Monday, January 22, 2018
Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Johnny Football becomes Johnny Freefall

Quote of the day

"I just been proving a lot of people wrong throughout my life. Hopefully I'm going to be a Hall of Famer one day."

South Carolina DE Jadeveon Clowney, picked No. 1 overall by Houston

Top remaining players at each position


Derek Carr Fresno State 6-2 214

Jimmy Garoppolo Eastern Illinois 6-2 226


Carlos Hyde Ohio State 6-0 230

Ka'Deem Carey Arizona 5-9 207

Tre Mason Auburn 5-8 207

Bishop Sankey Washington 5-9 209

Devonta Freeman Florida State 5-8 206


David Yankey (G) Stanford 6-6 312


Stephon Tuitt (DE) Notre Dame 6-5 304

Tim Jernigan (DT) Florida State 6-2 299

Louis Nix (DT) Notre Dame 6-2 331


Kyle Van Noy BYU 6-3 243

1st Round by position

Defensive back9

Offensive line5


Wide receiver5

Defensive line4


Tight end1

Running back0

Apparently, there is something that can wipe the smile off the face of fun-loving Johnny Football: the NFL draft. Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel, the hyped 2012 Heisman Trophy winner, experienced a surprising fall in Thursday's first round, dropping to Cleveland with the 22nd pick. Manziel, considered a top-10 pick in many mock drafts, looked uncomfortable watching with his family from the green room at Radio City Music Hall in New York as several teams needing a quarterback passed on him.

"It feels right. It feels like I'm where I'm meant to be," Manziel said after being picked by the Browns, whom many thought would take the quarterback with their No. 4 pick. "Dawg Pound, here I come."

The Jaguars took underdog Blake Bortles from UCF at No. 3. The Raiders, Browns, Vikings, Titans — even the Bucs — went in another direction. All the while, the panel on ESPN, especially former Bucs coach Jon Gruden, kept trumpeting how Manziel would be the "next" pick.

But after the Cowboys, thought to be a perfect fit with attention-seeking owner Jerry Jones, said no, ESPN showed highlights of quarterbacks who fell in the draft in previous years (Aaron Rodgers and Geno Smith).

"Sometimes good news happens at the end," ESPN's Chris Berman said. "Where will it come for Johnny Manziel? … We had a feeling it could be an evening-long story."

That likely made Louisville's Teddy Bridgewater the happiest man lingering around the green room. Bridgewater, before his pro day, was tossed around as a potential No. 1 pick, but his drop to the final pick of the first round to Minnesota went relatively undocumented as Manziel's face was consistently shown on camera, stone-faced and sipping water.

Twitter took fire over the fall:

"Johnny Manziel is falling back more than Lebron's hairline," tweeted Cleveland Fan Probs ‏@CleSportsProbs_

"Johnny Manziel is retiring to DJ for Drake," tweeted Good Bull Hunting ‏@GBHunting

Call him 'La Scoop'

While writers and broadcasters for ESPN and the NFL Network agreed not to put on Twitter the picks before commissioner Roger Goodell announced them on TV, Jason La Canfora of wasn't playing by the same rules. He consistently tweeted the picks several minutes before the league-owned network and the "World Wide Leader."

Draft-day deals

Buffalo: trades the No. 9 pick overall and its first- and fourth-round picks in 2015 to Cleveland for the No. 4 pick overall and selects Clemson WR Sammy Watkins.

Cleveland: trades the No. 9 pick and a fifth-round pick to Minnesota for the No. 8 pick overall and selects Oklahoma State CB Justin Gilbert.

Cleveland: trades the 26th pick overall and a third-round pick to Philadelphia for the No. 22 pick and selects Texas A&M QB Johnny Manziel.

New Orleans: trades the 27th pick overall and a third-round pick to Arizona for the No. 20 pick and selects Oregon State WR Brandin Cooks.

Minnesota: trades the 40th pick overall and a fourth-round pick to Seattle for the No. 32 pick and selects Louisville QB Teddy Bridgewater.

Best day

North Carolina TE Eric Ebron's dream came true when he got picked No. 10 overall by the Lions. But it was already an unforgettable day for him. Hours earlier, Ebron surprised his girlfriend, UNC basketball player Brittany Rountree, by proposing at the top of the Empire State Building. "You talk about a day-night doubleheader," ESPN's Chris Berman quipped. Ebron told Fox Sports he bought the ring a week ago. "A ball of nerves," Ebron said. "What better way?"

A standing "O"

The Orlando Sentinel's Mike Bianchi pointed out that not only did UCF QB Blake Bortles beat Louisville's Teddy Bridgewater on the field, he also outshined 2012 Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel on draft day, becoming the first QB selected, No. 3 to Jacksonville. "It's about time the Jaguars did something to excite Orlando — the franchise's biggest TV market," Bianchi wrote. "Now at least, we have a reason to want to watch the Jaguars games every Sunday instead of having to watch them."

Biggest winners

Cleveland Browns: The biggest dealers in the draft. First, they traded down, picking up an extra two picks next season, and filled a huge need, selecting Oklahoma State CB Justin Gilbert at No. 8. But the Browns saved their best for last, moving up to No. 22 to nab 2012 Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel as their fans chanted, "Johnny! Johnny!" "This is better than the movie Draft Day," said ESPN's Jon Gruden said.

St. Louis Rams: They took advantage of their two first-round picks to bolster both their fronts. At No. 2 overall, the Rams selected OT Greg Robinson from Auburn, giving them added protection for QB Sam Bradford. Then, at No. 13, St. Louis picked stud defensive tackle Aaron Donald from Pittsburgh. Donald, a 6-foot-1, 285-pounder, won the Nagurski and Bednarik awards as the nation's best defensive player last season. Think of the havoc the Rams' d-line can wreak, with Donald, along with Robert Quin, Michael Brockers, Chris Long and Aaron Donald.

Biggest loser

Louisville QB Teddy Bridgewater: Before his pro day, Bridgewater was considered by some an option for the No. 1 pick. Only Johnny Manziel's stunning drop stole attention away from Bridgewater's free-fall to No. 32.

Sizing up the NFC South

The Falcons did very well, getting Texas A&M OT Jake Matthews, a ready-to-start left tackle who will protect QB Matt Ryan's blind side. The Saints may have a steal in Oregon State WR Brandin Cooks, moving up seven spots to take the 5-foot-10, 185-pound Biletnikoff Award winner at No. 20. ESPN's Jon Gruden called Cooks his "sleeper pick," a lightning-fast receiver who has Pro Bowl potential, and another huge weapon for Saints QB Drew Brees. The Panthers, needing a big-play receiver now that WR Steve Smith is gone, may have gotten one in FSU WR Kelvin Benjamin at No. 28.

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