Trades spice up fast first round of NFL Draft

Posted Thursday, Apr. 26, 2012  comments  Print Reprints

2012 NFL Draft

When: Tonight-Saturday.

TV: NFL Network and ESPN

Format: Second-third rounds 6 p.m. today; fourth-seventh rounds 11 a.m. Saturday.

Where: Radio City Music Hall, New York

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NEW YORK -- Andrew Luck had only a one-minute, 11-second wait for his name to be called as the No. 1 overall choice. Robert Griffin III followed 4:05 later.

Ryan Tannehill had a longer wait, but it was worth it for the Texas A&M quarterback. He was reunited with his former head coach at A&M, Mike Sherman, when the Miami Dolphins used the eighth overall pick on him.

"I don't want to complain," Tannehill said. "It felt like a long wait just because you're sitting there. You're anxious; you're excited. But I'm thankful to get that call relatively early and be a part of the Dolphins."

Luck, Griffin and Tannehill became the first trio of Texas-bred quarterbacks to be drafted in the first round in the modern era. Two other Texans heard their names called Thursday on the first day, with LSU's Michael Brockers (Houston Chavez) going to the St. Louis Rams at No. 14 and Baylor receiver Kendall Wright (Pittsburgh) going 20th to the Tennessee Titans.

A first round that lasted only three hours, despite 19 trades, offered a handful of surprises, such as West Virginia linebacker Bruce Irvin going 15th overall to the Seattle Seahawks and Oklahoma State quarterback Brandon Weeden 22nd to the Cleveland Browns. Alabama linebacker Courtney Upshaw was not drafted Thursday, leaving the Crimson Tide with four first-round picks.

The Colts and the Redskins had ruined any suspense at the top of the draft. Indianapolis zeroed in on Luck, a former Houston Stratford standout, after securing the No. 1 overall pick in January. In March, they parted ways with Peyton Manning after 14 seasons to make way for Luck, who for two years has been seen as some team's savior.

Stanford was 10-26 the three years before Luck took over as starter. It was 31-7 with him.

He joins former Stanford quarterbacks Bobby Garrett (1954), Jim Plunkett (1971) and John Elway (1983) as a No. 1 overall choice.

"I couldn't be more excited," Luck said. "It's been an unbelievable experience, a once-in-a-lifetime."

Griffin has been studying the Washington Redskins' playbook since last month when they gave up two first-round picks and a second to swap places with the St. Louis Rams. He wore burgundy-and-gold socks specially made by adidas, with the phrase "Go Catch Your Dream".

Since Joe Theismann broke his leg during the 1985 season, the Redskins have started 26 quarterbacks. Now, they have RG3 to call their own.

"I was sitting there, staring at the phone, waiting for the call, and they called the other phone," said Griffin, who did two hours of interviews Thursday. "It was pretty cool. Even though you know where you're going, you still want to act as if you don't. ...But I'm excited to be a Redskin."

Tannehill didn't know for certain Miami was taking him until the Dolphins were on the clock, even though it was the logical destination. Sherman is the team's offensive coordinator, and former A&M assistant Zac Taylor is the assistant quarterbacks coach.

"I didn't know until I saw the Florida area code light up on my phone," Tannehill said. "That was a great moment. I'll never forget it. I answered the call and heard [general manager] Jeff Ireland and the rest of the crew on the other end."

The speculation was true, and the Dolphins, after being turned down by Manning and Flynn in free agency, drafted a quarterback in the first round for the first time since 1983 since they selected Dan Marino.

Charean Williams


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