How top prospects are spending night before draft


PHILADELPHIA -- The night before the draft might be the most fitful sleep any person tangentially associated with the NFL has in their lifetime. For executives and coaches, it's about landing the player atop their board. For fans, it's the rush of renewed promise.

But for the actors at the center of the drama, it's a life-changing moment that plays out live on television. The NFL equivalent of Match Day, where the next four years of their lives are determined without their input.

That can be stressful, which is why we surveyed some of the draft's top prospects to see how they'll spend the next 24 hours and handle the wait.

Mitchell Trubisky, quarterback, North Carolina

Trubisky has a suit problem.

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He got connected with a tailor in Dallas who provided him with two options that he liked. Then, Armani got into the mix and provided a third option. While many soon-to-be NFLers have had their on-camera outfit planned for weeks now, Trubisky plans on getting some second and third opinions Wednesday night.

One of the more fashion-inclined members of his agency will end up having a major say, as will mom.

"My parents, my brothers and sisters just got into town today," Trubisky told me early Wednesday afternoon at the Logan Hotel's P&G Lounge. "They're getting used to it. I think it's weird for them to see their older brother on TV and people talking about him, but it's just fun to go through this process together. They've been my love and support system throughout my whole career."

He closed the debate on another potential hang-up a while back. He surveyed his friends to ask them what his walk-up song should be when his name is called. He said he could not remember all of the worst options, though one friend kept suggesting Lil Wayne songs with a significant amount of vulgar lyrics.

"I was actually kind of pleased with my song choice," he said. " ... I actually went with 'Forever' by Drake. It plays in the LeBron (James) documentary 'More Than A Game.' I grew up listening to that song and it kind of has more meaning."

Like most of us, Trubisky is behind on premium television and if the suit selection process finishes early, he'll try and sneak a few episodes in.

"Right now, it's Entourage. Every time I get some downtime I just watch Entourage and relax. I'm on season eight -- sometimes you try not to think about your own problems and think about what's going on in the TV show and how Hollywood is crazy and stuff like that. I like to watch that show and relax."

Leonard Fournette, running back, LSU

The bruising running back spent part of his morning at Shriners Hosptials for Children as part of a Play 60 event.

Surrounded by a horde of reporters, he deftly circumnavigated questions about playing for the Jaguars and the Eagles. He was asked about his visit with Philadelphia at least three times.

As for his evening plans, he said he'll lock himself inside his hotel room.

"Man, tonight I'm just going to be in my room with my daughter watching TV," Fournette told me. "You know, that's it."

When asked if he had a preference on TV, he said that responsibility belongs to Lyric Jae, who was born in January of 2015.

"Whatever she wants to watch, I'll watch it with her. It's her world, not mine."

Jonathan Allen, defensive tackle, Alabama

Jonathan Allen said he's happy to have his "lovely" fiancée and her family in town. His extended family, agents, marketing team and friends will all attend an NFL event on Wednesday night before shutting down early.

Allen's go-to distraction in case he won't be able to sleep? Cell phone games.

"I'm not concerned, it is what it is but we'll see (if I'll be nervous)."

Allen said he prefers Paper Toss, and also has a dominoes app on his phone. If he's feeling adventurous, he also enjoys Summoner Wars, an RPG that, according to the product description, sets place in the "Sky Arena, a world under battle over the vital resource: Mana Crystals!"

Jamal Adams, safety, LSU

Adams is in Philadelphia, so he's looking for a cheese steak.

"Never had one, so we'll see," he said.

The night before he graduates to the NFL, he plans on sampling the city's most recognizable cuisine. It will be a well-deserved cheat meal with the pre-draft process reaching a fevered pitch for Adams.

He talks about the extraneousness like a seasoned veteran. If this draft has taught players anything, it's that a saturation in media -- and general public -- attention has never been greater.

"Whether it's a 13-year-old on Twitter who never played football in his life and he's going to tell you that you suck," Adams said. "It's a lot of things that come with it, man, but you find out what kind of people are in this game as far as agents, media and fans. You find out who is really genuine and who really cares for you. Because there's a lot of dirty people in this world."

Adams said that before our interview he was cornered by some fans who asked him to sign memorabilia. He politely declined but the horde followed him to his car. They harassed both Adams and the driver as they departed, suggesting that Adams was too big time to sign.

The truth? He says he didn't want to ink a bunch of stuff that adults were probably going to re-sell anyway.

"It made it seem like they wanted to fight me," he said.

In some ways, the night before the draft can be a sanctuary as much as a stress factory. Adams knows the ride is only going to get crazier from here, so he's looking forward to downshifting.

"Vibe. Just vibe," he said. "Talk to my family. All I want to do is chill."

Watch the NFL Draft LIVE on Thursday at 8 p.m. ET on NFL Network