NFL Draft Picks, Live Blog

The NFL Draft is an event so increasingly popular that tonight, ESPN will be broadcasting it on its main channel, while an NBA Playoff semifinal game featuring the world’s most polarizing athlete, LeBron James, will be televised on ESPN2. 

It comes as no real surprise. The NFL, of course, is the most popular sport in the country, and outside of the Super Bowl, the draft’s first round is the league’s most celebrated day. And it is finally here. 

The NFL Draft’s first round begins tonight at 8 p.m. E.T. from Radio City Music Hall in New York City. The Houston Texans have the No. 1 pick. We’ll be live blogging throughout the evening, so be sure to refresh this page as the night goes on. 

8:00 p.m. E.T.–The 2014 NFL Draft is officially open and the Houston Texans are on the clock. And of course, commissioner Roger Goodell was booed by the fans at Radio City Music Hall. 

8:15 p.m. E.T.–Surprised? Most aren’t. The No. 1 pick in the 2014 NFL Draft is South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney. 

8:18 p.m. E.T.–Meanwhile, Johnny Manziel appears to be enjoying an adult beverage in the Green Room. 

8:24 p.m. E.T.–The St. Louis Rams use their final pick gained in the 2012 Robert Griffin III trade with the Washington Redskins to select Auburn offensive tackle Greg Robinson. 

8:26 p.m. E.T.–Manziel wasn’t drinking a beer. Everyone is disappointed, except for NFL teams. 

8:29 p.m. E.T.–Now this is a surprise. Jacksonville has selected Central Florida quarterback Blake Bortles. 

8:37 p.m. E.T.–We have our first trade. Cleveland moves its No. 4 pick to Buffalo, who then selects Clemson wide receiver Sammy Watkins.

8:42 p.m. E.T.–Oakland stays put at No. 5 and takes Buffalo linebacker Khalil Mack, who “had the best game tape against Ohio State by any player I’ve ever seen,” says NFL Network analyst Mike Mayock . “I think he’s going to be an All-Pro,” Mayock said.

8:49 p.m. E.T.–Matt Ryan gets some protection. There have now been two offensive tackles selected within the first six picks. Atlanta goes with Texas A&M big man Jake Matthews. 

8:59 p.m. E.T.–Wide receiver No. 2 is off the board, and the Manziel wait continues. Tampa Bay selects Texas A&M wide out Mike Evans. 

9:04 p.m. E.T.–Another trade. Cleveland moves up from No. 9 to No. 8, swapping places with Minnesota while giving up a fifth round pick. And the Browns go not with a quarterback, but with cornerback Justin Gilbert. 

9:06 p.m. E.T.–Let’s check in on some Browns fans:

9:12 p.m. E.T.–The draft is beginning to speed up. Minnesota selects UCLA linebacker Anthony Barr. Detroit goes with tight end Eric Ebron, who got engaged atop the Empire State Building earlier Thursday. 

9:17 p.m. E.T.–The Johnny Manziel Slide has begun.  

9:23 p.m. E.T.–Tennessee gets some protection for its quarterback, Jake Locker, and selects Michigan offensive tackle Taylor Lewan, who becomes the third offensive lineman taken.

 9:26 p.m. E.T.–One of these is surprising, the other is not. 

9:30 p.m. E.T.–Odell Beckham Jr. to the Giants.

9:34 p.m. E.T.–St. Louis adds to an already impressive defensive line by snagging Pittsburgh defensive tackle Aaron Donald, who was not expected to be there at No. 13. 

9:43 p.m. E.T.–Virginia Tech cornerback Kyle Fuller goes to Chicago at No. 14.  And Ohio State linebacker Ryan Shazier to Pittsburgh at No. 15. 

9:51 p.m. E.T.–Many wanted this to be Johnny Manziel, but Jerry Jones and the Dallas Cowboys go with Zach Martin, a guard from Notre Dame. 

9:55 p.m. E.T.–Manziel appears to be tired of waiting. 

10:00 p.m. E.T.–The first Alabama player is off the board. Linebacker C.J. Mosley goes to a place that is pretty good at developing defensive players. Baltimore selects the two-time All-American with pick No. 17. 

10:04 p.m. E.T.–Now the NFL is trolling Manziel. What did he ever do to you, Goodell?

10:08 p.m. E.T.–The first safety is off the board 18 picks in. The Jets go with Calvin Pryor out of Louisville. Many wanted New York to go with an offensive player, though. 

10:19 p.m. E.T.–It’s been a pretty good night for offensive linemen. Miami goes with an offensive tackle at No. 19.

10:23 p.m. E.T.–The third trade of the evening has New Orleans trading up to No. 20 and get a nice weapon for Drew Brees, selecting Oregon State wide receiver Brandin Cooks. 

10:23 p.m. E.T.–It’s OK, Johnny. Dan Marino was once passed on by a lot of teams, too. And Aaron Rodgers.

10:34 p.m. E.T.–The man most considered to be the best dressed prospect at the draft goes to the Green Bay Packers at No. 21. Ha Ha Clinton-Dix will be playing his professional football in Wisconsin. “He’s got some swag,” Marshall Faulk said.

10:41 p.m. E.T.–The slide has stopped. Johnny Manziel to the Browns, who trade up into Philadelphia’s spot at No. 22 to get him.

10:52 p.m. E.T.–Kansas City adds Auburn defensive end Dee Ford with pick No. 23. 

10:58 p.m. E.T.–Cincinnati gets a cornerback many expected to be drafted higher. Michigan State’s Darqueze Dennard goes to the Bengals at No. 24. 

11:03 p.m. E.T.–Back-to-back cornerbacks selected, as Jason Verrett from TCU goes to San Diego with pick No. 25. 

11:10 p.m. E.T.–Four consecutive defensive players after the Manziel pick. Philadelphia goes with linebacker Marcus Smith from Louisville. 

11:15 p.m. E.T.–Arizona adds to its already impressive secondary, going with Washington State safety Deone Bucannon, who should have fun playing with Tryann Mathieu and Patrick Peterson. And yes, they play football at WSU. 

11:19 p.m. E.T.–Cam Newton has another weapon to throw to. The Panthers select Florida State wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin. “Reminds me a lot of Brandon Marshall,” Michael Irvin said. “This could be one of the biggest steals in the draft.”

11:26 p.m. E.T.–Rarely do the Patriots actually make their first round pick, but they stayed put here, foregoing any trade options, and selected defensive tackle Dominique Easley.

11:29 p.m. E.T.–San Francisco surprises some and goes with safety Jimmie Ward from Northern Illinois. The 49ers went with a safety last year, too, in Eric Reid from LSU. 

11:37 p.m. E.T.–It’s been basically all defense at the end of the first round, and that trend continues with Denver, who selects Ohio State cornerback Bradley Roby. The former Buckeye has had some trouble with the law over the past year. 

11:42 p.m. E.T.–And the first round ends with some excitement. Minnesota trades with Seattle to get the No. 32. They take Louisville quarterback Teddy Bridgewater. 

BR

Andrew Holleran is a staff writer for College Spun who currently resides in Columbus, Ohio. You can reach him via email at Andrew@collegespun.com or on Twitter @andrewjholleran.