Draft Notes

By Adam Caparell - April 26, 2008

NEW YORK - After last year's first round of the NFL Draft dragged on for over six hours, the league decided it had to do something about the format. So they made some big changes this year, allowing teams five fewer minutes to select their first round picks and as a result Saturday's first round was the fastest first round since 1990.

The first round was completed in 3:30 and NFL commissioner Roger Goodell seemed very pleased to make the announcement. Plenty of fans and media members alike applauded the move the NFL made last fall. It worked to perfection turning a marathon into a half marathon.

-- For the first time since 1990, no wide receivers were taken in the first round. Michigan State's Devin Thomas, Cal's DeSean Jackson and Oklahoma's Malcolm Kelly were three names that many thought would be taken in the first round. Houston's Donnie Avery beat them all to the punch when he was selected with the No. 33 pick in the draft, one pick ahead of Thomas.

-- Jake Long became just the sixth offensive lineman taken with the top pick. Orlando Pace was the last lineman taken No. 1 overall in 1997 by the St. Louis Rams.

-- Darren McFadden and Felix Jones became the first pair of running backs from the same team to be drafted in the first round since 2005 when Auburn did it with Cadillac Williams and Ronnie Brown. Before then it hadn't been done since 1986. McFadden went to the Oakland Raiders at No. 4. Jones went to the Dallas Cowboys at No. 22.

-- 253 players will be selected in this year's draft and 25 have them have already earned their degree. The list includes the top selection, Jake Long, the No. 3 pick Matt Ryan, Hawaii's Colt Brennan, Georgia Tech's Tashard Choice, Oregon's Dennis Dixon, Michigan's Chad Henne and Texas' Limas Sweed.

Posted by Adam Caparell at 07:12 PM on April 26, 2008

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