Sizing up the tough draft decisions; free agents & franchise tags

The NFL's best prospects will gather next week in Indianapolis to show off their skills and try to improve their draft stock. Get the latest on the 2012 NFL Scouting Combine here, and check out a sampling of NFL Network draft analyst Mike Mayock's opinion on the big first-round decisions.

Here's what else is on tap for Friday:

» Arian Foster and Ray Rice likely will end up with franchise tags, but they appear to have different outlooks on how the next month should play out.

Mayock: 2012 draft rankings

With the NFL Scouting Combine around the corner, Mike Mayock updates his position-by-position rankings for the 2012 NFL Draft. More ...

» The list of impending free agents features plenty of recognizable names, including Patriots WR Wes Welker. See who else is set to go on the market come March 13.

» Kate Upton certainly invaded the public's consciousness after gracing the cover of the latest Sports Illustrated's swimsuit edition. Adam Rank lists his top six all-time SI cover models, and lists his other likes and dislikes.

» Jeremy Lin's rise to stardom has brought Harvard athletes into the national spotlight. See the top NFL players from Ivy League schools, and check back later as Michael Lombardi looks at non-drafted NFL players who become stars.

» Tune into NFL Network Thursday at 7 p.m. ET for all the latest pro football news on "NFL Total Access." Plus, TV, Hollywood, music and sports are all up for discussion during the latest Rich Eisen Podcast at 2 p.m. ET.

» The NFL has grown from humble roots to a league with a global fan base, and it's not stopping. Take a look at the sport's evolution.

» The March edition of NFL Magazine captures the story of Eli Manning's triumphant season in New York, plus much more. Subscribe now and save up to 75 percent off newsstand prices.

» Happy birthday to one of the NFL's greatest players, former Cleveland Browns running back Jim Brown, who turns 76 on Friday.

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