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The Early Lead
Posted at 07:40 AM ET, 04/29/2011

NFL draft 2011: Liveblog Round 1; Cam Newton is No. 1

The Super Bowl teams, the Pittsburgh Steelers and Green Bay Packers, wrap it up. The Steelers go with Craig “Ironhead” Heyward’s kid, Cam Heyward, a defensive end out of Ohio State at 31. The Packers take Mississippi State offensive tackle Dereck Sherrod with the last pick of the first round that began at 8 p.m. with Cam Newton’s selection.

11:26 p.m.: Rex Ryan likes Temple defensive tackle Muhammad Wilkerson at 30. This is a terrific thing for Wilkerson, since his coach has repeatedly said the Jets will win the Super Bowl next year and Mel Kiper said he could be the best pick in the entire first round.

11:21 p.m.: The Chicago Bears go with Gabe Carimi, an offensive tackle from Wisconsin with the 29th pick, putting the J-E-T-SJetsJetsJets on the clock.

11:05 p.m.: This is odd: the Baltimore Ravens have passed (working a deal that they couldn’t complete in their allotted time?), so the Kansas City Chiefs jump in and pick Jonathan Baldwin, a wide receiver from Pittsburgh, 26th. Baltimore then jumps in at 27 and grabs Colorado defensive back Jimmy Smith...now the Patriots are up....and have traded the pick to the New Orleans Saints.

With the 28th pick, the Saints ended Alabama running back Mark Ingram’s nightmare. He’s the Crimson Tide’s fourth first-round pick.

But back to that slick Pats move. New England gets New Orleans’ second-round pick this year and a first-round pick in 2012. Bill Belichick, ladies and gentlemen.

10:50 p.m.: If someone in the New York metroplex area is reading this, could you please get Pete Carroll a recliner ASAP? The Seattle Seahawks take Alabama tackle James Carpenter with the 25th pick and even Alabama Coach Nick Saban cannot contain his amazement at the pick.

10:44 p.m.: It’s that time of Round 1: Someone must take Mark Ingram. Please. It’s not a Brady Quinn situation or even a Tom Brady situation ... yet. But, please.

10:43 p.m.: Steve Jordan’s kid got drafted. Cam Jordan, the Cal defensive end, goes to Gregg Williams and the New Orleans Saints at 24.

10:26 p.m.: Anthony Castonzo, offensive tackle from Boston College, is the Indianapolis Colts’ pick at 22. A few minutes later, the Philadelphia Eagles go for an offensive lineman — Baylor’s 26-year-old former firefighter Danny Watkins — at No. 23.

10:15 p.m.: Trade!!! (Two hours in, you take what excitement you can find until the Jets pick and enliven Radio City Music Hall in their special way.) The Kansas City Chiefs trade the 21st pick to the Cleveland Browns, who take Baylor Deensive tackle Phil Taylor. The Chiefs get the 27th pick and the Browns’ third-round pick (70th overall).

10:14 p.m.:Adrian Clayborn, the Iowa defensive end who suffered nerve damage and right shoulder weakness because he was born with Erb’s palsy, goes to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers with the 20th pick.

10:04 p.m.: The New York Giants are taking Nebraska defensive back Prince Amukamara at 19. Yes, his last name has Mara within it. Tweets Roman Oben: “Amukamara’s family representing traditional gear!!! Africans unite :) “

9:58 p.m.: The San Diego Chargers take Corey Liuget, the Illinois defensive end at 18 as Radio City erupts because the Giants are on the clock.

9:52 p.m.: Eric Stangel says it’s spring, but it feels like fall in New York as the Patriots get booed. Undeterred, they pick Colorado offensive tackle Nate Solder at 17, which most likely means the Matt Light era is over

9:41 p.m.: As Roger Goodell’s popularity with the crowd continues unabated, the Redskins have made the 16th pick — for Purdue linebacker Ryan Kerrigan

“To me, he is a natural 4-3 end,” Mike Mayock said. “Now a lot of teams feel he can stand up and play that 34 position. Apparently that’s what the Redskins believe. They need someone opposite [Brian] Orakpo. ... He’s one of those real safe picks. Hard to argue with.” (He also said Kerrigan has a motor, but I refuse to type that.)

Everyone seems confident that he can transition to the 3-4.

Tell me what yall think Redskin Nation? Congrats to @RyanKerrigan94 see u soon HTTR!less than a minute ago via Twitter for Android Favorite Retweet Reply

9:34 p.m.: Mike Pouncey, a center from Florida like his twin brother Maurkice Pouncey of the Steelers, goes to the Miami Dolphins with the 15th pick.

9:29 p.m.: Robert Quinn, the North Carolina defensive end who was dismissed fromthe school, goes to the St. Louis Rams with the 14th pick. Jim Irsay of the Indianapolis Colts tweets:“In the War Room,the sh#***t is hot..everyone speaking in code,using aliases in case somebody squeals..CIA got nothin’ on us.” All righty then.

9:22 p.m.: The Lions just made a wow move taking Auburn DT Nick Fairley with the 13th pick.

We did a lot of mock scenarios and Fairley falling to us was one of our ideals, though we thought it unlikely.less than a minute ago via ÜberSocial Favorite Retweet Reply

9:17 p.m.: It’s Florida State’s Christian Ponder to the Minnesota Vikings with the 12th pick. If I might quote Keanu Reeves, “Whoa.” Ponder is the fourth QB taken in the top 12...guess they’re really finished with Favre in Minny.

9:10 p.m.: The Texans do love to pick defensive ends, don’t they? With the 11th pick, they take Wisconsin’s J.J. Watt. I might have gone with Prince Amukamara here.

9:03 p.m.: The Redskins give Jacksonville the 10th pick, which the Jags use on Blaine Gabbert, in exchange for the 16th pick and a second-round pick (No. 49). He’s the third QB taken so far.

8:54 p.m.: Redskins on the clock. And there sits Blaine Gabbert. He’s a quarterback, you know.

8:52 p.m.: The Cowboys are taking the allotted 10 minutes, the first team to do so, but in fairness they appeared to be taking a little nap for the first five.

They wake up and take USC offensive tackle Tyron Smith with the ninth pick.

8:43: Aldon Smith is the first Missouri player taken, not Blaine Gabbert. The San Francisco 49ers take Smith, a defensive end, with the seventh pick and, gasp, the Tennessee Titans have already made their pick. Might it be Gabbert? If not Gabbert, might he endup with the Redskins at 10?

Whoa alert! The Titans take Jake Locker, the Washington quarterback, with the eighth pick.

8:37 p.m.: Atlanta makes the boldest move so far, moving from 27 to No. 6 in order to take Alabama’s stellar wide receiver Julio Jones. The Falcons have given Cleveland, in return, the 27th pick, a second-round pick (59), a fourth-round pick (124) and, gulp, first- and fourth-round picks in 2012.

Mike Holmgren has to be grinning from ear to ear.

8:33 p.m.: The Arizona Cardinals, a team that could use a quarterback, take LSU defensive back Patrick Peterson with the fifth pick. Hmmm....so perhaps Arizona feels that a veteran QB might better serve its needs. More hmmm....Donovan McNabb?

8:22 p.m.: Alabama defensive tackle Marcell Dareus is the third pick, by the Buffalo Bills. Deion Sanders tells Dareus he is infectious.

Two minutes later — Is this a speed draft? Does Roger Goodell want outta there? -- Georgia wide receiver A.J. Green is taken by the Cincinnati Bengals with the fourth pick. Wonder who’s going to throw him the ball.

8:12 p.m.: Von Miller, the Texas A&M linebacker, is the second pick, the first by Denver Broncos GM John Elway and Miller is so upset tht he isn’t moving. He’s still seated. Finally, he puts on his glasses, takes his time hugging his family and then envelops Roger Goodell, who, let’s face it, was probably in need of a bearhug.

8:05 p.m.: The first pick, by the Carolina Panthers, is, indeed, Cam Newton, the Auburn quarterback.

8:04 p.m.: Roger Goodell opens the draft officially open and quells boos by smartly telling fans, “Let’s get back to some football.”

7:57 p.m., the first pick: The No. 1 pick is often under contract by the time the draft begins. Given the turmoil in the NFL this offseason, it’s probably something of a victory that Cam Newton was at least on the phone, probably with the Carolina Panthers, when the draft began

Of course, the way Roger Goodell’s night is going, Newton was probably talking to a UFL team.

7:34 p.m.: Players are introduced to music that sounds as if it might have been rejected for an Austin Powers movie and the bad guy is played by ... Roger Goodellq

The commissioner s is roundly, raucously booed by the fans at Radio City Music Hall. “I hear you,” he says repeatedly as fans chant, “We want football.” “I love it.,” he tells them. “I agree with you. Me, too. Guys... I love it.”

That awkward moment segues into a moment of silence for victims of Wednesday’s storms. Auburn and Alabama players expected to be first-round picks join Alabama Coach Nick Saban and Auburn Coach Gene Chizik.

Filed at 7:14 p.m.

Will Cam Newton be the first player taken? Or will the Carolina Panthers take Marcell Dareus, Patrick Peterson and A.J. Green?

By 6:10 p.m., Round 1 of the three-day NFL draft had already jumped the shark and we were desperate in need of some picks. For evidence, look no further than the tweet from Detroit Lions Coach Jim Schwartz.

(And, yes, that was Dr. Phil.)

Dr. Phil commenting on the NFL draft on ESPN. REALLY?less than a minute ago via web Favorite Retweet Reply

Frankly, the #draftdaycliches Twitterfest was far more interesting. Top cliches:

“He’s the complete package.”

“Reminds me of a young John Elway.”

“He’s a physical specimen.”

‘”We had him much higher.”

“He’s a great value pick.”

“Tom Brady was a sixth round pick.”

“He has a nose for the ball.”

“His numbers were off the charts.”

“Watching film, he knew everyone’s job, not just his own.”

“He’s a lunchpail guy.”

“He’s a high-motor guy.”

“We had our medical people check his _____ and we’re not concerned.”

If you were to start a drinking game based on any or all of these, well, I couldn’t really stop you, could I?

Pats’ plans? New England Patriots Coach Bill Belichick on his team’s plans: “If we pick, we pick. If we trade, we trade. We’ll do what’s best for this football team.” Oddly, I found this rather charming.

Randoms: Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said he has reached out to Dez Bryant, who’s had a troubled offseason. ... Commissioner Roger Goodell said of the NFL’s decision to open facilities and begin the league year (except for the part about trade and free agency): “The players will be back in… but it has to be done in an orderly fashion.” ...Kyle Vanden Bosch told the NFL Network’s Albert Breer that plans are proceeding to open organized team activities next week.

MORE

Draft tracker: The picks

Redskins tracker: The picks

By  |  07:40 AM ET, 04/29/2011

 
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