The NFL Draft kicks off at 8 p.m. Eastern time tonight, and a group of Elis will be keeping their cell phones fully charged.

No Yale players are likely to be chosen in the first round tonight, or even when the second and third rounds are held on Friday. But Shane Bannon ’11 could hear his name called in Saturday’s later rounds.

Bannon, who almost sat out his senior season because of recurring shoulder problems, has impressed professional scouts recently.

“He is the No. 1 guy in the country in terms of combination of size and speed,” his agent Joe Linta told the New Haven Register.

Linta estimated that 14 NFL teams have expressed interest in Bannon, and said that the fullback will likely have the chance to join a team as a free agent even if he is not drafted.

Bannon’s agent is not the only person singing his praises — Sports Illustrated called him a potential “small school sleeper pick” in a recent article, adding that he had the ability to “annihilate opponents.”

Yale tight end Chris Blohm ’11 and defensive end and former captain Tom McCarthy ’11 have also impressed scouts with recent workouts.

“If I get drafted, it will be in one of the later rounds,” McCarthy told the Register. “I will be sitting around all day playing the waiting game. I am sure I will be looking at the clock and I am sure it will be going by pretty slowly.”

The last time two Elis were selected in the same NFL Draft was in 2001.