The 2016 NFL Draft will kickoff tonight at 8pm ET. Before the first round ends, 31 college players will become the first members of the 2016 rookie class (the New England Patriots do not have a first round pick due to the Deflategate scandal). Many of the players selected tonight, and throughout the weekend, will be at home with their families and friends - scenes we have all watched on the various TV coverage over the past few years. There is another group of players, however, who usually dominant the first round - the players invited to attend the Draft.
These are, of course, usually players the league feels will be first-round picks, who get to sit at the tables set up in the green room, waiting for their names to be called by the Commissioner. Some of the players may slip into the second round (which of course then lends itself to the TV cameras in their faces showing their reaction to every player selected ahead of them), but for the most part, the invited group of players will walk across the stage Thursday night, hug Roger Goodell, hold up a number one jersey from their team, and pose for pictures with their family. It's a great moment for the young men, and it gives fans the first chance to see their newest player.
This year, 25 players accepted the invitation to attend the Draft, including the presumed first two picks in quarterbacks Jared Goff and Carson Wentz. The full list of attendees is: