NFL roll call

No. 1 Oakland

The inscrutable Al Davis fooled everybody.  He did what most observers have been saying he should do by taking the top-rated quarterback in the draft, LSU's JaMarcus Russell.


Now the question becomes, how good will this be for Russell's career?  The pressure to start him quickly will be immense and the prognosis for success with a team as lousy as Oakland is poor.  However, "Just win, baby" Davis is likely to look at how well Vince Young performed with  struggling Tennessee last year and expect his rookie to do the same.

That the Raiders took so much time on the clock is indicative that there could be a lot of trade talk, a lot of jockeying through the first round.


No. 2 Detroit

The Lions' Matt Millen couldn't have wanted to have to make this pick and trading down is what made all the sense in the world.  Everyone knows the history here -- Detroit took wide receivers in three of the last four years and only one has panned out.  And here come another one, Georgia Tech's Calvin Johnson, the consensus best player in the draft.  It's Millen's worst nightmare.  This doesn't mean the Lions won't still trade Johnson. In fact, if they don't, Millen will be hectored by the second-guessers.

No. 3  Cleveland

The Brady Quinn slide is officially on. With Cleveland passing up the Notre Dame quarterback and a Ohio native in favor of left offensive tackle Joe Thomas of Wisconsin, Quinn's next likely stop is Washington at No. 6, maybe even Minnesota at No. 7.  Browns draft-picker Phil Savage went with the safe pick, Thomas, which is good news for QB Charlie Frye and former Ravens running back Jamal Lewis.  ESPN played the pathos card by showing a photo of 4-year old Brady Quinn in a Browns helmet and jersey.

No. 4 Tampa Bay

The Buccaneers addressed offense in free agency and it made all the sense in the world to go after defense, ergo Clemson defensive end Gaines Adams.  NFL people generally agree that one of the biggest impact players a team can have is a big time pass rusher and Adams, even if he has some deficiencies as a run defender, is the best chance for a team to immediately upgrade its pass rush.

No. 5 Arizona

The Cardinals actually have a pretty stellar roster of skill players in QB Matt Leinart, RB Edgerrin James and their flashy wideouts, so they went for some beef to support that talent, Penn State OT Levi Brown.  Draft experts talk about value, meaning getting the best player available regardless of apparent team needs.  Brown may not be a "value" pick but he is the best fit for the Cardinals.


Ravens note.

Director of College Scouting Eric DeCosta, an avid runner, said at the team's pre-draft press conference that he might start his draft-day run at 3 a.m. to start burning off the nervous energy.  Actually, he started running today at 5 a.m., then when he arrived at the Castle in Owings Mills, ran a second time with the club's salary cap guru, Pat Moriarty, for another 45 minutes.

No. 6 Washington

LSU safety LaRon Landry should be paying for lunch for his brother for a long time.  LaRon, as the No. 6 overall, will make millions more than his older brother, Dawan, a fifth-round selection of the Ravens a year ago.  The Redskins can only hope that LaRon is as productive as his brother, who led NFL rookies in interceptions in 2006.

No.  7 Minnesota

So now maybe Brady Quinn goes to Miami at No. 9?  The comparisons to Leinart, who slipped to No. 10 a year ago, are impossible to ignore.  The Vikings went with Oklahoma RB  Adrian Peterson, the consensus best ball carrier in the draft whose biggest drawback is an injury history.  That a pick as high as this is considered something of a gamble tells you everything you need to know about the uncertain nature of the NFL draft.


No. 8 Atlanta

The dropping Brady Quinn probably affected the Falcons' draft pick here.  If someone had taken Quinn among the top seven, Atlanta might have had a shot at safety Landry or offensive tackle Brown.  With both off the board, they went with a pass rusher, Arkansas defensive end Jamaal Anderson.  If Quinn doesn't go right here to Miami, he'll go from Matt Leinart comparisons to Aaron Rodgers territory.  Rodgers dropped all the way to Green Bay at No. 24 two years ago.

No. 9 Miami

So do you really think Brady Quinn could slide to No. 29 and the Ravens?  OK, that's not realistic but someone is going to get Brady Quinn who had no idea they have a shot at him.  By taking Ohio State speedster Ted Ginn Jr., the Dolphins delivered the shocker of the draft.  Ginn is sort of a poor man's Reggie Bush  ... actually sort of a destitute pauper's Reggie Bush.  First of all, he's a wide receiver and not a running back.  But he has Bush-type blazing speed and has a few extra dimensions as a kick and punt returner, but he's also been a little fragile.  In the long run, this pick will hurt Miami's future more than it bruised Quinn's pride.

No. 10 Houston (from Atlanta)

If Ginn was a risky pick at No. 9, Houston's selection of Louisville defensive tackle Amobi Okoye is a quality selection at No. 10.  For the second year in a row, the Texans  used a first-round pick on a defensive lineman.  And Okoye might actually help last year's No. 1 overall, Mario Williams, be a better defensive end. Okoye brings character to a locker room despite being just 19 years old.  He fast-forwarded his way through high school and graduated from Louisville in 3 1/2 years with a degree in psychology.  He should play for more than a decade.  Oh, one more thing -- not one of a bumper crop of cornerbacks have not been taken yet.  The run on that position should develop soon and it may impact the Ravens, who believe you can never have enough good corners.


Quinn update.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has spirited Brady Quinn from the infamous Green Room, where top draft picks await their selection.  In 2005, Aaron Rodgers waited hour after hour watching dollars float away with each team that passed him up. Quinn is being spared that embarrassment.

No. 11 San Francisco

The 49ers went with the first linebacker to be taken in the draft, Mississippi linebacker Patrick Willis.  Willis is built solidly, he's fast and, just as importantly, he was a productive player in college.  This isn't a flashy pick but it's a safe one for a team still rebuilding.

No. 12 Buffalo

Obviously, the offseason trade of Willis McGahee to the Ravens influenced the Bills' selection here of Cal running back Marshawn Lynch.  In a year when "character issues" are front and center, Lynch is the first player picked who has had serious red flags on his resume.  At the combine, he had to explain about a shooting incident in which he was in a car that came under fire.  He said he wasn't the intended target and that the shooter even called his mother to apologize -- odd as all that sounds.  The Bills have been adamant about the issue of character and it could be argued that they let McGahee go because of attitude issues. Hmmm.


No. 13 St. Louis

The Rams get a big (6 feet 6, nearly 300 pounds), fast (sub-5.0 40-yard dash) and versatile defensive end in Nebraska defensive end Adam Carriker.

No. 14 N.Y. Jets (after trade with Carolina)

The Jets gave up their own first-round pick, (the 25th overall), a second and a fifth in exchange for the Panthers' selection right here and a sixth-rounder.  For their efforts they get cornerback Derrelle Revis from Pitt.  Cover corners-- if there is such a thing in the league considering the rules that hamstring pass defenders -- are still mighty important, and Revis is considered one of the better ones.

No. 15 Pittsburgh

One of the Ravens' main rivals in the AFC North went defense in the first round, selecting Florida State outside linebacker Lawrence Timmons.  He's an active, sideline-to-sideline linebacker who steps onto the Pittsburgh roster just as longtime Baltimore nemesis Joey Porter has left Steeltown for Miami.


No. 16 Green Bay

Little kids in Green Bay reacted to the selection of Tennessee DT Justin Harrell like they had just been sentenced to a whole school year of Brussels sprouts for school lunch. Yuch!  The usually optimistic little football village went absolutely vicious.  So where is the help coming from for the aging Brett Favre?  The loudest sound in Green Bay, other than the boos for the pick of Harrell, is the clock ticking on the great No. 4's career.

No. 17 Denver (after trade with Jacksonville)

The Broncos' moved up four spots from No. 21 in a trade with Jacksonville and gave up a third- and sixth-rounder to pick Florida defensive end Jarvis Moss. Moss (6-6, 250) is one of those swing edge guys who is big enough to play DE and athletic enough to play OLB. But he is the fourth defensive end to go so far in the draft, making the position the popular one.

Ravens thought.  The next likely team to take Brady Quinn is Kansas City at No. 23.  So is it out of the question that the Ravens swap with Dallas at No. 22 (assuming Jacksonville, now at No. 21, also snubs Quinn)?  The problem is that Baltimore doesn't have a lot of ammunition with no third- or fourth-round pick for the purposes of trading.  The Ravens have two compensatory picks in the fourth round but those are not permitted to be traded.

No. 18 Cincinnati


The Ravens' other threat within the division, besides Pittsburgh, got a great value pick in Michigan cornerback Leon Hall.  Considered by some to be the top corner in the draft, Hall has speed in the 4.4 range and is big enough (5-11, 193) to support the run.  It's also noteworthy that a team that has made a bad habit of taking guys of dubious character have gotten a player in Hall who is considered a solid citizen. This is a very good pick for the Bengals.

No. 19 Tennessee

The selection of Texas safety Michael Griffin by the Titans definitely skews the draft toward defense.  Until now, 12 defensive players have been picked, including the last seven.  Only five skill players, a quarterback, two receivers and two running backs, have been chosen.

No. 20 N.Y. Giants

The defensive trend continues with the Giants taking Aaron Ross, Texas cornerback.

No. 21 Jacksonville (after trade with Denver)


With the pick that the Jaguars got from the Jets, they took Florida safety Reggie Nelson -- that's three DBs in a row and the ninth straight defensive player.  Value is beginning to build on the offensive side.  Dallas is probably listening to some trade offers from teams looking to trump the Chiefs on Quinn.

No. 22 Cleveland (after trade with Dallas)

The Charlie Frye era in Cleveland is over -- maybe.  In a weird turn of events, Cleveland, which passed on Quinn at No. 3 overall, grabbed local guy Quinn here after a trade with Dallas. Phil Savage couldn't have engineered this one any better, getting both the top offensive lineman in the draft and now the quarterback they wanted.  The price was steep, though, with Cleveland sacrificing its second-round pick this year and its first-rounder next year. This is fraught with risk, though, because if Quinn doesn't make the grade, this deal will put the Browns back for years.   And if this was a bittersweet day for Quinn -- whose smile, while he held up the Browns' jersey with No. 1 on it, was incredibly forced -- how do you think Frye is feeling about now?  Savage felt he had to move up to get Quinn and the Ravens were a team that had him worried.

No. 23 Kansas City

The Chiefs' top need going into the draft, some felt, was at wide receiver, and that's exactly the position they filled. LSU's Dwayne Bowe is big and strong (6-2, 220), has shown the courage to challenge between the hash marks, and he blocks downfield. He may not be a game-breaker but can move the chains and challenge corners to bring him down.

24. New England (from Seattle)


The Patriots took the a player with the most serious "character" issues, Miami safety Brandon Meriweather.  Meriweather tried to stomp on an opposing player in the Hurricanes' brawl with Florida International and he returned fire in a shooting incident where his actions were deemed justifiable.  But it's hard to imagine Pats coach Bill Belichick tolerating Meriweather getting even a little out of line.

25. Carolina (after trade with Jets)

This pick is the one the Panthers got from the Jets in a trade earlier in the draft. Carolina's linebackers are adequate to good but the group is a little thin.  Miami outside linebacker Jon Beason gives them some quality depth.  Just a note:  Ravens LB Ray Lewis, another Hurricane, was taken with the No. 26 pick overall in the 1996 draft with a selection that was also acquired in a trade.

No. 26 Dallas (after trade with Philadelphia)

It's unusual for divisional rivals to deal with each other on draft day but the Eagles swapped their first-round position here for three Cowboy picks in rounds two, three and five.  If the guy the Cowboys drafted, Purdue defensive end Anthony Spencer, wreaks any havoc on Philadelphia QB Donovan McNabb, you can be sure the Eagles will get an earful from their fans.

No. 27 New Orleans


Last year, the Saints hit the jackpot with wide receiver Marques Colston in the seventh round.  This time, they went for a receiver in the first round, Tennessee's Robert Meachem.  They can only hope that their judgment is nearly as good when they're actually trying to land a blue-chip wideout.  Even though New Orleans signed a tight end in the offseason, the top TE in the draft, Greg Olsen, was available here.  It's surprising they didn't grab him.

No. 28 San Francisco (after trade with New England)

After trading with New England and moving one slot ahead of the Ravens, the 49ers took Central Michigan offensive tackle Joe Staley. Staley was considered a person of interest in the Ravens' draft plans.

No. 29 Baltimore

It's the least glamorous position in all football.  Offensive guard.  But the Ravens got arguably the top player at the position in Auburn's Ben Grubbs.  Grubbs is listed at 6-3, 315 pounds.  After selecting Grubbs, Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome said that the rookie, along with last year's second-rounder Chris Chester will be competing for jobs along the interior offensive line. "We just told (offensive line coach) Chris Foerster, 'Let's put the best five guys on the field,'" Newsome said.  The Ravesn GM also said that Grubbs was the highest rated player on the team's draft board and that it was a fortuitous circumstance that the position also happened to be an area of need for the team.  Newsome said that the Ravens considered Quinn but didn't have enough ammunition for a trade without tossing in next year's first-rounder -- something the Ravens were extremely reluctant to do. Right after being drafted, Grubbs said it "was a dream come true."  When the telephone caller ID came up Baltimore, Grubbs said he started shouting in jubilation.  Grubbs is a former tight end and defensive end so he should be especially athletic for an interior lineman.  Much chuckling was going on, both by Newsome and Grubbs, over the fact that the Ravens general manager is an Alabama alumnus and Grubbs is from arch-rival Auburn.

No. 30 San Diego


The Chargers took the fourth LSU player of the first round, wide receiver Craig Davis.

No. 31 Chicago

The Bears got a quality pick late in the first round in Miami TE Greg Olsen, who has the type of size (6-5, 255) and speed (4.5) that presents matchup problems for defenses. Potentially, he's too fast for many linebackers and too big and physical for safeties in coverage.

No. 32 Indianapolis

The Colts finished the longest first round in the history of the NFL draft (6 hours, 8 minutes) by picking another receiver for Peyton Manning, Ohio State WR Anthony Gonzalez.

-Bill Ordine