One year after glamour quarterbacks were the big story, NFL teams mostly opted for big, beefy, bruisers during Round One of the 2013 NFL draft Thursday night.
The first seven picks, starting with the Kansas City Chiefs' selection of Central Michigan offensive tackle Eric Fisher, were offensive or defensive linemen. As NPR's Tom Goldman tells our Newscast Desk, the first round "was a celebration of players who anchor both sides of the line of scrimmage."
A quarterback wasn't taken until the 16th pick, when the Buffalo Bills chose Florida State's E.J. Manuel. He was the only signal caller chosen Thursday. The Bills even "traded down" to get their man — another sign that 2013's quarterback crop wasn't impressing scouts the way 2012's did. Buffalo sent the No. 8 pick to St. Louis in exchange for more picks later in the draft. Then the Bills used the No. 16 spot to take Manuel.
Last year, quarterbacks Andrew Luck (chosen by Indianapolis) and Robert Griffin III (by Washington) were the first two choices. A year later, quarterbacks Geno Smith of West Virginia and Matt Barkley of USC — who had been talked about as likely first round choices — will still be on the board when Round Two gets under way tonight at 6:30 p.m. ET (ESPN will be broadcasting).
Also not selected Thursday: Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te'o, who saw his once-bright draft prospects dim in January when word emerged that a supposedly dead girlfriend of his never existed. Te'o has said he was the victim of an elaborate hoax.
Meanwhile, if you're a fan of unusual names, Thursday was a big night for you. Defensive linemen Ziggy Ansah of BYU and Barkevious Mingo of LSU were taken in the No. 5 and 6 spots.
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