Sun, Apr 29, 2012 - Page 19 News List

NFL: Luck leads the NFL draft as teams go on a dealing frenzy


Once the NFL draft got past quarterbacks Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III, it was like a day on Wall Street — everybody wanted to make a trade.

The wheeling and dealing started even before the Indianapolis Colts opened the proceedings on Thursday night as expected by taking Luck with the first pick and the Washington Redskins followed by selecting the young man known as RG3.

Behind closed doors, general managers around the league were jockeying to position their teams to land the most coveted player on their draft board.

When it was over, there were eight trades involving 12 of the league’s 32 teams. It all started when Minnesota swapped its No. 3 choice for Cleveland’s No. 4 pick. The Browns, who also gave up a fourth, fifth and seventh-rounder, desperately wanted Alabama running back Trent Richardson. The Vikings still got the guy they sought in Southern California tackle Matt Kalil.

“Unfortunately, we had to make a little trade to secure the pick,” said Browns coach Pat Shurmur, who later added quarterback Brandon Weeden with the No. 22 selection. “We knew as we went through the process that he was our guy and so we did what we had to do to secure it.

Meanwhile, RG3, with dreadlocks covering part of his face, could not keep his Redskins cap on straight. Trent Richardson’s Browns hat sat all the way back on his head, tilting precariously over hair dangling below his shoulders.

Others, such as Richardson’s Alabama teammates Mark Barron, Dre Kirkpatrick and Dont’a Hightower, tugged firmly on their new NFL team caps in an effort to get them to fit snugly over dreads — or locs, as they are sometimes called — that flowed nearly midway down their football jerseys.

Dreadlocks were definitely in style at the NFL draft, creating a few awkward and humorous moments as players strolled onstage at Radio City Music Hall, exchanged hugs with commissioner Roger Goodell and did their best to keep new hats from falling to the floor.

Taking long hair to the football field could be a bit dicey, though, especially for offensive players trying to elude tacklers. There are no rules against pulling hair in the NFL. A player’s hair that falls past his helmet is considered part of the uniform, and thus can be used to make a tackle.

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