St. Jude Cancer Patient To Announce First Round NFL Draft Pick

Published on: April 23, 2013 | Written by: Clay Travis

There has been an awful lot of bad news lately, now Outkick the Coverage can bring you some good news. A cancer patient at Memphis's St. Jude hospital will be announcing a first round NFL draft pick Thursday in New York City.

This news will be announced shortly via a press release which will begin:

"NFL Play 60, the National Football League's youth health and fitness campaign, is the new "Official Champion of Play" at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, the global leader in finding cures and saving children with cancer and other deadly diseases.

To commemorate this new milestone in the ongoing partnership between the NFL and St.Jude, a St. Jude patient will join NFL commissioner Roger Goodell on stage to announce a pick during the first round of the 2013 NFL Draft. The NFL Network and ESPN will televise live coverage of the NFL Draft beginning at 8 p.m. EST on Thursday, Apr. 25."

Earlier this week future NFL draft picks Matt Barkley of USC and Barrett Jones of Alabama toured St. Jude and had a chance to meet with children like Markell, a cancer patient at St. Jude pictured above who lost one of his legs fighting cancer. Markell will have the opportunity to announce a pick at this year's NFL draft, a moment that will be pretty special for lots of us who have had family or friends impacted by cancer. 

If you aren't familiar with St. Jude's hospital in Memphis, you should be, check out their site here, they truly do amazing work.   

Matt Barkley took time out of his NFL Draft preparation to talk with Outkick the Coverage about his day at St. Jude, "The research they've been doing with cancer and other diseases, it's unbelievable," Barkley said, "And to see the actual healing that's going on with kids and to see how joyful these kids are knowing that a cure's in sight, it's been very encouraging."

Asked what it will be like when a patient at St. Jude announces a first round draft pick for the first time ever, Barkley said, "It's so cool, I actually got to meet him today, a young guy by the name of Markell, and he is just a fireball of passion and going to be a superstar if he's not already. Just to hear his story and how positive he is, it's been so rough. He still has such a great outlook on life. It really gives you a perspective and makes you thankful for what you have."

Barkley, whose draft stock is unclear, joked that he'd told Markell, "If you get a tipoff, let me know beforehand so I'm not surprised."

Come Thursday evening when Markell takes the stage and announces a first round pick, this will be a truly special moment.

Matt Barkley tosses a football with a patient at St. Jude Children's Hospital.

Bama's Barrett Jones during his tour at the hospital.