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- Billy Graham near death, ‘close to going home to be with the Lord’
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- Obama mulls support for Islamists in Syria, with conditions
- Obama ‘birther’ theories float, as Hawaii health director killed in crash
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- GOP hopes taking shutdown off the table with budget deal will pay dividends
10 things to know about the NFL draft
1. FINALLY, A PICK
Four teams did not have first-round picks, but stepped up in the second round to start filling their needs. Tampa Bay was the first of the four to pick, going for defensive back Johnthan Banks of Mississippi State at No. 43 overall. Washington, which lost its first-rounder in last year’s deal to draft Robert Griffin III, went for defensive back David Amerson of North Carolina State at No. 51 overall. New England, known for trading early picks for a bunch of later picks, chose linebacker Jamie Collins of Southern Mississippi at No. 52, and Seattle _ after trading down six spots with Baltimore _ closed out the second round by taking running back Christine Michael of Texas A&M.
1. FOREIGN FLAVOR
Defensive end Ziggy Ansah of BYU led a parade of international players into the NFL.
Ansah, from Ghana, didn’t even know how to put on shoulder pads a few years ago. On Thursday, he was the No. 5 overall pick by the Detroit Lions.
Also going in the first round was Florida State defensive end Bjoern Werner from Germany (Indianapolis, No. 24). Two more went in the second round, SMU defensive end Margus Hunt from Estonia (No. 53, Cincinnati) and Florida State offensive tackle Menelik Watson from Britain (Oakland, No. 42). The third round saw Connecticut linebacker Cisio Moore from Liberia go to Oakland at No. 66. Still on the board is Alabama defensive tackle Jess Williams from Australia.
1. WHERE ARE THE QUARTERBACKS?
As predicted, quarterbacks were not popular in the first round, and not too popular in the second- and third-rounds, either. After Buffalo surprised nearly everyone by picking Florida State’s EJ Manuel as the only QB in the first round (at No. 16), the next to go was West Virginia’s Geno Smith by the New York Jets in the second round, at No. 39, and North Carolina State’s Mike Glennon by Tampa Bay in the third round, at No. 73. Of course, stars such as Tom Brady, Drew Brees and even Russell Wilson weren’t first-rounders, either.
1. MY TEAM’S BETTER THAN YOURS
In a game of one-upmanship, former players from Dallas (Tony Casillas), Pittsburgh (Merril Hoge) and the New York Giants (Rich Seubert) got the fans going before announcing the second-round picks for their teams.
Casillas stepped up to the podium and called out … “still America’s team,” the Dallas Cowboys select …
Next up was Hoge, who chimed in with “the only team to win six Super Bowls,” and went on to make Pittsburgh’s choice.
And next in the sequence came Seubert, who simply said, “Go Giants!” before announcing New York’s pick.
The crowd at Radio City, of course, booed Casillas and Hoge, and cheered Seubert.
1. LEAN BEEF
By Mangosuthu Buthelezi
Memories of a long brotherhood tempered in common struggle
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