The Latest on the first round of the NFL draft.
No surprise atop this NFL draft as the Cincinnati Bengals have selected Joe Burrow, quarterback of national champion LSU, as the centerpiece of yet another rebuilding job.
Burrow, the third straight Heisman Trophy winner taken with the first overall selection, joins a team that went 2-14 in 2019 under first-year head coach Zac Taylor. The Bengals scored 279 points last season, third worst in the league, and also ranked 30th in total offense.
The previous time Cincinnati grabbed a Heisman quarterback to open the draft, it was Southern Californiaâ€™s Carson Palmer in 2003. Palmer led the Bengals to the playoffs twice.
In his spectacular season, Burrow threw for 60 – yes, 60 – touchdowns with only six interceptions. The Tigers beat six top 10 teams on their way to the national title.
ESPN analyst Todd McShay said he wonâ€™t be part of the networkâ€™s broadcast of the NFL draft because heâ€™s recovering from the coronavirus.
McShay said in a statement that heâ€™d be back and thanked the tireless work of health care workers and first-responders, calling them â€œtruly our nationâ€™s heroes.â€
Because of the pandemic, this yearâ€™s draft will be held remotely and broadcast on ESPN, ABC and NFL Network.
The first round is Thursday night and McShay, who has been at ESPN since 2006, was slated to be part of ABCâ€™s prime-time network coverage.
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell will take a special, virtual hand-off before announcing Clevelandâ€™s first draft pick.
Fletcher Rollinson, a 12-year-old Browns fan who has been battling a rare form of brain cancer, will make a video introduction before passing things over to Goodell, who has been forced to serve as master of ceremonies in his basement in a New York City suburb because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Fletcher and his family live in Rocky River, Ohio, near Cleveland and the youngster recently returned home following a lengthy stay at St. Jude Childrenâ€™s Hospital in Memphis.
Last year, Fletcher had a tumor removed and the youngster has undergone a series of proton therapy and chemotherapy treatments during his recovery.
During a break from therapy, he visited the Brownsâ€™ facility last season and struck up a friendship with star wide receiver Jarvis Landry, who gave Fletcher a pair of gloves before a home game. Landry also wore one of Fletcherâ€™s wristbands during every 2019 game.
St. Jude and the NFL have partnered for the past eight years to raise awareness and funds for pediatric care.
Six teams are scheduled to sit out the first round of the NFL draft, though that could be a mirage.
The Colts, Rams, Texans, Bills, Bears and Steelers don’t own opening-round picks after previous trades. They certainly could trade back into the round, which could, of course, cost them next year’s top selection.
Indianapolis gave up the highest spot when it traded for the 13th pick to San Francisco for defensive tackle DeForest Buckner, who then signed a new contract worth about $21 million per year.
The Dolphins, who have three first-round selections, got No. 18 overall from Pittsburgh for defensive back Minkah Fitzpatrick, who was a star for the Steelers in 2019.
The 19th spot belongs to Las Vegas – that’s the Raiders, folks – as part of the 2018 deal that sent Khalil Mack to Chicago. No. 20 belongs to Jacksonville in exchange for cornerback Jalen Ramsey, a deal made during last season with the Rams.
Buffalo acquired wide receiver Stefon Diggs from Minnesota for the 22nd spot, and Miami has Houston’s slot, No. 26, from last year’s deal for tackle Laremy Tunsil.
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