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Fred Ross is a More Likely Early-Entry NFL Draft Candidate than any Mississippi State Player

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Could Fred Ross explore his NFL options at the end of the season?

Matt Bush-USA TODAY Sports

Juniors De'Runnya Wilson, Chris Jones, and Beniquez Brown were the serious early entry candidates for the NFL draft before the season started. Now that the games have played out, Fred Ross has his name in that discussion and may even have a higher stock than any of the four.

Ross, a former four-star receiver from Texas that MSU stole from Oklahoma State on the recruiting trail, has slowly transformed into Dak Prescott's favorite target and one of the more polished receivers in the SEC. He has a strong case as the second best receiver in the conference behind Laquon Treadwell, who many draft analysts expect to go in the first round.

With one game still left to play, Ross has amassed 933 receiving yards on an SEC-leading 81 catches -- which also broke the MSU single season record for receptions in a season.

When the draft projections come out after the season, don't be surprised if you see him listed a couple of rounds higher than Wilson. Simply put, Ross is a better route runner, he's more consistent, and he's more NFL ready.

His stock may not get any higher than it is right now. His record-setting quarterback won't be back next year, and Wilson is more than likely going pro which means that defenses will be able to line their best cornerback up with Ross -- something they couldn't do this season.

Ross may be the kind of kid that chooses to stay in school and finish his degree instead. But if he's serious about a future in football and aspires to play in the NFL, now is probably the best opportunity to test the waters.