April 11, 2011
With the lockout ongoing, and the draft less than three weeks away, the NFLPA has put together its own series of draft-week events that will not actually conflict with any of the league's usual draft programming. The events will be in Times Square, Broadway, Harlem, and on Wall Street. As the PA put it in a press release, "The series of events is a celebration of legacy — of past, present and future football players coming together to honor those making the journey from prospect to professional."
A number of draft prospects will be involved, including Prince Amukamara, Marvin Austin, Adrian Clayborn, Marcell Dareus, Nick Fairley, Blaine Gabbert, A.J. Green, Mark Ingram, Julio Jones, Cameron Jordan, Ryan Kerrigan, Corey Liuget, Von Miller, Rahim Moore, Cam Newton, Patrick Peterson, Robert Quinn, Aldon Smith, Daniel Thomas, and J.J. Watt — in other words, a good percentage of anyone's projected first round.
In addition, several current and former NFL stars will participate, including Charlie Batch(notes), Cornelius Bennett, Dwayne Bowe(notes), Sam Bradford(notes), Ahmad Bradshaw(notes), Roger Craig, Zak DeOssie(notes), Eric Dickerson, Eddie George, Marshall Faulk, Felix Jones(notes), Maurice Jones-Drew(notes), Dustin Keller(notes), Brandon Marshall(notes), Kevin Mawae(notes), Willie McGinest(notes), Brian Mitchell, Warren Moon, Sean Morey(notes), Shaun O'Hara(notes), Ray Rice(notes), Tony Richardson(notes), Takeo Spikes(notes), and Mike Vrabel(notes).
The activities, which will run from the evening of April 28 to the early morning of May 1, will include several celebratory dinners and receptions, a long media availability session, and a "Let Us Play" fitness and skills clinic in Harlem.
There was some talk that the NFLPA might put together events to conflict with the draft, and several rumors that draft boycotts might be organized in line with the current labor dispute, but public opinion was swift and clear — it's bad enough that you guys can't figure out a new CBA; taking away any aspect of the draft will not reflect favorably on anyone.
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