NEW YORK (Reuters) - The Miami Dolphins officially made Michigan offensive tackle Jake Long the number one selection in Saturday’s National Football League draft.
Earlier this week the hapless Dolphins had signed Long to a five-year, $57 million contract, making him the NFL’s highest paid lineman and eliminating any suspense on who they would select with the top choice.
Chris Long, the Virginia defensive end whose father Howie is an NFL Hall of Famer at the same position, was grabbed second by the St Louis Rams.
Boston College quarterback Matt Ryan was taken third by the Atlanta Falcons, followed by Arkansas running back Darren McFadden by the Oakland Raiders and Louisiana State defensive tackle Glenn Dorsey by the Kansas City Chiefs.
There was little drama in the draft with most of the top players getting selected pretty much where the pundits had predicted.
Chris Long said he had no idea when he would be chosen.
”I had an open mind this morning when I woke up and just tried to stay as calm as possible,“ he told reporters. ”I knew that I was going to be a St. Louis Ram when you guys knew.
“It was a huge adrenaline rush. Best moment of my life.”
The seven-round draft, in which 252 collegiate players are selected, was being held over two days at the Radio City Music Hall in Manhattan.
McFadden was widely regarded as the best running back in college but several arrests outside bars had some general managers questioning his character.
The record-setting tailback said he was “very happy to be over with” the ordeal.
“It’s a long grueling process,” said McFadden, who rushed for at least 100 yards 22 times in 38 games at Arkansas. “You’re just waiting to get somewhere and play football.”
Miami finished 1-15 in 2007 and the addition of Jake Long, a double Big Ten Offensive Lineman of the Year, should boost an offense that ranked 28th of 32 teams in 2007.
The 6-foot-7, 315-pound Long became the first offensive lineman to be taken with the number one overall pick since Orlando Pace was selected by the St Louis Rams in 1997.
”I want to go in there and work hard every day,“ said Long. ”I want to show the leadership that I had in college with great work ethic. I’ll lead by example.
“I‘m so excited this is done. I’ll go out there and do everything I can to help this team win.”
Editing by Tony Jimenez