A big draft party

There are always a lot of prospects on hand at the draft, to do live interviews and pose with the commissioner wearing a baseball cap with a log of the team that drafted them — unless it's Eli Manning, but that's another story.

In any event, there will be record number of players at Radio City Music Hall, with 26 prospects confirmed.

The list, in alphabetical order:

S Mark Barron, Alabama

WR Justin Blackmon, Oklahoma State

DT Michael Brockers, LSU

CB Morris Claiborne, LSU

DE Quinton Coples, North Carolina

DT Fletcher Cox, Mississippi State

TE Coby Fleener, Stanford

WR Michael Floyd, Notre Dame

CB Stephon Gilmore, South Carolina

T Cordy Glenn, Georgia

QB Robert Griffin III, Baylor

LB Dont'a Hightower, Alabama

WR Stephen Hill, Georgia Tech

DE Melvin Ingram, South Carolina

T Matt Kalil, USC

CB Dre Kirkpatrick, Alabama

QB Andrew Luck, Stanford

LB Shea McClellin, Boise State

DE Nick Perry, USC

DT Dontari Poe, Memphis

WR Rueben Randle, LSU

RB Trent Richardson, Alabama

DT Devon Still, Penn State

QB Ryan Tannehill, Texas A&M

LB Courtney Upshaw, Alabama

WR Kendall Wright, Baylor

If you add it up, you've got five prospects from Alabama and three more from LSU.

Now, the always-interesting part about these invitations is trying to decipher which prospects will be at Radio City Music Hall for more than one day, meaning they won't be selected in Thursday night's first round.

The best guess is at this point is that the most likely prospects among the 26 to not be first-round picks are McClellin, Hill and perhaps Coby Fleener.

Those three, however, should be drafted no later than early in the second round.


It never fails. Every year we hear about a prospect scoring a really low number on the Wonderlic aptitude test — despite those results supposedly being confidential.

This year's "lucky" winner is LSU cornerback Morris Claiborne, who probably won't see anything but his reputation take a hit.

Even if he did score as low as reports suggest, it's not going to keep him from being a top 10 pick, maybe even a top five pick.

In fact, it's difficult to envision a test result really offering a true gauge of a prospect's future because, come on, what does being able to answer a quick math or logic question have to do with learning a playbook?

It's just one of the issues with the combine that get overblown. We've said it before and we'll say it again: The way to evaluate a prospect is through game tape.


Forget about Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III, there's not a draft prospect creating more conversation these days than Texas A&M quarterback Ryan Tannehill.

There's two interesting debates going on with Tannehill. The first is what teams are looking at him hard and might trade up to get him; the second is whether he deserves this kind of treatment in the first place.

A little more than a week before the draft, it appears pretty clear now that Tannehill will be among the first 10 picks, and taking it further it appears unlikely he will last past the eighth selection, which currently belongs to Miami.

Teams that have been said to be interested in his services include Cleveland, Miami, Kansas City, Buffalo and even the Philadelphia Eagles have been tossed into the mix.

Colts owner Jim Irsay suggested that any team wanting Tannehill would need to trade up to the No. 3 spot, currently owned by Minnesota.

Buffalo is a weird entry into the "Tannehill sweepstakes," considering the Bills gave Ryan Fitzpatrick a lucrative contract extension last season.

The most logical landing spots for Tannehill remain Cleveland or Miami.

As for whether he's worth all the ballyhoo, the answer is probably not, but it's a sign of the times, where quarterbacks dictate so many things that teams will go to great lengths for even the possibility at landing the next Tom Brady or Aaron Rodgers.

The new CBA took care of the outlandish rookie salaries, which means there's less of a risk now to take a shot at a quarterback. That, in turn, only increases the value of quarterbacks, who already were over-valued to begin with.

Everyone agrees Tannehill has interesting tools and could develop into a star quarterback, but the consensus is he will need time to develop.

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