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San Francisco chose defensive end Aldon Smith of Missouri to bolster a weak pass rush, then the second quarterback was selected: Washington's Jake Locker, who many thought had played himself out of the first round with an inconsistent senior season, to Tennessee.
That began a small run on passers. After Dallas went for offensive tackle Tyron Smith of Southern California with the ninth pick, Jacksonville saw a chance to get its future quarterback. The Jaguars moved up six slots for Missouri's Blaine Gabbert, dealing their first-round pick and a second-rounder to Washington.
"You really don't have any idea where you will go, especially with the lockout," Gabbert said. "But the trades are happening now."
Houston bolstered its weak defense with Wisconsin end J.J. Watt at No. 11 before yet another QB was chosen: Florida State's Christian Ponder went to Minnesota in what was probably the most surprising pick of the first round.
Few prognosticators had the often-injured quarterback going in the first half of the first round.
Auburn DT Nick Fairley, once projected as a top-three selection, was chosen 13th by the Lions. Detroit took defensive tackle in Ndamukong Suh in the first round last year and he became the defensive rookie of the year.
St. Louis, undeterred by Robert Quinn's lost season -- the linebacker-end was suspended from North Carolina for his role in an agents scandal -- took him at No. 14.
Mike Pouncey, whose twin brother, Maurkice, was a sensational rookie center for Pittsburgh last year, was chosen by Miami to play the same position.
After moving down to No. 16, Washington took Purdue linebacker Ryan Kerrigan. Cleveland traded again, from No. 27 to 21st for Baylor DT Phil Taylor, with Kansas City sliding to 27th.
New England addressed concerns about protecting Tom Brady by taking Colorado tackle Nate Solder, and archrival Indianapolis safeguarded Peyton Manning by selecting Boston College tackle Anthony Castonzo.
Former firefighter and hockey player Danny Watkins went to Philadelphia. The Canadian guard from Baylor apologized to Giants fans in the audience who booed him for going to the rival Eagles. Watkins was told to get used to such treatment in New York.
Baltimore passed after using all 10 minutes at No. 26 and Kansas City, in the next slot acquired through Atlanta and Cleveland, swooped in. The Chiefs got Pitt wide receiver Jonathan Baldwin while the Ravens still pondered their pick. They went with Colorado cornerback Jimmy Smith at No. 27.
Mark Ingram, the 2009 Heisman Trophy winner, went 28th overall to New Orleans, which traded with New England to get the spot. The Saints surrendered a 2012 first-rounder for the Alabama running back, giving them two Heisman winners in their backfield -- sort of. Reggie Bush won the award in 2005, but he relinquished it after an NCAA probe found he accepted improper gifts while playing at Southern California.
Super Bowl champion Green Bay concluded the 3 1/2-hour first round by taking Mississippi State tackle Derek Sherrod.
Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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