April 27, 2008
Orlando, Fla. (www.ucfathletics.com) - Former Knight Kevin Smith did not have to wait long to hear his name called on day two of the 2008 NFL Draft as the Detroit Lions traded up to the top of the third round to take the consensus All-American with the 64th pick overall and first of the proceedings on Sunday.
"I'm happy. Detroit is where I wanted to go all along," Smith said after celebrating his selection with family and friends in Orlando. "This was the best place for me to go. They actually moved up to get me and the coaches told me to be ready to play right away."
Smith will be joined in the NFC's North Division by one of his offensive lineman as the Green Bay Packers used one of their two fourth-round choices to select Josh Sitton with the 135th pick overall.
In the draft's seventh round, Kansas City selected tight end Mike Merritt with the 32nd pick of the final round. Merritt went with the 239th overall selection. The last UCF tight end taken in the draft was Michael Gaines in 2004, when Carolina used a seventh-round selection on him.
Smith, Sitton and Merritt all helped the Knights capture the 2007 Conference USA Championship and set a number of school offensive records along the way. UCF scored 501 points during its 10-win season and also rushed for 3,287 yards.
This is the first time since the 2003 draft that the Knights had multiple players selected. Asante Samuel (4th round, New England), Doug Gabriel (Oakland, 5th), Mike Mabry (Baltimore, 7th) and Elton Patterson (Cincinnati, 7th) were the four Knights drafted that season.
Smith was the highest UCF player drafted since Travis Fisher was selected late in the second round of the 2002 NFL Draft by the St. Louis Rams. Fisher was also the 64th overall selection that year.
Sitton's fourth-round selection is the highest for a UCF offensive lineman. He is the second Knight to be drafted by the Packers (Charles Lee, WR, 7th - 2000), while Smith is the first UCF player to be drafted by Detroit.