by Mark Mayer |
Miami stole some of the thunder by already signing the No. 1 pick, but there’s still plenty of intrigue surrounding today’s start of the NFL Draft. Earlier in the week, the Dolphins made Michigan OT Jake Long the top overall selection, signing him to a multi-year contract. Scouts Inc, which rates all the eligible players in the draft, listed Long third behind Virginia DE Chris Long and top-ranked Arkansas RB Darren McFadden.
ESPN pushed back the start of the first two rounds at New York’s Radio City Music Hall to 3 p.m. ET (noon in Las Vegas). Also, the decision time among teams has been cut from 15 minutes to 10. Drafts normally don’t drastically alter Super Bowl odds in Las Vegas. However, a defining moment could come if McFadden is still on the board when the hometown Jets, in need of a running back, are up with the No. 6 pick.
St. Louis will set the tone for the draft with the No. 2 choice, followed by Atlanta, Oakland and Kansas City. The Chiefs also have the No. 17 pick (acquired from Minnesota). The New England Patriots have the No. 7 pick, followed by Baltimore, Cincinnati and New Orleans.
The rest of the first round includes:
11-15: Buffalo, Denver, Carolina, Chicago, Detroit.
16-20: Arizona, KC, Houston, Philadelphia, Tampa Bay
21-25: Washington, Dallas, Pittsburgh, Tennessee, Seattle.
26-30: Jacksonville, San Diego, Dallas, SF, Green Bay
The Super Bowl champion New York Giants have the last pick of the first round at No. 31. Last year, the Giants chose CB Aaron Ross of Texas, who played his way into the starting secondary. Among the marquee players expected to go in the first round this year are QB Matt Ryan (Boston College), DT Glen Dorsey (LSU), LB Keith Rivers (USC), RB Rashard Mendenhall (Illinois), RB Felix Jones (Arkansas) and WR Devin Thomas (Michigan St).
The second day of the draft, beginning with Round 3, will also be televised by ESPN on Sunday.