After the 2012 NFL draft began as advertised, with the Indianapolis Colts selecting Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck first overall and the Washington Redskins naming Baylor Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Robert Griffin III second, the intrigue finally began.
After Luck, the next six selections were made with the help of a trade. In all there were eight trades in the first round.
The first draft-day statement was made by the Cleveland Browns, who gave up four draft picks to the Minnesota Vikings to move up one spot, to No. 3 overall. The Browns then selected Alabama running back Trent Richardson. Minnesota used its No. 4 pick to select Southern Cal offensive tackle Matt Kalil.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers then accepted the Nos. 7 and 101 overall picks to give up their fifth spot to Jacksonville, which selected dynamic Oklahoma State wide receiver Justin Blackmon.
Jerry Jones and the Cowboys quickly seized the opportunity to get the best defensive back in the draft to fill their biggest need. They moved up from No. 14 to get the No. 6 slot from the St. Louis Rams, thereby leapfrogging the Bucs to get LSU cornerback Morris Claiborne.
DeCastro goes to Steelers: Stanford offensive lineman David DeCastro was drafted No. 24 overall by the Pittsburgh Steelers. The Steelers’ offensive line has had issues protecting quarterback Ben Roethlisberger the past couple seasons, so the addition of DeCastro should help solidy things.
Prior to the draft, some predicted Stanford would have four players picked in the first round. As it turned out, only quarterback Andrew Luck and DeCastro were selected. Stanford offensive lineman Jonathan Martin, Stanford tight end Colby Fleener and Cal linebacker Mychal Kendricks are expected to go in the second or third rounds today.
Raiders into action: After sitting out the first day of the draft, the Raiders are expected to get into the action today. After a series of trades, Oakland didn’t have a pick in Thursday’s first round and isn’t scheduled to pick until the third round today (No. 95 overall).
WHEN: Through Saturday
WHERE: Radio City Music Hall, New York
FORMAT: Second and third rounds, today; fourth through seventh rounds, Saturday
TV: ESPN, NFL Network