Bro hugs, daps and handshakes look like they will make a triumphant return during next week's NFL draft.
Roger Goodell announced picks from his home last April during the early stages of the pandemic, meaning the tradition of excited draftees being greeted by the NFL commissioner onstage was on hiatus.
But the league said Friday Goodell is fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and that physical contact between incoming rookies and commissioner will be allowed. NFL Network reported post-draft interactions will remain unscripted and be brief.
Thirteen prospects will be in attendance next Thursday in Cleveland:
- QB Mac Jones (Alabama)
- QB Trey Lance (North Dakota State)
- QB Zach Wilson (BYU)
- CB Caleb Farley (Virginia Tech)
- CB Patrick Surtain II (Alabama)
- WR Ja'Marr Chase (LSU)
- WR Jaylen Waddle (Alabama)
- TE Kyle Pitts (Florida)
- LB Micah Parsons (Penn State)
- DE Gregory Rousseau (Miami (Fla.))
- DL Christian Barmore (Alabama)
- OL Rashawn Slater (Northwestern)
Christian Wilkins (Clemson) celebrates with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell after he was selected as the number thirteen overall pick to the Miami Dolphins in the first round of the 2019 NFL Draft in Downtown Nashville. (Photo: Christopher Hanewinckel, USA TODAY Sports)
The tradition of a draftee crossing the stage to be greeted by the commissioner is almost always a memorable moment for the player. Recent years have seen Goodell embrace the "bro hug" rather than a traditional handshake before he hands the player his draft jersey to pose for a photo.
An example of this occurred during the 2019 first round when the Miami Dolphins, with the 17th overall pick, selected Clemson defensive tackle Christian Wilkins — who went for a jumping shoulder-bump with Goodell that preceded a bear hug.
Follow Chris Bumbaca on Twitter @BOOMbaca.
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