After initial rumours that the trade association formerly known as the NFLPA was privately telling top prospects to steer clear of Radio City Music Hall on draft night, the players have changed course. They announced yesterday they won’t be holding a draft-night event and have even encouraged invited prospects to attend.
And at least one is locked in.
Former Iowa defensive end Adrian Clayborn announced on Twitter today that he has accepted his invitation to the draft, giving him a chance to shake the hand of the very man who is locking out Clayborn’s soon-to-be peers.
What’s interesting is that Clayborn has taken kind of a big risk by being the first prospect to agree to show up. Since the consensus is that he won’t be an early pick, Clayborn could end up in an awkward situation, especially if top prospects like Blaine Gabbert, Cam Newton, Patrick Peterson et al decide to stay away. There’s also a chance he could drop out of Round 1 and have to report back on the next night for the second round.
So will Clayborn blaze a trail and come out of this looking like a leader and a stronger individual than fellow prospects? In other words: Will this help his draft stock? Or will he simply piss off veteran players by helping the league promote its product?