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

FILE - Alabama defensive backs Jared Mayden (21) and Patrick Surtain II (2) break up a pass intended for Duke wide receiver Jalon Calhoun (5) during the first half an NCAA college football game in Atlanta, in this Saturday, Aug. 31, 2019, file photo. The Cowboys should have their choice of cornerbacks after losing starter Chidobe Awuzie to Cincinnati in free agency, possibly grabbing his replacement to start alongside 2020 second-round choice Trevon Diggs. Former Alabama teammate Patrick Surtain II is a popular name in mock drafts.(AP Photo/John Bazemore, File) (John Bazemore, Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

CLEVELAND – 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.

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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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