NFL draft first-round surprises, memorable moments

NEW YORK -- The fastest first round in the modern NFL draft era is in the books after 3 hours. Twenty players who started in the green room to begin the night found a home, while six more will have a sleepless night.

It was a wild, trade-filled night with almost too many storylines to keep track of. We'll try anyhow.

Here were the biggest surprises from Thursday night. These are the moments we'll remember years from now.

The Cowboys' stealth pursuit of Claiborne pays off
No one saw the Dallas Cowboys' trade up for LSU cornerback Morris Claiborne coming, not even Claiborne himself. He told NFL.com he was "shocked" when the Cowboys traded up for him because they didn't speak to him once during the pre-draft process. He also was emotional, crying because so many members of his family are Cowboys fans. Jerry Jones made his splash move.

Browns move up for Richardson, find their quarterback
The Cleveland Browns started the day leaking a story that they expected Colt McCoy to make a "big leap" this season. By the end of the day, they found his replacement. Brandon Weeden is older than McCoy and possibly more pro-ready.

In a league where running backs are devalued, the Browns swam against the stream by giving up picks to move up for Trent Richardson.

Draft trade tracker
Keep up with all the moves made during the 2012 NFL Draft with this comprehensive breakdown of each trade, including the Browns' bold first-round move. More ...

The Patriots make their move
For years, Bill Belichick always looked for value by trading back. It had been nine full years since he found a guy worthy of trading up. On Thursday night, he found two in Chandler Jones and Dont'a Hightower.

New England Patriots fans have been begging for pass rush and front seven help for years. They finally got their wish.

Tannehill is welcomed to the AFC East
It wasn't a surprise that Ryan Tannehill went No. 8 to the Miami Dolphins. But Jets fans still gave us an indelible New York moment when they greeted Tannehill with booming chants of "overrated, overrated" as he hit the stage.

Seahawks grab Irvin
It's official: Not one single mock draft (out of a possible 1,452,981) predicted the Seattle Seahawks taking pass rusher Bruce Irvin, as they did at No. 15.

The Jets swing for the fences
Quinton Coples is such a New York Jets pick. They are a team that swings for the fences and is not afraid to miss. Coples is a classic boom-or-Gholston pick for a team that seemingly always goes big.

Gabbert is out of excuses
By moving up for Justin Blackmon, the Jacksonville Jaguars gave second-year quarterback Blaine Gabbert another weapon. The team (over)paid Laurent Robinson, signed Lee Evans, and they aggressively traded to get the best wide receiver in this draft.

Brockers' beard
LSU's Michael Brockers told NFL.com his beard has special powers. After seeing it up close, we don't doubt it. We'll have more on this important story Friday in ATL.

49ers' surprise first-rounder
San Francisco 49ers general manager Trent Baalke said weeks ago that he had a specific player he knew he would draft with the No. 30 pick. It sounded ridiculous, but he wasn't kidding. Baalke knew there was no way anyone else was considering Illinois wide receiver A.J. Jenkins in the first round. No way.