Clausen taken 48th, McCoy at No. 85
NEW YORK -- The big crowd at Radio City Music Hall for the second night of the NFL draft had to wait for the big names to go. They got a star-studded show while they hung around Friday.
Until Notre Dame's Jimmy Clausen, Stanford's Toby Gerhart, Texas' Colt McCoy and Alabama's Terrence "Mount" Cody were selected, the audience was treated to Jim Brown, Dan Marino, Ray Lewis, Floyd Little, Rod Woodson and John Randle.
Unfortunately, they were announcing the selections, not being picked.
Eventually, those choices became high-profile, beginning with former Fighting Irish quarterback Clausen at 48th overall -- more than 40 picks lower than some projected -- and ending with former Longhorns quarterback McCoy going in the third round.
Clausen, a three-year regular under Charlie Weis, was 16-18 as a starter after being one of the nation's most-sought recruits. The Panthers' choice drew scattered boos, but with Jake Delhomme gone and Matt Moore the incumbent, Carolina seems a good landing spot.
"I think it's going to help me tremendously, being in coach Weis' system," Clausen said of the offense run by John Fox in Carolina. "Coach Fox told me, he said it was the same exact system I've played in the last three years. I'm really excited about that."
NFL draft consultant Gil Brandt noted that Clausen brought his team from behind four times to win -- and brought his team from behind four times and lost.
"He's an excellent football player, but he doesn't have great arm strength. That's all right, though," Brandt said.
Clausen, the first player from Notre Dame chosen this year, kicked off a spurt of more recognizable selections -- and three All-Americans. The first Southern Cal player, safety Taylor Mays, went to San Francisco, followed by Alabama cornerback-kick returner Javier Arenas to Kansas City and Gerhart, the Heisman runner-up, to the Vikings.
Minnesota, which did not select Thursday night, traded up 11 spots in the second round for Gerhart, also a top baseball prospect. The Vikings needed a backup to star runner Adrian Peterson after losing Chester Taylor in free agency.
"I'm there to complement the best running back in the league, Adrian Peterson," Gerhart said. "It's amazing. I remember when I first started college, Adrian Peterson was the man in college. I remember saying I want to emulate my game after him."
McCoy finally was drafted, 85th overall, by Cleveland, one slot after his favorite target with the Longhorns, Jordan Shipley, went to Cincinnati.
The Carolina Panthers picked Notre Dame quarterback Jimmy Clausen 48th overall. Here are some notable picks from the second and third rounds:
|48. Jimmy Clausen, QB||Panthers|
|49. Taylor Mays, S||49ers|
|51. Toby Gerhart, RB||Vikings|
|60. Golden Tate, WR||Seahawks|
|77. Damian Williams, WR||Titans|
|84. Jordan Shipley, WR||Bengals|
|85. Colt McCoy, QB||Browns|
On hand to make the announcement about his four-year starter and the winningest quarterback in NCAA history: Texas coach Mack Brown.
"It has been a long day," McCoy said after speaking to Browns president Mike Holmgren. "I told him, 'You won't regret it and we'll win a lot of games.'"
Wideout Golden Tate, Clausen's college teammate, went 60th overall to Seattle. Perhaps new Seahawks coach Pete Carroll was swayed by Tate's outstanding performance against his USC Trojans last year.
Early on, instead of Heisman Trophy winners and All-Americans, the choices were Indiana tackle Rodger Saffold, Virginia cornerback Chris Cook and UCLA defensive tackle Brian Price. Yes, quality players, but hardly headline makers.
Needing a blocker for quarterback Sam Bradford, the first overall pick the previous night, the Rams ignored several trade offers to stay put. They went for an experienced player who started for four seasons with the Hoosiers.
"Oh man, it was a long night," Saffold said. "Your heart's racing the entire time, and I'm just glad St. Louis called. I didn't know how much longer I could have taken it."
The Rams fielded plenty of bids for the pick.
"We would have had to move significantly back in the second round," general manager Billy Devaney said, "and what we were going to get, we didn't think it was worth passing up a lineman that we deemed had this much talent."
Minnesota, which traded out of the first round, has had injury issues at cornerback, so Cook should be helpful. And Tampa Bay's defensive line has been a sieve, which it addressed with the selections of Oklahoma's Gerald McCoy at No. 3 overall and then Price.
Kansas City got a prime kick returner and receiving threat in 5-foot-8, 165-pound Dexter McCluster of Mississippi, and Cincinnati selected Florida linebacker Carlos Dunlap, who was arrested on a DUI charge in December. The Bengals have a history of bringing in players with off-field issues.
Walker: Value For Browns
Cleveland got the quarterback that fits perfectly in its new offense at a tremendous bargain with Colt McCoy, writes ESPN.com's James Walker. Blog
"That was the only incident on my record," Dunlap said. "Pretty much, I told them that was my first and last incident. I learned from it. I apologized to everyone."
Oregon safety T.J. Ward went to Cleveland, a selection announced by the Browns' greatest player, Jim Brown. The Hall of Famer got far more cheers than anyone Friday night. The Browns later selected running back Montario Hardesty.
Next on the applause meter were Lewis, Marino and Little. Marino introduced the Dolphins' selection of linebacker Koa Misi, and Little revealed that Denver took tackle Zane Beadles; both players were from Utah.
Lewis announced Baltimore's selection of Texas linebacker Sergio Kindle with the 43rd pick. A league source told ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter that at least one team took Kindle off its draft board due to concerns about the health of his knees.
Several teams have been concerned Kindle could need microfracture surgery on his knees early in his career, the source said, which might explain his slide out of the first round of the NFL draft.
Baltimore later selected defensive tackle Cody.
Tampa Bay traded up two spots in the draft to get Illinois wide receiver Arrelious Benn with the 39th overall pick.
Oakland sent the pick it received from the Buccaneers to the Patriots, who drafted Arizona tight end Rob Gronkowski with the 10th pick in the second round. New England also took linebackers Jermaine Cunningham and Brandon Spikes.
"I know coach Bill Belichick is one of the greatest coaches out there," Gronkowski said, "and I know Tom Brady is one of the best quarterbacks out there, and he will be flinging me the ball."
Buffalo took Florida center Torell Troup. Texas defensive tackle Lamarr Houston went to the Raiders, East Carolina defensive tackle Linval Joseph went to the Giants and TCU linebacker Daryl Washington fell to the Cardinals.
Pittsburgh drafted linebacker Jason Worilds with the 20th pick in the second round, Dallas added linebacker Sean Lee, Green Bay selected defensive tackle Michael Neal and Houston took running back Ben Tate. The Jets took guard Vladimir Ducasse.
The final player selected on Day 2 was Alabama All-American guard Mike Johnson.
The Associated Press contributed to this story.