The NFL draft has a little more star power this year. Nine prospects - the most since 1996 - are attending the draft in person at Radio City Music Hall, waiting to hear their name called up to the podium by commissioner Roger Goodell. Six players were invited last year.
The 2009 invitees: Soon-to-be-No. 1 pick QB Matthew Stafford (Georgia), WR Michael Crabtree (Texas Tech), LB Brian Cushing (USC), OT Michael Oher (Ole Miss), QB Josh Freeman (Kansas State), LB Aaron Curry (Wake Forest), OT Jason Smith (Baylor), DE Brian Orakpo (Texas) and OT Eugene Monroe (Virginia).
USC QB Mark Sanchez was invited to the draft but declined to attend, opting to stay in California to watch the draft with family and friends. His name is swirling in pre-draft rumors, with speculation he could go as high as the No. 2 pick to the St. Louis Rams.
More players at the draft means more drama on TV. Odds are that at least one of the nine will take an unexpected Brady Quinn-like fall into late in the first round.