2011 NFL Draft: Herzlich Given Flexible NFL Draft Schedule

CHESTNUT HILL MA - SEPTEMBER 04: Mark Herzlich #94 Damik Scafe #55 and Codi Boek #13 of the Boston College Eagles walk out to the field for the home opening game against the Weber State Wildcats on September 4 2010 at Alumni Stadium in Chestnut Hill Massachusetts. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

Earlier today, when we got word that BC's Mark Herzlich was invited to this week's NFL Draft, many wondered why a potential 3-4 round pick would be attending over, say, the Eagles' Anthony Castonzo, who projects as a late first rounder. Well, NFL Network writer Jason La Canfora has your answer:

"Boston College linebacker Mark Herzlich will be allowed to stay as long, or short, as he'd like at the 2011 NFL Draft, according to league sources.

Herzlich, whose struggle against cancer is one of the more gripping emotional sagas of this draft, will attend the event, but has been granted open-ended status in terms of his participation this weekend. 

[snip]

The NFL wanted to welcome and honor him for his courageous fight, but remains sensitive to his desire to share this time with friends and family -- not sequestered in a green room for up to three days."

Positive NFL PR boost from shining the spotlight on Herzlich and his battle with cancer? Check. Free trip to NYC and the chance to get your photo taken atop Radio City Music Hall? Check. But probably most important of all, no incredibly awkward "Brady Quinn green room" scenes involving Herzlich? Check check.

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