Stanford got hit hard by the NFL draft this month, but it could have been worse.
Of the five players who considered jumping to the pros, three made the move: All-American guard David Yankey declared his intentions Monday, while free safety Ed Reynolds and offensive tackle Cameron Fleming made it official Tuesday.
Yankey is an All-American, Fleming a three-year starter and Reynolds a first-team all-Pac-12 performer.
"A better script could not have been written for my experience at Stanford as a student-athlete," Reynolds said in a statement.
Inside linebacker A.J. Tarpley and defensive end Henry Anderson announced last week that they will return in 2014, allowing the Cardinal to avoid a mass exodus, but Stanford must replace six key members from one of the nation's best defenses.
In addition to Reynolds, Stanford loses senior linebackers Shayne Skov and Trent Murphy, nickel back Usua Amanam and ends Ben Gardner and Josh Mauro.
Mauro began the season as a reserve but started 11 games because of injuries to Gardner and Anderson.
The attrition is also significant on offense.
The Cardinal must replace tailback Tyler Gaffney, who rushed for 1,709 yards and 21 touchdowns, steady fullback Ryan Hewitt and four-fifths of its line: Yankey, Fleming, senior center Khalil Wilkes and senior right guard Kevin Danser.
The lone returning starter up front is left tackle Andrus Peat.
Two of the four likely replacements — guard Joshua Garnett and tackle Kyle Murphy -- were touted recruits who gained significant experience this season playing in Stanford's so-called Jumbo formations, with additional linemen.
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