The differences between “green rooms” in which Adrian Clayborn and Ben Lamaak will watch the NFL draft that starts Thursday night are as gaping as the 1,026 miles between Cedar Rapids and New York, as contrasting as high-roller hors d’oeuvres and blue-collar finger food.
Oops … scratch that.
“The food back there in the green room in New York — at least when I was there — isn’t anything too special,” said Iowan Robert Gallery, the second overall pick of the 2004 NFL draft.
“If you’re watching from home, chances are good that you’re eating better than the guys who are back there waiting to get drafted.”
Despite draft-level differences, Clayborn from Iowa and Lamaak from Iowa State share an interest Thursday night when the first name is read at 7 o’clock (ESPN).
Clayborn, a defensive lineman, is said to be such a cinch first-rounder that he’s been invited to walk across the Radio City Music Hall stage when his name is read.
As for Lamaak, an Iowa State four-year starter from Cedar Rapids: “I don’t even know if the room I’ll be in is green.”
Draft projections aside, they’ll be among players with Iowa connections hoping for the best during the seven-round, three-day process that continues through Saturday.
Other local-interest possibilities include defensive end Christian Ballard, quarterback Ricky Stanzi, and safety Tyler Sash of Iowa; tight end Collin Franklin of Iowa State, and tight end Schuylar Oordt of Northern Iowa.
Clayborn, though, has the most bravado – a former all-American who thought about entering the 2010 NFL draft.
“A dream,” Clayborn said last week when asked about the prospect of being a pro, “is about to come true.”
He’ll be with family, friends and his agent in a room adjacent to where NFL commissioner Roger Goodell will introduce televised selections.
“Clayborn will be sitting at a round table with a phone in the center of it, like all the guys that have been invited,” said Gallery, a former Hawkeye and former Oakland Raiders lineman who is now a free agent. “To be quite honest, it’ll be pretty cramped back there.”
Gallery knows from experience. He was the second overall selection – behind Eli Manning.
“I was lucky that I didn’t have to be back there in the green room too long,” the former Hawkeye offensive tackle said in a phone interview from his home in Oakland, Calif. “But it still seemed like a long time.”
Contrary to popular perception, the backroom trappings are pretty basic:
Gallery recalled soda, water and chips.
“Actually, it’s pretty basic,” he said. “When you’re back there in the green room, you’re more worried about what’s about to happen. The last thing you want to do is eat.”
Lamaak doesn’t have to go all the way to New York to share that green room food and beverage perk.
“Whatever room I’m in, I’m sure will have a TV,” said Lamaak, who plans a quiet gathering in Cedar Rapids with family and friends.
“And there’s always plenty of food when I’m around.”
REALLY BIG THREE: If Adrian Clayborn, Christian Ballard and Karl Klug are drafted, it will be the first time the Hawkeyes had three defensive linemen selected in the same draft. The only uncertainty is Klug, who could be a late pick or a free agent.
Category: Iowa Hawkeyes Football