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UCF's NFL Draft Day Three Outlook

UCF in the NFL Draft

Jamiyus Pittman celebrates scoring a TD against East Carolina. (Photo: Derek Warden)
Jamiyus Pittman celebrates scoring a TD against East Carolina. (Photo: Derek Warden)

Day three of the NFL Draft starts Saturday at noon. So far, three UCF Knights - Mike Hughes, Tre'Quan Smith and Jordan Akins - have been selected in the first three rounds of the 2018 NFL Draft.

But with rounds four through seven taking place on Saturday, there will be plenty of opportunities for more Knights to hear their names called to begin their professional dreams. Here's a quick outlook.

LB Shaquem Griffin

Outlook: Very good. ESPN has been on ShaquemWatch since Day 2 began and given his outright on-field abilities, he's already going to be a steal wherever he lands. Whenever this happens, it'll be a tear-jerker for UCF fans for sure. It's not a disappointment that he's waiting to get drafted on Day 3. It's a function of not many linebackers going before him. Either way, he's going to have a chip on his massive shoulders when he gets to camp with whichever team grabs him, and that should be fun to watch. Tune in early to see if he goes.

Projection: Round 4

DT Jamiyus Pittman

Outlook: OK. Jamiyus is big at over 300 pounds, but he's a bit short for an NFL-level interior defensive lineman. He'll work out well as a 4-3 defensive tackle rather than a 3-4 nose tackle. However, his experience is his biggest asset, since he started all four years and dominated the interior almost immediately out of the gate. He's also a hell of an athlete, as Scott Frost used him as a fullback on occasion, and he caught a TD in the East Carolina game.

Projection: Round 6-7

OL Aaron Evans

Outlook: BREAKING: Aaron Evans is a large man. At 6'4" and 325 pounds at guard, he's got the NFL-level size. The question is if he had the quickness and the ability to take on just-as-big-if-not-bigger NFL D-linemen. But his athleticism cannot be overlooked, especially given the system he's played in the last two years under Scott Frost. Some UCF fans will be surprised to hear his name called, but they shouldn't be. And even if it doesn't work out for Evans in the NFL, he'll be OK.

Projection: Round 6-7

LB Chequan Burkett

Outlook: No one deserves this more than Chequan. He nearly quit football outright after 2016, but the married father of two (!) decided to give it one more shot, and it paid off. He racked up 82 tackles in 2017 (led the team) and his pick-6 in the Peach Bowl against Auburn will go down as one of the greatest moments in UCF Football history. At 6'2" and 230 pounds, he's got NFL linebacker size. And though he's a bit slow (4.7ish), his maturity means he can plug into an NFL defense rather quickly.

Projection: Round 7-UFA

DT Tony Guerad

Outlook: Guerad is the taller of the Knights' D-line pair that's eligible for the draft in 2018. At 6'3" and listed at 297, he's bulked up of late. He was a genuine anchor in the middle, and even though he also nearly quit football, he's shown a knack for getting into the backfield and causing havoc (10 TFL, 3.5 sacks in '17). There are some more questions surrounding him than Jamiyus Pittman, but a team with big needs up front should take a flyer on him to see what they can get.

Projection: Round 7-UFA

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