A record 25 players attended the 2011 NFL Draft, despite the fact the festivities were held during the height of the lockout.
The NFL has announced that 26 players will be featured at this year’s three-day event, according to Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk.com.
Eight elite prospects from the National Championship will be in attendance—cornerback Morris Claiborne, defensive tackle Michael Brockers and wide receiver Reuben Randle out of LSU and Alabama’s Trent Richardson, Dre Kirkpatrick, Courtney Upshaw, Dont’a Hightower and Mark Barron.
Stanford star signal-caller Andrew Luck and tight end Coby Fleener will be joined by USC offensive tackle Matt Kalil and DE/OLB Nick Perry from the Pac-12. Heisman Trophy winner Robert Griffin III and wide receiver Kendall Wright will both represent Baylor.
Elsewhere out of the SEC will be Georgia G/OT Cordy Glenn, South Carolina DE/OLB Melvin Ingram and CB Stephon Gilmore and defensive tackle Fletcher Cox out of Mississippi State.
Memphis DT Dontari Poe, Penn State’s Devon Still, North Carolina defensive end Quinton Coples, Georgia Tech wide out Stephen Hill, Oklahoma State’s Justin Blackmon, Notre Dame star receiver Michael Floyd, Boise State DE/OLB Shea McClellin and Texas A&M QB Ryan Tannehill will also attend the 2012 NFL Draft.
The biggest names who are not attending are Boston College LB Luke Kuechly, Oklahoma State QB Brandon Weeden, Stanford OG David DeCastro and OT Jonathan Martin and Iowa offensive tackle Riley Reiff. Arizona State signal-caller Brock Osweiler received an invitation, but declined to attend.
All 26 attendees look to get snatched by the middle of the second round and most of them will be off the board by the end of round one.
Linebacker Mark Herzlich was one of last year’s 25 prospects in attendance, but unfortunately went undrafted. It could have been seen as a blessing in disguise nonetheless, as he was picked up by the New York Giants and ended up with 12 tackles in 11 games (two starts) and an all-important Super Bowl ring.