The NFL will honor outstandinng members of the community throughout the three-day celebration at the 2017 NFL Draft. Special guests will take part in the excitement of the Draft by announcing various picks and participating in festivities in Philadelphia.
Salute to Service – Military Appreciation
The NFL will recognize active duty service members, veterans and their families at Draft events throughout the week. On Thursday evening, a joint color guard will be joined onstage with veter
ans from Wounded Warrior Project during the National Anthem to open the Draft.
The NFL has teamed with the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS) to honor the Frisons, a Gold Star Family. A Lancaster, Pa. native and passionate Philadelphia Eagles fan, U.S. Army 1st Lt. DEMETRIUS FRISON lost his life in combat in Afghanistan in 2011. Frison’s wife and son will accompany Philadelphia Eagles Legend RON JAWORSKI onstage to announce the Eagles’ Round 2 pick along with a Joint Service Honor Guard representing all branches of military service.
In addition, active duty service members from all five branches of the military and veterans from the USO and Wounded Warrior Project will be guests at the Draft on Saturday for Rounds 4-7.
St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital®
St. Jude patient KATE FOSTER will join COMMISSIONER GOODELL and Chicago Bears Legend JAY HILGENBERG to announce the Bears’ Round 2 pick. A competitive gymna
st, Kate, 18, from Rockford, IL, lost her left leg to an infection during treatment for Acute Myeloid Leukemia at age 12 but overcame her illness and returned to the gym less than a year later.
Make-A-Wish recipient TJ ONWUANIBE will have his wish granted when he joins COMMISSIONER GOODELL to announce the Baltimore Ravens’ Round 1 pick. A football-loving 14-year old, TJ is a cancer survivor and devoted Ravens fan from Laurel, MD.
Youth and High School Football
Football players from MARTIN LUTHER KING HIGH SCHOOL will take the stage alongside COMMISSIONER GOODELL and represent the Philadelphia Eagles during their Round 1 pick. Due to lack of resources and funding, Germantown High School’s football program merged with former crosstown rival Martin Luther King High School. Prior to the pick announcement, the team will walk the Red Carpet alongside Draft prospects.
In addition, LIAM
MCCLURE, a Methacton High School football player diagnosed with autism, will walk the Red Carpet on Thursday and hand out New Era Caps to Draft picks with his teammates. McClure fell in love with football after attending a Philadelphia Eagles Training Camp and further developed his passion for the game after joining the Methacton Warriors.
In memory of the late legendary Pennsylvania high school football coach MIKE PETTINE SR., the Central Bucks West High School football team will accompany Philadelphia Eagles long snapper and 2016 Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year team winner JON DORENBOS in making the Eagles’ Round 3 pick. Pettine Sr. had 16 undefeated seasons in his 33 years as head coach and won four state championships with Central Bucks West High School.
For the first time, Round 6 of the NFL Draft will be youth football-themed. Youth football players from Pop Warner, NFL FLAG and local teams will represent various NFL clubs in their local markets during pick selections.
The NFL Draft 7-on-7 tour
nament champions will be recognized onstage during the Philadelphia Eagles’ Round 7 selection.
NFL Legends and Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Recognition
Thirty-two former players from the NFL Legends Community, one representing each team, will be featured in Round 2. 15 Pro Football Hall of Fame members will announce picks, including MORTEN ANDERSEN, JIM BROWN, WILLIE BROWN, FRANCO HARRIS, JIM TAYLOR and THURMAN THOMAS.
Round 3 Draft announcements will feature past recipients and team winners of the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award presented by Nationwide. Carolina Panthers linebacker and 2014 Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year THOMAS DAVIS will make the Round 1 pick selection on behalf of his team.
The Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award recognizes a player for his excellence on and off the field and represents the best of the NFL’s commitment to philanthropy and community impact.