NFL draft prospects to take part in player health events this week

Editor's note: Updated 12:15 p.m. EST May 7, 2014

By Bill Bradley, contributing editor

The NFL draft begins Thursday night at Radio City Music Hall, but the player health and safety portion of Draft Week starts Wednesday in Chelsea.

Wednesday's activities will be part of two days of events this week related to the NFL's health and safety initiatives.

The first event will be an NFL PLAY 60 Draft Celebration on Wednesday at Chelsea Waterside Park where 30 draft prospects -- including expected high picks Jadeveon Clowney, Johnny Manziel and Khalil Mack -- will teach kids Heads Up Football concepts.

The program at Waterside Park, which will include NFL FLAG drills and Heads Up Football skills from USA Football and Under Armour coaches, will feature clinics on Wednesday and Thursday for kids from around the New York area. Current and former pros, including Ben Tate, Chad Pennington and Andre Reed, will work with the kids both days.

Prior to Thursday's draft, those same 30 draft prospects will visit pediatric patients at Kravis Children's Hospital at the Mount Sinai Medical Center in Manhattan.

On Saturday during Day 3 of the 2014 NFL Draft, the league will host a series of panel discussions for youth football players, parents and coaches from the New York area at Radio City Music Hall's Grand Lounge.

The event, which will take place in five half-hour sessions, will bring more than 400 youth players to the draft. The youths will hear from USA Football representatives Mike Haynes and Ruben Brown, former NFL players Keith Elias, Donovin Darius and Chester Pitts and football moms Chris Golic and Amanda Rodriguez.

The sessions will address key health and safety issues, the Heads Up Football program and the role parents and coaches play in youth sports.

Heads Up Football also will offer on-site registration.

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