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Draft invites go out to select players

Invites are out and RSVPs are in.

Six top-rated college prospects will attend the April 26 NFL Draft at Radio City Music Hall in New York, where they will hear Commissioner Roger Goodell call their names and watch their futures come into view.

The players scheduled for New York are LSU defensive tackle Glenn Dorsey, Ohio State linebacker Vernon Gholston, Virginia defensive end Chris Long, Michigan offensive tackle Jake Long, Arkansas running back Darren McFadden and Boston College quarterback Matt Ryan.

They are widely regarded as the six top talents available in this draft, and surefire top 10 picks.

Either of the Longs could go No. 1 to Miami, whoever's not taken could go No. 2 to St. Louis, Dorsey or Ryan could go No. 3 to Atlanta, McFadden or Gholston or another defensive lineman could go No. 4 to Oakland, Ryan or Jake Long could go No. 5 to Kansas City, and the Jets would happily draft whichever player is still remaining.

To arrive at its exclusive draft-invite list, the NFL surveyed some of the most knowledgeable minds in the business, including former Dallas Cowboys executive and current analyst Gil Brandt.

Their opinions form the basis of facts in which the NFL makes its decision. The league wants to invite the safest picks possible, players it cannot imagine falling out of the top 10.

But every now and again, a mistake is made. Just last year, former Notre Dame quarterback Brady Quinn –- once projected as the potential third overall pick to the Browns –- dropped to the 22nd overall pick that Cleveland acquired from Dallas.

Quinn sat alone in the green room for 15 picks, one short of the record that former California quarterback Aaron Rodgers and former Texas A&M running back Leeland McElroy shared. Rodgers sat alone in the green room for 16 picks in 2005 before going to Green Bay with the 24th overall pick, McElroy for the same number of picks in 1996 before going to Arizona in the second round with the 32nd overall pick.

Also notable is the fact that all six players invited to this year's draft agreed to attend. Last year, former Wisconsin offensive tackle Joe Thomas, who wound up going to the Pro Bowl in his rookie year with the Browns, opted to go fishing instead.

This year, the only ones fishing will be teams. They are fishing for this year's Thomas.

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