Gabe Marks, Shalom Luani, other Cougar NFL hopefuls about to find out what future holds with NFL draft kicking off today

THE NFL DRAFT gets underway in a few hours. What’s in store between now and when the draft ends Saturday for Cougars Gabe Marks, Shalom Luani, River Cracraft, Riley Sorenson and other Wazzu NFL hopefuls?

According to ESPN’s Mel Kiper and Todd McShay, the odds are against any Cougars being taken in the draft. Instead, they'll be snapped up in the flurry of undrafted free agents signings that takes place late Saturday as soon as the draft ends. There are 253 draft picks this year and Kiper does not have Marks, Luani nor any other Cougar in his top 300 prospects.  McShay has Luani as the No. 252 prospect, Marks is No. 286.

ESPN is hedging its bets, though. 

It also grades both Luani (42) and Marks (37) as potential sixth and seventh round choices, respectively.  Cracraft is coming off a knee injury and based on ESPN’s positional rankings, will sign with a team as an undrafted free agent. Sorenson is in a similar boat rated as ESPN’s No. 11 center prospect. Last year, seven centers were drafted.

Meanwhile, pegs Marks as a fourth round pick, up a couple rounds from two weeks ago. “Great hands, deadly sharp cuts on routes and snags the ball with his hands. Wins on all three levels and is a fighter as a blocker,” says Jayson Braddock. projects Marks to be drafted in rounds 5-7.   It also pegs Riley Sorenson as a Round 7/UFA.

CBS Sportsline/NFL Draft Scout pegs Marks and Luani both as Round 7/undrafted free agents.

Draftwire/USA Today, predicts no Cougars will be drafted.

The first round gets underway Thursday at 5 p.m. Rounds 2-3 take place Friday, starting at 4 p.m.. Rounds 4-7 will be held on Saturday starting at 9 a.m.   TV: ESPN, NFL Network.

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