Longtime Dallas Cowboys receiver Michael Irvin believes top prospects Jameis Winston and Marcus Mariota are making a mistake by not attending the NFL Draft this week in Chicago.
“I understand you want to be with your family, Jameis Winston and Marcus Mariota, but you’re a quarterback. Nobody profits more from this league than quarterbacks and I do have an issue with them not being there,” Irvin said, per Lindsay Jones of USA TODAY. “This is a family. You’re coming into something that is much bigger than you. Don’t big-time it, and that’s what I feel is being done.”
It’s been long assumed that Winston and Mariota will go first and second overall, respectively, but both have opted to watch their big moment on TV with their families--Winston in Alabama and Mariota in Hawaii.
In doing that they’ll miss the chance to walk across the stage and shake the commissioner’s hand, as well as the chance to speak to Hall of Famers Irvin and Cris Carter prior to the draft. Irvin and Carter were brought in by the NFL to discuss life as an NFL player with the 28 prospects who will be in attendance.
“I think Jameis would benefit especially from the opportunity to talk to guys like Cris and I, but also just being there and seeing it. He won’t get what he’s getting to be part of. You see [fans] wrapped around the building, sleeping there, to get there. You see what it means to them,” Irvin said. “I absolutely hate the fact that they’re not coming. Everyone will get on me, oh Michael they can make this decision. Yeah, they can. But I can make the decision to hate the fact that they made it.”