There are only 32 first-round picks, but there are about 125 to 150 draftable players who think they’ll be taken in the first round. They might not say it publicly — and maybe not even privately — but many of them believe their names will be called some time during the opening round.
Anyone who has an interest in the draft has seen all the mock drafts circulating around the Internet. The hundreds of media outlets that now exist, including this one, have given us intimate reports from the Senior Bowl, the NFL Combine and the various pro days. So we all have a reasonable idea who the first-round picks will be. You’d think the players are as tuned in to this as any passive draft junkie, but they’re not. There’s usually one of several reasons why: ego, naivet