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On Newsstands Friday: ESPN The Magazine’s NFL Draft Issue

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To download cover: http://bit.ly/2nxze6O

Photos from live cover reveal via ESPN Images: http://bit.ly/2oXTbDN

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ESPN The Magazine’s NFL Draft Issue, on newsstands April 14, features an in-depth Q&A with Texas A&M defensive end Myles Garrett, the consensus No. 1 pick. He talks football, poetry, dinosaurs and ‘80s rock while promising to leave his mark on NFL history and torment any team that dares pass him up on Draft Day. (He’s looking at you, Cleveland.) The issue also features profiles on North Carolina’s Mitchell Trubisky, one of the top quarterbacks available, and UCLA edge rusher Takkarist McKinley, a likely first-rounder who found football success despite being abandoned by both parents as a child. We’ll also have Jon Gruden’s take on the five top QBs in the draft, a first-round Mock Draft by our ESPN Insiders Todd McShay and Mel Kiper Jr., and more.

ON THE COVER: In “The Most Interesting Man in the Draft,” senior writer Sam Alipour gives readers an inside look into Myles Garrett, the NFL’s next great pass rusher, who loves poetry, bowling, dinosaurs and his parents’ music — including Marvin Gaye and Earth, Wind & Fire. The consensus No. 1 pick—a defensive end who terrorized college offenses with 32.5 sacks and 48.5 tackles for loss in three seasons at Texas A&M—talks about fossil digs, Maya Angelou, the Justice League … and his plans to be the greatest football player ever. (Link: http://es.pn/2oeHRly)

DON’T MISS: “Sin City or Bust,” a behind-the-scenes tale of how the Oakland Raiders ended up in Las Vegas. Investigative reporters Don Van Natta Jr. and Seth Wickersham expose how the man behind the move, owner Mark Davis, balanced genius with buffoonery as the multibillion-dollar gambit worked its way to reality over the past several months.

In “Lakers First,” senior writer Ramona Shelburne provides an updated report of her initial inside story regarding the Lakers’ family drama. When Jeanie Buss decided to fire her brother, it was the end of one act of a family feud—and the beginning of another.

Issue highlights and features:

“Worth His Wait”

North Carolina’s Mitchell Trubisky is expected to be the first quarterback selected, even though he started just one year for the Tar Heels. So, who is this guy, and why might teams line up to bet their futures on a guy with almost no track record at the highest level of college football? By Tim Keown

“The Fight for Takkarist McKinley”

The tattoo on Takkarist McKinley’s forearm — feathers, a dove, and a date in Roman numerals: VII-XIV-MMXI — is a constant reminder of a debt owed by the UCLA edge rusher. McKinley grew up in a grim Northern California city beset by violence and poverty. Through it all, his grandmother was there to protect and guide him. When she died, he made her a promise: to stay in school, and to keep playing football. He was good to his word, including keeping at football long enough to enjoy a strong senior year that sent him shooting up the draft board. He’s now projected as a mid-first-round pick. By Dotun Akintoye

Issue highlights and features:

NFL Mock Draft

Experts Mel Kiper Jr. and Todd McShay do what they do best: argue over projected draft order.

Gruden Rates the Draft’s Top QBs

“The QB Effect” features NFL analyst Jon Gruden’s whiteboard breakdown of the top QBs in the draft. By Mike Sando

“Overheard at the Combine”

Find out what the scouts and coaches are saying, and which players are generating the most buzz. By Dotun Akintoye

“Thanks, Bama”: The Scout’s Guide to the Alabama Five

Five of the top 60 players in the draft played on Alabama’s monster defense: Jonathan Allen, Reuben Foster, Marlon Humphrey, Tim Williams and Ryan Anderson. By Matt Bowen

Additional issue highlights and features:

Voices: The Mag features an excerpt from ESPN senior baseball writer Keith Law’s new book, Smart Baseball, that focuses on why the sacrifice bunt is a bad idea.

The Truth: In his latest column, Howard Bryant showcases the recent events of the U.S. women’s hockey team and how they did something extraordinary in a sport in which the public, media and management have expected players to be grateful simply for the opportunity to play. These athletes bet on themselves, and they won. Bryant explores what that could mean for the sport going forward.  (Link: http://es.pn/2nlJVct)

Outside The Lines: “What Am I Paying For?” Despite years of evidence to the contrary, almost every NCAA school continues to piously insist that academics are a priority. One school, though, did no such thing: Forest Trail Sports University. When athletes arrived to the program last August, which listed tuition at nearly $33,000, they were consigned to an old hotel, without adequate facilities, staff or supervision, on a campus where the threat of violence turned out to be more common than classes. Although the school promised an online educational partner, state authorities in North Carolina nixed that plan right before the program started. Within a month, students were having to leave and were being denied refunds. By Peter Keating

NFL: They do it for passion and tradition, for family and for fandom. The Chicago Bears season ticket holders in Section 250 at Soldier Field come from all over the city and beyond, but they are connected on Sundays in the fall. For one season, we followed these fans in a special multiplatform original series called “We the Fans.”

NHL: For a third year running, The Mag will preview the NHL playoffs with a model looking at past Stanley Cup champions in four categories: puck possession, goaltending, penalty kill and playoff experience. After running the numbers, it is the Washington Capitals who meet the benchmarks. By Ben Arledge

NHL: The Mag also photographed the scars suffered by NHL players. By David Fleming

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