The Latest: Lower divisions score 6 draft picks
ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — The Latest on the NFL draft (all times local):
South Carolina State linebacker Darius Leonard was the first of six lower-division players taken on the second day of the draft after an all-FBS first round.
Leonard went to Indianapolis with the fourth pick of the second round, the 36th overall. South Carolina State is an FCS school.
Philadelphia traded up to get the next FCS pick, tight end Dallas Goedert of South Dakota State at 49th overall.
The Eagles ended up a spot ahead of the Dallas Cowboys, who are waiting for word from Jason Witten on whether the 15-year tight end will retire to join ESPN’s crew for “Monday Night Football.” The network reported that Witten planned to retire, but Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said the 10-time Pro Bowler hadn’t made a decision.
The other second-round pick for lower-division teams was nose tackle P.J. Hall from Sam Houston State of FCS. Hall went to Oakland, as did the first pick in the third round, Brandon Parker of FCS North Carolina A&T. Parker was taken 65th overall.
The last two choices were both from Division II schools: defensive tackle Nathan Shepherd from Fort Hays State to the New York Jets at No. 72 overall, and offensive lineman Alex Cappa of Humboldt State to Tampa Bay with the 94th pick. Shepherd is Canadian.
The last pick of the second day of the draft was the first player taken from Clemson.
The Kansas Chiefs selected Clemson linebacker Dorian O’Daniel with pick No. 100 overall. The Tigers are coming off their third straight College Football Playoff appearance and have been pouring players into the NFL in recent years.
The dearth of Tigers in this year’s draft is good news for Clemson. The Tigers have three defensive linemen, including tackle Christian Wilkins, who are possible first- and second-round draft picks and all decided to return to school for another season.
Alabama, Georgia and Ohio State all have had five players taken through three rounds.
LSU outside linebacker and pass rusher Arden Key was considered a possibly top-10 pick after his sophomore season.
But last year was a dud, derailed by a shoulder injury and a long time away from the program during the spring because of a marijuana issue.
Key slid all the way to the third round and was taken with pick No. 87 by the Oakland Raiders.
A second UCF player was taken in the draft when receiver Tre’quan Smith was taken by the New Orleans Saints at 91. Deep into the third round, UCF star Shaquem Griffin, the linebacker missing his left hand, was still waiting to be selected.
Orlando Brown Jr. is following his late father into the NFL — with the same franchise, no less.
The former Oklahoma standout was taken in the middle of the third round by the Baltimore Ravens with the 83rd overall pick of the NFL draft.
Brown Jr. was projected as a first or second-round pick before a poor showing at the combine. His 14 reps at 225 pounds on the bench press were the fewest of any lineman who lifted at the draft. He also had a slow time in the 40-yard dash.
The younger Brown grew up around NFL teams after his dad played more than a decade in the league, starting with the Cleveland Browns before the franchise moved to Baltimore and became the Ravens.
Known as “Zeus” at 6-foot-7 and 360 pounds, the elder Brown died of a diabetic condition in 2011 at the age of 40. He returned to Cleveland with the Browns in 1999 before three years out of the game after being partially blinded when hit in the eye by a penalty flag.
The elder Brown sued the NFL for $200 million, saying the flag incident prematurely ended his career. He settled the lawsuit, came back with Baltimore in 2003 and played three more seasons.
Brown Jr. certainly has his dad’s size. He’s one of the biggest players in the draft at 6-8, 360 pounds.
With a flurry of trades, New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick accomplished what may have been one of his prime objectives in the NFL draft: Making it impossible for his critics to judge the trade that sent Jimmy Garoppolo to the San Francisco 49ers.
Garoppolo had been the heir apparent to five-time Super Bowl champion Tom Brady at quarterback. But with Brady playing at MVP level again last season at the age of 40, Belichick shipped Garoppolo off to San Francisco midseason for a second-round draft pick, which turned out to be No. 43 overall.
Belichick wheeled that pick to Detroit for Nos. 51 and 117. Then he sent the No. 51 pick to Chicago for No. 105 and a second-rounder next year. And he sent the Patriots’ own pick in the second round this year, No. 63, along with the No. 117 to Tampa Bay for the 56th overall pick, which they used to select Florida cornerback Duke Dawson.
Asked if the dealing had the added advantage of making it difficult to pin any one player as the guy they got for Garoppolo, director of player personnel Nick Caserio said, “You guys will parse that tomorrow. That’s not our job.”
New Redskins running back Derrius Guice denied reports of being involved in an altercation during his visit with the Eagles and says he doesn’t know about an NFL Network report that there might be another story coming out about him that could be “embarrassing” to him and the organization.
After his slide down the draft ended when Washington selected the LSU product 59th overall, late in the second round, Guice expressed confusion about why he didn’t go as high as projected.
“It did surprise me because a lot of the things came out of nowhere and weren’t true,” Guice said Friday night on a conference call with local reporters. “I just didn’t understand why me out of all people because I’m great to everybody, I have a great personality and I just didn’t understand why everything just hit so hard with me out of everybody.”
Asked specifically about reports that he was involved in an altercation on his visit to Philadelphia, Guice said: “My trip to the Eagles was great. There wasn’t an altercation when I went. It was great. They were also like family. Me and Duce (Staley) have a great relationship.”
On the report that more might be coming out, Guice said: “I have no idea what’s going on, what story is coming out. I have no idea what’s going on.”
After five quarterbacks went in the first round, the sixth didn’t come off the board until the third round at pick No. 76 when the Pittsburgh Steelers traded up to take Mason Rudolph.
Rudolph rejoins Oklahoma State teammate James Washington, his favorite receiver who was taken in the second round by the Steelers.
Rudolph loved to throw deep and it was often to Washington, who was an All-American last season. Rudolph was a third-team All-America pick by The AP.
The first non-Division I player drafted came a few picks before Rudolph went. The New York Jets took Nathan Shepherd, a 315-pound defensive lineman from Canada who played at Fort Hayes State, with pick 72.
The third round began with the Raiders taking a second FCS player on the day.
Oakland selected offensive tackle Brandon Parker from North Carolina A&T. The Raiders also selected Sam Houston State defensive lineman P.J. Hall in the second round.
The Giants had two of the first five picks in the third round and worked on restocking the defensive line.
First New York went outside, taking Lorenzo Carter from Georgia with the second pick of the third round. Three picks later, the Giants went inside, grabbing 300-pounder B.J. Hill from North Carolina State.
The Houston Texans made their first pick of the draft in the third round, taking Stanford safety Justin Reid with pick No. 68 overall.
The second round ended with the Indianapolis Colts picking for the fourth time on Friday.
The Colts picked a third defensive player, taking end Tyquan Lewis from Ohio State, to go with edge rusher Kemoko Turay of Rutgers and linebacker Darius Leonard of South Carolina State. The Colts also took guard Braden Smith of Auburn.
The second round featured mostly cornerbacks (six), including Carlton Davis of Auburn to Tampa Bay at pick 63, and wide receivers (six), including LSU’s D.J. Chark at 61.
There were no quarterbacks taken in the second round.
Derrius Guice’s slide down the draft board has ended with the Washington Redskins selecting him 59th overall.
The LSU running back was previously projected as a first-round pick but slipped to late in the second round. The Redskins even traded down from the 44th pick and nabbed Guice, whom they hope can be their featured back.
Senior vice president of player personnel Doug Williams recently promised quarterback Alex Smith he’d get the running back situation figured out. Washington also has Samaje Perine, Chris Thompson and Rob Kelley in the mix.
The New England Patriots did their usually wheeling and dealing and land at the 56th pick, their first in the second round, and took Florida cornerback Duke Dawson.
Dawson was part of a run of defensive backs, specifically cornerbacks. Right before the Patriots picked, LSU corner Donte Jackson, maybe the fastest player in the draft, was taken by the Panthers. Cincinnati took Wake Forest safety Jessie Bates III at pick 54 and Tampa Bay selected North Carolina cornerback M.J. Stewart with the 53rd pick.
The first player to be drafted who was not invited to the combine was defensive tackle P.J. Hall, defensive tackle from Sam Houston State, at No. 57 by the Oakland Raiders.
The first trade of the second round involved the Tennessee Titans, who jumped up a few spots in a deal with the Oakland Raiders, to take pass rusher Harold Landry out of Boston College with the 41st overall pick.
Landry was a first-round projection for some, but coming off a senior season hampered by injuries he ended up a second-day selection. At 6-foot-2 and 252 pounds, he is a bit undersized to line up solely at defensive end and might have to develop into an outside linebacker.
Miami grabbed Penn State’s Mike Gesicki, the second tight end drafted overall with pick No. 42. The Detroit Lions made it three running backs in the first half of the second round when they took Auburn’s Kerryon Johnson. San Francisco made it three straight offensive players, trading up with the Redskins to take receiver Dante Pettis from Washington.
The Green Packers used the 45th selection to take Iowa cornerback Josh Jackson, one of three players left in the green room at the draft. Only Texas offensive lineman Connor Williams and UCF star Shaquem Griffin remained in the green room at AT&T Stadium.
Green Bay has taken cornerbacks with both picks, landing Jaire Alexander in the first round.
Two All-Americans have been chosen in the first five picks of the second round of the NFL draft: one from the FBS level, one in FCS. And both go to the same team.
Linebacker Darius Leonard of South Carolina State went fourth in the round to Indianapolis, which also had the next spot. Guard Braden Smith of Auburn was that choice.
Tampa Bay selected Southern California running back Ronald Jones, Chicago grabbed center James Daniels of Iowa, and Denver took Courtland Sutton, a receiver from nearby SMU.
The Cleveland Browns have added to their offense at the outset of the second round of the NFL draft.
Cleveland led off the proceedings with Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield on Thursday night. It also took cornerback Denzel Ward of Ohio State.
On Friday, offensive lineman Austin Corbett of Nevada and Georgia running back Nick Chubb were early selections for the team that lost all 16 games last season.
Corbett can play tackle, guard and center. He was a team captain as a sophomore.
Chubb, who shared duties with Sony Michel for the SEC champions — Michel went to New England as the 31st pick Thursday — Chubb is a load. He’s tough in the short-yardage areas.
In between those choices, the Giants grabbed UTEP guard Will Hernandez. New York is in need of a revamped offensive line, particularly after taking Penn State running back Saquon Barkley with the second overall pick.
Cleveland has opened the second round of the NFL draft by taking Nevada center Austin Corbett.
The pick was announced by Pro Football Hall of Famer Jim Brown.
Corbett can also play guard and tackle. He was team captain as a sophomore.
The second round was preceded by the introduction of 10 Hall of Famers who will announce their teams’ selections, and 22 other former players who will handle the same chore.
The Dallas Cowboys have nine picks over the final six rounds of the NFL draft amid an ESPN report that tight end Jason Witten plans to retire after 15 seasons and join the “Monday Night Football” telecast.
Owner and general manager Jerry Jones says Witten hasn’t made a final decision and wanted the weekend to think about his future. The Cowboys will have to decide whether they need to take another tight end.
Dallas already had one tight end retire this month. James Hanna, mostly a blocker as Witten’s backup, gave up after a two-year battle with a knee injury.
Executive vice president Stephen Jones has expressed confidence in the other three tight ends on the roster: Geoff Swaim, Blake Jarwin and former Baylor basketball player Rico Gathers.
Swaim, a seventh-round pick out of Texas in 2015, has the most experience with nine catches for 94 yards in 28 games over three seasons.
Jarwin, undrafted a year ago, spent most of the season on the practice squad. Gathers hasn’t played a regular-season game in two seasons, missing all of last year after sustaining a concussion in training camp.
The Cowboys weren’t afraid to take tight ends high in the draft with Witten as the starter. They’ve made three second-round picks since 2003: Anthony Fasano (2006), Martellus Bennett (2008) and Gavin Escobar (2013).
The NFL said that Thursday’s first round of the draft had the second-largest viewership ever for an opening night.
The first round of the draft, which was televised by Fox, ESPN, ESPN2 and the NFL Network, combined for 11.2 million viewers, an increase of 22 percent over the first round of the 2017 draft in Philadelphia which was televised by ESPN and the NFL Network.
With a total of 30 million viewers, the draft easily outdrew an NBA playoff game on TNT: Bucks-Celtics had a 2.4 million average.
The draft continues on Friday night with the second and third rounds.
The NFL likes to trot out its legends. It particularly enjoys doing it for the second day of the draft.
Once again it will do so, and 10 Pro Football Hall of Famers will be on hand to announce their team’s pick.
Quite the roster, from the man considered by many the greatest player ever, Jim Brown for Cleveland, to tackle Jerry Kramer, who enters the Canton, Ohio, shrine this summer and was the blocker for Green Bay’s Bart Starr’s winning touchdown in the Ice Bowl.
The other Hall of Famers: Aeneas Williams (Arizona), Andre Reed (Buffalo), Mike Singletary (Chicago), Bob Lilly (Dallas), Willie Lanier (Kansas City), LaDainian Tomlinson (Los Angeles Chargers), Dwight Stephenson (Miami), Willie Brown (Oakland) and Rod Woodson (Pittsburgh).
Lots of brothers have made it to the NFL. Some have played on the same team or been selected in the same draft.
The Edmunds siblings made history Thursday night as the first brothers selected in the same opening round. Linebacker Tremaine went 16th to Buffalo. Then older brother safety Terrell, also of Virginia Tech, was chosen 28th by Pittsburgh.
Older brother Trey was a rookie running back with the Saints last year.
Talk about family pride.
“Man, it was great,” Tremaine says. “Definitely to see my other brother get drafted tonight, it was a big-time relief for my whole family. I know everybody’s excited and I’m excited. It’s a long time coming, but we can finally say that we made it.”
Tremaine is only 19 and will be one of the youngest players in the league. Terrell is 21.
“I’ve always been a young guy, whatever team that I was on,” Tremaine says. “I’m a mature guy, so I just say, just listened to my dad, my brother because they’ve been through the process, try to get things from them and continue to do the things I was doing and be the best player that I can be.”
Tremaine and Terrell’s dad is Ferrell Edmunds, who played seven NFL seasons at tight end. It was a competitive household for Ferrell’s sons.
“Very competitive,” Terrell says. “We stayed in like a cul-de-sac with my cousins as well, so we were all out there playing pickup. We called it pick up and dive. So like you pick up the ball and then you run. It is a never-ending game.
“So you pick up the ball, you run until you get tackled. If you get tackled you got to throw the ball in the air. So outside people were losing teeth, coming in with cuts all over and everything, but we just kept on playing, so it’s definitely competitive. And in any sport — basketball, too, because we were basketball players, too, so competitive all the time.”
Two of the brothers could meet on Dec. 23 when the Steelers are at New Orleans.