13 players, 5 from Alabama, to attend NFL draft in Cleveland

US and World Sports

Quarterback Mac Jones speaks during the National Championship celebration following Alabama’s spring NCAA college football game at Bryant-Denny Stadium, Saturday, April 17, 2021, in Tuscaloosa, Ala. (Gary Cosby/The Tuscaloosa News via AP)

CLEVELAND (AP) — Thirteen prospects will attend next week’s NFL draft in person.

One year after the entire draft was conducted virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the league is attempting to return to some normalcy. Most of the 13 players coming to Cleveland are expected to be selected in the first round.

Five members of national champion Alabama will attend: quarterback Mac Jones, defensive lineman Christian Barmore, cornerback Patrick Surtain II, and receivers Jaylen Waddle and Heisman Trophy winner DeVonta Smith.

Also accepting invitations were BYU quarterback Zach Wilson and North Dakota State QB Trey Lance; LSU wide receiver Ja’Marr Chase; Miami edge rusher Gregory Rousseau; Northwestern tackle Rashawn Slater; Virginia Tech cornerback Caleb Farley, Penn State linebacker Micah Parsons; and Florida tight end Kyle Pitts.

An additional 45 prospects, including likely No. 1 overall selection quarterback Trevor Lawrence of Clemson, will participate virtually, the NFL announced Friday. The draft’s first round is Thursday, with the second and third rounds next Friday and the final four rounds on May 1.

In total, 90 players will participate in the draft, including 32 current players, and several former NFL stars — seven of them members of the Pro Football Hall of Fame: Orlando Pace, Joe DeLamielleure, John Randle, Anthony Muñoz, Drew Pearson (induction in August), Franco Harris and Will Shields.

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