NFL: Teams load up on linemen in draft

Posted: April 29, 2013

Minnesota went all in with three first-round picks.

Super Bowl champion Baltimore went for replacements for Ray Lewis and Ed Reed.

The New York Jets added to their quarterback uncertainty by taking Geno Smith in the second round.

Teams loaded up on linemen, making the big and beefy guys this year's stars.

The 2013 NFL draft was light on glamour at the skill positions, but heavy on intrigue (when would Manti Te'o go?) and burly bodies able to either get after or protect all those pricey passers.

Denver Broncos boss John Elway called the draft "deep in the trenches."

"It wasn't sexy, but there were a lot of good football players in this draft, he said. "It was deep in the other-than-glitzy positions."

The first round included 18 linemen, one quarterback and, for the first time since 1963, no running backs.

"That's a lot of love for the big boys up front, which we usually don't get," said No. 1 overall pick Eric Fisher, an offensive tackle from Central Michigan taken by the Kansas City Chiefs.

Nobody made more noise in this year's draft than the Vikings.

Coming off a surprising run to the playoffs spearheaded by MVP Adrian Peterson, they became the first team since the Rams in 2001 to have three first-round picks. They traded four selections to New England to move up and take Tennessee receiver Cordarrelle Patterson after grabbing Florida defensive tackle Sharrif Floyd and Florida State cornerback Xavier Rhodes.

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