Sunday, March 9, 2014
Richard Rosenblatt / The Associated Press
(Continued from page 1)
Texas A&M offensive lineman Luke Joeckel runs a drill during the NFL football scouting combine in Indianapolis in this Feb. 23, 2013, photo. "It's always nice when the O-line gets some respect," said Joeckel after being taken No. 2 by Jacksonville."
Fisher was only the third offensive tackle picked No. 1, joining Orlando Pace (1997) and Jake Long (2008) since the 1970 merger of the NFL and AFL. It's also the first time since '70 that offensive tackles went 1-2.
Even without a high-profile passer, runner or tackler going at the outset, the fans in the home of the Rockettes were pumped. They chanted "U-S-A, U-S-A" when Goodell paid tribute to the first responders at the Boston Marathon bombings and to the victims of the explosion in West, Texas. They roared when Hall of Fame quarterback Joe Namath began the countdown to the first outdoor Super Bowl in a cold-weather site by taking the podium and screaming: "New York; Super Bowl 48."
The crowd didn't seem to care that early on the picks were all heifers, not hoofers. No Andrew Lucks or RG3s at the top of this crop.
New Eagles coach Chip Kelly got a road-grader for his uptempo offense in Johnson.
"Tackle is not a very sexy position," Johnson said. "But it's a position of dire need."
In another trade, the Rams moved up eight spots — and sent four picks to Buffalo to do so. St. Louis then grabbed West Virginia wide receiver Tavon Austin, all 5-8, 174 pounds of him.
The New York Jets may have found a replacement for star cornerback Darrelle Revis — traded to Tampa Bay — when they picked Alabama All-American Dee Milliner. That was the first of three straight selections from two-time national champion Alabama: Tennessee took guard Chance Warmack and San Diego got offensive tackle D.J. Fluker.
Oakland used the pick it got from the Dolphins for Houston cornerback D.J. Hayden, who nearly died last November after a collision in practice tore a blood vessel off the back of his heart. He was taken to a hospital and had surgery.
Utah defensive tackle Star Lotulelei, who also had a heart scare at the NFL combine but then checked out fine, went 14th to Carolina, followed by Texas safety Kenny Vaccaro to New Orleans.
Former Patriots guard Joe Andruzzi, who carried an injured female runner to safety after the Boston Marathon explosions, displayed a jersey with the city's 617 area code and "Boston Strong" written on the front. He was supposed to announce New England's pick, but the Patriots dealt it to Minnesota, giving the Vikings three first-round selections.
Andruzzi, a native New Yorker, said, "There's a new saying in Boston: Boston Strong" before unveiling the jersey as "Sweet Caroline" was played on the loudspeakers.
Pittsburgh, which always seems to find standout linebackers, took the highest-rated one in Georgia's Jarvis Jones. The Rams went with another Georgia linebacker, Alec Ogletree with the No. 30 pick.
Notre Dame ended up with a first-rounder when tight end Tyler Eifert was chosen 21st overall by Cincinnati.
Atlanta's choice of Washington cornerback Desmond Trufant gave that family three brothers in the league. His older siblings, Marcus and Isaiah, preceded him.
One major surprise was the New York Giants' selection of Justin Pugh — yet another tackle, but one who wasn't projected to go in the opening round by many draft analysts.