Bowling Green, Ky. — Several members of the 2011 Western Kentucky University football senior class will be hoping for a phone call this weekend as the 2012 NFL Draft takes place starting tonight in New York City.
The first round of this year’s draft will be held starting at 7 p.m. (CDT) this evening, with rounds two and three getting underway at 6 p.m. on Friday. The final four rounds will start at 11 a.m. on Saturday.
NFL.com currently lists two Hilltoppers — running back Bobby Rainey and defensive back Derrius Brooks — among its prospective draftees. Several mock drafts have also projected Rainey to be taken anywhere from rounds five through seven, while Brooks has been tagged as a possible late-round selection. A number of other Hilltoppers took part in Pro Days on campus this spring, putting their talents on display for a number of NFL scouts. There is hope those performances could equate to either late-round selections or possible free-agent signings following the draft.
WKU football has a rich history of players being selected by NFL teams on draft day, but a selection in 2012 would be the first since Jeremi Johnson was picked in the fourth round by the Cincinnati Bengals in 2003. The Hilltoppers last saw multiple players taken in the same draft a year earlier in 2002 when Joseph Jefferson (3rd round, Indianapolis) and Mel Mitchell (5th round, New Orleans) were selected.