Forget the glamour positions. As the 2013 NFL Draft got under way Thursday night, the big guys in the trenches stole the headlines.
Offensive linemen were taken with six of the first 11 picks and eight of the top 20, beginning with former Central Michigan tackle Eric Fisher, who was selected No.1 overall by the Kansas City Chiefs. Jacksonville followed by taking Texas A&M tackle Luke Joeckel at No. 2, and the Eagles took Oklahoma tackle Lane Johnson at No. 4.
Only Miami, which traded up to take outside linebacker Dion Jordan at No. 3, prevented tackles from a clean sweep of the top three spots. A fourth offensive tackle, Alabama’s D.J. Fluker, was selected at No. 11 overall by the Chargers.
In addition, two guards were chosen in the top 10 – Jonathan Cooper to the Cardinals at No. 7 and Chance Warmack to the Titans at No. 10.
The first offensive skill position player taken was Baltimore native and West Virginia star Tavon Austin, who is headed to St. Louis. The Rams swapped spots with the Bills, moving up eight spots to take Austin, the dynamic playmaker who played high school ball at Dunbar.
The first -- and only -- quarterback taken in the first round was Florida State’s E.J. Manuel, who was selected at No. 16 by the Bills.
That was one of five trades in the opening round. The first involved the Raiders, who traded the No. 3 pick to Miami and then took Houston cornerback D.J. Hayden at No. 12. San Francisco, meanwhile, traded with Dallas, moving up 13 spots to take LSU safety Eric Reid, who was linked to the Ravens in many mock drafts.
There was some speculation the Ravens might trade up to take one of the marquee tackles in the draft, but that did not happen and the price tag to move up from No. 32 to the top five would have been prohibitive.
Unlike last year, the Ravens did not trade their first-round pick, using it to select Florida safety Matt Elam. General manager Ozze Newsome said the Ravens entertained no trade offers while they were on the clock.