2004 Draft: A day one overview

After an excited crowd of almost two thousand football fans help kicked off the 69th Annual NFL Draft, the league's 32 franchised kept that frenzy going with a bevy of surprises throughout the first day. With three rounds in the books here's a look at the highlights and lowlights of todays initial three rounds.

The day began with a somber yet inspiring tribute to America's fallen soldiers, brought about by the recent passing of former Arizona Cardinal Pat Tillman in Afghanistan.

Then it was time to draft players as the suspense began to build with football fans around the nation wondering what would San Diego do with the first pick? It wouldn't take long to find out the answer as they used it to acquire quarterback Eli Manning then quickly traded the Mississippi passer to the New York Giants receiving a different signal caller, Philip Rivers in return, as well as a boatload of draft choices.

Surprising many was the fact that there was not as much movement during the draft's initial twelve picks, something many had originally thought would happen. The teams choosing during the second half of round one more than made up for it as eleven of the final sixteen choices eventually changed hands.

Several teams came away as winners after the draft's first day, possibly none more so than the Detroit Lions. After swapping picks with Cleveland early in the first frame Detroit selected wide receiver Roy Williams of Texas with the eight pick of that round. Williams immediately becomes a starter for Detroit and many feel he has more upside potential than any other player in the draft. Selecting running back Kevin Jones late in round one was excellent value for a team that needs a feature ball carrier and Ted Lehman, selected early in the second frame, improves the linebacker unit.

Under new management the Atlanta Falcons also came away with high grades during the draft's first day. Selecting cornerback DeAngelo Hall with the eight pick satisfies a need on defense and also gives the team a game breaking return specialist who will remind many of former Falcon Deion Sanders. Atlanta was not happy with just one pick during the initial round and traded for a second then used it to select receiver Michael Jenkins, who could be the teams number one wide out come the season's first week.

Dallas filling needs at running back and on the offensive line as well as procuring an extra pick in the first round 2005 round also distinguished themselves today as did the New England Patriot, who drafted a starting nose tackle in Vince Wilfork and traded for a feature ball carrier early in the week when they acquired Corey Dillon from the Cincinnati Bengals.

Several teams came out of the draft's first day with almost as many question marks as they entered.

Many feel the Jacksonville Jaguars reached for receiver Reggie Williams with the ninth pick of the draft and repeated that mistake-selecting linebacker Daryl Smith early in round two.

Kansas City, a team that desperately needs defense, chose defensive tackle Junior Savaii at the top of round two. Savaii, developing prospect, has been besieged with off the field and intensity questions as of late. Later they came back and drafted Kris Wilson, an undersized pass catching tight end. Not exactly a need area for a team that sports the likes of Tony Gonzalez.

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