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Local fans react to NFL Draft

April 29, 2013|By CALEB CALHOUN | caleb.calhoun@herald-mail.com

Rocky Rutherford of Keedysville watched the NFL Draft throughout the weekend and criticized the fact that so many teams drafted offensive linemen in the first round.

“I don’t think o-linemen are a big deal because you can get good o-linemen late in the draft,” said Rutherford, 19. “The first round should be about skill players.”

The 2013 draft featured 10 offensive linemen drafted in the first round, including the top two picks and three of the top five picks.

The draft began Thursday with the first round and lasted through Saturday.

Rutherford, who is a Green Bay Packers fan, praised the two running backs his team picked, Eddie Lacy from Alabama in the second round and Jonathan Franklin from UCLA in the fourth round, as well as the defensive picks.

Pittsburgh Steelers fan Rich Rostek of Hagerstown expressed his pleasure with his team’s first round pick, outside linebacker Jarvis Jones from Georgia.

“I think we need another outside pass-rusher so hopefully it’ll work well for them,” he said.

Rostek, 47, added that he was surprised with where some of the quarterbacks were drafted, including EJ Manuel from Florida State — the only quarterback taken in the first round. He was selected by the Buffalo Bills, who traded up to get him.

Matt Foat of Hagerstown, who is an Oakland Raiders fan, was not overly excited about his team’s first round pick — corner back D.J. Hayden from Houston.

“I’d have liked them to get someone more proven from a bigger conference,” he said. “The Raiders seem to go for good combine workouts instead of college performance.”

Foat, 23, added that he is also surprised by what he referred to as so many “non-skill” players drafted in the first round and described the draft of Manuel “a little bit of a reach.”

Baltimore Ravens fan Mario Calandrelle, 41, of Hagerstown, supported his team’s picks, especially safety Matt Elam from Florida and defensive tackle Brandon Williams of Missouri Southern State.

“Both of them fill needs they had on defense,” he said.

Calandrelle said that he was also shocked with Manuel being the first quarterback taken but not with only one going in the first round because, according to him, there were not a lot of “touted” ones.

Jacob Linton of Knoxville, Md., who is also a Ravens fan, said the team’s focus on defense in the draft was good because the offense was “set.” He added that he was confused not just by when some quarterbacks were drafted but by who drafted them.

“I don’t see why the (New York) Jets signed Mark Sanchez and drafted another quarterback” in West Virginia quarterback Geno Smith, he said.

Hunter Bailey, who is a Chicago Bears fan, said that all of his team’s draft picks fulfilled needs, including the first pick, offensive guard Kyle Long out of Oregon and two linebackers later in the rounds.

“Overall it was a pretty successful draft,” he said. “We definitely need to fill the gap” of not re-signing linebacker Brian Urlacher.

Bailey, 23, also expressed shock at Manuel being drafted over Smith due to all the “hype” surrounding Smith.

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