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Tackles Go Early in NFL Draft

12:25 AM, Apr 26, 2013   |    comments
Courtesy US Presswire
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NEW YORK (AP) - NFL teams went with bulk in the first round of the draft. The first seven picks were linemen. No running back was taken in the first round, the first time that's happened in 40 years. And no quarterback was taken until the 16th pick.

The Kansas City Chiefs chose Eric Fisher, an offensive tackle out of Central Michigan, with the No. 1 overall pick. He's just the third offensive tackle chosen No. 1 overall since the AFL-NFL merger in 1970. Fisher called it a "dream come true" to play for the Chiefs, who are looking to rebuild under new coach Andy Reid, the former coach of the Eagles. Fisher became the first player from the Mid-American Conference taken at No. 1. 

The Jacksonville Jaguars took 6-foot-6, 306-pound Luke Joeckel  an offensive tackle from Texas A&M, with the second pick. The Jags are coming off a 2-14 season and also have a new coach in Gus Bradley. 

The Oakland Raiders, who've gone 10 straight seasons without a winning record and lost eight of their last nine games last year, traded the rights to the third pick to Miami for two draft picks. The Dolphins chose Oregon's 6-foor-6 linebacker Dion Jordan, who said he was surprised to be taken so highly. The Raiders ended up taking Houston cornerback D.J. Hayden with the Dolphins' pick at No. 12. 

The Philadelphia Eagles, who have a new coach in Chip Kelly following their 4-12 season, chose offensive tackle Lane Johnson out of Oklahoma. He's 6-6, 303 pounds, but has quickness for a man his size. 

The Detroit Lions, who lost their final eight games last season, took BYU defensive end Ziggy Ansah with the fifth pick. Ansah, a native of Ghana who first tried out for the BYU basketball team before starting his football career, moved way up the draft board during the NFL combine in the spring. 

Cleveland took LSU defensive end Barkevious Mingo with the sixth pick. The 6-foot-4, 241-pound Mingo played defensive end in college, but will likely be used as an outside pass rusher by the Browns, who are going with a 3-4 defense. 

 At No. 7, the Arizona Cardinals selected North Carolina guard Jonathan Cooper to bolster one of the NFL's worst offenses during their 5-11 season that began with a 4-0 start. 

St. Louis traded up to get the eighth pick from Buffalo. The Rams took 5-foot-8, 174-pound wide receiver Tavon Austin, a speed merchant who turned in a 40-yard dash time in 4.3 seconds, who is expected to become one of quarterback Sam Bradford's favorite targets. 

The New York Jets took Alabama cornerback Dee Milliner with the ninth pick. He's expected to help fill the void left when the Jets traded Darrelle Revis to Tampa Bay. 

Rounding out the top 10 picks, the Tennessee Titans drafted Chance Warmack, a guard out of Alabama. He was a unanimous All-America off the Crimson Tide national championship team. 

The first quarterback taken was Florida State's E.J. Manuel by Buffalo at No. 16. With Ryan Fitzpatrick out, Manuel has a chance to be a rookie starting QB this season. 

West Virginia quarterback Geno Smith was expected to go in the first round this year. But the strong-armed, erratic thrower will still on the board when the second round starts Friday. He's the all-time passing leader with 11,662 career yards at WVU. 

The Super Bowl champion Baltimore Ravens concluded the first round by taking Matt Elam, a safety out of Florida. He is expected to fill the void left when veteran All-Pro Ed Reed signed with Houston in the offseason, and Bernard Pollard was cut after the Ravens won it all.

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