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NFL draft: Here’s the beef
NFL » This year’s draft makes up for lack of glamour with size.


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Last year’s draft made for must-see TV.

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One of the deepest quarterback crops in recent years stoked the passions of fan bases in several NFL cities, including Indianapolis, which took Andrew Luck with the first overall pick.

It was the fourth straight year that a quarterback went No. 1.

The run of signal-callers didn’t stop there, either. The Redskins traded up to select Heisman Trophy winner Robert Griffin III at No. 2, and two more quarterbacks went in the first round.

West Virginia’s Geno Smith is expected to go in the first round this year, perhaps as early as No. 2 to Jacksonville. But outside the strong-armed but erratic quarterback, the market at the NFL’s most critical position is weak. That means a handful of teams in need — Oakland, Buffalo, Cleveland, Philadelphia and Arizona among them — might wait until later in the draft to make their move.


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That’s all assuming that no trades are made on the opening night.

Quarterbacks who could still be on the board when the draft resumes with the second round Friday night include USC’s Matt Barkley, Florida State’s E.J. Manuel and Ryan Nassib of Syracuse.

"This is really a meat-and-potatoes draft, certainly early in the first couple of rounds with linemen, which is exciting," said Eagles general manager Howie Roseman, who will pick fourth.

"It may not be the flashiest thing, but it’s exciting," he said. "It’s hard to find big guys who can move, play with power, and there are lot of guys in this draft."

Guys who can protect those expensive quarterbacks.

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