In news that surprised absolutely no one, Breshad Perriman was the first UCF player picked in the 2015 NFL Draft. Perriman went at number 26 overall to the Baltimore Ravens who, it turns out, would likely have traded back if he hadn't been available. He will sign a four year, $7.881 million contract with a $3.992 signing bonus. Perriman was the first non-P5 player drafted (and was immediately followed by the Cowboy's selection of UConn CB Byron Jones, so there's a small bit of AAC pride for you).
It's happy news for fans of UCF's program. UCF now has put first round draftees into the NFL in consecutive years (Blake Bortles, obviously, went #3 overall last year to the Jacksonville Jaguars). The Knights have something of a history of putting successful wide receivers into the NFL (Brandon Marshall and Mike Sims-Walker, for example). And the opportunity -- and honor of a first round pick -- is richly deserved by Perriman, who became one of our favorite Knights ever this year and impressed tremendously at UCF's pro day.
Perriman joins fellow Knights WR Kamar Aiken and OL Jah Reid on the Ravens. It ought to be a good fit for him. The Ravens are now without deep threat Torrey Smith, which means there's an immediate opportunity for Perriman to step into that role and play right away. Our Ravens blog Baltimore Beatdown likes the pick and sees a lot of upside here. We've said before that there's been too much hand-wringing over his rate of drops, and are inclined to think he'll be very successful in Baltimore.
After Perriman was drafted, things were largely quiet for the Knights. Safety Clayton Geathers came off the board in the fourth round when he was picked by the Colts. He is a physical player who fulfills a need for the Colts, but is probably best viewed as a developmental prospect. It will feel strange to not hear his name called on Saturdays anymore - Geathers tied a UCF career record with 53 games played overall, starting in 52 of them.
And then . . . that was it for the Knights draft-wise. Though a number of players were promptly picked up as undrafted free agents: Terrance Plummer (Washington Redskins), Rannell Hall (Tampa Bay Buccaneers), Josh Reese (also by the Bucs), Justin Tukes (Philadelphia Eagles), Torrian Wilson (Detroit Lions), and Jacoby Glenn (Chicago Bears). It's perhaps a bit disappointing for Glenn, who as a redshirt sophomore, joined Perriman as an early NFL draft entrant. And it perhaps makes his Twitter moniker -- @cobypaidglenn -- a bit awkward. Though a great physical talent (and the AAC's co-defensive player of the year), he's someone who surely could have benefited by returning to school for at least one more year.
[EDIT 5/4/15: We can now add Jordan Ozerities to the list of free agent signings. He's signed with the Atlanta Falcons, who also have former UCF safety Kemal Ishmael.]
All-in-all, it was a good weekend for the Knights. UCF fans will likely have at least one more NFL starter to root for on Sunday, and a number of Knights will have a meaningful chance to catch on with teams.