With draft approaching, Knights’ stock on the rise
Published: Wednesday, April 13, 2011
Updated: Wednesday, April 13, 2011 16:04
As NFL Draft weekend approaches and the nerves of several former Knights will rise, their draft stock is rising, as well.
Thanks to impressive Pro Day performances and team interviews, many draft analysts, scouts and teams have taken notice of the Knights. Gil Brandt, former vice president of personnel for the Dallas Cowboys and current senior draft analyst for NFL.com, had plenty of positive remarks about defensive end/linebacker Bruce Miller, offensive tackle Jah Reid and wide receiver Jamar Newsome. A surprise name also popped into the mix — receiver Kamar Aiken.
On Brandt's draft board, Reid improved from a projected 7th-round selection to a 5th rounder. Reid was a participant at the NFL Combine and insisted on performing Combine drills again in front of scouts at his Pro Day, impressing many in attendance.
Miller followed suit at Pro Day and earned similar remarks. Miller worked out at several positions, including defensive end, linebacker and fullback.
"[I've] never played fullback before," Miller said. "I don't know. I worked out for a little at Pro Day and I guess they liked it."
Newsome, who CBS Sports once considered to be an undrafted free agent, is soaring up draft boards. His size and speed impressed teams in attendance at Pro Day, and recently appeared in a video on NFL.com featuring his performance at the Combine. He is now projected to go in the middle rounds.
"I'm just so grateful," said Newsome. "[The video] was nice."
Aiken, UCF's dark-horse draft candidates, has climbed into Brandt's draft board. Despite not receiving an invite to the Combine, Aiken impressed many teams with his speed at Pro Day and, according to Brandt, "worked his way into the draft."
"It feels good to finally get noticed," Aiken said. "I'm just really excited about the opportunity."
If all four names are called during this year's Draft weekend, it will be the largest class of Knights drafted in school history after the 2008 Draft, when UCF had three players selected (Kevin Smith, Josh Sitton and Mike Meredith).
The NFL Draft will be held from April 28-30 at Radio City Music Hall in New York City.
Annual Black and Gold game this Saturday
The Knights will host their annual Black and Gold spring game this Saturday. The spring game is set to kick off at 2 p.m. at Bright House Networks Stadium. Prior to kickoff, there will be a day of festivities on campus, including a tailgaiting competition and autograph session with former Knights in the NFL.
Tickets to the game can be purchased for $5, with students and children under 12 admitted free. Free parking is available for fans in the E lots surrounding Bright House Networks Stadium.