Sunday, September 23, 2018
Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Day 1 of NFL draft: The highs and lows

As expected, the top two picks in the draft were both quarterbacks. The Los Angeles Rams stayed in the state to select Cal's Jared Goff with the No. 1 overall selection, and the Eagles chose North Dakota State's Carson Wentz second.

The 6-foot-4, 215-pound Goff is the second Cal player chosen with the first pick; Steve Bartkowski was the top pick in 1975 to the Falcons. Wentz comes from a small-school powerhouse, and he's the first quarterback from a Division I-AA program to go in the first round since Delaware's Joe Flacco went to Baltimore in 2008.

This marked the second consecutive year and seventh time since the AFL/NFL merger that quarterbacks were the top two picks. The Bucs and Titans picked Jameis Winston and Marcus Mariota, respectively, last year; in 2012, Andrew Luck (Colts) and Robert Griffin III (Redskins) went 1-2.

Buckeye bonanza

Ohio State's run at producing the most first-round picks in a single draft by one school got off to a fast, strong start. The Chargers picked DE Joey Bosa at No. 3, and the Cowboys followed with RB Ezekiel Elliott. The last time teammates went in back-to-back picks was 2014, when Texas A&M sent OT Jake Matthews to the Falcons and WR Mike Evans to the Bucs.

Buckeyes CB Eli Apple was the second defensive back selected when he went 10th to the Giants.

Ohio State entered the night with a shot at having six players drafted in the first round, which would tie the record set by Miami in 2004. Regardless, the Buckeyes did something the Hurricanes never did, landing three players in the top 10.

Celebrity pickers

The Bucs, like all NFL teams, will have famous former players and celebrities announcing their picks on Friday and Saturday — former DT Anthony "Booger" McFarland in the second round, DB Ronde Barber in the third round and ESPN basketball analyst (and Lakewood Ranch resident) Dick Vitale in the fourth round.

SEC slipping?

Thanks in part to OT Laremy Tunsil's fall, the SEC's perch atop the league appeared to slip, too. No players from the SEC were chosen in the top eight, before Georgia LB Leonard Floyd went to the Bears at No. 9. Tunsil and Florida/Wharton High CB Vernon Hargreaves were both viewed as potential top-10 picks; Hargreaves lasted until the Bucs picked him at No. 11. The ACC, meanwhile, fared slightly better early. Florida State DB Jalen Ramsey was the fifth pick to the Jaguars, Louisville DT Sheldon Rankins went 12th to the Saints and partial-ACC member Notre Dame sent Ronnie Stanley to the Ravens at No. 6. Stanley was the first offensive tackle selected.

Tunsil tumbles

Ole Miss OT Laremy Tunsil was once regarded as a potential No. 1 overall pick, but he wasn't even the first player at his position selected. Shortly before the draft, a video was posted on one of his Twitter pages that showed him appearing to smoke something through a gas mask. The Tweet and video from an unknown date were later deleted. Tunsil's stepfather sued him Tuesday over an alleged attack. The 6-foot-5, 310-pound Tunsil fell to the Dolphins at No. 13. "Man, it was a mistake. It happened years ago," Tunsil told the NFL Network. "Someone had my Twitter account and that's how it got on there."

Trade talk

Trades were the story before the draft and continued to be a big deal Thursday night. The talks began weeks before, when the Titans traded the top pick to the Rams, and the Eagles moved up six spots in a swap with the Browns. The drama continued during the first round. The Titans and Browns traded again, with each other. The Titans gave up this year's No. 76 overall pick and a second-round choice next year to move up seven spots to No. 8 and select Michigan State OT Jack Conklin. With the next pick, the Bucs traded down with the Bears and added a fourth-round pick to move back two spots with Chicago, allowing the Bears to pick Georgia LB Leonard Floyd.

     
   
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