NFL Draft: Vikings Get LB And QB In First Round
EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. (AP) — The Minnesota Vikings got their hands on a quarterback after all. The Vikings traded back into the first round to grab Louisville quarterback Teddy Bridgewater with the 32nd and final pick of the first round on Thursday night.
The Vikings passed on taking a quarterback earlier in the night, when they traded down from No. 8 to No. 9 and selected UCLA linebacker Anthony Barr.
Bridgewater was largely considered one of the top quarterbacks in the 2014 class when the season began. But after a poor showing at his pro day workout, his stock started to tumble.
The Vikings wanted to jump in front of quarterback-needy Houston, which picks first in the second round on Friday night. He threw for 3,970 yards with 31 touchdowns and four interceptions last season.
Vikings draft UCLA LB Anthony Barr at No. 9
EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. (AP) — The Minnesota Vikings have selected UCLA linebacker Anthony Barr with the ninth overall pick of the NFL draft.
The Vikings traded down one spot with Cleveland, picking up a fifth-round pick to do it.
The Vikings entered Thursday night with needs at quarterback and all over the defense. But the Jacksonville Jaguars chose Blake Bortles at No. 3 and the Vikings decided to pass on quarterbacks Johnny Manziel to address a defense that ranked 31st in the league last season.
Barr had 10 sacks for the Bruins last season and will upgrade arguably the biggest weakness on defense. The Vikings have former Pro Bowler Chad Greenway in the position group, but were sorely lacking playmakers at the other two spots.
Texans make Clowney No. 1
NEW YORK (AP) — The Houston Texans made South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney the first pick in the NFL draft. Now they’re hoping he fares better than the last guy they took at No. 1 — that was quarterback David Carr in 2002, who never lived up to his pre-draft billing.
Considered a budding NFL star even when he was a freshman, Clowney brings size, speed and power to a Texans lineup that already has 2012 NFL Defensive Player of the Year J.J. Watt.
But his work ethic has been questioned after he slipped from 13 sacks to just three in 2013. Critics said he was protecting himself from injury before declaring early for the draft.
In other top selections:
— The St. Louis Rams, getting the second pick from Washington in the deal that brought Robert Griffin III to the Redskins two years ago, took Auburn offensive tackle Grant Robinson with the second pick. He could start at left tackle to begin the season if Jake Long isn’t ready to go after offseason knee surgery.
— Jacksonville, with the worst scoring offense in the NFL last season and an 11-37 record in the last three seasons, took Blake Bortles, a quarterback out of Central Florida.
— Buffalo, trading up with Cleveland to get the No. 4 pick, selected Sammy Watkins, wide receiver out of Clemson. He’s a speed merchant who’s expected to work well with second-year QB E.J. Manuel.
— The Oakland Raiders, whose front four produced just four sacks last season, took Khalil Mack, an outside linebacker out of the University of Buffalo. He had 75 tackles for a loss, a football bowl subdivision record, for Buffalo.
— The Atlanta Falcons, coming off a 4-12 season, took Jake Matthews, offensive tackle out of Texas A&M. He’s the seventh member of his extended family to make the NFL, including his cousin, Clay Matthews, of the Green Bay Packers.
— The Tampa Bay Buccaneers, operating under new coach Lovie Smith, selected Mike Evans at number seven. He’s a wide receiver out of Texas A&M. A former basketball player, the 6-foot-5 Evans averaged more than 20 yards a catch last year with the Aggies, and was a favorite target of Johnny Manziel (man-ZEHL’).
— The Cleveland Browns, who swapped with Minnesota to get the eighth pick, took Justin Gilbert, a cornerback out of Oklahoma State.
— Minnesota took Anthony Barr, a linebacker out of UCLA, with the ninth pick. He was from offense to defense after two years in college and finished with 23½ sacks in two seasons playing outside linebacker in 3-4 defense.
— Rounding out the top 10 picks, the Detroit Lions took Eric Ebron, a tight end out of North Carolina. He’s the first tight end taken in the top 10 since the 49ers took Vernon Davis in 2006.
Browns take Manziel at No. 22
NEW YORK (AP) — After some anxious moments watching a pair of Texas A&M teammates get drafted ahead of him, Johnny Manziel (man-ZEHL’) went to the Cleveland Browns with the 22nd pick.
The Browns made two earlier trades and passed on Manziel, the 2012 Heisman Trophy winner. With a chance to land him again, the Browns traded with Philadelphia and jumped from No. 26 to No. 22 to nab Johnny Football, who walked on Radio Music City Hall’s stage doing his signature “money” gesture.
Manziel will certainly sell tickets in Cleveland, but the Browns need him to win and there are questions about the 5-foot-11 QB’s durability.
Manziel is expected to compete with Brian Hoyer, who is coming off knee surgery.