The Chargers, in need of help at linebacker, selected Uchenna Nwosu from USC with the No. 48 pick in the NFL draft.
Nwosu had 75 tackles and 9.5 sacks last season for USC, making him one of the better pass-rushing linebackers in the draft.
He joins Derwin James as defensive players selected in the first two rounds by the Chargers. A year ago, the team took three-straight offensive players before selecting Rayshawn Jenkins in the fourth round.
Lamar Jackson is a Heisman Trophy winner who rushed for more than 1,500 yards and passed for more than 3,500 yards in two different seasons.
But the former Louisville quarterback had to wait until No. 32 — the last first-round pick of the 2018 NFL draft — before his name was called. The Baltimore Ravens traded up, with the Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles, to make the pick.
When asked — or almost asked — if he’s motivated by doubts over how well his skills will translate to the pro game, Jackson politely told reporters Thursday night:
1. Tampa Bay traded its first- (No. 7) and seventh-round (No. 255) picks to Buffalo for the Bills’ first- (No. 12) and second-round (No. 53 and No. 56) picks. Buffalo selected Josh Allen, QB, Wyoming at No. 7. Tampa Bay selected Vita Vea, DT, Washington, and received picks No. 53 and No. 56.
2. Oakland traded its first-round (No. 10) to Arizona for the Cardinals’ first- (No. 15), third- (No. 79), fifth-round (No. 152) picks. Arizona selected Josh Rosen, QB, UCLA. Oakland selected Kolton Miller, OT, UCLA, and received picks No. 79 (Round 3) and No. 152 (Round 5).
3. Green Bay traded its first-round (No. 14) to New Orleans for the Saints’ first- (No. 27) and fifth-round (No. 147) picks and a 2019 first-round pick. New Orleans selected Marcus Davenport, DE, Texas San Antonio. Green Bay traded the No. 27 pick to Seattle and received selection No. 147 (Round 5).
1. CLEVELAND: QB Baker Mayfield (Oklahoma) — Mayfield, a onetime Texas Tech walk-on, rounded into a somewhat undersized phenom, winning the Heisman Trophy, Maxwell Award, Davey O’Brien Award and a slew of other honors. The Big 12 Offensive Player of the Year completed 70.5% of his passes, with 43 touchdowns and just six interceptions.
Sam Farmer’s comment: Cleveland throws a curveball, taking the playmaking Mayfield over Sam Darnold. He’s the first 6-foot-1 quarterback taken No. 1 since Michael Vick in 2001.
2. NEW YORK GIANTS: RB Saquon Barkley (Penn State) – Barkley, whose great-uncle was former boxing champion Iran Barkley, is regarded by many scouts as the top athlete in this class. He plays big in big games, such as when he ran for 204 yards and two touchdowns in a shootout loss to USC in the Rose Bowl.
Injured Steelers linebacker Ryan Shazier limped slowly onto the stage at the NFL draft and announced Pittsburgh's first-round pick less than five months after a spine injury.
Shazier's appearance Thursday night was a surprise.
“That's a huge lift not only for him but for us,” Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert said. “To see where he has come from to where he is and knowing where he might be able to go, it's beyond inspirational.”
The Chargers entered the draft without many traditional, clear-cut needs – with a single exception.
The team hadn’t re-signed starting safety Tre Boston, who played virtually every defensive snap last season, and were talking about using second-year players Rayshawn Jenkins or Desmond King on the back end of their defense.
Those questions and options got erased Thursday, when Florida State safety Derwin James slid down the board into the team’s lap — giving them a plug-and-play safety who perfectly fits into defensive coordinator Gus Bradley’s system.
UCLA quarterback Josh Rosen was selected by the Arizona Cardinals with the 10th pick in the NFL draft.
The Cardinals traded up five spots to select Rosen.
Rosen was the fourth quarterback chosen. The Cleveland Browns took Heisman Trophy winner Baker Mayfield of Oklahoma first, the New York Jets selected USC quarterback Sam Darnold with the third pick, and the Buffalo Bills traded up seven spots to select Josh Allen with the fifth pick.