Kirkwood’s Jeremy Maclin does the smart thing…heads to NFL.

There might be a few scattered Mizzou fans that are upset with Jeremy Maclin’s decision to forego his final two years of eligibility at Missouri to go to the NFL, but that’s a misguided emotion.

Maclin has done pretty much everything he can for the Mizzou football program. While he hasn’t been part of a Big 12 Champion or been a Heisman Trophy finalist, the prospects for either of those happening next year are remote. He’d have a new quarterback, a new tight end, and several new recievers to work with, in addition to two new offensive linemen.

Maclin thinks more broadly than about individual awards, but the fact of the matter is that the Heisman Trophy winner always comes from a team in contention for a National Title. See this year’s Florida-Oklahoma tilt. If the Tigers aren’t going to win a Big 12 title, they aren’t going to contend for a National title, and they aren’t going to produce a Heisman Trophy winner.

More to the point about Maclin is his past. Before his true freshman year, he tore up his knee and missed the season. Why gamble with his health? Even if he stayed in school, Maclin isn’t going to improve his NFL draft stock next season. He will be picked in the top half of the first round…this year or next.

He was fantastic for Mizzou…better than anyone could have hoped. Maclin gave the Tigers two great years. We should be thankful that he helped put Mizzou on the college football map. Now he’s helped Mizzou take another step toward greatness by being so good, he can come out early and be a first round pick. At the end of the day, everything Jeremy Maclin did for Mizzou…even leaving early…was a good thing.

Good luck to the Pride of Kirkwood, and here’s hoping the Rams can find a way to get him in the draft.