NFL Draft blitz package

05/09/2014 12:28 AM

05/09/2014 12:28 AM

Texas A quarterback Johnny Manziel fell to No. 22

1 The 2012 Heisman Trophy winner had been projected anywhere from No. 4 to No. 16 in most mock drafts. But the first sign of distress in the green room came when the Cleveland Browns, with the No. 4 selection and in need of a quarterback, traded down to No. 9 with the Bills. No problem. The Browns would take Manziel there. Nope. Cleveland went back to No. 8 (trade with the Vikings) and took Oklahoma State cornerback Justin Gilbert. Others perhaps in the market for a quarterback, namely the Cardinals at No. 20, traded out of the spot or didn’t take Manziel.

2 It’s not you, it’s me. The Cowboys, at No. 16, discussed taking Manziel, and what a circus that would have been — the highest-profile college player, from Texas, on America’s Team and battling Tony Romo. But the Cowboys went with the smart play, Notre Dame offensive tackle Zack Martin.

3 Ah, but the Browns weren’t finished. They worked a deal with the Eagles at No. 22, one slot ahead of the Chiefs, who might have been intrigued by working with Manziel. The Eagles landed Johnny Football, and, as former Kansas coach and current Iowa State assistant Mark Mangino tweeted (@KeepSawinWood) as Manziel was falling in the draft: “This is like a public flogging for #JohnnyManziel. He will use it for motivation. He plays well with a chip on his shoulder.”

When did the Texans decide to make Jadeveon Clowney the No. 1 selection?

Later than all the mock drafters who confidently listed Clowney as the top pick did.

“We talked all week about being open to the opportunity to trading out of the pick, if in fact there was something that was worth moving for,” Texans general manager and executive vice president Rick Smith said. “At the end of the day, that never materialized and we always felt very confident in the selection. We were very bullish on what we were asking for because we felt so good about the pick. We never really had any opportunities on the clock to actually move, so we were happy to take him.”

Why did the Bills trade up for Clemson wide receiver Sammy Watkins?

After the season, there was talk about Buffalo needing a big, athletic wide receiver who could become a star. Watkins fits the profile. He was one of the most dynamic players in college, helping the Tigers beat Ohio State in the Orange Bowl with 16 receptions and 227 yards. Buffalo has tapped Clemson for offensive talent as recently as 2010, when the Bills drafted running back C.J. Spiller in the first round.

Why would the NFL’s Twitter account poke fun at Manziel?

Who knows, but it did. Sometime after the Cowboys made their selection at No. 16, a tweet from @NFL included only #sadmanziel, as the Texas A quarterback sat in the green room awaiting his draft selection.

It seemed like a cheap shot from the league, which later included #HappyManziel after he was taken by Cleveland at No. 22.

Best move

The Browns snaking around the first round, from No. 4 to No. 9 to No. 8 and jumping back in for a second pick at No. 22. The moves yielded a superb defender in Oklahoma State cornerback Justin Gilbert and the most visible player at the draft in Johnny Manziel.

Worst move

No big boos in the first round. The Chiefs befuddled the analysts with their choice of Auburn defensive end Dee Ford. The Titans went offensive line for the second straight year with Michigan’s Taylor Lewan, and the groans were audible from Nashville. But no disasters.

Biggest surprise

Many believed Central Florida’s Blake Bortles would be the first quarterback selected. Few had him staying in state and going third to the Jaguars.

Biggest risk

The Panthers went with Florida State’s Kelvin Benjamin. Nobody begrudged Carolina a wide receiver, but why not Southern California’s Marqise Lee?

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