NEW YORK (AP) -Some big stars came out for the second round of the NFL draft, in front of a nearly full Radio City Music Hall.
Unfortunately, Jim Brown, Dan Marino, Ray Lewis and Floyd Little were announcing the selections, not being picked.
Instead of Heisman Trophy winners and All-Americans, the opening choices of Friday night's second round were Indiana tackle Rodger Saffold, Virginia cornerback Chris Cook, and UCLA defensive tackle Brian Price. Yes, quality players, but hardly headline makers.
Until Notre Dame quarterback Jimmy Clausen went to Carolina at No. 49 overall - more than 40 picks lower than some projected - few of the early selections drew much response from the surprisingly large audience. Then again, with the way the NFL has turned the first prime-time draft into an event, seeing the venerable theater packed makes sense.
So did the opening choices.
Needing a blocker for quarterback Sam Bradford, the first overall pick the previous night, the Rams ignored several trade offers to stay put. They went for an experienced player who started for four seasons with the Hoosiers.
Oh man, it was a long night,'' Saffold said.Your heart's racing the entire time and I'm just glad St. Louis called. I didn't know how much longer I could have taken it.''
Minnesota, which traded out of the first round, has had injury issues at cornerback, so Cook should be helpful. And Tampa Bay's defensive line has been a sieve, which it addressed with the selections of Oklahoma's Gerald McCoy at No. 3 overall and then Price.
Clausen, a three-year starter for the Fighting Irish, was 16-18 as a starter after being one of the nation's most sought recruits. The Panthers' choice drew scattered boos.
``He's an excellent football player, but he doesn't have great arm strength. That's all right though,'' NFL draft consultant Gil Brandt said after the selection.
Brandt noted that Clausen brought his team from behind four times to win - and brought his team from behind four times and lost.
Clausen, the first Notre Damer chosen this year, kicked off a spurt of more recognizable selections - and three All-Americans. The first Southern Cal player, safety Taylor Mays, went to San Francisco, followed by Alabama cornerback-kick returner Javier Arenas, and Stanford RB Toby Gerhart, the Heisman runner-up.
Other notables on Day 2: Kansas City got a prime kick returner and receiving threat in 5-foot-8, 165-pound Dexter McCluster of Mississippi; Alabama's 350-pound All-American defensive tackle, Terrence Cody, went to Baltimore; and Cincinnati selected Florida linebacker Carlos Dunlap, who was arrested for DUI in December. The Bengals have a history of bringing in players with off-field issues.
Oregon safety T.J. Ward went to Cleveland, a selection announced by the Browns' greatest player, Jim Brown. The Hall of Famer got far more cheers than anyone Thursday night.
Next on the applause meter were Lewis, Marino and Little. Marino introduced the Dolphins' selection of linebacker Koa Misi of Utah, Lewis announced LB Sergio Kindle of Texas and Little revealed that Denver took tackle Zane Beadles, also of Utah.
One player on hand was Arizona tight end Rob Gronkowski, who went 42nd overall to New England. The Patriots have a sparse group at the position.
I know coach Bill Belichick is one the greatest coaches out there,'' Gronkowski said,and I know Tom Brady is one of the best quarterbacks out there, and he will be flinging me the ball.''
Gronkowski didn't waste his time waiting around to be chosen.
We went to the Empire State Building,'' he said.We went to the very top where it's not even open to the public and, man, it's windy, cold up there. You're in the clouds and everything. It's scary looking down, but it's a fun time.''
Just part of the show.