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Ayers, Cobb, Moore, Williams, Herzlich still in NFL draft green room

Randall Cobb, Ryan Williams

Kentucky wide receiver Randall Cobb, right, poses for photographs with Ryan Williams, left, before the first round of the NFL football draft at Radio City Music Hall on Thursday, April 28, 2011, in New York. (AP Photo/Stephen Chernin)


Most years, all of the players invited to Radio City Music Hall for the NFL draft are selected in the first round. But this year, after the NFL decided to bring a record 25 players to New York City, five players remain undrafted and just hoping to hear their names called today.

Four of the players, UCLA linebacker Akeem Ayers, Kentucky receiver Randall Cobb, UCLA safety Rahim Moore and Virginia Tech RB Ryan Williams, are likely to go in the second round and will surely be off the board before the end of tonight’s third round.

The fifth, Boston College linebacker Mark Herzlich, may not be selected tonight. But Herzlich was invited to the draft more because of his inspiring personal story as a cancer survivor than because he was projected as a high pick. The NFL scheduled Herzlich’s draft experience with the expectation that he wouldn’t go in the first round.

With 25 players at the draft, it was a given that a few would still be there at the end of the first day. The best thing about the NFL’s decision to invite so many players to the draft may be that it gets rid of the awkwardness associated with being the last player taken.