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Eric Fisher Takes Top Spot in Draft, E.J. Manuel Selected as First QB

Entering Thursday’s draft, the Kansas City Chiefs supposedly had four players on their list for the top spot but ultimately went with Central Michigan’s offensive tackle Eric Fisher.

Eric Fisher draft edits

Kansas City Chiefs first pick, Eric Fisher

Fisher represents the first Mid-American Conference player to go as the top pick and appeared very excited about his NFL future. Sounding like a humble Midwest farm boy, he said via ESPN.com, “This is so surreal. I’m ready to get to work right now. I’m ready to start playing some football. I can’t process what’s going on right now.”

Touted as the likely first overall pick, Texas A&M’s offensive tackle Luke Joeckel was promptly snatched up by the Jacksonville Jaguars as the second overall pick. This was the first time since 1970 that two offensive tackles went one and two in the draft–a stark contrast from last year’s two quarterbacks.

For the big, brawny linemen, it was all about them for the first seven picks as four offensive and three defensive were quickly selected. Overall, a total of 17 linemen had been picked on Thursday.

Finally for the eighth pick, the trend was broken as the St. Louis Rams traded up for four picks with the Buffalo Bills for diminutive, speedy West Virginia wide receiver Tavon Austin (5’8″, 174 pounds). He represented the first skills player and CBS has compared him from his size and playmaking ability to Percy Harvin and Devin Hester.

The Rams sit at 60 to 1 to win the 2014 Super Bowl.

The New York Jets followed the Rams by grabbing their replacement for cornerback with the selection of Alabama’s All-American Dee Milliner.

Probably the biggest surprise of the night came with No. 16 Buffalo and its pick: Florida State quarterback E.J. Manuel. Many thought West Virginia’s Geno Smith would be the first quarterback and some also wondered if new Bills coach Doug Marrone would pick his former Syracuse quarterback, Ryan Nassib.

Instead it was the dark horse who may bring poor footwork and inconsistent play. He will likely undergo clip board duty this season as the Bills have Kevin Kolb and Tarvaris Jackson in their quarterback stable.

Smith was devastated by the first-round snub and has said he will leave New York instead of hanging around for the second and third rounds. The player’s leadership has been questioned as well as his work ethic and sense of team; his Thursday night brooding and sudden departure may not bode well with potential teams.

Other selections in the first round included legacies. The Chicago Bears selected offensive guard Kevin Long, son of Hall of Famer Howie Long and brother of the Rams defensive end Chris Long. Long comes from one year of playing time at Oregon and is long on talent but short of experience.

Then there were three. The Atlanta Falcons selected Washington cornerback Desmond Trufant and now he makes three brothers in the NFL, following his older siblings, Marcus and Isaiah.

So who’s left?

Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te'o

Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te’o

Once a top pick who has seen his star power fall, is Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te’o. Many thought the Chicago Bears would select him and instead he left the first round without a team.

Alabama’s running back Eddie Lacy had seemed like a highly-coveted pick. The suitless player entered the draft expected to also go in the first round and instead he’ll return among his peers on Friday.

Conversations swirled on where USC quarterback Matt Barkley would go in the draft. Well, we know it’s not the first round and it should be in the second. He is at 37 1/2 (-120) for his draft position.

Then there’s South Carolina’s running back Marcus Lattimore entering the league with a bum knee. He’s been all over the board and sits at 84 1/2 (-120) for his draft position.

And for entertainment value, cornerback Tyrann Mathieu is still available. He’s at 75 1/2 (-120) for his draft position.




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