It might be a little to early for draft talk here at Pats Pulpit, but I thought this story was really interesting.
According to ESPN Los Angeles, the NFLPA will be hosting a college bowl game known as the AstroTurf NFLPA Collegiate Bowl at the Home Depot Center in Los Angeles, California on January 21st 2012:
The game is expected to draw 100 of the country's top NFL draft prospects, who will be split into two teams coached by Dick Vermeil and Tom Flores. It will be the first time Vermeil and Flores have faced each other in a game since Super Bowl XV, when Flores' Oakland Raiders beat Vermeil's Philadelphia Eagles 27-10.
The players for the game will arrive in Los Angeles on Jan. 16 for a week of practices before the game, much like the Senior Bowl is run in Mobile, Ala. The biggest difference is the NFLPA's event also will be open to underclassmen who have entered their name into the draft.
Of course, many of the top tier players won't participate in this (similar to the Senior Bowl), but I still think this is a very interesting concept. The fact that undergraduates will have the chance to participate in this game may correlate to more undergrads with "high potential", but not necessarily high stock, declaring for the draft (as underclassmen can't normally play in "All Star" bowl games).
Either way, I'm always game to soak up any additional pre-draft evaluation opportunities that I can, even if it doesn't make too big of a difference in the long haul.
What are your thoughts on the game?