Alabama’s Smith headlines players attending NFL draft

Sports

FILE – In this Monday, Jan. 11, 2021 file photo, Alabama wide receiver DeVonta Smith runs for a touchdown against Ohio State during the first half of an NCAA College Football Playoff national championship game in Miami Gardens, Fla. Heisman Trophy winner DeVonta Smith of Alabama is scheduled to appear in person in Cleveland at the NFL draft later this month. Smith, the wide receiver projected to be a high first-round pick, is among a group of players who have accepted their invitations to attend the draft.(AP Photo/Chris O’Meara, File)

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Heisman Trophy winner DeVonta Smith of Alabama is scheduled to appear in person in Cleveland at the NFL draft later this month.

Smith, the wide receiver projected to be a high first-round pick, is among a group of players who have accepted their invitations to attend the draft.

The NFL announced last monththat some of the top prospects were being invited to Cleveland. The league is hoping to incorporate some of the city’s best-known locations along Lake Erie: FirstEnergy Stadium, home of the Browns; and the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.

The draft will be held April 29 to May 1.

Last year’s draft was held virtually because of the COVID-19 pandemic as Commissioner Roger Goodell hosted the 2020 event from his New York-area home, but he will be in attendance this time in Ohio.

Smith won’t be the only member of the national champions in attendance. Quarterback Mac Jones, defensive lineman Christian Barmore and cornerback Patrick Surtain II will be there as well.

Also attending the festivities will be wide receiver Ja’Marr Chase, who won the national title with LSU in 2019 before opting out of the 2020 season; North Dakota State quarterback Trey Lance; Florida tight end Kyle Pitts; Miami edge rusher Gregory Rousseau; Penn State linebacker Micah Parsons; and Virginia Tech cornerback Caleb Farley.

Jones, Smith, Pitts and Surtain were all members of the AP All-America first team in 2020, while Barmore was on the third team. And Chase, Rousseau and Parsons were first-teamers in 2019.

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