As usual, Commissioner Roger Goodell will announce the first-round picks in next week’s NFL draft. But the league announced today that it’s doing something different on the second day of the draft: Bringing in retired players to announce the picks.
Thirty-two retired players, one from every team, will announce their former teams’ second-round draft picks next Friday night.
It sounds to us like a good idea, but also perhaps a sign that the NFL, concerned that the lockout has turned fans off, is trying to inject a little more star power into this year’s proceedings to get more fans to tune in on TV and show up at Radio City Music Hall.
It’s also interesting that the list of former players getting involved in the draft includes some who were active union members and vocal supporters of the players’ side in the lockout. Barry Sanders, who participated in the union’s pre-Super Bowl press conference this year, isn’t letting his involvement with the NFLPA* keep him from announcing the Lions’ second-round draft pick.
The full list of former players taking part is below.
* Arizona Cardinals, Aeneas Williams (CB)
* Atlanta Falcons, Jessie Tuggle (LB)
* Baltimore Ravens, Peter Boulware (LB)
* Buffalo Bills, Andre Reed (WR)
* Carolina Panthers, Brad Hoover (FB)
* Chicago Bears, Richard Dent (DE)
* Cincinnati Bengals, Anthony Muñoz (OT)
* Cleveland Browns, Paul Warfield (WR)
* Dallas Cowboys , Charles Haley (DE)
* Denver Broncos, Shannon Sharpe (TE)
* Detroit Lions, Barry Sanders (RB)
* Green Bay Packers, Jim Taylor (FB)
* Houston Texans, Aaron Glenn (CB)
* Indianapolis Colts, Jeff Herrod (LB)
* Jacksonville Jaguars, Donovin Darius (S)
* Kansas City Chiefs, Willie Lanier (LB)
* Miami Dolphins, Sam Madison (CB)
* Minnesota Vikings, Chris Doleman (DE)
* New England Patriots, Andre Tippett (LB)
* New Orleans Saints, Willie Roaf (OT)
* New York Giants, Joe Morris (RB)
* New York Jets, Marty Lyons (DT)
* Oakland Raiders, Willie Brown (DB)
* Philadelphia Eagles, Troy Vincent (DB)
* Pittsburgh Steelers, Franco Harris (RB)
* St. Louis Rams, Marshall Faulk (RB)
* San Diego Chargers, Natrone Means (RB)
* San Francisco 49ers, Dwight Clark (WR)
* Seattle Seahawks, Cortez Kennedy (DT)
* Tampa Bay Buccaneers, John Lynch (S)
* Tennessee Titans, Jevon Kearse (DE)
* Washington Redskins, Doug Williams (QB)
The Panthers, Dolphins and Jets don’t have second-round picks, so Hoover, Madison and Lyons will announce their teams’ third-round picks.