NFL teams will conduct their annual player draft May 8-10, 2014. For many college student athletes this will be where all of the work done during their college career pays off. According to an article from college career site Shmoop.Com, there are an estimated 3,450 NCAA Senior football players in Division 1 and 2 programs.
The thirty two NFL teams will be going seven rounds to get the players they need for the 2014 season. That means 224 hard working college student athletes will find themselves a part of an NFL team this summer. There will be many that are undrafted who make practice squads, find themselves on CFL, or head to the Arena League. But for three days, hundreds of student athletes, colleges, and families will be holding their breath and hoping for one of those coveted 224 spots.
A Game of Unkowns
There are as many blogs and opinions of the draft as there are draft prospects. There are blogs that rank players, suggest mock drafts for teams and blogs that speculate up to the minute who the next pick will be. We won’t bore you with guesses of who is going to go number one or where Johnny Manziel will end up. Six New Orleans Bowl alumni are expected to be drafted or selected under a free agency deal. Players from Tulane, East Carolina, San Diego State and Ohio are all familiar to the R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl family. We have listed Bowl players first, then followed with the rest of our projected draftees. Here is a list of Conference USA and Sun Belt Conference players expected to be drafted this year:
- Cairo Santos, K, Tulane, 7th/FA, (#RLBowl 2013)
- Ryan Grant, WR, Tulane, 5th (#RLBowl 2013)
- Derrell Johnson, East Carolina, 7th/FA (#RLBowl 2012)
- Bryce Quigley, OT, San Diego State, 7th (#RLBowl 2011)
- Nat Berhe, SS, San Diego State, 7th/FA (#RLBowl 2011)
- Travis Carrie, CB, Ohio, 7th (#RLBowl 2010)
- Jerick McKinnon, RB, Georgia Southern, 4th/5th
- Lavelle Westbrooks, CB, Georgia Southern, 7th/FA
- Albert Wilson, WR, Georgia State, 7th/FA
- Justin Ellis, DT, Louisiana Tech, 3rd
- Austin Franklin, WR, New Mexico State, 7th/FA
- Philip Gaines, CB, Rice, 2nd
- Chris Boswell, K, Rice, 5th/6th
- Jonathon Dowling, FS, Western Kentucky, 7th
- Andrew Jackson, ILB, Western Kentucky, 7th/FA
- Antonio Andrews, RB, Western Kentucky, 7th/FA
It is worth noting that among this list of Senior stand out football players two underclassman appear on this list. On the heels of coach Petrino leaving WKU after the 8-4 season, Jonathon Dowling is forgoing his senior year for the draft. New Mexico State’s Austin Franklin is also skipping his senior year for the draft after their 2-10 season under new coach Doug Martin.
The NFL draft is a Prime Time event. For complete mock draft analysis, team draft order and the probable top five picks, visit NFL.com. We wish all of the athletes the best on draft weekend. And after the draft is over, we only have 109 days until Georgia State kicks off the 2014 road to the New Orleans Bowl against Abilene Christian. At least spring football has started!