Cincinnati Bengals rookie running back Joe Mixon and wide receiver John Ross are among 40 players who will attend the NFLPA's Rookie Premiere event this week in Los Angeles, California.
There, the newest NFL players will learn the business of football and get to meet NFLPA business partners looking to secure endorsement deals with the rookies. During the three-day event, which takes place Thursday, May 18 through Saturday May 20, rookies will wear their new NFL uniforms for a photo shoot with Panini America, the NFLPA’s exclusive trading card licensee.
Launched in 1994, the NFLPA Rookie Premiere offers rookies their first major business and marketing event following the NFL Draft. It's the first time for many companies to connect directly with the rookies—all in one place—and build relationships.
Mixon, who was drafted in Round 2 with the No. 48 overall selection, was widely viewed as one of, if not the best running back in this draft. Like most of the rookies invited to this event, he’s an offensive player who should have a big role with his team as a rookie.
Mixon is one of the most controversial prospects in this year’s rookie class, but he’s also one of the most talented. He’s even one of the top picks for NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year honors, so it makes sense for the league to have him at this event.
As for Ross, he was Cincinnati’s first-round selection and the No. 9 overall pick in this year’s draft. The former Washington star figures to have a major role in this offense as well, and he should put up big numbers while playing alongside A.J. Green, who will draw most of the attention from opposing defenses.
Last year, the Bengals’ lone rep at the event was wide receiver Tyler Boyd, who went on to have a productive rookie season. Oddly enough, all of the players invited to the event this year are offensive players. In 2016, only one defensive player was invited in Joey Bose of the Chargers.