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Live from the draft: Birds fans peeved by first pick

NEW YORK -- There are quite a few Eagles fans at Radio City Music Hall for the NFL draft and they displayed their opinion in unison when the Birds finally made their first choice.

After trading out of the first round, the Eagles selected University of Houston quarterback Kevin Kolb with their second round choice, the 36th overall pick.

"Booooo!" came from the upper deck where many of the Eagles fans had stayed.

With Donovan McNabb suffering season-ending injuries the past two years, the Eagles were looking for quarterback insurance.

The 6-foot-3, 218-pound Kolb threw for 3,807 yards, 30 TDs and just four interceptions as a senior at Houston. That was a considerable improvement over his junior season in which he threw 19 touchdown passes, but was intercepted 15 times.

If it's any consolation to Kolb, he received the same type of greeting from Eagles fans at the draft that McNabb received when he was selected as the Eagles first round pick.

Birds look to D-line for second pick

The Eagles selected Notre Dame defensive end Victor Abiamiri with their second pick in the second round, 57th overall.

Cornhuskers LB tabbed at No. 87

The Eagles selected Stewart Bradley, a linebacker from Nebaraska. with their first third-round pick, the 87th selection overall. That was a pick the Birds acquired from Dalllas for trading out of the first round.

A running back, and a Nittany Lion

The few remaining Eagles fans at the draft showed their approval when it was announced that the Eagles selected Penn State running back Tony Hunt with their second third round pick, the 90th overall selection. Hunt ran for more than 1,300 yards and scored 14 touchdowns (11 rushing) as a senior at PSU.

'Poz' shuffles off to Buffalo

NEW YORK -- Penn State linebacker Paul Posluszny wasn't drafted in the first round of the NFL Draft today, but he didn't have to wait long to get picked in the second.

Posluszny, the two-time NCAA defensive player of the year, was the second player taken in the second round when the Buffalo Bills snapped him up with the 34th overall pick.

The 6-foot-2, 238-pound outside linebacker finished his college career as Penn State's all-time leader in tackles, with 337. Highly decorated, Posluszny was a recipient of the Butkus (nation's top linebacker in 2005) and Bednarik Award (nation's top defensive player in 2005 and 2006) awards. He also was a 2006 Associated Press and Walter Camp Football Foundation First-Team All-American honoree after leading the Nittany Lions in tackles (116) for the third straight year.

Eagles send top pick to, of all teams, the Cowboys

The Eagles have traded out of the first round with an unlikely partner - the Dallas Cowboys. In exchange for the Eagles first pick, which was No. 26, Dallas gave the Birds a second-round pick obtained from Cleveland (No. 36), along with the Cowboys' third-rounder (No. 87) and fifth-round pick (No. 158).

With the first round pick obtained from the Eagles, Dallas selected Purdue defensive end Anthony Spencer.
One has to wonder had Miami safety Brandon Meriweather been available instead of being selected No. 24 by New England, if the Eagles would have traded the first-round pick.

Patriots nab safety Meriweather

We'll never know if the Eagles would have selected Miami free safety Brandon Meriweather, because New England made him its first round selection today at No. 24, two picks ahead of the Eagles.

The Eagles are on the clock after Carolina selected Miami linebacker Jon Beason.

These seems to be a strong local contingent with the chant E-A-G-L-E-S already starting.

What it means is that the Eagles will have a shot at either Miami tight end Greg Olsen or Penn State linebacker Paul Posluszny. Arkansas corner Chris Houston is another highly regarded corner out there.

Stay tuned. If the Eagles keep this pick, they should be drafting a good player. If this writer had any say, Olsen would be the choice here.

Quinn winds up going to Browns, after all

The Cleveland Browns finally did get Brady Quinn, although it was much later and than either side imagined. After making a trade with Dallas, Cleveland selected Quinn with the 22nd pick of the first round today in the NFL draft.

The Browns had bypassed Quinn and selected Wisconsin offensive tackle Joe Thomas with the No. 3 pick in the first round.

So now the Browns have their bookend left tackle and their quarterback of the future. For a team that hasn't had much to cheer about, this was a big day for Cleveland.

Not to mention for Quinn, who was chosen at 4:18 p.m. more than four hours after the draft started at noon.

How much pressure was Quinn feeling?

"I felt the weight of the world lifted from my shoulders," Quinn said in a press conference following his selection.

The Browns paid a steep price for Quinn, giving up their second round selection this year (No. 36) and their first round pick in 2008.

Still, Cleveland realized it couldn't have Charlie Frye as their future hope at quarterback.

The crowd at Radio City Music Hall cheered loudly.

Cleveland had to make the move because Kansas City, picking next, would have been a good fit for Quinn.

Any quarterback of Notre Dame has a national following and that is no different for Quinn. Hailing from Dublin, Ohio, he said he wanted to play for the hometown Browns. Now he got his wish, more than four hours after he had hope to hear similar news.

How Quinn fell so far, so fast

While Oakland selected LSU quarterback JaMarcus Russell as expected and Detroit took Georgia Tech wide receiver Calvin Johnson, Cleveland was expected to take Quinn No. 3. Instead the quarterback-needy Browns selected  Thomas.

Two other teams reportedly in the hunt for a quarterback Minnesota, at No. 7 and Miami at No. 9, also bypassed Quinn, setting up his long slide down the first round.

The Vikings drafted Oklahoma running back Adrian Peterson. Miami drafted Ohio State wide receiver Ted Ginn Jr.

Quinn became this year's Aaron Rodgers. In 2005 Rodgers, then a quarterback at California, was projected to be the No. 1 overall pick. He slipped to 24.

Quinn and those with him left the main floor after the Dolphins picked Ginn, moving to a private suite until his name ws called almost 4 1/2 hours into the draft.

Jets trade to move up, take Pitt cornerback

The first true buzz at the in Radio City Music Hall occurred when it was announced that the New York Jets were swapping first round picks with the Carolina Panthers and adding a few others to sweeten the pot.

Soon after, chants of "Brady Quinn, Brady Quinn," swept the building, the Jets confounded their fans by selecting University of Pittsburgh cornerback Darrelle Revis.

One thing's for sure – the Jets must really like Revis, who is also an accomplished punt returner.

Besides swapping first round picks, the Jets sent Carolina their second and fifth picks and received the Panthers' sixth round choice.

By the way, the Panthers will select in the Jets old spot at No. 25, which is significant for Eagles fans. Carolina is in need of a tight end and Miami's Greg Olsen has been linked to the Panthers.

With L.J. Smith on the final year of his contract and with no assurance that he would re-sign with the Eagles, Olsen might be a player the Eagles will be eying.

If Carolina was truly enamored with Olsen, it would have selected him.Still, the Panthers could still take Olsen, one pick ahead of the Eagles.

One bit of decent news for the Eagles – if they are indeed going for help in the secondary, there should be a decent player at 26.

Conservately speaking, four cornerbacks and four safeties have been projected as first round choice.

Through the first 15 picks, after Pittsburgh chose Florida State linebacker Lawrence Timmons, only two defensive backs have been selected.

No surprise by Al Davis and the Raiders

The Oakland Raiders did as expected by selecting LSU quarterback JaMarcus Russell as the first pick in the NFL draft.

There had been talk that the Raiders would go another route, but the quarterback situation, with Andrew Walter as the returning starter, needed a serious upgrade.

At 6-foot-6 and 263-pounds, Russell will enter the NFL as the strongest-armed quarterback. How long it takes him to learn the intricacies of reading defenses, is another matter, but Raiders owner Al Davis always has had an affinity for quarterbacks who can throw the deep ball and that will be Russell's calling cards.

After that pick, the intrigue began with the draft as Detroit, selected Georgia Tech wide receiver Calvin Johnson with its No. 2 pick.

The question is whether the Lions will keep the pick.  There are rumors that teams such as Tampa Bay may try to pry Johnson away.

Johnson is considered the best player in the draft and the early odds-on favorite to be NFL rookie of the year, no matter which team he ends up with.

Browns pass on Quinn, take OT Thomas

The first surprise of the draft came when the Cleveland Browns selected Wisconsin offensive tackle Joe Thomas with the third pick.

Cleveland, with Charlie Frye as its starter, was expected to select Notre Dame quarterback Brady Quinn, who hails from nearby Dublin, Ohio.

The first two picks went as expected when Oakland took Russell and Detroit took Georgia Tech wide receiver Calvin Johnson with the second choice.

The 6-foot-6, 313-pound Thomas was considered one of the top five players in the draft and is a solid pick, but Cleveland is in dire need of a quarterback. Could this signal that the Brown are in the running to get quarterback Trent Green from Kansas City? Green will be dealt, it's just a matter of when.

Will Adams remain a Buccaneer?

Selecting fourth, the Tampa Bucs Buccaneers chose Clemson defensive end Gaines Adams. Now, will Adams remain a Buc?

It's no secret that Detroit liked Adams, but didn't feel he was worthy of the No. 2 pick. Could Adams stay with the Bucs, or go to Detroit in a trade for Georgia Tech wide receiver Calvin Johnson, who Detroit took with the second pick in the draft?

The 6-foot-5, 260-pound Adams was considered the best pure pass rusher in the draft. While Tampa Bay could surely use help in that area, the Bucs desperately need some offensive playmakers.

No doubt that former Eagle and current Buccaneer quarterback Jeff Garcia would like to see somebody like Calvin Johnson as part of the offense.

Stay tuned.

Vick, Smith lead draft-day tribute for Virginia Tech

Prior to the beginning of the NFL draft today, the league paid tribute to Virginia Tech for the recent tragedy that resulted in 33 deaths, including the gunman.

Football coach Frank Beamer along with former Tech first round draft choices Bruce Smith, and current Atlanta Falcons Michael Vick and DeAngelo Hall were invited to the draft by the NFL.

"We are proud of the spirit they are displaying and we the NFL are showing our support by inviting these guests to be with us," NFL commissioner Roger Goodell told the draft audience at Radio City Music Hall.

In a brief press conference prior to appearing on the draft stage, Beamer and the former Hokies lauded the actions of the students.

"I can't imagine what those students went through during that period of time," Smith said. "The heroism, courage, the survival instincts they showed. I have a newfound respect for those kids on that campus, the way they conducted themselves, the way they kept their composure when speaking under pressure. They didn't play the blame game."

Vick said there is a spirit of resiliency among the Virginia Tech community.

"We will bounce back from the situation," Vick said. "We won't let one guy affect everything we worked toward as a school."

Beamer expressed gratitude for the overwhelming response that Virginia Tech has received throughout the country.

"All the responses come into Blacksburg, I appreciate everybody taking time to care," Beamer told the draft audience. "I hope every day people find time to say a prayer for those victims, the families and the ones who were injured. We won't forget them. There is a lot of hurt and pain."