The big crowd at Radio City Music Hall had to wait for the big names to go. They got a star-studded show while they hung around Friday.
Until Notre Dame’s Jimmy Clausen, Stanford’s Toby Gerhart and Texas’ Colt McCoy were selected, the audience was treated to Jim Brown, Dan Marino and Ray Lewis. Floyd Little, Rod Woodson and John Randle.
Unfortunately, they were announcing the selections, not being picked.
Eventually, those choices became high-profile, beginning with Fighting Irish QB Clausen taken by Carolina at 48th overall — more than 40 picks lower than some projected.
Gerhart, the Heisman runner-up, went to Minnesota with the 51st selection. The Vikings needed a backup to star runner Adrian Peterson after losing Chester Taylor in free agency.
McCoy finally was drafted, 85th overall, by Cleveland.
“It has been a long day,” McCoy said after speaking to Browns president Mike Holmgren. “I told him, ‘You won’t regret it and we’ll win a lot of games.’ ”
Other notables on Day 2: Kansas City got a prime kick returner and receiving threat in 5-foot-8, 165-pound Dexter McCluster of Mississippi; Alabama’s 350-pound All-America defensive tackle, Terrence “Mount” Cody, went to Baltimore; and Cincinnati selected Florida linebacker Carlos Dunlap, who was arrested for DUI in December. The Bengals have a history of bringing in players with off-field issues.
“That was the only incident on my record,” Dunlap said. “Pretty much, I told them that was my first and last incident. I learned from it. I apologized to everyone.”
Oregon safety T.J. Ward went to Cleveland, a selection announced by the Browns’ greatest player, Jim Brown. The Hall of Famer got far more cheers than anyone Friday night.
Oregon tight end Ed Dickson was drafted with the 70th overall pick by Baltimore.
Among the players who unexpectedly slid to the draft’s final day was Southern Cal defensive end Everson Griffen. Teammate Joe McKnight, a running back, also is available.
The final four rounds of the draft will be today, starting at 7 a.m. It will be televised by ESPN and NFL Network.