NFL Draft: Round 1 ends with 4 Bama players coming off the board
Baker Mayfield, until the past few days considered an outsider to be chosen at the top of the NFL draft, has been taken by the Cleveland Browns to begin this year's NFL draft.
The first Heisman Trophy winner taken No. 1 overall in the following draft since Cam Newton went to Carolina in 2010, Mayfield joins a team that went 0-16 in 2017.
The Browns were sold on the Oklahoma star's leadership skills and creativity inside the pocket and outside. The Sooners went 34-6 with him.
Other 1st round selections:
-- The New York Giants selected Penn State running back Saquon Barkley with the second pick in the 2018 NFL draft. The All-American with speed, power, shiftiness and excellent hands is considered this year's best player. Barkley also is a sensational kick returner.
-- The cool, calm and confident kid from Southern California is going from Hollywood to the Big Apple. The New York Jets selected USC quarterback Sam Darnold with the No. 3 overall pick in the NFL draft Thursday night. The Jets had traded up from sixth overall with Indianapolis with the expressed mission of finding a top quarterback.
-- The Browns surprised the experts again, picking Ohio State cornerback Denzel Ward No 4 overall. After passing over more classic quarterbacks to take Oklahoma's Baker Mayfield with the top pick, Cleveland skipped over North Carolina State defensive end Bradley Chubb, the top pass rusher in the draft, to grab the top cornerback.
-- Bradley Chubb of North Carolina State, seen as the best pass rusher in this draft, was selected fifth overall by Denver. Chubb will bolster a defense that already has one star in linebacker Von Miller. Denver ranked third in overall defense last season, but GM John Elway couldn't pass on a game-changing end.
-- The Colts grabbed the best blocker in the draft, Notre Dame's Quenton Nelson at No. 6. The Colts had traded down from No. 3 with the New York Jets. Indianapolis took the 6-foot-5, 330-pound guard to help protect quarterback Andrew Luck, who missed all of last season with a shoulder injury.
-- The Buffalo Bills traded up five spots to No. 7 to take Wyoming quarterback Josh Allen, a 6-foot-5, strong-armed passer. He needs some seasoning and to work on accuracy, but he could sit behind AJ McCarron in Buffalo for a year or two.
-- The Chicago Bears selected Georgia linebacker Roquan Smith with pick No. 8. Smith was an All-American and Butkus Award winner for the Bulldogs in 2017.
-- The San Francisco 49ers bolstered their offensive line, picking tackle Mike McGlinchey from Notre Dame at No. 9. McGlinchey was the second Fighting Irish lineman to go in the top 10 after Quenton Nelson went to the Colts.
-- UCLA quarterback Josh Rosen slipped a bit, but the Arizona Cardinals jumped up to No. 10 to get him. Arizona traded with Oakland to get the 10th overall pick, moving up from No. 15. Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer retired after the season. Arizona also signed former Vikings quarterback Sam Bradford, who missed most of last season with an injury.
-- The Miami Dolphins had a top-10 talent fall to them at No. 11 and took Alabama defensive back Minkah Fitzpatrick. The versatile All-American played safety, cornerback and nickel back in three seasons with the Crimson Tide and was one of coach Nick Saban's favorite players.
-- Tampa Bay has plugged a major hole in its defensive line with nose tackle Vita Vea. The Buccaneers had traded down from seventh to 12th and found a 6-foot-4, 345-pound man-mountain adept at stopping the run. At Washington, he often occupied or even overpowered more than one blocker.
-- The Washington Redskins addressed their leaky run defense by taking Alabama defensive tackle Da'Ron Payne with pick No. 13. The 320-pound Payne was the anchor of Alabama's national championship defense last season, and the second Crimson Tide player taken in the first round.
-- Eager to add to an improving defense, New Orleans traded up with Green Bay, moving from 27th to 14th to get UTSA edge rusher Marcus Davenport. They took a strong, tall (6-foot-6) player who can play on the line or at linebacker. Davenport was particularly impressive at the Senior Bowl.
-- Oakland, selecting 15th after trading down from 10th, bolstered its offensive line with UCLA's Kolton Miller in the NFL draft. The 6-foot-9 tackle left the Bruins after his junior season and had strong workouts leading up to the draft.
-- The Buffalo Bills selected Tremaine Edmunds, the versatile linebacker out of Virginia Tech as the 16th pick of the draft.
-- The Los Angeles Chargers took advantage of safety Derwin James' slip in the first round, snagging one of the top defensive prospects in the draft with the 17th overall pick. The hard-hitting defensive back is from Florida State.
-- The Green Bay Packers selected Louisville cornerback Jaire Alexander with the 18th overall pick of the draft, hoping he's the playmaker they desperately need after another subpar year on defense.
-- The Dallas Cowboys pick sent the fans at AT&T Stadium into a frenzy of anticipation for the home team with the 19th pick. The Cowboys passed on filling a need at wide receiver and selected Boise State linebacker Leighton Vander Esch, a late bloomer who didn't play 11-man football in high school.
-- Detroit took center Frank Ragnow from Arkansas with the 20th pick to help protect Matthew Stafford. Ragnow can also play guard.
-- The Cincinnati Bengals took Billy Price from Ohio State, another interior lineman who can also play guard as the No. 21 pick. The Bengals' offense struggled mightily last season because of a porous offensive line.
-- Tennessee traded up with Baltimore to make the 22nd pick and went with Alabama linebacker Rashaan Evans, the third Crimson Tide player taken in the first round.
-- The New England Patriots bolstered their offensive line by selecting Isaiah Wynn from Georgia as the 23rd overall pick.
-- The Carolina Panthers have selected wide receiver D.J. Moore from Maryland with the No. 24 overall pick, giving Cam Newton yet another option at offense. Moore was the first wide receiver selected in the NFL draft.
-- The first tight end drafted was taken by one of the greatest tight ends in NFL history. The Baltimore Ravens and general manager Ozzie Newsome took Hayden Hurst from South Carolina with the 25th pick in the first round. Hurst caught 44 passes for 559 yards and two scores for the Gamecocks this season.
-- Atlanta picked Alabama receiver Calvin Ridley at No. 26 to pair him with another former Alabama star, Julio Jones.
-- At 27, Seattle got San Diego State running back Rashaad Penny (from New Orleans through Green Bay).
-- The Pittsburgh Steeler used pick28 on safety Terrell Edmunds of, Virginia Tech.
-- Jacksonville took Taven Bryan, a defensive tackle out of Florida at 29.
-- Cornerback Mike Hughes of UCF goes to Minnesota at number 30.
-- The 31st pick belonged to New England and they took Sony Michel, a running back out of Georgia.
-- The final pick of the first round was quarterback Lamar Jackson of Louisville, who went to Baltimore at 32.