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Bucs draft Mark Barron seventh overall

04.26.12 at 8:48 pm ET
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The Bucs may have dashed the Patriots’ hopes at filling a need with a star player, as Tampa Bay selected Alabama safety Mark Barron seventh overall in the NFL draft on Thursday night.

The 6-foot-1, 213-pounder is the only safety in this draft who truly warrants selection in the first-round this year. Notre Dame’s Harrison Smith could also be had late in the first, but overall it’s a tremendously weak year at the position. Teams could select Montana corner Trumaine Johnson (6-foot-1 7/8, 204 pounds) and move the hard-hitting defensive back to safety.

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Rams trade down again, Cowboys select Morris Claiborne

04.26.12 at 8:39 pm ET
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With Justin Blackmon off the board, the Rams elected to trade down for a second time, this time moving from No. 6 to No. 14 overall in a swap with the Cowboys. Once on the clock, the Cowboys used the pick to draft LSU cornerback Morris Claiborne.

The Rams had initially held the second overall pick before trading it to Washington in exchange for No. 6, No. 34 and first-rounders in the next two years. St. Louis got a second-round pick in their trade with the Cowboys, giving them three second-round picks in this year’s draft.

The Claiborne selection is a slam-dunk for the Cowboys. Claiborne may be an even better prospect than former teammate Patrick Peterson, who went fifth overall to the Cardinals last year.

One off note: Picks No. 2-7 have all been traded in this draft.

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Jaguars trade up for Justin Blackmon

04.26.12 at 8:32 pm ET
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The Jaguars traded up two spots from No. 7 to No. 5 Thursday night and selected Oklahoma State wide receiver Justin Blackmon in the first round of the NFL draft.

Blackmon had 121 receptions for 1522 yards and 18 touchdowns last season. He gives the Jaguars a badly needed weapon for quarterback Blaine Gabbert. The Jaguars had traded up to select Gabbert 10th overall last year, but he had a dreadful rookie season. Part of that was because he didn’t have an elite receiver, so having a star at the position to develop with should be a major help.

The Jaguars gave up a fourth-round pick in order to move up. The trade allowed them to leapfrog the Rams at six, as St. Louis was a logical landing spot for the receiver.

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Vikings draft Matt Kalil fourth overall

04.26.12 at 8:27 pm ET
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Some help is on the way for Christian Ponder, as Minnesota selected USC offensive tackle Matt Kalil fourth overall in the NFL draft Thursday night.

The Vikings initially held the third overall pick but moved down a spot in a trade with the Browns. There was speculation that the Vikings could have moved down a second time, but they stayed put and chose Kalil, the highest-rated non-skill position player in the draft.

Kalil is the brother of Panthers center Ryan Kalil.

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Browns draft Trent Richardson

04.26.12 at 8:20 pm ET
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The Browns couldn’t get a star quarterback, but they were still able to get a potential offensive star by taking Alabama running back Trent Richardson third overall.

The Browns moved up one spot in a trade with the Vikings shortly before the draft, sending fourth, fifth and seventh-round picks to Minnesota in order to move from No. 4 to No. 3.

This is the highest a running back has been selected in the draft since Reggie Bush was taken second overall by the Saints in 2006.

The feeling here (and it’s backed up by years of proof) is that selecting running backs in the first round is a bad idea. However, some running backs, such as Oklahoma’s Adrian Peterson, have been worth top-10 selections and Richardson is the best prospect at the position since Peterson.

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Redskins take Robert Griffin III second overall

04.26.12 at 8:13 pm ET
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The Redskins followed the Colts with another predictable pick Thursday night as they chose Baylor quarterback Robert Griffin III with the second overall pick.

The Redskins, who were initially slated to pick sixth overall, traded their first-rounders in the next three years as well as this year’s second-rounder (No. 34 overall) to move up four spots to grab the Heisman-winning quarterback.

Griffin’s athleticism may give him a higher ceiling than Andrew Luck, whom the Colts chose first overall. His 4.41 40-yard dash time was the second-fastest ever for a quarterback.

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Surprise, surprise: Colts draft Andrew Luck first overall

04.26.12 at 8:06 pm ET
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To the surprise of no one, the Colts opened the 2012 NFL draft by selecting Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck.

The team had announced earlier in the week that Luck would be the pick after the team finished with the worst record in the NFL without the injured Peyton Manning. The Colts released Manning in March.

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