The NFL Draft has been held in Chicago the last two years. The city did a great job, and the last day at Grant Park was spectacular a year ago, but something was missing.

Namely, the jeers of the hometown fans when their team makes a pick that is not well liked. Giants and Jets fans made that an annual ritual in the New York draft days.

Well, that shouldn't be a problem again this year at a place where Santa Claus was once booed and pelted by snowballs.

Philadelphia, fondly called "The City of Brotherly Love," welcomes the spectacle of the NFL Draft. This could be fun.

The first round is set for 7 p.m. Thursday, with rounds two and three at 6 p.m. Friday on NFL Channel and ESPN. The last four rounds are a week from Saturday.

The Eagles will get the 15th pick Thursday at Philadelphia City Hall. If Philadelphia executive vice president Howie Roseman and coach Doug Pederson select someone projected to be in the second or third round, the crowd reaction should be priceless.

Maybe Philly cheese steaks will be hurled at NFL commissioner Roger Goodell after he announces the pick.

Too bad the draft isn't in Chicago again. The Bears, thanks to their ugly 3-13 season in 2016, will pick No. 3.

When your team basically needs everything, Bears' fans couldn't have gotten too upset with any of the top names in the mock drafts. Chicago can't go wrong with Alabama defensive end Jonathan Allen, Ohio State cornerback Marshon Lattimore or LSU safety Jamal Adams.

But the Bears' general manager, Ryan Pace, would be smart to trade that selection to stockpile more draft picks. Nothing ticks off fans more than that, even if it makes the most sense.

About the only thing in question is how many man hugs Goodell hands out for first-round selections. The over/under number is 15.

Better take the ovah on that.

NASCAR: Food City 500 (Fox, 1 p.m. Sunday): Joe Gibbs Racing has not found the winner's circle yet this year. That could change as Kyle Busch, Matt Kenseth and Denny Hamblin have enjoyed success at Bristol Speedway.

NBA playoffs: Game 4, Celtics at Bulls (Comcast, TNT, 5:30 p.m. Sunday): Don't those of you who failed to give Chicago any kind of chance feel a little silly right now? This dummy sure does.

MLB: Cubs at Pirates (WAOE, 6 p.m. Monday, Tuesday; Comcast, 6 p.m. Wednesday): Pittsburgh swept the Cubs at Wrigley Field last week. Of course, that was before Starling Marte was suspended for 80 games for a banned substance ... really?

Contact Jim Benson at jbenson@pantagraph.com.

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Sports Writer

Sports Writer for The Pantagraph.

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