospect is already being ranked at the top of some draft lists, and now opens up another potential pick for the Oakland Raiders.  Depending on the Raiders' selection, Detroit will also have many options to consider, meaning that this does affect the Lions.

  • Michigan defensive tackle Alan Branch also opted to forgo his senior season yesterday. Branch rose to stardom as an anchor in one of the nation's best defenses.  Branch is projected to be a top 10 pick at the least and even a top 5 pick by some.

  • Now former Louisville head football coach Bobby Petrino was hired as the new Atlanta Falcons coach.  This is a very surprising move as Petrino's name wasn't really ever out there as a candidate.  The creative play-calling Petrino brings to the table will give Atlanta fans hope that he can save Mike Vick from another down season.

  • New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton won the AP Coach of the Year Award.  It's no surprise as Payton turned a 3-13 franchise that was left with no home for an entire season into one of the NFC's top teams.  Payton will look to coach the Saints to victory this weekend to put New Orleans one step closer to the Super Bowl.

  • The Miami Dolphins are showing interest in USC coach Pete Carroll.  Just a week or so after winning the Rose Bowl, Carroll reportedly went on vacation to Costa Rica, where the Dolphins' plane landed over the weekend.  I doubt that Carroll would ever leave USC considering how great of a situation he's in, but heck, go for it.  Maybe Michigan could beat USC in a Rose Bowl for a change if he was gone.