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NFL draft opens Thursday in Philadelphia

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For the first time since 1961, the NFL draft is back in Philadelphia. It will be the 82nd annual meeting of the National Football League to select newly eligible players. It is a magical weekend for the players as well as fans who attend the event. For players, their lives are forever changed. They become professionals and a lifelong dream is fulfilled. For bystanders, soon-to-be millionaires and celebrities are right before their eyes.

The draft will be held on the Rocky steps in front of the Philadelphia Museum of Art. This is along the Benjamin Franklin Parkway. A theater has been built on the steps and that is where the draft will be conducted. This marks the first time the entire draft will be held outdoors.

“We had talked about a couple different venues for the NFL and they wanted the Rocky steps and they wanted the Art Museum, so that’s what we gave them. It will be a terrific event,” Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney told The Associated Press.

Because it has been such a long time since the draft was in Philly, a large crowd is expected. However, it is very difficult to obtain tickets. Most tickets for seating in the indoor draft theater will be given out through an online lottery conducted on the NFL.com website, according to a March 2017 story by Jeff Kerr on CBSSports.com. The remaining tickets will be given to seat fillers — people who fill seats for ticket holders until the ticket holder shows up or returns to his or her seat, or for ticket holders who don’t show up at all. Those interested in seat filler tickets for Thursday afternoon’s event can register at https://1iota.com/Show/616/2017-NFL-DRAFT.

Philadelphia will not get extra tickets even though it is the host city. All 32 teams will have equal chance for fan representation at the draft.

 

Although Philadelphia is not receiving special treatment, prepare to hear a roar of Eagles fans when their picks are announced. The Eagles own the 14th pick, 43rd pick, 99th pick and five more picks in the later rounds.

The first overall pick in the 2017 NFL draft belongs to the Cleveland Browns. The Browns are infamous for making bad decisions with their early draft picks. They look to turn that around with this year’s pick. Many scouts and analysts predicted it would come down to North Carolina quarterback Mitch Trubisky or Texas A&M defensive end Myles Garrett. Garrett said that if he is passed on, it will be a huge mistake.

“And because if you don’t draft me No. 1, I will punish your team for the next 10 to 12 years,” Garrett said in the April 24 issue of ESPN The Magazine. “I’ll knock your QB out of the game every time we play you, and I’ll have to kick the hell out of No. 1, whoever it is.”

 

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NFL draft opens Thursday in Philadelphia