Nine prospects to attend draft

(Al Messerschmidt / Getty Images)

Matthew Stafford has been invited to attend Day 1 of the 2009 NFL Draft. (Al Messerschmidt / Getty Images)

Nine top prospects will attend Day 1 of the 2009 NFL Draft at Radio City Music Hall in New York City on April 25, the league announced Monday. WR Michael Crabtree, LB Aaron Curry, LB Brian Cushing, QB Josh Freeman, T Eugene Monroe, T Michael Oher, DE Brian Orakpo, T Jason Smith and QB Matthew Stafford will be the biggest group of prospects to attend the draft since 11 players attended the 1996 NFL Draft.

Players were first invited to the NFL Draft in 1993 with Drew Bledsoe (1st overall pick), Marvin Jones (4th), Willie Roaf (8th), Jerome Bettis (10th), Dan Williams (11th) and Irv Smith (20th). Of course, Smith’s tumble late into the first round bore the drama of players fidgeting in the “green room” waiting for their name to be called. Maybe that’s why QB Mark Sanchez will not be attending the draft.

Everybody remembers the famous slides of Aaron Rodgers who fell to the Packers at No. 24 in 2005, and Brady Quinn being picked at No. 22 by the Browns in 2007. They have nothing on former running back Leeland McElroy who lasted into the second round (32nd overall) in 1996 before he was mercifully drafted by the Cardinals.

For all of the latest draft information, including mock drafts, be sure to visit NFL.com’s draft page. There you can join the debate about the league’s all-time No. 1 pick.

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