"I am releasing this statement after much prayer, consideration and evaluation with my family in announcing that I have decided to forgo my final year of eligibility and enter the 2013 draft," he said in a statement. "These past three years, I have been honored to be a part of a very special group of teammates and coaches at the University of Utah. I have cherished what has been an amazing college experience."
Joe's older brother Paul plays for the Baltimore Ravens while older brother Dave finished his career as in 2012, logging 30 tackles.
Utah coach Kyle Whittingham said Joe had "NFL potential," and wished him the best in a statement.
"The Kruger name has been synonymous with Utah football for a lot of years and we are very appreciative for all they have done for our program."
The last player to leave Utah a year early for the NFL was corner Brandon Burton, who was drafted in the fifth round by Minnesota in the 2011 NFL Draft.