NFL announces 30 players will attend the draft


More players than ever before will attend this year’s NFL draft.

The league announced today that 30 prospects have confirmed they will attend, the most ever. That includes four quarterbacks — Blake Bortles (Central Florida), Teddy Bridgewater (Louisville), Jimmy Garoppolo (Eastern Illinois) and Johnny Manziel (Texas A&M) — as well as top prospects like South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney, Buffalo linebacker Khalil Mack, Auburn tackle Greg Robinson and Clemson receiver Sammy Watkins. (It’s a sign of the times that no running backs were among the 30 players invited.)

The other players confirmed to attend this year’s NFL Draft: LSU receiver Odell Beckham, Alabama safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, Oregon State receiver Brandin Cooks, Missouri defensive end Kony Ealy, North Carolina tight end Eric Ebron, Texas A&M receiver Mike Evans, Virginia Tech cornerback Kyle Fuller, Oklahoma State cornerback Justin Gilbert, Minnesota defensive tackle Ra’Shede Hageman, Florida State defensive tackle Timmy Jernigan, Alabama tackle Cyrus Kouandjio, Indiana receiver Cody Latimer, USC receiver Marqise Lee, Michigan tackle Taylor Lewan, Texas A&M tackle Jake Matthews, Vanderbilt receiver Jordan Matthews, Virginia tackle Morgan Moses, Alabama linebacker C.J. Mosley, Louisville safety Calvin Pryor, Ohio State cornerback Bradley Roby, Ohio State linebacker Ryan Shazier and Texas Christian cornerback Jason Verrett.

Bringing more players to the draft gives the NFL more opportunities to promote its stars of the future, but it also makes it more likely that several players will go through the awkward experience of remaining in the “green room” throughout the first round and into the second or third round. It’s even possible that a player among the 30 invited could drop all the way to Day Three of the draft.

But most of the players invited will hear Roger Goodell call their names during the first round. And as the NFL continues to grow the draft into not just the league’s biggest offseason event but one of the major parts of the sports year, more players than ever before will be there.

48 responses to “NFL announces 30 players will attend the draft

  1. Wonder who will be this year’s Geno… pouting that he wasn’t taken first round…

  2. I’m guessing that more than a few will be very uncomfortable as the picks go by.

  3. Well there could be more awkward times in the future that come with the territory of playing professional football for a living. Just think of it as getting your feet wet and good advance practice.

    Plus I would imagine it’s more time to get free food and refreshments right?

  4. No way would I go unless I was Clowney, Robinson, Mack or Watkins. For as great as Aaron Rodgers is, the lasting impression of him will still always be him sitting around the green room.

  5. I wonder if the comish and owners already picked the first round and are just inviting players for the headlines. Maybe they can start giving the players theme music(they already have entrance videos) and turn the draft into a real show. We style since the nfl will be just as staged as wwe in a few years due to injury lawsuits

  6. It’s a mistake for 5-7 of those guys. Why put yourself in the position to be the guy who is constantly shown on camera as “still waiting to hear his name called”??

  7. why would Jimmy Garropolo, Bradley Roby, Shazier or CKuandijo be invited… don’t thing any of these are 1st round worthy…

    and not sure if a few others will go in rd 1

  8. If embarrassed uncomfortable feelings get ratings then this is a good idea.

    The Real Draft Choices of Beverly Hills ?

  9. “Teddy Bridgewater will be this year Geno Smith”

    Might be worse— He might WISH he was this year’s Geno Smith.

  10. I’m sure any discomfort they may feel by sitting in the green room for a while will be more than made up for by their free trip to New York and their new high paying job as a professional athlete. Some of you commenters need to get a little perspective. Going in the 3rd round still counts as being drafted into the worlds highest level of football.

  11. teddy bridgwater and jimmy long italian name are fools for accepting invitation.NFL just wants the drama of the world watching someone embarrassed

  12. I always get a kick when some guy gets drafted and NFL Network doesn’t have a video package of the player.

  13. Did Aaron Donald Decline to attend? It seems unlikely that he would make it past the middle of the 1st, yet I don’t see his name here.

  14. I am 100% confident E.J. Manuel won’t be picked until Saturday either. How do I know this… well because Mel Kiper, Todd McShay, and the entire mock draft community said, so it must be true!!

    – PFT Readers/Expert Mock Drafters, 2013

  15. Those other players that didn’t go are going to wish they have for the full draft experience.

  16. In the words of the late Matt Foley: “WELL LA-DI-FRICKIN’-DA!” I think most fans would prefer to know the schedules so they can start planning trips to away games. Thanks, Goodell.

  17. NFL Live is showing tape of Bridgewater’s Pro Day and it is as bad as advertised – even in late middle age I throw a better ball / he threw wobbly , inaccurate knuckleballs ala Tebow but without his velocity ! No way I’d spend a first round pick

  18. Thy moved the draft back so this could all be scripted.

    These players won’t last past day 2. The nfl already knows who will be taken where, and that is why they are able to invite more kids this year. The rest is just for show. Teams have already made their selections/trades/etc.

  19. They should do it like the NBA: Any draft prospect who wants can attend. The top 10-12 prospects who are guaranteed to go early get to sit in the green room. Everyone else sits in a designated portion of the audience that allows access to the stage should their name be called.

    Last year, Geno was waiting backstage because he did not want to go back to the green room for a second day. Come on NFL. This is easy.

  20. What does it say about a potential employer that it WANTS to put some (if not all) of you in a position where you can be embarassed in front of a live TV audiance?

  21. No Aaron Donald? He’s gonna be taken a lot earlier than a lot of those other guys.

  22. I sure loved the draft on the weekends, it was like a holy event, something super special. I would plan everything around that entire weekend, planned special meals like excellent take out ribs and pizza etc, kept the shades down, didn’t answer the phone, let the dog out and I went to the bathroom during commercials. I really miss those days!

  23. More than half should stay at home.

    Here are the ones that shouldn’t go because they’re sure fire 1st round picks:
    Blake Bortles (Central Florida), Teddy Bridgewater (Louisville), Jimmy Garoppolo (Eastern Illinois),
    Oregon State receiver Brandin Cooks (maybe), Virginia Tech cornerback Kyle Fuller (maybe), Minnesota defensive tackle Ra’Shede Hageman, maybe Florida State defensive tackle Timmy Jernigan, Alabama tackle Cyrus Kouandjio, Indiana receiver Cody Latimer, USC receiver Marqise Lee, Vanderbilt receiver Jordan Matthews, w. Virginia tackle Morgan Moses, Louisville safety Calvin Pryor, Ohio State cornerback Bradley Roby, Ohio State linebacker Ryan Shazier and Texas Christian cornerback Jason Verrett.

    There’s no point in sitting in a green room for at least 2 1/2 hours. No one even stays that long for the college graduation of these young men.

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