The NFL Draft is done, and not a single UCF player was selected.
This year marks the first time since 2005 that a UCF player was not selected in the NFL inaugural draft.
This is unlike last year, when wide receiver Breshad Perriman was picked 26th overall by the Baltimore Ravens in the first round. Another UCF player, safety Clayton Geathers, was picked in the fourth round, 109th overall by the Indianapolis Colts.
In the 2014 NFL Draft, quarterback Blake Bortles was picked third overall by the Jacksonville Jaguars - the highest pick in UCF history - after leading the Knights to a historic victory over Baylor in the Fiesta Bowl. Additionally, three-time NFL Pro Bowler Daunte Culpepper was picked 11th overall by Minnesota Vikings in the 1999 NFL draft.
UCF has had other mid- to late-round gems, such as four-time Pro Bowler Asante Samuel, drafted in the fourth round by the Patriots in 2003, and current NFL Pro Bowler Brandon Marshall of the New York Jets.
UCF had a total of nine seniors on its football roster last season, and the senior with the best chance of getting drafted was 6-foot-1, 260-pound defensive end Thomas Niles.
Niles had a stellar career with the Knights, recording 150 tackles, 17.5 sacks and two forced fumbles. He is second in career sacks at UCF behind the San Francisco 49ers’ fullback Bruce Miller’s 35.5 sacks. A college defensive end, Miller was drafted 211th overall in the seventh round of the 2011 NFL draft by the San Francisco 49ers and later converted to a full-back.
At his pro day, Niles ran a 4.90 40-yard dash, 4.63 20-yard shuttle, 7.76 3-cone drill, benched 225 pounds 28 times, and had a vertical jump of 29 ½ inches, according to nfldraftscout.com.
Jean Racine is a Digital Producer for the Central Florida Future.