NEW YORK (AP) -JaMarcus Russell, the big-play quarterback from LSU, was the first pick in Saturday's NFL draft as the Oakland Raiders pulled no surprises.
The 6-foot-6 junior comes off an impressive season and a superb Sugar Bowl that helped catapult him to the top spot. And with the Raiders coming off a 2-14 year in which they had the league's worst offense, he easily could be the starter on opening day.
Detroit then declined several trade options for the No. 2 overall pick and chose wide receiver Calvin Johnson of Georgia Tech, considered the best athlete in this year's crop. It was the fourth time in five years the Lions chose a wideout high in the draft. Only one of the others, Roy Williams, has succeeded in Detroit.
That left Cleveland to select Joe Thomas, the left tackle from Wisconsin who spent the morning fishing back home rather than attend the draft, as the No. 3 pick. Tampa Bay then made end Gaines Adams of Clemson the first defensive player chosen. At 6-foot-5 and 260 pounds, he is an inch shorter and three pounds lighter than Russell.
The Cardinals used the fifth pick to choose Penn State offensive tackle Levi Brown, who should replace Leonard Davis, now with Dallas after leaving Arizona as a free agent.
Still waiting to be chosen was Notre Dame quarterback Brady Quinn, once considered the top prospect in this year's draft.
Oakland will count on Russell to invigorate the Raiders, who scored only 168 points last season.
When Roger Goodell, conducting his first draft as commissioner, announced Russell's name, Raiders fans in the crowd cheered loudly. But there was a mixture of cheers and boos when Russell, who is bigger than some NFL linemen, came on stage to don a Raiders hat and hold up a No. 1 black jersey.
Then came chants of ``L-S-U, L-S-U'' for the man who soon will be in charge of the Silver and Black offense.
Johnson, an All-American junior, is 6-4, 237 pounds and can run a 4.35 in the 40.

Recent NFL Discussions

MNF PLAY on Mon, Nov 2017 by JBoppa
Monday Night on Mon, Nov 2017 by JBoppa
MNF on Mon, Nov 2017 by BamaHater
Wyane Root for Jonorato on Mon, Nov 2017 by BamaHater

Top NFL Public Bets

NFL Top Stories

Thumbnail Falcons vs. Seahawks Prediction Are the Seattle Seahawks a safe bet to cover the point spread as a home favorite tonight when they host the Atlanta Falcons? Kick-off for Monday night is set for 8:30 p.m....
Thumbnail Falcons vs. Seahawks Total Prediction Will tonight's Monday Night Football matchup between the Atlanta Falcons and Seattle Seahawks go over the betting total for bettors? Or will both defenses show...
Thumbnail Five Best NFL Week 12 Games Which teams are favored in the NFL on Thanksgiving Day? Here are the five best matchups for Week 12, coupled with the odds for each of those games.
Thumbnail NFL Week 11 Betting Recap How did the favorites and underdogs do in Week 11 of the NFL season? If you laid points as a NFL bettor, more than likely you cashed big on Sunday.
Thumbnail Eagles vs. Cowboys Prediction Will the banged-up Dallas Cowboys find a way to cover the spread tonight when they host their NFC East rivals the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday...

NFL Team Pages