ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) —
Tennessee traded up with Baltimore to make the 22nd pick and went with Alabama linebacker Rashaan Evans, the third Crimson Tide player taken in the first round.
New England made its first pick of the first round and plugged a hole on its offensive line, taking Georgia’s Isaiah Wynn, who played both guard and tackle with the Bulldogs.
Six offensive linemen were taken before the first wide receiver came off the board. The Carolina Panthers took Maryland’s D.J. Moore at No. 24.
A mini-run on centers.
Detroit took Frank Ragnow from Arkansas with the 20th pick to help protect Matthew Stafford. Ragnow can also play guard.
Then the Cincinnati Bengals took Billy Price from Ohio State, another interior lineman who can also play guard at No. 21. The Bengals’ offense struggled mightily last season because of a porous offensive line.
Also, the Pittsburgh Steelers have traded enigmatic wide receiver Martavis Bryant to the Oakland Raiders.
The Steelers will receive Oakland’s third-round pick in exchange for Bryant, who showed flashes of brilliance in three seasons with Pittsburgh but also regularly ran afoul of the league’s substance abuse policy.
Bryant caught 17 touchdowns in 36 games for the Steelers, but was suspended twice for drug violations. He missed four games in 2015 and all of the 2016 season.
Bryant returned last spring but was quickly surpassed by JuJu Smith-Schuster on the depth chart. He asked for a trade in late September and was deactivated for a game after calling out Smith-Schuster in a post on social media.
The 6-foot-4 Bryant has the size and speed to give Oakland quarterback Derek Carr a serious downfield threat. Bryant averaged 15.3 yards per reception with the Steelers.
The Dallas Cowboys pick sent the fans at AT&T Stadium into a frenzy of anticipation for the home team.
The Cowboys passed on filling a need at wide receiver and selected Boise State linebacker Leighton Vander Esch, a late bloomer who didn’t play 11-man football in high school.
There still has not been a receiver selected.
One pick earlier, Green Bay picked cornerback Jaire Alexander from Louisville to help their secondary. The Packers traded down to add more picks later.
Alexander missed much of last season with injuries, but was a lock-down corner as a sophomore in 2016.
Oakland, selecting 15th after trading down from 10th, bolstered its offensive line with UCLA’s Kolton Miller in the NFL draft.
The 6-foot-9 tackle left the Bruins after his junior season and had strong workouts leading up to the draft.
The 16th selection also came after a trade. Buffalo, which previously moved into the seventh slot to get Wyoming quarterback Josh Allen, again was dealing, swapping No. 22 overall and a third-rounder with Baltimore. Buffalo took Virginia Tech linebacker Tremaine Edmunds, who can play inside or outside and was considered by some the best at the position in this group.
Safety Derwin James of Florida State also slipped a bit and wound up going 17th to the Chargers. James does his best work against the pass, but needs improvement against the run. He should find an immediate role in LA’s secondary.
Eager to add to an improving defense, New Orleans traded up with Green Bay, moving from 27th to 14th to get UTSA edge rusher Marcus Davenport.
Coming off a sensational 2017 draft in which the Saints added both the offensive and defensive rookies of the year in Alvin Kamara and Marshon Lattimore, they took a strong, tall (6-foot-6) player who can play on the line or at linebacker. Davenport was particularly impressive at the Senior Bowl.
The Washington Redskins addressed their leaky run defense by taking Alabama defensive tackle Da’Ron Payne with pick No. 13.
The 320-pound Payne was the anchor of Alabama’s national championship defense last season, and the second Crimson Tide player taken in the first round.
This is the 10th straight season Alabama has had a first-round pick. Only Miami at 14 from 1994-2008 has had one longer.
Tampa Bay has plugged a major hole in its defensive line with nose tackle Vita Vea.
The Buccaneers had traded down from seventh to 12th — Buffalo grabbed Wyoming quarterback Josh Allen in that deal — and found a 6-foot-4, 345-pound man-mountain adept at stopping the run. At Washington, he often occupied or even overpowered more than one blocker.
He’ll team with Tampa’s longtime defensive tackle, Gerald McCoy, in an attempt to improve a defense that ranked last in the league in 2017.
The Miami Dolphins had a top-10 talent fall to them at No. 11 and took Alabama defensive back Minkah Fitzpatrick.
The versatile All-American played safety, cornerback and nickel back in three seasons with the Crimson Tide and was one of coach Nick Saban’s favorite players.
UCLA quarterback Josh Rosen slipped a bit, but the Arizona Cardinals jumped up to No. 10 to get him.
Arizona traded with Oakland to get the 10th overall pick, moving up from No. 15.
Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer retired after the season. Arizona also signed former Vikings quarterback Sam Bradford, who missed most of last season with an injury.
The San Francisco 49ers bolstered their offensive line, picking tackle Mike McGlinchey from Notre Dame at No. 9.
McGlinchey was the second Fighting Irish lineman to go in the top 10 after Quenton Nelson went to the Colts.
The Chicago Bears selected Georgia linebacker Roquan Smith with pick No. 8.
Smith was an All-American and Butkus Award winner for the Bulldogs in 2017.
The Buffalo Bills traded up to No. 7 to take Wyoming quarterback Josh Allen, a 6-foot-5, strong-armed passer.
Allen had no major scholarship offers out of college and went to junior college before spending two seasons at Wyoming.
He needs some seasoning and to work on accuracy, but he could sit behind AJ McCarron in Buffalo for a year or two.
The Colts grabbed the best blocker in the draft, Notre Dame guard Quenton Nelson at No. 6.
The Colts had traded down from No. 3 with the New York Jets.
Indianapolis took Nelson to help protect quarterback Andrew Luck, who missed all of last season with a shoulder injury.
Bradley Chubb of North Carolina State, seen as the best pass rusher in this draft, was selected fifth overall by Denver.
Once Cleveland, with its second selection in the top four, went for Ohio State cornerback Denzel Ward, it left the dynamic Chubb for the Broncos.
Chubb will bolster a defense that already has one star in linebacker Von Miller. Denver ranked third in overall defense last season, but GM John Elway couldn’t pass on a game-changing end.
The Browns surprised the experts again, picking Ohio State cornerback Denzel Ward No 4 overall.
After passing over more classic quarterbacks to take Oklahoma’s Baker Mayfield with the top pick, Cleveland skipped over North Carolina State defensive end Bradley Chubb, the top pass rusher in the draft, to grab the top cornerback.
The New York Jets, another of the NFL teams desperate for a franchise quarterback, chose Sam Darnold with the third pick Thursday night.
The Jets had traded up from sixth overall with Indianapolis with the expressed mission of finding that quarterback. Southern California’s Darnold, who had a superb 2016 season and was not quite so productive last year, was the choice.
Darnold might sit a while and learn behind veteran Josh McCown.
“There’s nothing better than being on this state,” Darnold said. “I think whatever the coaches what me to do, if they want me to sit, want me to play, I’ll do my role. That’s what I’ve done my whole life, not going to do any different.”
The New York Giants selected Penn State running back Saquon Barkley with the second pick in the 2018 NFL draft.
The All-American with speed, power, shiftiness and excellent hands is considered this year’s best player. New York has had one of the NFL’s worst running games in recent years, and Barkley is expected to boost an offense that has a veteran quarterback in Eli Manning and star receiver in Odell Beckham Jr.
Barkley also is a sensational kick returner.
“It’s unreal, two of the biggest moments in my life in the same week,” said Barkley, whose girlfriend gave birth to a girl earlier in the week.
Not surprisingly in the Cowboys’ home, the pick generally was booed.
Baker Mayfield, until the past few days considered an outsider to be chosen at the top of the NFL draft, has been taken by the Cleveland Browns to begin Thursday night’s selections.
The first Heisman Trophy winner taken No. 1 overall in the following draft since Cam Newton went to Carolina in 2010, Mayfield joins a team that went 0-16 in 2017.
The Browns were sold on his leadership skills and creativity inside the pocket and outside.
Most prognosticators pegged another quarterback, perhaps Josh Allen, Sam Darnold or Josh Rosen, for the Browns.
Instead, it’s the Oklahoma star —the Sooners went 34-6 with him— who overwhelmingly won the Heisman Trophy last season. He is the eighth winner of the award selected first in the NFL draft following that season since 1970.