NFL Draft: First Round Running Diary

There will likely be quite a few first rounders taken from ACC schools tonight in the first round of the NFL Draft. Jameis Winston appears destined to be selected first, and if that somehow fails to happen he’ll have to go second. After that, Clemson’s dominant defender Vic Beasley looks to be a top ten pick with Louisville’s DeVante Parker not far behind.

After that, it’s anybody’s guess how many ACC alums will go on the first night. Quite a few players could go in the middle of the first round including Miami’s Ereck Flowers (T) and Pittsburgh’s T.J. Clemmings (T). Miami linebacker D.J. Perryman and LB/DE Elli Harold from Virginia also have a chance to sneak into the first night.

It will be interesting to see what happens with the second overall pick as there are rumors that several teams are interested in trading up. No word on whether Chip Kelly is trading anyone to get his college QB. I’ll also be watching Kevin Costner’s moves closely.

UPDATE: 6:38 p.m.

The spectacle of the Draft these days is interesting. This year it’s a massive semi-outdoor affair in Chicago with what appears to be a good number of people. Two networks are covering it live in ESPN and the NFL Network and there’s a tweet embargo so that picks don’t get spoiled for television.

It’s a glitzy, well-run affair that’s big business for the league and can be the difference between a quick resurgence for a middling franchise or the further demise of a once great powerhouse. It’s a fun night.

Update: 8:21 p.m.

Jameis goes first as predicted. Iy’ll be interesting to watch him develop. Will he have a chance to learn? I hope so. He’s a special talent if he can stop wandering off with shellfish. The Buccaneers have some potential to be good sooner rather than later which is exciting for fans of Tampa.

Marcus Mariota goes number two. I bet he’s hoping he gets traded from a team so far east. He’s a special talent. Hopefully he isn’t wasted in Tennessee.

Update: 9:03 p.m.

Vic Beasley goes at number 8 to Atlanta. He’s a very productive defensive end who will likely play linebacker. He doesn’t have great size and he’ll have some adjusting to do but there’s lots of talent there.

Clemson’s defense was really impressive last season and we’ll hear the names of several Tigers before the weekend is out.

Update: 9:08 p.m.

Well some might question the timing but Ereck Flowers is going to the Giants at the 9th overall pick. He’s a big athletic kid but this is a really high choice for him. I guess they couldn’t get anyone to trade for the pick.

Update: 9:45 p.m.

DeVante Parker out of Louisville is heading to Miami to add some pop to that passing attack. Ryan Tannehill has one more chance to lead Miami to the playoffs and a receiver like Parker certainly makes that more feasible. Tannehill has shown promise at times so he just has to put it all together.

San Diego has traded up somewhat out of nowhere. Rumors have been circulating that the Chargers might be trying to move on from Phillip Rivers — or on from San Diego to Los Angeles. They instead choose Wisconsin dynamo running back and Kenosha’s own, Melvin Gordon. I like that pick quite a bit. He’s incredibly productive and should do well in southern California.

Update: 10:00 p.m.

Wake Forest is on the board before plenty of big-time programs with corner Kevin Johnson, the 16th pick to the Houston Texans. He’s got good size and is very durable. He should be a nice pickup for a Houston defense with lots of potential. Gruden doesn’t think he tackles well enough but I think he makes a lot of plays on the ball so it kind of evens out. He can stand to add some muscle but he should be fine.

Update: 10:14 p.m.

Center Cameron Erving from Florida State is now on the board to the Cleveland Browns. That’s a foundation pick for the Browns who don’t yet know who their quarterback will be. He’ll move around on the line to find his ultimate position.

Update: 11 :20 p.m.

Speedy wideout Phillip Dorsett heads to Indy. That gives Andrew Luck another dynamic target and makes that offense all the more dangerous. He can really stretch a defense even on short passes. Might even use him on some reverses.

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