The University of Louisville's streak of three straight years with at least one first-round pick in the NFL Draft will come to an end tonight when the draft begins in Philadelphia. The first round is tonight, with the second and third set for Friday.
The Cardinals have had five picked in the first round the last three years, but while they'll miss out on the opening round there are a few former Cardinals that still have hopes of being drafted.
As many as 11 former Cardinals will try to make an NFL roster.
The ex-U of L players that expect to be drafted over the new few days, includes tight end Cole Hikutini, linebacker Devonte Fields, defensive lineman DeAngelo Brown, safety Josh Harvey-Clemons and wide receiver Jamari Staples.
Long snapper Colin Holba, wide receiver James Quick, linebacker Keith Kelsey and tight end Keith Towbridge are holing out hopes they might heard their names called. Running back Brandon Radcliff and center Tobijah Hughley are considered guys who will likely land with a team after the draft as free agents.
"I wish them all good luck this week," U of L coach Bobby Petrino said on the ACC spring teleconference on Wednesday. "I know this is a nervous time for them and I will be sitting there watching TV waiting to see their names called."
Here's what to expect:
Hikutini: The two-year standout at tight end for the Cardinals could end up being the top pick from the group. Hikutini has heard anywhere from third-round by a couple of teams to the fifth or sixth round by most. Our guess: Fifth round, San Francisco 49ers, No. 146 pick.
Harvey-Clemons: Because of his versatility and ability to play multiple positions, Harvey-Clemons is quietly moving up some of the boards of teams. He's being looked at as an inside linebacker. Our guess: Fifth round, Cincinnati Bengals, No. 176 pick.
Brown: His stock has been up and down with teams. He was so good for U of L the past two seasons, I can't imagine he won't make a roster once he's picked on a team. Our guess: Sixth round, Oakland Raiders, No. 208 pick.
Fields: There had been talk about Fields prior to the season being a first or second day pick, but now he's dropped into the later rounds. He'll still get picked and should make a nice pick for some team. Our guess: Sixth round, Seattle Seahawks, No. 210 pick.