By MaxPreps' Stephen Spiewak
The fact that it will be televised during primetime tonight is both indicative of, and responsible for, the surge in popularity of the NFL Draft.
While professional football fans watch to see which top college players their favorite team will land, there's another segment of the football population paying close attention to the draft: top high school recruits.
Many of the nation's most coveted high school players pay close attention to the draft for reasons most fans watching never have to consider: Are the colleges recruiting them successful at producing NFL draft picks?
Schools with top projected draft picks often know how to leverage that status with recruits.
"Colleges assume that most recruits want to play in the league, and I think that's true for a majority of recruits," said Mullen (Denver) quarterback Cyler Miles, the nation's No. 70 recruit, with offers from Colorado, Washington, Clemson, Notre Dame and others.
The NFL Draft provides tremendous free advertising for colleges, as it is impossible to pay for the groundswell of hype and attention that a school receives when one of its players is expected to be a top pick. It's not fleeting, either; schools often refer back to their track record of producing draft picks through the years.
With the first round of the draft set to get underway tonight, MaxPreps contacted several top recruits to find out how closely they'd be paying attention to the NFL Draft and what kind of factor it has been in their recruitment.
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