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UCF’s Griffin, FSU’s James part of NFL invited list to draft

Florida Football Insiders



Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Three weeks from Thursday night, it all gets underway in “Big D,” as the 2018 NFL Draft will commence. The now three night event, will be at AT&T Stadium, and we now know the list of invites from the league to attend.

The NFL made the list official late Thursday afternoon and the state is well represented, including the momentum gaining status of UCF LB/S Shaquem Griffin, who got his official invite. Griffin, who wasn’t originally invited to the combine in February, but the NFL changed it’s mind, is highly unlikely to go night one and may not go on night two.

So, his invite is interesting, as that’s usually reserved for players who will be taken in the first two-three rounds.

Also, on the list is Florida State safety Derwin James, who as we wrote earlier is very likely now to go in the top 15, if not the top 10 of the opening round.

The NFL made obvious invites to QB’s Sam Darnold of USC, Josh Allen of Wyoming and Josh Rosen of UCLA, who could all be taken in the top five. Interestingly, somewhat controversial QB and 2017 Heisman winner Baker Mayfield did not get invited to go to North Texas.

It’s not clear if Mayfield declined the NFL privately, or not, to watch the draft elsewhere with family and others.

Meanwhile, Louisville QB Lamar Jackson, the 2016 Heisman trophy winner who played high school ball in Boynton Beach, is also part of the league’s invite list. Jackson is projected currently as a mid-late first round pick. However, the buzz is building around him and he might surprisingly go higher.

Another interesting inclusion is Florida Gators defensive tackle Taven Bryan. Most mock drafts have him as a late first or early second round projection. Bryan was one of two tackles invited by the league with Washington’s mammoth Vita Vea.

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