The NFL Players Association has finalized a plan to re-work its signature draft event, “The Debut,” expanding it to three days, but not interfering directly with the NFL Draft itself, which begins at Radio City Music Hall on Thursday, April 28. In previous years, “The Debut” was a VIP event held the Wednesday night before the draft.
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The NFLPA will host a reception and dinner for the prospects and their families at a Times Square hotel on Thursday at 4 p.m. The festivities are scheduled to wrap up by 7 p.m., giving the players time to make the short trip to Radio City Music Hall for the 8 p.m. start of the draft.
Scheduled events for Friday are still being determined, but it is expected that the players’ commitments that day will end in time for the 6:30 p.m. start of the second round.
The NFLPA will wrap up the weekend with a party Saturday night for the draftees, their families, sponsors and other VIPs in New York City.
NFLPA spokesman George Attalah reiterated Monday, via Twitter, that the NFLPA is not asking players to boycott the draft and no players have voiced any objections to a potential invitation from the NFL.
Alabama wide receiver Julio Jones, considered one of this year’s top prospects, told The Birmingham News he would welcome the opportunity to be a part of the festivities at Radio City Music Hall.
“I have not heard anything about that, but hopefully I will be there to shake the commissioner’s hand,” Jones said. “Yes, sir, I want an opportunity to go to New York and be able to experience that.