(The Sports Xchange) - One of the most dramatic drafts in NFL history wrapped up in Chicago on Saturday with the team that started the spectacle ahead of schedule by trading the No. 1 overall pick to the Los Angeles Rams two weeks earlier.
Likely to be remembered for the social media fireworks and ensuing drama surrounding Mississippi offensive tackle Laremy Tunsil and his tumble to the middle of the first round, the 2016 NFL Draft ended with the Tennessee Titans announcing Mr. Irrelevant, Southern Miss cornerback Kalan Reed, as the 253rd and final pick.
Cal quarterback Jared Goff was the No. 1 pick Thursday night and plans are for him to start early for the Los Angeles Rams. No. 2 pick Carson Wentz, a quarterback from FCS national champion North Dakota State, joins a crowded depth chart in Philadelphia and the Eagles don’t plan to rush him into action.
Goff threw for a Pac-12 record 4,719 yards and 43 touchdowns as a junior last season.
“It’s something I’m excited for, something I’m ready for,” Goff said.
Teams weren’t rushing to get Tunsil, who spent the bulk of the pre-draft process as the No. 1 player on NFLDraftScout.com analyst Rob Rang’s board and was selected 13th by the Miami Dolphins. But the feel-good stories were still to come.
Despite the draft nightmare, the Dolphins stuck with their draft board, on which Tunsil was ranked the second-best player in the draft.
“It’s not a question of this guy changed overnight,” Dolphins owner Stephen Ross said, adding he signed off on the pick after meeting Tunsil, one of three Ole Miss prospects picked in the first round, in person. “It’s going to be a great choice.”
Once considered a cinch for Tunsil, the active Titans wound up drafting eighth, trading up from the 15th pick with the Browns to take Michigan State’s Jack Conklin.
Heisman Trophy winner Derrick Henry was selected by the Tennessee Titans, one of six players from FBS national champion Alabama picked in the top 60.
But the Crimson Tide was outdone by Ohio State — 10 Buckeyes were drafted by the middle of the fourth round, including five players in the top 20: defensive end Joey Bosa (third, Chargers), running back Ezekiel Elliott (fourth, Cowboys), cornerback Eli Apple (10th, Giants), offensive tackle Taylor Decker (16th, Lions) and linebacker Darron Lee (20th, Jets).
Top-ranked prospects who fell to the second round because of season-ending and potentially career-threatening knee injuries, Notre Dame linebacker Jaylon Smith was picked 34th by the Dallas Cowboys and UCLA’s Myles Jack went next to the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Jaguars general manager Dave Caldwell drafted Florida State defensive back Jalen Ramsey fifth overall and considered Jack with that pick. Caldwell said Jack’s workout with the team was flawless, and “you’d never know there was anything wrong with him.”
Smith, unlikely to play in 2016 because of nerve damage in the knee, was well known to the Cowboys. Their team doctor performed Smith’s surgery and his older brother, running back Rod Smith, is currently on Dallas’ roster.
The sixth round included the first European player ever chosen in the NFL draft, German wide receiver Mortiz Boehringer. The 6-foot-4, 227-pound project ran a 4.44-second 40-yard dash and fell in love with football at age 17 when he was shown a video of Vikings running back Adrian Peterson.
Fifteen quarterbacks were drafted in the seven rounds, the most since 2004, when 17 were chosen.
Editing by Andrew Both