Quarterbacks figure to rule at NFL Draft
By Larry Fine
(Reuters) - Quarterbacks are expected to once again command the spotlight at the National Football League Draft in Chicago on Thursday.
Given the pass-happy state of the most popular U.S. professional sports league, the pressure to find a frontline thrower moved the Los Angeles Rams and Philadelphia Eagles to trade up to the number one and two slots, respectively, for the presumed purpose of snaring a quarterback.
In exchange for sending a passel of extra picks to the Tennessee Titans and Cleveland Browns, the Rams and Eagles are expected to take quarterbacks Jared Goff of the University of California and Carson Wentz of North Dakota State off the board.
After that, the guessing game is on as far as the pecking order, with players that can defend against the pass, rush the passer or block for the quarterback the most likely leading men.
The San Diego Chargers hold the third pick, followed by the Dallas Cowboys, Jacksonville Jaguars and Baltimore Ravens - barring further swaps.
Jalen Ramsey of Florida State is rated the top defensive back, with Joey Bosa of Ohio State and DeForest Buckner of Oregon among the leading defensive ends.
The top offensive line behemoths figure to be Laremy Tunsil of Mississippi and Ronnie Stanley of Notre Dame, while explosive running back Ezekiel Elliott of Ohio State is considered a wild card option for teams needing an offensive jolt.
Rounding out the top 10 selectors are the San Francisco 49ers at number seven, followed by the Cleveland Browns, Tampa Bay Buccaneers and New York Giants. Continued...