The start of the first round of draft night be a lonely one for NFL commissioner Roger Goodell if both of the top two quarterbacks choose to watch the draft with their families, rather than attend the event in Chicago.
Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota has chosen to spend draft night at home in Hawaii, according to a report Tuesday evening from ESPN that cited two anonymous sources. Fellow quarterback Jameis Winston, the likely No. 1 overall pick, is considering watching the draft with his family in Alabama, though he said Tuesday at his pro day at Florida State that he is undecided.
Attendance at the draft is not mandatory for invited players, but it is very rare for top picks – especially the top quarterbacks – to opt out of the NFL’s official draft festivities, which include media obligation, community events and a red carpet appearance leading up to the first round on April 30.
Typically, first-round picks are flown to their new cities the morning after the draft. If Winston stays in Alabama, that’s an easy trip to Tampa, should the Buccaneers take him with the top pick. For Mariota, the travel plans from Honolulu would be significantly more complicated.
SOURCE: USA Today – Lindsay H. Jones