The NFL has released its preliminary list of Prospects that will be attending the 2013 NFL draft. These prospects are generally thought of as high first round picks, or first round locks. The NFL converses with teams and scouts to get a feel for the most likely first round picks and then invites those players. Some players decline the invitation, but as a general rule, players who are invited usually attend. The biggest declining player this year(that we know of) Is Manti Teo who undoubtledly wanted to avoid the media circus. There are a few surprises among the names though. Here is the list in alphabetical order by first name.
Barkevious Mingo, OLB, LSU
Bjorn Werner, DE, Florida St.
Chance Warmac, OG, Alabama
Cordarelle Patterson, WR, Tennessee
Dee Milliner, CB, Alabama
DJ Fluker, OT, Alabama
EJ Manuel, QB, Florida St.
Eric Fisher, OT, Central Michigan
Ezekiel Ansah, DE/OLB, BYU
Geno Smith, QB, West Virgnia
Jonathan Cooper, OG, UNC
Kenny Vaccaro, S, Texas
Lane Johnson, OT, Oklahoma
Luke Joeckel, OT, Texas A&M
Margus Hunt, DE/OLB/TE, SMU
Menelik Watson, OT, Florida St.
Sharrif Floyd, DT, Florida
Tavon Austin, WR, West Virginia
Xavier Rhodes, CB, Florida St.
It is no surprise that Alabama ended up with 3 prospects(6th year in a row they have had multiple players in attendance), the big surprise though is that Florida St. leads the pack with a whopping 4 prospects. 4 might not sound like much, but considering there are only 19 players total on the list, they account for 21% of the attending players. West Virginia is the only other school with multiples(2).
The biggest surprises on this list are EJ Manuel and Menelik Watson, both from Florida St.. Both players have been thought of as fringe first rounders, but to be invited to the draft strongly indicates that they might be much higher on NFL boards than previously expected. Watson is a potential target for the Ravens.
The biggest exclusion is probably Matt Barkley. Barkley has been tossed around as a possible target of the Cardinals(which i don’t buy) as high as 7th overall. His name not being on the list might indicate that the media is overhyping his ascension up draft boards.
The NFL typically invites 24-27 players to the draft, so it is very likely they will add at least a couple more names to this list over the next couple weeks.