CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) -Dre' Bly has no plans to watch the NFL draft. Jerricho Cotchery plans to take in the entire 16 hours.
While die-hard NFL fans will spend almost an entire spring weekend holed up inside getting hypnotized by Mel Kiper Jr., interest in the draft varies among current NFL players.
``I've got two boys that play baseball and they each have a game on separate teams, so I'll have two games to go to,'' said Bly, a cornerback for the Denver Broncos. ``That's what I'll probably be doing on Saturday and Sunday.''
While there are stories of players who didn't know who the team had drafted until they met them a week later at minicamp, some players will be loading up on draft coverage this weekend, armed with their laptops and draft magazines.
atch the entire draft now.
``I just like the whole draft idea, picking the players. Everyone is showing their highlights, I just love everything about the draft.''
Does that mean Cotchery finds kinship in those Jets fans who show up at Radio City Music Hall in New York and always seem to boo the team's first selection?
``When I see a pick that I didn't expect, I'm not quite like that, booing the TV or anything,'' Cotchery said. ``But I'm sitting there and, 'I don't know about that pick.' But I'm pretty heavy into watching it.''
Carolina Panthers receiver Steve Smith plans to avoid the draft, but for a different reason. He remembers the agony he went through in 2001 when he wasn't selected until the third round.
``It just kills me what these kids go through, because I was that guy to go through and you don't know what's going on,'' Smith said. ``And it's starting later, too. So now you've got to ... just Tums. That's all I can say, because your stomach's just tossing and turning. Your future's in limbo. You don't know who's going to pick you.''
But what their teams do this weekend can determine if players will be busy come January, or home lamenting missing the playoffs. It's why St. Louis Rams receiver Torry Holt will be finding ways to follow the draft, even though he'll be traveling.
``I tell people this all the time, I'm first and foremost a fan,'' Holt said. ``I'm a fan first, and obviously I play ball, but if I wasn't out of town, I may not be directly in front of it, but I'd have it on somewhere in the house, so I'd be hearing it. I'll be checking whatever I can, check the computer, or check the TV screen and see what I can find out.''
But with players not consulted or allowed into the draft war rooms, some players decide it's best to distance themselves from the wall-to-wall TV coverage.
``Ten years removed from the draft, man, shoot, on Saturday... I don't think I've watched the draft in a while,'' Bly said. ``I'll see who we draft with the 12th pick and after that, man, (with) four kids running around the house, you can't sit at home and watch the draft all day. My wife and kids aren't going to let that happen.''
---
AP Sports Writer Joedy McCreary in Raleigh, N.C., contributed to this report.

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