Today is the day both NFL and CFB fans have been anticipating for what seems like a year. The 2015 NFL Draft provides an intriguing crop of talent looking to embrace the rigorous challenge of producing for their team right away. Here's how you can tune in to the festivities tonight:
Location/Time: Auditorium Theatre, Chicago at 8:00 p.m.
TV Broadcasts: ESPN, NFL Network
Live Stream: WatchESPN, NFL.com
Two QB prospects seem to be selected with the top two picks as both Jameis Winston and Marcus Mariota headline their class.
Another underlying storyline is another strong wide receiver group filled with blazers (Phillip Dorsett), risers (Kevin White), and studs (Amari Cooper). However, a hidden gem in UCF's Breshad Perriman was unearthed in the offseason and ascended into Thursday's draft discussion.
He's just one of the multiple non-P5 prospects that could hear his name called tonight in Chicago.
1. WR Breshad Perriman - UCF Knights
For the NFL Draft admirers that check daily about all the news related to the spectacle, Breshad Perriman is a household name. His sub 4.30 40-yard dash time at UCF's Pro Day catapulted his stock in the offseason after capping the 1,000 yard receiving for the first time in his college career. He has an ideal build as a wideout at 6'3, 214-pounds and complements his tremendous speed to his superb physical makeup.
Perriman still remains a raw talent, getting passed over for more consistent guys like Jaelen Strong and Nelson Agholor in wide receiver ratings. However, his potential validates his place as one of the top wide receiver prospects in the 2015 NFL Draft.
Perriman has been mocked as high as Miami at #14 and provides teams with a burner to utilize frequently. A more realistic destination would be either Cleveland at #19 or Philadelphia at #20 if both teams decide to remain in their original draft spots. ESPN Draft Guru Todd McShay has Perriman landing in Philly while Mel Kiper Jr. has the UCF product going two picks earlier to Kansas City in their final mock drafts (Subscription Required).
2. CB Byron Jones - UConn Huskies
Byron Jones can jump really far. His scintillating physical tools displayed at the Combine allowed Jones to enter the 1st round fold. The senior's most productive season came in his junior year totaling 60 tackles and three interceptions on the season.
On a underwhelming Huskies squad, Jones stood out and aided a defense who had to carry the load from the offense's ineptitude. Jones went down against East Carolina in 2014 with a shoulder injury, but his dazzling offseason showed the 6'0, 194-pound corner had no lingering effects.
Jones looks to be a strong contender to land with the Philadelphia Eagles in the first round. Chip Kelly has been known as unpredictable during his short tenure as decision maker for the team. Jones would fit next to another Byron (Maxwell) in a hyper-athletic corner tandem. Kiper has Jones to Philly at #20 while McShay sees Green Bay utilizing the athletic corner at pick #30 in their final mock drafts.
For more coverage of Jones, check out The UConn Blog.
3. CB/S Quinten Rollins - Miami University Redhawks
Another talent who aced the offseason, Quinten Rollins made an impression on NFL teams at both the Senior Bowl and Combine. The former point guard for Miami's basketball team, Rollins' first season playing Division I football turned out to be the correct career path.
He tied for third in the nation with seven interceptions and was named the MAC Defensive Player of the Year in 2014. With various teams in the latter portion of the first half needing secondary help, Rollins is a wild card option to hear is name called tonight.
It wouldn't be surprising to see the 5'11 195-pound Rollins be a staple in a team's defensive backfield for years and handling the vaulted competition in the NFL. If teams can look past the size issue, they could have a potential steal with their early selection.
For more coverage on Rollins, check out Hustle Belt.