OXFORD - Ole Miss offensive tackle Michael Oher is declaring for the NFL draft and won't return for his senior season, the All-SEC selection said tonight.
"It was kind of a tough decision, but I just felt like I was going to be a high pick and had to go and do my own thing," said Oher, a 6-foot-5, 322-pound junior from Memphis.
Oher, who was the featured subject in The Blind Side, a book by Michael Lewis about the evolution of the left tackle position, said he received a report from NFL officials about his status for the April draft.
"I didn't read the thing, from people I've talked to, I've got a pretty good chance of being in the first round," said Oher.
First-round picks stand to make millions of dollars in guaranteed bonuses and contracts. And it's not just the glamour positions like quarterback and running back that cash in now.
Last year, after Wisconsin offensive tackle Joe Thomas was selected by the Cleveland Browns as the No. 3 overall pick, Thomas signed a contract worth $43 million - $23 million guaranteed.