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Vander Esch invited to NFL Draft in Dallas

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If it seems that our coverage has been decidedly Vander Esch-centric of late, that’s only because Leighton Vander Esch is awesome and keeps doing newsworthy things. The latest newsworthy thing to happen to the Salmon River grad came yesterday when he was invited to Dallas—and not to find out once and for all who shot J.R. (don’t believe the “official story” that it was Kristin). Yesterday, Leighton—Mr. Draft Board Ascension—found out he was on the official draft invite list—along with 21 other players thought to be first-rounders or just darn good stories. Here’s the complete invite list, as it now stands:

Jaire Alexander, CB, Louisville

Josh Allen, QB, Wyoming

Saquon Barkley, RB, Penn State

Taven Bryan, DT, Florida

Bradley Chubb, DE, North Carolina State

Sam Darnold, QB, USC

Marcus Davenport, DE, UTSA

Tremaine Edmunds, LB, Virginia Tech

Rashaan Evans, LB, Alabama

Minkah Fitzpatrick, DB, Alabama

Shaquem Griffin, LB, Central Florida

Derrius Guice, RB, LSU

Josh Jackson, CB, Iowa

Lamar Jackson, QB, Louisville

Derwin James, S, Florida State

Kolton Miller, OT, UCLA

Josh Rosen, QB, UCLA

Roquan Smith, LB, Georgia

Leighton Vander Esch, LB, Boise State

Vita Vea, DT, Washington

Denzel Ward, CB, Ohio State

Connor Williams, OT, Texas

That’s four linebackers making the trek and LVE, Edmunds, and Smith appear to be the consensus top 3 at the position. Add the fact that Vander Esch could potentially be drafted by the Cowboys and the Dallas front office could really be saving themselves some airfare costs—you know that Jerry Jones is a frugal fella. Can we all just step back for a moment and marvel at the fact that a Boise State walk-on that few outside the sound of my voice had heard of a few months back is a possible (not necessarily likely, mind you) top 10 draft pick? While we’re marveling, can we also behold the wonder of Josh Allen likely being drafted before LVE? Wonders. Never. Cease.

The NFL Draft takes place April 26th–28th. Make us proud, Leighton...er...proud-er.