Last year, a record 25 players attended the NFL draft, despite scattered suggestions by veteran players that rookies should boycott the festivities, which were held during the height of the lockout.
This year, the NFL has upped the ante. By one.
The league has announced that 26 players will attend the three-day event.
They are, in alphabetical order: Alabama safety Mark Barron; Oklahoma State receiver Justin Blackmon; LSU defensive tackle Michael Brockers; LSU cornerback Morris Claiborne; North Carolina defensive end Quinton Coples; Mississippi State defensive tackle Fletcher Cox; Stanford tight end Coby Fleener; Notre Dame receiver Michael Floyd; South Carolina cornerback Stephon Gilmore; Georgia tackle Cordy Glenn; Baylor quarterback Robert Griffin III; Alabama linebacker Dont’a Hightower; Georgia Tech receiver Stephen Hill; South Carolina defensive end Melvin Ingram; USC tackle Matt Kalil; Alabama cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick; Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck; Boise State linebacker Shea McClellin; USC defensive end Nick Perry; Memphis defensive tackle Dontari Poe; LSU receiver Rueben Randle; Alabama running back Trent Richardson; Penn State defensive tackle Devon Still; Texas A&M quarterback Ryan Tannehill; Alabama linebacker Courtney Upshaw; Baylor receiver Kendall Wright.
Last year, linebacker Mark Herzlich attended the draft, but he was not drafted. This year, all but one of the 26 attendees appear on the latest PFT round-one mock draft. Plenty of you think that the one player who has been omitted — linebacker Dont’a Hightower — shouldn’t have been.
The biggest names not attending include Iowa tackle Riley Reiff and Oklahoma State quarterback Brandon Weeden.
Arizona State quarterback Brock Osweiler had been drafted, but apparently declined the offer to attend. He could end up staying on the board until Saturday, when rounds four through seven are conducted.