Green Room Agony Persists, Despite NFL Draft Changes

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For the football players, it's less about surviving the stress of the picks and more about saving face, according to Shane Murphy, a professor at Western Connecticut College who has served as a sports psychologist for Olympic athletes.

"In terms of the athlete, they have been playing competitive football for a decade or more coming out of the college experience," he said. "Waiting during a draw process is one of the easier things that they have done. It's not as challenging as the Orange Bowl or the Fiesta Bowl."

"What is hard for them," Murphy told ABCNews.com, "is the sort of public humiliation. Another part of the professional athlete today, especially if one is drafted in the first round, is image management. Their public persona has a lot to do, frankly, with how much money they make."

Football is the biggest sport in the United States right now, according to Murphy, dominating ratings during the fall. It dominates January television and the Super Bowl is "gigantic," he said.

The draft picks affect the contracts players might sign with sponsors.

"They are very sensitive to that," he said. "I can be hard on them when they feel like, 'I am someone who should be drafted very early and here I am dropping and sent off to the second round. They think I am a bad person or there's something in my background.' It's more social psychology: 'What people think of me.'

"It adds to the public perception and pressure knowing everyone is talking about it at the water cooler," said Murphy.

Aaron Rodgers, of course, survived the 2005 drafts, but the mental torture was brutal, he later said.

"It was definitely a good learning experience," he told the New York Times. "I look back on it now and I can only laugh about the feelings I had. Things obviously worked out really well in the end.

"But at the time, all I could think about was, 'Get me out of here.'"

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