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Running backs in the draft
A longtime draft streak is in jeopardy this year – a running back has been drafted in the first round every year of the common draft era (since 1967). Should a running back not be selected in the first round, it will mark the first time since 1963 that no RB was selected in round one. 2011 and 1984 are the only years that one RB was selected in the first round. In 2011, Heisman Trophy winner Mark Ingram of Alabama was selected 28th overall by the New Orleans Saints. In 1984, Greg Bell of Notre Dame was selected 26th by the Bills.
The first draft
The first NFL Draft was held on Feb. 8, 1936, when representatives of the nine NFL franchises assembled in Philadelphia at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel (picked at least in part because it was owned by relatives of then-NFL commissioner Bert Bell). A total of 81 players were picked in nine rounds. The Eagles chose first, tabbing Heisman Trophy winner Jay Berwanger, a University of Chicago halfback, who decided not to play pro ball -- a fairly common practice at the time. Not a single Eagles pick from that draft ever played in a regular-season game.
Radio City Music Hall
The NFL draft has been held annually in New York City since 1965. This will be the eighth straight draft held at Radio City Music Hall, better known for its Radio City Christmas Spectacular. The annual show has featured the Rockettes every year since the building opened in 1932.
Moving to prime time
For the first 52 years of the NFL draft, the event was held on a Tuesday and Wednesday. The draft moved to a Sunday and Monday in 1988, mainly because the Marriott Marquis offered the NFL a better rate on those days for the ballroom space. The draft moved to the weekend in 1995 when the event was moved to Madison Square Garden. The draft was expanded to the current Thursday-Saturday format in 2010.
Many draft experts believe that as many as five Ivy League players will be picked in the 2013 NFL Draft. Twice before – 1975 and 1967 – six Ivy Leaguers were drafted. In those years, the draft's 17 rounds made it 10 rounds longer than it is this year. In 2013, Cornell's wide receiver, Luke Tasker, the son of former Buffalo Bills special teams standout Steve Tasker, could be one of the Ivy League players selected. Luke's father was drafted in the ninth round (226th overall) of the 1985 NFL Draft by the Houston Oilers.
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Alabama is tied with USC for the most consecutive seasons (5) with a top-10 pick in the common draft era. The Trojans' streak started in 1993 with receiver Curtis Conway and ended in 1997 with defensive tackle Darrell Russell. The Crimson Tide's streak, which is still active, has included Andre Smith (2009), Rolando McClain (2010), Julio Jones and Marcel Dareus (2011), Mark Barron and Trent Richardson (2012). Should cornerback Dee Milliner be selected in the top 10, Alabama would have six consecutive seasons with a top-10 pick.
Offensive tackles Luke Joeckel of Texas A&M and Eric Fisher of Central Michigan are considered leading candidates to be the first overall selection in the 2013 NFL Draft. Tackles have been selected first overall three times, since 1967: USC's Ron Yary was drafted by the Minnesota Vikings in 1968; Ohio State's Orlando Pace was taken by the St. Louis Rams in 1997; and Michigan's Jake Long went to the Miami Dolphins in 2008.
Chiefs on the clock
With the first overall pick in the 2013 NFL Draft, the Kansas City Chiefs find themselves in an unfamiliar position. Although the Chiefs have picked in the top five eight times between 1978 and 2010, they have never had the top pick. Each of the three times the team has held the second-overall selection, they picked defensive ends: Neil Smith of Arkansas (1988), Mike Bell of Colorado State (1979) and Art Still of Kentucky (1978).
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The last time that no quarterbacks were selected in the first round was 1996, when Tony Banks of Michigan State was the first QB selected, taken with the 42nd overall pick by the Rams. The latest the first QB has been selected was the 76th pick in 1988, when the University of Washington's Chris Chandler was selected by the Indianapolis Colts. The latest a QB has been selected in the first round was the 26th overall pick, when Jim Druckenmiller was drafted by the San Francisco 49ers in 1997.
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West Virginia prospects
With QB Geno Smith and WR Tavon Austin likely to be drafted in the first round, this will be the first time that West Virginia will have more than one player selected in the first round of the draft. Other Mountaineers selected in the draft's first round include DE Bruce Irvin (selected 15th overall by Seattle in 2012), TE Anthony Becht (selected 27th overall by the Jets in 2000), DE Renaldo Turnbull (selected 14th by the Saints in 1990) and T Brian Jozwiak (selected 7th by the Chiefs in 1986). Perhaps the most notable West Virginia first-rounder is Adam "Pacman" Jones, who was selected 6th by the Tennessee Titans in 2005.
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Florida State prospects
Florida State could have five first-round picks in this draft, which would be the most in program history. Five first-rounders would tie the Seminoles with USC (1968), Miami (2002) and Ohio State (2006) for the second-most first-round picks that any school has had in the first round. The 2004 Miami Hurricanes hold the record with six first-round picks -- Sean Taylor, Vince Wilfork, Vernon Carey, D.J. Williams, Jonathan Vilma and Kellen Winslow Jr.
The 2013 NFL Draft is likely to mark the first time in the common draft era (since 1967) that no player from a Big Ten school will be drafted in the first round. Only once before has just one player been drafted, when Purdue QB Mike Phipps was the third overall pick by the Cleveland Browns in the 1970 draft. The last time the Big Ten had as few as two players drafted was 1998, when Michigan CB Charles Woodson was selected fourth overall by the Oakland Raiders and Penn State RB Curtis Enis was selected fifth by the Chicago Bears.
The name given to the player selected with the last pick in the draft, only 14 players named "Mr. Irrelevant" since 1967 have played in a regular season game. 2012's Mr. Irrelevant, Chandler Harnish of Northern Illinois, did not see any action for the Colts last season.
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Baseball Hall of Famer Dave Winfield never played football at the University of Minnesota, but still was selected in the 17th round by the Vikings in 1973. Winfield was also drafted by MLB's San Diego Padres, the NBA's Atlanta Hawks and the ABA's Utah Stars. A graceful athlete at 6'6," 220, Winfield's deft hand-eye coordination resulted in 3,110 major league hits. How many balls might he have caught from Vikings Hall of Fame QB Fran Tarkenton?
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Due largely to Head Coach George Allen's lack of patience with rookies, the Washington Redskins went 11 years without first-round picks, from 1969 to 1979. When the Redskins finally had their own pick in 1980, GM Bobby Beathard struck gold, selecting Art Monk of Syracuse with the 18th overall pick. Monk would go on to catch 888 passes in 14 years with the Redskins, earning three Super Bowl rings.