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Ed Newton

NFL Draft in Philly: 32 pictures of the first big day on the Parkway

Philly set a record; Cowboys fans ate cheesesteaks.

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The NFL Draft’s first day in Philadelphia was an unbelievable success. Sure, there were ample Dallas Sucks chants and, yes, an Eagles fan put his naked butt on top of the Cowboys uniform photo stand, but by and large, the city showed up and made the first night of Philly’s draft one of the most memorable experiences the NFL has had in quite some time. Oh, yes, Roger Goodell was loudly booed every time he stepped to the podium. Philly was great at booing the commissioner.

The NFL announced Friday morning that nearly 100,000 fans attended Day 1 of the NFL Draft Experience, the largest attendance ever for a Draft-related event.

Here are 32 photos — hey, there’s 32 NFL teams — that show off the entire first day, from the free yogurt with Carson Wentz to the smashed beer bottles at the end of the night, and everything in between.

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Ed Newton

Fans can come and go as they please in the NFL Draft Experience, which is open from noon Friday and from 10 a.m. Saturday. Be warned, the yogurt is free, but the beers are $11 or $12.

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Dan Levy/Billy Penn

The Franklin Institute is where Selection Square is held, with the teams actually making their picks in the area below the giant Ben Franklin monument in the lobby. They also still had field trips on Thursday. That must have been fun.

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Ed Newton

Carson Wentz showed up to interact with fans, give out free yogurt and make a Cowboys fan take his hat off before he’d take a picture with the guy. Wentz was one of the biggest attractions of the day, as hundreds of Eagles fans flocked his golf cart just to get a glimpse of the second-year star.

Eageles Quarterback Carson Wentz adds another ball into a fan's juggle.

Eageles Quarterback Carson Wentz adds another ball into a fan's juggle.

Ed Newton

Above, Wentz was captured throwing another ball into this juggler’s set. It almost looks like he’s smacking a ball away. Another few years in Philly, maybe.

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Ed Newton

It was very hot out there Thursday. A perfect day to feed your Eagles baby some water ice.

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Ed Newton

The water ice probably costs six bucks. This kid’s yogurt was free.

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Ed Newton

Fans willing to brave the heat could participate in the NFL Combine feature, which included things like the vertical leap. Fans not willing to brave the heat could watch others participate. Who doesn’t love watching people think they can jump higher than they actually can?

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The 40-yard dash was a big draw, as the NFL was timing runners down the track. No, these kids didn’t run sub 5.00. Yes, the taller one could have beaten me.

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Ed Newton

It takes guts to kick a field goal in front of other football fans when THAT’S your form.

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Ed Newton

The Hail Mary area is a big hit with fans because everyone thinks they’re the next Carson Wentz. Most balls fell short of the baskets, but everyone seemed to want to aim for the farthest one. There wasn’t a lot of Sam Bradford wannabes out there, taking the short route.

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Ed Newton

Speaking of the short route, this Packers fan fell asleep on the Parkway grass. It it was a Cowboys fans he would have probably had someone’s butt on his face. And speaking of which…

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Ed Newton

Okay, so you’re a Cowboys fan. You’re in Philly. This guy is probably from West Depford, NJ, or something, but let’s not worry about that. Let’s worry about the fact that Cowboys fans came to Philly’s NFL Draft and ate cheesesteaks. GET YOUR OWN MEAT SANDWICH, Cowboys fan. Get. Your. Own. Meat. Sandwich.

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Dan Levy/Billy Penn

Celebrities lined the NFL Experience all day. Here’s local celebrities Brandon Lee Gowton (left) and John Barchard (right) from Bleeding Green Nation with some guy who used to play quarterback in town.

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Ed Newton

Words cannot properly describe how excited that woman looks to be wearing that contraption.

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Ed Newton

This young girl put on a Patriots jersey at the NFL Experience locker room area and has already won more Super Bowls than the Eagles.

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Ed Newton

Hey, Swoop was there. Hi Swoop!

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Ed Newton

This girl wishes she wasn’t swooping. Either that, or someone told her the Bears were going to give up three picks to move up one spot to draft Mitch Trubisky.

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The NFL hosted a special red carpet for the players and other draft attendees. It was by invite only, but tons of people snuck in to see the players.

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Dan Levy/Billy Penn

Hey! It’s Apollo Creed with NFL Network’s Melissa Stark. Favorite moment of the red carpet was when Haason Reddick’s dad noticed who he was about to talk to and said with wide eyes, “oh heyyyy Champ.”

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Fans dressed up for the red carpet. These bros looked brotacular.

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Before the draft began a plane flew overhead that read City Hall (heart) sports but hates our teachers. Many people took notice of the banner.

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Dan Levy/Billy Penn

No word if these two men, mayor Jim Kenney and governor Tom Wolf, saw the sign, but if flew right over the Art Museum as they were walking the red carpet together.

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Dan Levy/Billy Penn

That’s LSU’s Tre’Davious White stopping to take selfies with fans. White went 27th to the Bills. Some people had him going to the Eagles at 14. It was a weird first round.

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Former Temple coach Matt Ruhle walked the red carpet. No, nobody properly knotted his tie for him.

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Dan Levy/Billy Penn

Before he was drafted by the Eagles, former Tennessee defensive end Derek Barnett did his best Alabama Crimson Tide impersonation.

Haason Reddick at the NFL red carpet.
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Temple’s Haason Reddick and his mom were all smiles at the NFL red carpet.

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Ed Newton

Most of the NFL fans were too. Thousands were able to watch the draft from right outside the 3,000-seat pop up area the league built. For all the planning, the visual was stunning.

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Reddick got his NFL Draft moment at No. 13 when he was selected by former Temple coach Bruce Arians and the Arizona Cardinals.

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Ed Newton

The place was insane when the Eagles were finally on the clock. You could hear the cheers for miles. Probably even back in the South Jersey town that Cowboys fan is probably from.

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Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Barnett didn’t seem too happy to be drafted by the Eagles. In his post-draft comments he said he was just nervous, but he’s happy to be staying in Philly so he can get right to work.

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Day 1 of the NFL Draft was, by big event standards, a huge success. And then the clean up began so we could do it all again Friday and Saturday.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



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