NFL Wire News

Winston, Mariota not among 26 prospects attending NFL Draft


The Sports Xchange

The NFL released the names of the 26 prospects who will be in Chicago for the NFL Draft, and noticeably absent were the two marquee names – quarterbacks Marcus Mariota and Jameis Winston.

Both had indicated previously they did not plan to travel to Chicago for the festivities starting with the first round on April 30. Winston cited a grandmother who cannot travel who he wants to enjoy the draft with, while Mariota believes it is important for him personally and culturally to be at home in Hawaii.

Winston and Mariota are the top two rated players in the 2015 NFL Draft by Also choosing not to attend the event in Chicago is wide receiver Amari Cooper, the No. 5 overall prospect who is vying with West Virginia’s Kevin White to be the first wide receiver off the board. White will attend the draft along with the other seven players rated among the top 10 by

The lowest-rated prospects to earn an invite to Chicago are: Mississippi State’s Benardrick McKinney, a polarizing prospect who is the second-rated inside linebacker and No. 46 prospect overall; Ohio State speedster Devin Smith, the ninth-rated wide receiver an No. 53 prospect overall by NDS; and Duke’s Laken Tomlinson, the second-rated guard and No. 56 prospect overall.

The NFL stated the 26 prospects are “expected to be selected on Thursday or Friday night” of the draft, which includes the first three rounds.

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