The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

Sports

April 25, 2013

Three 'Bama players selected in NFL Draft first round

No. 9 pick Milliner headed to Jets

(Continued)

NEW YORK —

The procession of linemen continued with BYU defensive end Ziggy Ansah, born in Ghana, going to Detroit; LSU defensive end Barkevious Mingo to Cleveland; and North Carolina guard Jonathan Cooper to Arizona.

That made for a ton of beef after the first seven picks. In all, 18 linemen went in the first round, weighing an estimated 5,650 total pounds.

And they wore it well, with their designer suits that barely were ruffled when they each engulfed Roger Goodell in the now traditional bear hugs between draftee and commissioner.

"It's called a three-piece, right?" asked Joeckel, who sported blue checks with the vested suit, along with a striped tie.

Fisher was only the third offensive tackle picked No. 1, joining Orlando Pace (1997) and Jake Long (2008) since the 1970 merger of the NFL and AFL. It's also the first time since '70 that offensive tackles went 1-2.

Even without a high-profile passer, runner or tackler going at the outset, the fans in the home of the Rockettes were pumped. They chanted "U-S-A, U-S-A" when Goodell paid tribute to the first responders at the Boston Marathon bombings and to the victims of the West, Texas explosion. They roared when Hall of Fame quarterback Joe Namath began the countdown to the first outdoor Super Bowl in a cold-weather site by taking the podium and screaming: "New York; Super Bowl 48."

The crowd didn't seem to care that early on the picks were all heifers, not hoofers. No Andrew Lucks or RG3s at the top of this crop.

"What you're getting is a very athletic player, a great kid, smart kid, engineering major," Reid said of Fisher, who really began to draw attention with a strong Senior Bowl, showing he could handle the highest level of competition. "He can play any position along the line, and loves to play the game."

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