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News » Draft prospects do the town as big day nears 2009-04-26

Draft prospects do the town as big day nears 2009-04-26

Draft prospects do the town as big day nears 2009-04-26
NEW YORK - On the eve of Saturday's NFL draft, none of the nine prospects invited to attend seemed nervous about their fate.


  • As a youngster, Freeman would shave his head to emulate his idol — running back Eddie George.

  • At the advice of friends, Texas defensive end Brian Orakpo said the top tourist attraction he was told to see was the famed "Naked Cowboy" strumming his guitar in Times Square.

    Orakpo didn't find him on this trip, but Stafford and Virginia tackle Eugene Monroe did participate in a game of Guitar Hero. The soft-spoken Monroe showcased nimble fingers to beat Stafford but then lost to a youngster named Trish.

    "I'm a little rusty, but at least I beat Stafford," said Monroe, taking a page from Smith. "I crushed him."

    Mississippi tackle Michael Oher spent most of his time painting a tin coffee can with a girl named Brooke. When Oher left the can behind to take a group photo, Brooke tried tracking him down before being herded into an elevator. The adult accompanying Brooke coldly told her, "He doesn't want it."

    She was wrong.

    "I'm going to keep it," Oher later said after I gave him the can. "She said it's a piggy bank and I'm going to use it as one.

    "Some of those kids are 8 years old and they look so small, like they're 2 or 3. It's crazy."

    Stop 5: New York Stock Exchange Euronext

    It's fitting that players with high-draft stock would close the market at 4 p.m. after Friday's 119-point gain.

    The second-story ceremonial space reserved for the occasion normally fits 15 people but was jammed with roughly 2,400 pounds of Grade-A NFL beef. Stafford was the chosen bell-ringer and Curry assigned to pound the gavel to end this week's trading.

    NYSE chief executive Duncan Neiderauer told the players that a worldwide audience of 100 million people watched the closing.

    "With the contracts you're going to be signing, I guess you're going to pay a little more attention to (the market) going forward," Neiderauer told them.

    Maybe so. But Crabtree — who received a half-hearted ovation from his peers Friday morning as the last player to board the motorcoach — had other things on his mind.

    "I'm tired," he admitted while sitting next to three of his equally pooped peers.

    Crabtree would soon have the chance to rest, but not quite yet. There was one more order of business ahead after a bumpy 45-minute ride uptown.

    Stop 6: Radio City Music Hall

    In a scene reminiscent of The Beatles, all nine players were ushered to the roof. The nonet then posed atop the Radio City Music Hall's famed marquee while a crowd of roughly 100 fans, sightseers and media members took photos from across the street.

    As if the players weren't receiving enough attention from below, Smith added to it with a now-familiar scream:

    Matt-hew Staff-ford!.

    Stafford never let the smile leave his face. Less than 24 hours now remained until he would fulfill a childhood dream. He could handle a little more heckling.

    "It's been a grind this whole process, not just this trip to New York but everything building up to it," Stafford said. "I'm just going to be calm, cool, relaxed and enjoy tomorrow."

    After a day like Friday, Stafford and his draft cohorts deserve that.

  • Author:Fox Sports
    Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
    Added: April 26, 2009

    Corey Hulsey Name: Corey Hulsey
    Position: OG
    Age: 31
    Experience: 6 years
    College: Clemson
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