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2024 NFL Draft Picks Announced by NFL Fans, Community Leaders and Special Guests

The NFL Draft provides a collective opportunity for millions of fans across the globe to come together and support the next generation of players as they begin their NFL careers. This year in Detroit, inspirational fans, community leaders, and special guests will join the NFL and participate in the 2024 NFL Draft presented by Bud Light by announcing select picks live on stage and remotely.

During the 2024 NFL Draft, fans and guests from organizations like The Trevor Project, Special Olympics, American Heart Association and the USA Wheelchair Football League will announce selections live in front of thousands of fans. The NFL will also help grant a surprise wish for a Make-A-Wish child when they announce the first round pick of their favorite team on Day 1 of the Draft.

Throughout the Draft, the NFL will also recognize our country's military community through the league's Salute to Service initiative. During the opening ceremony and national anthem, the U.S. Military District of Washington's Joint Services Color Guard will present the national colors. A military flyover will also be conducted by the 107th Fighter Wing of the Michigan Air National Guard based at Selfridge Air National Guard Base in Michigan. On Day 2 between Rounds 2 and 3, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell will recognize six service members from each military service branch and the U.S. Coast Guard on stage. During Day 3, the NFL will host a special Joint Enlistment Ceremony on stage featuring 35 military enlistees, celebrating their transition from civilian to military member.

In addition, in celebration of football's growing popularity across the globe, 20 picks throughout the Draft will be announced remotely from 8 international markets on behalf of 19 clubs. Fans and guests from international markets such as Germany, Mexico, Spain and Nigeria will join remotely to announce draft selections. Moreover, the NFL's 32 International Fans of the Year, will be present in Detroit to experience the Draft and announce a pick live on-stage during Day 3.

Details and information about the special guests announcing this year's Draft selections are listed below.

NFL Draft Round 1/Day 1 Guests

 The Ewing Family (Tragedy Assistance Program For Survivors (TAPS)), Pick 11, Minnesota Vikings

Surviving family members of United States Army Sergeant Zachary Ewing – including his mother Becky, brother Trenton, and nephew Asher – will join Commissioner Goodell on the NFL Draft stage to announce the selection of the Minnesota Vikings' first round pick. As a U.S. Army service member, Zachary served multiple deployments overseas in Afghanistan and Iraq. Zachary tragically passed away following the diagnosis of a rare and aggressive cancer that was identified during his deployment. Zachary was a lifelong fan of his hometown Vikings and Becky fondly remembers spending some of his last few weeks together watching the team play with his family.

Service Members from Osan Air Base (Salute to Service), Pick 16, Seattle Seahawks

Service members stationed at Osan Air Base in South Korea will join remotely to tee up the Seattle Seahawks first round pick. This opportunity was facilitated through the NFL's Salute to Service initiative with the USO and the Air Force. Salute to Service is the NFL's year-round commitment to honor, empower, and connect with our nation's service members, veterans, and their families.

Michigan High School Flag & Tackle Players (Youth Football), Pick 29, Detroit Lions Four female student-athletes (Macy Tackabury – Lapeer HS, Ayla Barnes – Madison Heights Bishop Foley, Makena McGee – Holly HS, and Ellie Faglie – Rochester HS) are representing the “First Four" schools to participate in the Michigan Girls HS Flag Football Pilot League during the Spring of 2023. Beginning on April 29, the “Second Season" of Michigan Girls HS Flag Football will kick off with 24 schools participating in a 3-game season with two game dates (May 11 & May 19) being held at Ford Field, home of the Detroit Lions. Joining for the pick will be two high school tackle football players; Billy Roberson representing Lake Orion High School and Marvell Eggleston representing Detroit Martin Luther King High School. Both student athletes received 1st team all-state honors and will be continuing their academic and athletic careers at the collegiate level.

 NFL Draft Rounds 2 + 3/Day 2 Guests

 Christie Kuhns (Urban League of Greater Southwestern Ohio), Round 2, Cincinnati Bengals

Christie Kuhns is the President and CEO of the Urban League of Greater Southwestern Ohio (ULGSO), an organization that works with the Bengals as part of the league's overall Inspire Change campaign. Born and raised in Cincinnati, Christie is passionate about improving the lives of those in the Greater Cincinnati area. She believes in the power of her community to break the cycle of generational poverty and live healthier lives, and, from a young age, she decided to play a large role in making that a reality. In her current role, Christie and her team are advancing ULGSO's mission by training people for careers with thriving wages, building businesses that create wealth, enriching the next generation through leadership development and collaboratively impacting civil rights and justice. Christie is a Cincinnati Bengals season ticket holder and a lifelong fan of her hometown team.

The National Urban League is one of the league's social justice grant recipients as part of their ongoing work through Inspire Change to address issues including economic advancement.

Carl Nassib and Peggy Rajski (The Trevor Project), Round 2, Cleveland Browns

Football is for everyone, and the NFL is committed to continuing efforts around diversity, equity and inclusion, including supporting the LGBTQ+ community through its work with The Trevor Project. The Trevor Project is the leading suicide prevention and crisis intervention nonprofit organization for LGBTQ+ young people. NFL Legend Carl Nassib and Peggy Rajski, Founder and Interim CEO of The Trevor Project will be announcing the selection of the Cleveland Browns' second round pick.

Carl Nassib is a former NFL defensive end and outside linebacker, and a partner of The Trevor Project. Throughout his seven-year career, Carl played for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Las Vegas Raiders, and the Cleveland Browns, who drafted him in the third round of the 2016 NFL Draft. In 2021, Carl became the first active player in the NFL to come out as gay. Since then, Carl has emerged as a staunch advocate of the LGBTQ+ community, including through his support of The Trevor Project.

Peggy Rajski (she/her) is an Oscar-winning filmmaker and founder of The Trevor Project. Rajski won the Academy Award for Best Live Action Short for directing the short film Trevor (1994), a poignant comedy about a young teen whose world is turned upside down when word spreads at school that he might be gay, and it led to the creation of The Trevor Project. In November 2022, she stepped into the role of Interim CEO at The Trevor Project to help steward the now 500+ person organization's transition to its next chapter. Her goal from founding day until today is to ensure Trevor thrives as a vital industry-leading lifesaving resource for LGBTQ young people, helping them see a brighter future for themselves.

Jason Rainey and Alex Nguyen (USA Wheelchair Football League), Round 2, Dallas Cowboys

During the 2024 NFL Draft Week, the NFL will team up with the Bob Woodruff Foundation – an NFL Salute to Service partner – and Move United to host the first USA Wheelchair Football League Veterans All Star Game. This event will convene the USA Wheelchair Football League's top players for a special contest between two teams comprised of U.S. Army and USMC/Navy veterans. Representing the two teams on the Draft stage will be Jason Rainey and Alex Nguyen.

Jason Rainey served as Corporal in the United States Army in Iraq. During his service, he sustained a gunshot wound to his foot. Returning home, some of his friends introduced him to the sport of wheelchair basketball. Jason began playing and found himself with the opportunity to do so while attending college. He enrolled at the University of Texas Arlington and competed while working towards a degree. While playing wheelchair basketball at UTA, he heard about wheelchair football and joined the league. This past season, Jason completed his third season as the quarterback of the Dallas Cowboys, where he led the team to win the 2024 Championship.

Alex Nguyen is a retired Sergeant in the U.S. Marines Corps. Nine years into his service, he was on deployment in Afghanistan when his vehicle was struck by a roadside bomb. The explosion caused severe leg injuries and eventually the amputation of his right leg. Since his injury, Alex has been actively involved in adaptive sports competing for Team USA at the Invictus Games in Australia in 2018. Alex is currently pursuing his master's degree at the University of Nebraska Omaha, studying psychology with a focus in trauma counseling, with the goal of helping other veterans.

Brenda Rushlow and Pamela Haddox (Crucial Catch, American Cancer Society), Round 3, Detroit Lions

In partnership with the American Cancer Society, the NFL created Crucial Catch to draw awareness to the importance of early detection and risk reduction for multiple cancers. During Day 2 of the Draft, Brenda Rushlow and her daughter, Pamela Haddox, will announce the third round pick on behalf of the Detroit Lions. Brenda Rushlow was first diagnosed with cancer in 1998; she was 43 years old and found the lump in the shower. An auto mechanic and mother of three, she went through a lumpectomy, chemo and radiation and was declared cancer free. Just ten years later, though, her oldest daughter Pam heard similar news after finding a lump in her breast at just 33 years old. Pam also successfully went through similar treatment and was declared cancer free.

Then, in 2021 and 2022, a year apart from each other, both mom and daughter heard news they hoped they would never hear again, but this time both were metastatic. While the news is something neither of them wanted to hear, it's been a bit of a bonding experience going through treatment together. While Pamela is currently in remission, she still goes to her mom's appointments as her caregiver and note taker to ensure she has someone else there to help explain and who knows what's going on in her treatment. The two have been a support to each other, keeping each other positive and being there for one another throughout everything. Pam's only regret is that she didn't know to start getting early mammograms due to her family history. Now, she is spreading the critical news about being aware of your family's medical history and the importance of being a self-advocate and knowing your own body.

Christian Harvey and Emma Friese (Foundation to Combat Antisemitism), Round 3, New England Patriots

Robert Kraft's Foundation to Combat Antisemitism (FCAS) mission is to fight the rising hate happening in communities across the United States by educating those sitting on the sidelines and giving them the tools to stand up to Jewish hate and all hate. Last year, FCAS launched the Blue Square campaign, mobilizing all Americans to wear and share the Blue Square as a powerful symbol of standing up to Jewish hate and all hate. In the last year, hate continued to rise globally, and according to the Anti-Defamation League, Jewish hate saw a 140% increase in the United States alone.

During the New England Patriots' third round pick selection, FCAS will join the Patriots to showcase Christian Harvey and Emma Friese, student leaders who stand up to hate every day and serve as examples of individuals who are working to rebuild bridges between the Black and Jewish communities – both groups that have been subject to vicious hate – in order to fight it together. This year, FCAS, in partnership with United Negro College Fund, Hillel International, and Black and Jewish Leaders of Tomorrow, launched a series of “Unity Dinners" bringing together Black and Jewish college students to forge new relationships and rebuild the powerful Black and Jewish alliance that has existed throughout history, from building the NAACP to standing together at the March on Washington.

Both Christian and Emma attended the Atlanta Unity Dinner and every day, work to carry this message forward. Christian is a graduating senior studying Africana Studies at Morehouse College. He is also a Columbia University 2026 candidate for the Urban Planning program in the Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation. Emma is a pre-law graduating senior at Emory University with degrees in Anthropology and International Studies. After graduation, she will work as a political organizer in Arizona through the 2024 election cycle with the goals of one day working to enact justice-based public policy.

NFL Draft Rounds 4 7/Day 3 Guests

 Travis Peters (Inspire Change), Pittsburgh Steelers  

As part of the NFL Inspire Change social justice initiative, the NFL and S.H.I.E.L.D 1, a non-profit started by NFL players to accelerate economic mobility in under-resourced communities, will host a special event during Draft week. The event will highlight the work of US Army Veteran Travis Peters and his organization Green Boots Urban Farm to increase access to healthy foods and provide a therapeutic green space for the Detroit community. Travis counts himself as a Steelers fan. Brigadier General Michael B. Lalor (Salute to Service), New York Giants

Brigadier General Lalor has served in the United States Army in a variety of troop leadership positions and staff assignments for nearly 30 years, most recently serving as the Commanding General of the Detroit Arsenal's U.S. Army Tank and Automotive Command. April is the Month of the Military Child, during which the Department of Defense pays tribute to the children of our military service members. Joining Brigadier General Lalor to announce a Day 3 pick on behalf of the New York Giants will be his children Grace and Allan Lalor.

Elizabeth 'Liz' Viele (Special Olympics), Denver Broncos  

Liz is a Special Olympics Michigan Unified flag football athlete. She has been involved with Special Olympics since middle school and credits the organization with helping her and her peers find acceptance. In addition to her many sports with Special Olympics, Liz serves as an athlete leader, championing others to lead an active lifestyle, co-leading Special Olympics Michigan's Athlete Leadership Input Council, serving as the athlete representative on the Special Olympics Michigan board of directors, and representing the organization at numerous public speaking opportunities.

Derik Smith (Crucial Catch, American Cancer Society), Denver Broncos

Hope College two-sport, student-athlete Derik Smith is a junior physical and health education major from Niles, Michigan (Edwardsburg HS) who competes on the Flying Dutchmen's football and track and field teams. As a child, Smith had part of his right leg amputated after a cancer diagnosis. Last fall, Smith appeared in two games and made one tackle as a defensive lineman for the Flying Dutchmen football team. In track and field, Smith has competed in the discus for the Flying Dutchmen during the indoor and outdoor seasons and the long jump during the outdoor season. Smith also represented Team USA at the 2022 International Wheelchair and Amputee Sports Federation World Games in Santo Antonio, Portugal. Smith won his division in the discus, long jump and 100-meter run.

Kristine Longstreet (Neighborhood Defender Service of Detroit), San Francisco 49ers

49ers fan Kristine Longstreet has dedicated her career to advocating for the rights of individuals in Detroit who are facing legal challenges. As the Managing Director of the Neighborhood Defender Service of Detroit (NDS Detroit), she leads a team of dedicated advocates who work to ensure that all residents have access to high-quality legal representation, regardless of their financial circumstances. The NFL recently selected Neighborhood Defender Service as one of its Inspire Change social justice grant recipients, as part of their work to support organizations that work in the criminal justice reform space.

The NFL recently added Neighborhood Defender Services as one of their Inspire Change social justice grant partners.

Jessica Day (American Heart Association), Los Angeles Rams Jessica is a kindergarten teacher at Minges Brook Elementary School in Battle Creek, Michigan, where she serves as the American Heart Association Kids Heart Challenge Coordinator. Dedicated to creating a nurturing learning environment, she's part of one of the nation's first Trauma Certified Elementary Schools. Her class won the 2023 NFL PLAY 60 and American Heart Association Race to the Super Bowl, promoting active, healthy lifestyles to improve mental and physical health. Mary Owens (Ralph C. Wilson Jr. Foundation), Detroit Lions Mary Owens is the Board Chair and Life Trustee of the Ralph C. Wilson Jr. Foundation and a Detroit Lions community representative. Mary was selected because the Ralph C Wilson Foundation has been instrumental in supporting the expansion of Girls Flag Football and helping to provide access to sports to youth in the community.

Nazarina Mwakasege (Ruth Ellis Center), Detroit Lions

Nazarina Mwakasege is the Director of Development and Advancement for the Ruth Ellis Center, a Detroit-based organization the creates a supportive community and provides trauma-informed services for LGBTQ+ youth and young adults of color. The Lions have been working with the Ruth Ellis Center on employee education. Nazarina's adoration for the NFL mirrors her commitment to Detroit – a city of resilience and revival. Deborah Trimble and Jeremy Glasstetter (Pat Tillman Foundation), Arizona Cardinals

Through the NFL's Salute to Service initiative alongside its partner the Pat Tillman Foundation (PTF), the legacy of Pat Tillman will be honored at the 2024 NFL Draft by Deborah Trimble and Jeremy Glasstetter, both Tillman Scholars, who will be announcing the 226th pick, which was Tillman's draft selection in the 1998 NFL Draft. Deborah is a United States Air Force veteran and current Tillman Scholar at the University of Michigan where she is pursuing a medical degree to support the military community. Jeremy is an Army veteran and a member of the inaugural class of Tillman Scholars. He continues to serve his community as a State of Michigan employee.

Rebecca Holdaway (Wounded Warrior Project), Seattle Seahawks Rebecca served in the United States Navy as an Operational Intelligence Analyst at Naval Air Station Whidbey Island, Washington. During her time in Washington state, she developed a love for the Seattle Seahawks, citing the "atmosphere of the people and their love for football" as the reason for her affection for the team. Rebecca participated in NFL Salute to Service partner Wounded Warrior Projects' (WWP) Project Odyssey, a mental health program that she states "enriched and improved" her life. During Rebecca's nearly four years of service as a volunteer for WWP, she has reached approximately 75 Warriors and their families through Peer Support Group meetings and community connection Alumni events. She is deeply passionate about her fellow women warriors and is committed to ensuring that no veteran ever faces the isolation she once experienced as a newly transitioned veteran before finding WWP. Rebecca credits WWP for saving her life, stating that her participation in WWP programs is the reason she can be a mother to her two children, a wife to her husband Dan, and a servant to her community of veterans in Detroit.


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