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Reports: Darius Philon Leaving the Arkansas Razorbacks for the NFL Draft

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The Hogs now lose both their top performers on the defensive line.

Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

The Razorbacks 2015 defensive line just took a major hit as Darius Philon has decided to leave school and declare for the NFL Draft, according to several reports and comments from other players on the team.

Philon was a redshirt sophomore this season and earned All-SEC recognition after recording 46 tackles including 11.5 tackles for loss and 4.5 sacks. He also scored a touchdown against Northern Illinois on a fumble recovery.

A lot of people will be debating whether or not this is the right decision, as Philon is not projected to be a high pick in the draft from anything we've seen, and, granted, I'm a terrible NFL Draft prognosticator. My general philosophy is that if a player isn't going to be a high pick and hasn't yet earned his degree, he should come back to school. But we'll see what happens. If Philon gets drafted and earn a roster spot for as long as possible, he'll be fine. We'll be rooting for him.

As for what this means for next year's Hogs, it means the team lost the player Bret Bielema publicly said he'd hoped would be the team's defensive leader this fall. With Trey Flowers and Martrell Spaight exhausting their eligibility, the entire "Bermuda Triangle" is gone.

Without Philon, the Razorbacks will really hope that Bijhon Jackson, who was a blue chip prospect in the 2014 class and played as a freshman this season. Jackson played in all 13 games as a backup and made 9 tackles. He could start at tackle next year with Taiwan Johnson. Another possibility is that Hjalte Froholdt, Arkansas' top commitment according to the composite ratings, could play as a true freshman. The Hogs also redshirted some other players, and we'll see how they develop before next season.

The Hogs have options, but they'll miss Philon.

UPDATE: Philon has made it official:

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-partner="tweetdeck"><p>S/o to that boy Duke go chase ya dream young boy <a href="https://twitter.com/dukephilon_07">@dukephilon_07</a></p>&mdash; Denver kirkland (@15HARLEM_BOSKI) <a href="https://twitter.com/15HARLEM_BOSKI/status/555032442516434944">January 13, 2015</a></blockquote>

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<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>Been rocking with my big bro <a href="https://twitter.com/dukephilon_07">@dukephilon_07</a> since day 1 on the hill. If anybody gonna make it. It&#39;s gonna be him. Proud of you bro!! <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/WPS?src=hash">#WPS</a></p>&mdash; Taiwan Johnson (@TJ_WPS94) <a href="https://twitter.com/TJ_WPS94/status/555029483938267136">January 13, 2015</a></blockquote>

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