A record 30 prospects to attend NFL draft

Geno Smith showed up for the 2013 NFL draft, but his gesture shown here was not indicative of the round in which he was selected. (Jason DeCrow/Associated Press)

Among other things, the NFL draft has become an annual exercise in schadenfreude. Year after year, some unfortunate young man who was last seen riding high as a college football superstar is reduced to slumping in a chair in the green room, suffering as pick after pick goes by without his name being called, while a camera crew mercilessly zooms in on his reactions.

Well, this year misery could have plenty of company, because 30 young men will be at Radio City Music Hall for at least the first round of the draft, all but guaranteeing that at least a few of them won’t actually be selected on that opening night. Here’s hoping that those unlucky souls (relatively speaking; all these guys are in line for the kind of big bucks not normally handed out to 20-somethings) handle their snubs better than Geno Smith, who declined to speak to ESPN and threatened not to return for the second round last year. He eventually changed his mind and was on hand to don his Jets cap after the team made him the seventh pick of the second round.

And, of course, who could forget Aaron Rodgers in 2005, a candidate to go No. 1 overall who wound up sweating it out in the green room until the Packers took him with the 24th pick? Of course, it’s hard to feel too bad for Rodgers at this point, considering a) at least he went somewhere in the first round, and b) you know, the way his career has unfolded since then.


This year’s group is headlined by quarterback Johnny Manziel and  defensive end Jadeveon Clowney, both of whom, especially Clowney, figure to be hugging it out with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell before too long. But less highly regarded prospects, such as Eastern Illinois quarterback Jimmy Garopollo and Florida State defensive tackle Timmy Jernigan, may want to adopt Eddie Lacy’s foresight last year and bring two suits.

Here is the complete list of players who have accepted the NFL’s invitation to its draft:

Odell Beckham Jr., WR, LSU

Blake Bortles, QB, Central Florida

Teddy Bridgewater, QB, Louisville

Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, S, Alabama

Jadeveon Clowney, DE, South Carolina

Brandin Cooks, WR, Oregon State

Kony Ealy, DE, Missouri

Eric Ebron, TE, North Carolina

Mike Evans, WR, Texas A&M

Kyle Fuller, CB, Virginia Tech

Jimmy Garoppolo, QB, Eastern Illinois

Justin Gilbert, CB, Oklahoma State

Ra’Shede Hageman, DT, Minnesota

Timmy Jernigan, DT, Florida State

Cyrus Kouandjio, OT, Alabama

Cody Latimer, WR, Indiana

Marqise Lee, WR, USC

Taylor Lewan, OT, Michigan

Khalil Mack, LB, Buffalo

Johnny Manziel, QB, Texas A&M

Jake Matthews, OT, Texas A&M

Jordan Matthews, WR, Vanderbilt

Morgan Moses, OT, Virginia

C.J. Mosley, LB, Alabama

Calvin Pryor, S, Louisville

Greg Robinson, OT, Auburn

Bradley Roby, CB, Ohio State

Ryan Shazier, LB, Ohio State

Jason Verrett, CB, TCU

Sammy Watkins, WR, Clemson


This former editor and part-time writer at The Post is now happy to prove that if you combine 'blowhard' and 'blaggard,' you get 'blogger.' He previously had used 'Desmond Bieler' as his byline, but feels that shortening the first name to 'Des' nicely conveys his ever-decreasing gravitas. He also covers Fantasy Football.



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Kelyn Soong · April 22, 2014

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