Four players with area ties are expected to hear their names called at some point this weekend as they realize their life-long dream of getting drafted by an NFL team.
Or in the case of Miami University’s Quinten Rollins, a year-long dream.
The converted basketball player drew the attention of scouts in his lone season as a cornerback for the RedHawks, and Rollins is projected to be selected somewhere in the second round, which could make him the first of the four local players to hear their names called.
Ohio State defensive tackle Michael Bennett also is projected to go in the second round, while analysts see Lakota West High School graduate and Texas linebacker Jordan Hicks as a fourth- or fifth-round pick.
Springfield graduate and Alabama linebacker Trey DePriest is viewed as a possible seventh-round pick. Even if DePriest doesn’t hear his name called, he’s likely to get offers from several teams when the frenzied free-agent signings begin Saturday night once the draft concludes.
Based on their positions and likely draft slots, Hicks and Bennett could be targets of the Bengals.
The website PredictionMachine.com came up with a full seven-round mock draft that incorporates team needs and player analysis. The site is clear that the results indicate what teams should do and “is not at all related to any expectation as to what teams will do.”
The site has Bennett getting a first-round call from the Denver Broncos with the 28th overall pick. Rollins heads to Pittsburgh in the second round (56th), Hicks goes to Philadelphia in the fourth round (113th) and DePriest gets one of the final calls of the 256 in the draft from Atlanta (249th).
The draft begins Thursday night at 8 p.m. with the first round. The second and third rounds will be Friday, beginning at 7 p.m. And the fourth through seventh rounds will take place Saturday with a 12 p.m. start.