2013 NFL Draft: Dolphins, Rams make bold moves
The Miami Dolphins and Oakland Raiders made the boldest moves in a first-round chock full of compelling trades Thursday night.
The Miami Dolphins pulled the first two shockers of the 2013 NFL Draft a little more than 30 minutes into the proceedings.
The first was dealing the No. 12 and No. 42 overall selections to the Oakland Raiders in exchange for the No. 3 overall pick. The second was when they used that selection to snag Oregon pass rusher Dion Jordan.
After the Kansas City Chiefs picked Central Michigan's Eric Fisher at the top of the draft and Texas A&M's Luke Joeckel went to the Jacksonville Jaguars with the next pick, it appeared logical the Dolphins were moving up to make Oklahoma's Lane Johnson the third straight offensive tackle to kick off the draft to help replace the free-agent loss of Jake Long. But the Dolphins instead made the surprise move to get Jordan to pair opposite Cam Wake on defense.
"I think that the reason that I made the call (to Oakland) was I felt like it was a buyer’s market," said Dolphins GM Jeff Ireland. "I felt like they did want to get out of there and I felt like you don’t get anything for not asking. Why not ask? Obviously, I thought it was great value to get up there (and it was) great value based on our board, based on the player we think he can be. We thought it was a big win for us."
The Raiders had been attempting to deal out of the No. 3 spot all day to accumulate more selections. They entered the draft with seven overall picks, but the trade with Miami gave Oakland three selections among the top 66 in the draft.
The St. Louis Rams made the next bold move a half-hour later, trading up with the Buffalo Bills to acquire the No. 8 pick and make West Virginia wide receiver Tavon Austin the first skill position player off the board.
Austin stands only 5-feet-9 and 175 pounds, but he provides Rams quarterback Sam Bradford with a field-stretching weapon. Austin is only the third wide receiver head coach Jeff Fisher has selected in 17 NFL Drafts, and helps replace the free-agent loss of Danny Amendola to the New England Patriots. He was also the No. 1 target for the Rams in Rob Rang's pre-draft spotlight for St. Louis.
Austin’s speed will also help challenge the big, physical cornerbacks featured by division rivals San Francisco and Seattle. St. Louis felt it needed to move up from the No. 16 spot with Austin being a hot name on Thursday and potentially a target of the New York Jets with the ninth pick.
In exchange for moving out of the No. 8 spot, Buffalo landed four picks: Nos. 16, 46, 78 and 222 overall while sending the No 71 pick to St. Louis. The Bills used the 16th pick on Florida State’s EJ Manuel, the first quarterback off the board.
The former Seminoles star joins Kevin Kolb and Tarvaris Jackson in the quarterback equation in Buffalo.
"I felt that (Bills GM Buddy) Nix and the coaches liked me a lot at the Senior Bowl and then when I met with them again at the Combine, I felt the same way," said Manuel. "And then also, when I went out and worked out for them. Then I went up for a visit. There was a lot of confirmations going on. To me, it was just more so of a matter of when they were going to take me in the Draft."
--The San Francisco 49ers entered the draft with 13 picks, and packaged selections in the second and third rounds to acquire the Dallas Cowboys’ No. 18 overall pick. The 49ers nabbed LSU free safety Eric Reid, while Dallas picked up the NO. 31 and No. 74 overall picks.
"I dealt with coach (Jim) Harbaugh at the combine when we had our formal meeting because he recruited me coming when I was coming out of high school," said Reid. "He poked fun at me for not going to Stanford and choosing LSU, but the story comes full circle that he ended up drafting me."
The Cowboys made a surprise with the second to last pick of the night, selecting Wisconsin center Travis Frederick. While Dallas needed offensive line help, Frederick was rated a second-round prospect by NFLDraftScout.com, and centers rarely go in the first round.
--The Rams weren’t done dealing, trading out of the No. 22 overall spot and acquiring the No. 30 overall pick from Atlanta along with third- and sixth-round picks from Atlanta.
The Falcons, who cut ties with Dunta Robinson and lost Brent Grimes in free agency, picked Washington cornerback Desmond Trufant at No. 23.
St. Louis used the No. 30 pick on Georgia outside linebacker Alec Ogletree.
--The Minnesota Vikings picked Floyd at No. 23 and Florida State cornerback Xavier Rhodes at No. 25. They then shipped four picks to the New England Patriots to moved back into the first round and get Tennessee wide receiver Cordarrelle Patterson at No. 29 overall. The Patriots landed second- (No. 52), third- (83), fourth- (102) and seventh-round (229) picks in the exchange.
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