Tebow, Big 12 dominance, trades make for compelling first round

NEW YORK — The big buzz in the big city Thursday night centered on Sam Bradford, Tim Tebow, Oklahoma players at the top and Big 12 players in general.

Trent Williams one of 10 Big 12 players selected on draft's first day.
Trent Williams one of 10 Big 12 players selected on draft’s first day.

Five things that made the first-round of the NFL draft compelling:

1. Bradford goes No. 1. The Rams did what most expected, taking the Oklahoma quarterback with the No. 1 pick, counting on him to help rejuvenate their franchise.

"You dream of hearing your name called on draft day, but to actually have it happen, it’s a feeling that really unexplainable," Bradford said.

2. Tebow goes in Round 1. Broncos coach Josh McDaniels made a likely make-or-break career move in Denver, trading three picks to the Ravens to get the No. 25 pick to select Tebow. Tebow’s wait is over, but the debate about him will continue.

3. The Big 12 has a big night. Five of the top six picks were from the Big 12, and 10 players from that conference went in the first round.

"Great competition, week in and week out," said defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh of Nebraska, selected No. 2 by the Lions. "It’s something you can’t take away from that conference."

One of the Big 12 players taken was offensive tackle Trent Williams of Oklahoma, who went No. 4 to the Redskins.

"Trent Williams is a player we targeted who can play not only the left, but the right side as well, and he played the center position," Redskins coach Mike Shahanan told reporters. "We thought he’d fit in very well. Hopefully he can come in here and compete right away."

4. More trades. The 49ers traded up to No. 11 to take Rutgers offensive tackle Anthony Davis. The Chargers traded up to No. 12 for Fresno State running back Ryan Mathews. The Eagles traded up to No. 13 for Michigan defensive end Brandon Graham. And the Cowboys traded up to No. 24 for wide receiver Dez Bryant of Oklahoma State.

Iyer: Recapping the Day 1 trades

5. Surprises. The Jaguars took defensive tackle Tyson Alualu (No. 10), a player that many scouts rated as a second-round player. If Alualu does not have an immediate impact, the pick will be second-guessed. Meanwhile, Notre Dame quarterback Jimmy Clausen was not taken in the first round, nor were Texas defensive end Sergio Kindle, Texas quarterback Colt McCoy, Florida defensive end Carlos Dunlap, USC offensive tackle Charles Brown, USC safety Taylor Mays and Notre Dame wide receiver Golden Tate.

More: Revised second round mock draft | Third round

Clifton Brown covers the NFL for Sporting News. E-mail him at cliftonbrown@sportingnews.com.

NEW YORK — The big buzz in the big city Thursday night centered on Sam Bradford, Tim Tebow, Oklahoma players at the top and Big 12 players in general.

Trent Williams one of 10 Big 12 players selected on draft's first day.
Trent Williams one of 10 Big 12 players selected on draft’s first day.

Five things that made the first-round of the NFL draft compelling:

1. Bradford goes No. 1. The Rams did what most expected, taking the Oklahoma quarterback with the No. 1 pick, counting on him to help rejuvenate their franchise.

"You dream of hearing your name called on draft day, but to actually have it happen, it’s a feeling that really unexplainable," Bradford said.

2. Tebow goes in Round 1. Broncos coach Josh McDaniels made a likely make-or-break career move in Denver, trading three picks to the Ravens to get the No. 25 pick to select Tebow. Tebow’s wait is over, but the debate about him will continue.

3. The Big 12 has a big night. Five of the top six picks were from the Big 12, and 10 players from that conference went in the first round.

"Great competition, week in and week out," said defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh of Nebraska, selected No. 2 by the Lions. "It’s something you can’t take away from that conference."

One of the Big 12 players taken was offensive tackle Trent Williams of Oklahoma, who went No. 4 to the Redskins.

"Trent Williams is a player we targeted who can play not only the left, but the right side as well, and he played the center position," Redskins coach Mike Shahanan told reporters. "We thought he’d fit in very well. Hopefully he can come in here and compete right away."

4. More trades. The 49ers traded up to No. 11 to take Rutgers offensive tackle Anthony Davis. The Chargers traded up to No. 12 for Fresno State running back Ryan Mathews. The Eagles traded up to No. 13 for Michigan defensive end Brandon Graham. And the Cowboys traded up to No. 24 for wide receiver Dez Bryant of Oklahoma State.

Iyer: Recapping the Day 1 trades

5. Surprises. The Jaguars took defensive tackle Tyson Alualu (No. 10), a player that many scouts rated as a second-round player. If Alualu does not have an immediate impact, the pick will be second-guessed. Meanwhile, Notre Dame quarterback Jimmy Clausen was not taken in the first round, nor were Texas defensive end Sergio Kindle, Texas quarterback Colt McCoy, Florida defensive end Carlos Dunlap, USC offensive tackle Charles Brown, USC safety Taylor Mays and Notre Dame wide receiver Golden Tate.

More: Revised second round mock draft | Third round

Clifton Brown covers the NFL for Sporting News. E-mail him at cliftonbrown@sportingnews.com.

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