Monday, April 25, 2011
Five from Big 12 headed to NYC for draft
By ESPN.com staff
Believe it or not, we're finally just days away from the NFL draft, which begins on Thursday night. All the mocking is almost over and the real thing is upon us.
Today, the NFL released its list of 25 players headed to the draft at Radio City Music Hall, and five players from the Big 12 plan to make the trip.
- Blaine Gabbert, QB, Missouri
- Von Miller, LB, Texas A&M
- Aldon Smith, DE, Missouri
- Phil Taylor, DT, Baylor
- Danny Watkins, OL, Baylor
The group will get to New York this week and, as per tradition, take part in several events leading up to the draft.
The Big 12 won't dominate the draft like it did last year with six of the top nine picks and nine first-rounders, but of the group headed north, there are plenty of interesting stories.
Watkins, a former Canadian firefighter, is bringing five of his firefighting friends with him to the draft. He says they're responsible for him getting a start and wanted to pay tribute.
Miller is the only rookie plaintiff in the players' current lawsuit against the NFL, and just weeks after sitting in a courtroom to sue the NFL, he'll shake commissioner Roger Goodell's hand when his name is called Thursday night.
Finally, Gabbert still has a chance to go No. 1 overall, depending on what the Carolina Panthers decide to do.
Thursday should be an entertaining night, and I'll definitely be watching. I suggest you do the same. We'll get started on ESPN at 8 p.m. ET.