Teams trade to move up to take quarterbacks in first round of NFL Draft
PHILADELPHIA — Defense was supposed to dominate in the first round of the NFL draft.
It did, eventually. It just took a while.
After the Browns took Texas A&M defensive end Myles Garrett with the No. 1 overall pick Thursday night, eight of the next 11 picks were offensive players in a surprising opening day. Overall, 19 of the 32 players were from the defense, which was closer to projections.
The first stunning move was the Bears trading with the 49ers to select North Carolina quarterback Mitchell Trubisky at No. 2.
“It was just pretty much silence,” Trubisky said. “That’s why I’m surprised to hear my name called because we didn’t have a lot of contact. I just think they … were impressed with me at the combine and my workout. But yeah, I haven’t had a whole lot of contact with them, so that makes it so much more exciting.”
Considering the wild nature of the opening round, today’s next two rounds could feature more of the same.
Among the players still available are Florida State running back Dalvin Cook, Notre Dame quarterback DeShone Kizer, Alabama offensive lineman Cam Robinson, Oklahoma running back Joe Mixon, and UConn defensive back Obi Melifonwu.
After taking Garrett, the Browns added Michigan’s Jabrill Peppers and tight end David Njoku as they look to improve off a horrendous 1-15 season. The Browns were the first team since Minnesota in 2013 to have three first-round picks.
The Chiefs and the Texans also got in on the bartering to get quarterbacks. Kansas City moved from 27 to 10 for Patrick Mahomes of Texas Tech. And Houston made a trade with the Browns and selected Deshaun Watson, who led Clemson to the national title last season.
“You’re trying to anticipate what’s going to happen,” Texans GM Rick Smith said. “The foundation for this move was laid earlier with Sashi (Brown, Cleveland’s VP of football operations).”
The first run of defensive players started with Arizona taking Temple’s Haason Reddick at No. 13, which drew a big cheer from the huge crowd at Philadelphia’s Museum of Art — city officials estimated 100,000 attended the Draft Experience.