“This year, the fans joining Round 1 picks with Commissioner Roger Goodell have shown an unwavering commitment to bridging the digital divide; working in the fight against food insecurity; raising awareness about mental health; and working to reduce health disparities,” the league wrote in a press release, explaining the NFL’s efforts to raise awareness and action to address the COVID-19 pandemic recovery and its hardest-hit communities.
One of the “special picks” will involve the New England Patriots, who currently own the 15th overall selection in the first round.
Don Cox, a United States Marine veteran who started his own military support foundation, USA4Vets, will participate in the Patriots’ announcement.
Here’s more on Cox:
Don Cox is a third generation U.S. Marine veteran who has started his own veteran and military support foundation in New England, USA4Vets. In response to the massive food insecurity issue made worse by the ongoing pandemic, Cox’s Food4Vets program has been delivering a 14-day supply of food to veterans that need it. Since the program began, more than 5.6 million meals have been assembled and distributed to those that need it in 10 different states. In addition to Cox’s program supporting veterans and military families, more than 100 food pantries and homeless shelters have received food donations.
The Dallas Cowboys (No. 10), Chicago Bears (No. 20) and Cleveland Browns (No. 26) also are scheduled to have special guests involved in their first-round pick announcements.
The first round of the 2021 NFL Draft is scheduled for Thursday, April 29. Rounds 2 and 3 will be held Friday, and Rounds 4-7 will take place Saturday.
The Patriots have 10 picks total in this year’s draft, which comes on the heels of Bill Belichick’s bunch finishing with a 7-9 record in 2020.