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The Final Countdown To the 2011 NFL Draft



In four days, a group of young men will sit together in a "Green Room," anxiously awaiting for their name to be called by Roger Goodell. If the experts who made out the invitation list are correct, each one of the assembled will make their way across the stage of the Radio City Music Hall in New York City during the 2011 NFL Draft. This once-in-a-lifetime experience will begin with a handshake from the NFL Commissioner. Then, donning a hat and jersey from their new team, they will pose for the first of many pictures. There will be smiles, tears of joy and laughter shared with their families before heading off to do interviews with ESPN and the NFL Network. 

On Thursday April 28th, Bronco fans will affix themselves in front of a television or computer monitor with that same anxiety, putting up with the likes of Mel Kiper Ron Jaworski and Jon Gruden, wondering which young man will be in that picture with the Commissioner and the Greatest Quarterback Of All Time. Well I will make one surefire guarantee; that the list below contains the name of the next newest Denver Bronco.
According to league spokesman Greg Aiello, the NFL will traditionally invite the 15-20 top prospects and their families to New York for the Draft. This year, more than two dozen players will be in the Big Apple. And while I can't compete with Kiper's coif or Chucky's churlish grin, I've done enough homework that even "Jaws" can't complain. 

The invitees are as follows:


Cam Newton - Auburn
Blaine Gabbert - Missouri
Jake Locker - Washington
Andy Dalton - TCU

Defensive Backs

Patrick Peterson CB - LSU

Prince Amukamara CB - Nebraska 
Rahim Moore FS - UCLA

Defensive Linemen

Nick Fairley DT - Auburn
Marcell Dareus DT - Alabama

Corey Liuget DT - Illinois
Adrian Clayborn DE - Iowa
Cameron Jordan DE - Cal
J.J. Watt DE - Wisconsin
Aldon Smith DE - Missouri
Ryan Kerrigan DE - Purdue



Von Miller - Texas A&M
Mark Herzlich - Boston College
Akeem Ayers - UCLA

Offensive Linemen

Tyron Smith OT - USC
Mike Pouncey OC - Florida
Nate Solder OT - Colorado 
Danny Watkins OG - Baylor

Wide Receivers

Julio Jones - Alabama        
A.J. Green - Georgia

Running backs

Mark Ingram - Alabama 
Ryan Williams - Virginia Tech
Randall Cobb - Kentucky

Nevada QB Colin Kaepernick, Clemson DE Da'Quan Bowers and Ohio State DE Cameron Heyward were also extended invitations to the Draft, but they declined. Bowers has such a huge amount of family and friends, he wanted to stay home and share the moment with the one's he loves. Heyward also wished to spend time with his family. 

As you can see, a full third of this group is comprised of Defensive Linemen. Given those numbers, the odds favor the Broncos selecting one of these Linemen with their pick.

For the fortunate young man taken by the Denver Broncos with the 2nd overall selection, his first picture with Commissioner Goodell have John Elway in it too. Lucky guy.

Go Broncos!