Sports

Thousands of Football Fans Headed to Philadelphia For NFL Draft

      From April 26 to 28, the City of Brotherly Love will host the 2017 NFL Draft. It will be the first draft in Philadelphia since the draft began in 1936. Back then, the draft was less in-depth, as the players who were drafted were only split into the eight teams of the old National Football League. Also, the venue was not so grand as it is in the modern day, as the first draft was just located in a hotel. The popularity of the draft increased in 1970 with the merger of the American Football Conference and the National Football Conference. Since then, countless numbers of players have started their NFL careers with whichever teams that choose to draft them.

      In this year’s draft, the 32 current teams will give young football players the chance to make it in the pros. The Cleveland Browns and the Cincinnati Bengals will have the most draft picks with 11 each, while the Atlanta Falcons and the Buffalo Bills will have six. This year will be like no other because of the prime location of the event. It will be the first draft to be held outside, presented in front of a colossal number of NFL fans before the “Rocky” steps in front of the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Hundreds of thousands of people are expected to attend at least a portion of the three-day event.

      With a great crowd comes great preparation. The city of Philadelphia has already closed off the area around the Art Museum at Eakins Oval in advance of the crowds. While the preparation is crucial to the event’s success, concerns have come up regarding the environmental aspect of a huge gathering. With the prominence of trash build-up, the city will use its resources to make sure the NFL draft experience will be as safe as can be.

      With the NFL Draft soon arriving, let’s take the opportunity to go down memory lane as we remember some of the names that would become the NFL players they are today. Last year, the Philadelphia Eagles selected quarterback Carson Wentz with the second overall pick. Seventeen years ago, the greatest quarterback in recent memory would emerge from pick #199 in Tom Brady. Do you think we might see the next great quarterback in this draft? Mitch Trubisky from UNC is one QB that looks promising. His resilience is one of the reasons he sits so high on the draft board. Sports journalist Andrew Carter comments on Trubisky: “During his first five games this season–his first five as the Tar Heels’ starting quarterback, after he’d waited years for the opportunity–Trubisky completed 76 percent of his attempts for 1,711 yards, 13 touchdowns and no interceptions. People began to take notice. After Trubisky’s fifth college start, a 37-35 victory at Florida State won on Nick Weiler’s 54-yard field goal as time expired, at least one NFL draft analyst, the venerable Mel Kiper Jr., proclaimed Trubisky to [be] the best NFL draft-eligible quarterback in the country.”

      So will we see Trubisky go in the first round? Are there any other surprises in store? Well, this year’s NFL Draft could provide all of the twists we do not expect. It all goes down April 26-28, and history will be made!

     Sources: ESPN, The News & Observer, NFL.com

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