The NFL draft has begun! The Carolina Panthers kicked off Thursday night's proceedings in Kansas City, Mo., by taking quarterback Bryce Young with the No. 1 pick. The draft can be viewed on NFL Network, ABC, ESPN and ESPN Deportes. Follow for live updates from Associated Press reporters across the country (all times EST).
What to know:
— Panthers make Bryce Young top pick in the NFL draft
— Eagles select Georgia's Jalen Carter, who had role in fatal crash
BRYCE YOUNG IS YOUR NO. 1, WHO'S ON DECK FRIDAY?
The first round of the NFL draft is in the books. And what a thriller it was!
Three quarterbacks in the top four picks, starting with Bryce Young to the Panthers. Two Texans selections in the top three. Two running backs in the top dozen picks.
The Super Bowl champion Chiefs capped the rousing Round 1 by selecting Kansas State edge rusher Felix Anudike-Uzomah in Kansas City, which is hosting the draft for the first time.
In all there were 15 offensive and 16 defensive players selected in Round 1. The Miami Dolphins forfeited their first round pick for tampering.
The most popular position was edge rusher with six selections.
One player who wasn't selected was Will Levis. The Kentucky quarterback was projected to go as high as No. 2 but sat under the watchful eye of millions of television viewers only not to hear his name called on Thursday.
Among the top players in Round 2 Friday in addition to Levis are Notre Dame tight end Michael Mayer and Alabama cornerback Brian Branch.
FIRST TIGHT END, WIDE RECEIVER FINALLY SELECTED
Buffalo's Josh Allen has a red-zone option now in Utah’s Dalton Kincaid, the first tight end off the board in the NFL draft.
Five picks before Kincaid heard his name called as the 25th selection, the Seattle Seahawks made Ohio State’s Jaxon Smith-Njigba the first wide receiver taken on Thursday night.
The Bills jumped ahead of the Dallas Cowboys to get Kincaid, who along with Notre Dame’s Michael Mayer are considered the best of a crop of tight ends that’s the deepest in the last decade.
Seattle’s selection of Smith-Ngiba was the start of a run of four consecutive wideouts being chosen for the first time in the first round. Quentin Johnson went to the Chargers. Zay Flowers was chosen by Baltimore and the Vikings selected Jordan Addison.
TRADING PLACES AT NFL DRAFT
NFL teams are wheeling and dealing on the first night of the draft.
After selecting quarterback C,J. Stroud with the second overall pick, the Houston Texans kicked off a flurry of draft-day trades by getting the third overall pick from Arizona and selecting linebacker Will Anderson Jr.
The Cardinals got the 12th pick from the Texans but quickly sent that selection to Detroit for the sixth overall selection so they could draft tackle Paris Johnson.
The Lions selected running back Jahmyr Gibbs at No. 12after the Eagles and Bears swapped picks so Philly could take Jalen Carter at No. 9. Chicago, which once owned the No. 1 overall pick before sending it to the Panthers, drafted tackle Darnell Wright at No. 10.
Then, the Steelers and Patriots swapped picks. Pittsburgh got tackle Broderick Jones at No. 14 and the Patriots grabbed cornerback Christian Gonzalez with the 17th overall pick.
ROLL TIDE: ALABAMA PLAYERS GO EARLY
Alabama is the early leader on NFL draft night.
Crimson Tide quarterback Bryce Young was the top overall pick by the Carolina Panthers and linebacker Will Anderson Jr. went third to the Houston Texans. No major surprises there, but then Alabama running back Jahmyr Gibbs going 12th overall to the Detroit Lions.
Gibbs is the second running back selected so far. Bijan Robinson of Texas went eighth overall to the Atlanta Falcons.
And while Gibbs was considered the next best running back behind Robinson, he was widely expected to get drafted in the middle of Friday's Round 2.
Running back is a position that teams are usually reluctant to spend first-round picks on, much less at the top of Round 1.
EAGLES TAKE JALEN CARTER AT NO. 9
Carter is a 313-pound defensive-stopper with power and quickness who collapses pockets as deftly as he splits double-teams. The Eagles selected him ninth overall but he might have gone even higher were it not for questions about his maturity and legal problems. He’s on probation after pleading no contest to reckless driving and racing, charges related to an auto accident that killed a Georgia teammate and a football staffer.
ANTHONY RICHARDSON'S DECLARATION
"I’m going to be a dynamic player for the franchise. I’m going to work hard and I’m going to be a leader. But it’s time to make my own legacy now. No more Cam-Jacksons. It’s Anthony Richardson now.” – new Colts QB Anthony Richardson, who has called himself Cam Jackson, a combination of Cam Newton and Lamar Jackson, in describing his stature and style.
SEAHAWKS TAKE DEVON WITHERSPOON AT NO. 5
As a senior, Witherspoon is a rarity by being selected this high in the NFL draft. He’s a physical and disruptive defensive back who is aggressive on the field but patient in life. He didn’t play football until midway through high school and spent a year at a junior college before going to Illinois, where he took a huge leap as a senior to become one of the nation’s best players.
ANTHONY RICHARDSON GOES NO. 4
Some things to know about the quarterback the Indianapolis Colts selected out of Florida. Richardson is 6-foot-4 and just shy of 250 pounds. He’s the most intriguing quarterback prospect in the class with Cam Newton-tipe size, athleticism and arm strength. But he’s still very raw. He had 13 career starts and only 393 pass attempts in three seasons at Florida. He’ll need to work on his mechanics and become a more accurate passer in the pros like Josh Allen did in Buffalo.
TEXANS TRADE UP, TAKE WILL ANDERSON JR.
After the Houston Texans got their franchise quarterback in C.J. Stroud they made a blockbuster trade with the Arizona Cardinals to move up and took Alabama's Will Anderson Jr. Here is some things to know about the defensive standout:
With so many potential franchise quarterbacks coming out this year, there was no way Anderson was going to be the first overall pick. But he was projected as the top non-QB prospect in the draft and was the the best defensive player selected. He racked up 34 1/2 sacks and 62 tackles for loss in 41 games at Alabama.
TEXANS TAKE C.J. STROUD NO. 2
The Houston Texans have selected C.J. Stroud with the No. 2 pick. Here are some things to know about the former Ohio State quarterback:
He has elite accuracy and touch combined with good arm strength and size at 6-foot-3 and 214 pounds. He broke a Big Ten record held by Drew Brees by throwing 85 touchdown passes over two seasons. But while he’s flashed above-average athleticism, he has at times seemed reluctant to use it and has a tendency to linger in the pocket and lock on receivers, habits he’ll have to break in the NFL.
BRYCE YOUNG GOES NO. 1
The Carolina Panthers have selected Bryce Young as the No. 1 pick in the NFL draft. Here are some things to know about quarterback out of Alabama:
For the last quarter century or so any undersized quarterback prospect has been compared to Drew Brees. Maybe one day Young, at 5-foot-10, will be the one drawing such comparisons. He is a poised leader and creative playmaker with an elite combination of instincts and intelligence with a good arm, but, boy, is he small for an NFL quarterback.
NFL HONORS VIRGINIA PLAYERS
The NFL honored the three University of Virginia football players that were slain in November as the honorary first players selected in the draft.
The families of Lavel Davis Jr., D’Sean Perry, and Devin Chandler were presented jerseys with their names and the No. 23 on them before a crowd of more than 100,000 in front of Kansas City’s Union Station.
Christopher Darnell Jr., a former walk-on with the Cavaliers’ football team, is accused of opening fire on a charter bus as he and other students arrived back on campus after seeing a play and having dinner together in Washington, D.C.
RAIDERS FAN: DRAFT IS OUR SUPER BOWL
Fans from across the country have converged on downtown Kansas City for the NFL draft.
Las Vegas Raiders fan Isaac Lingelbach said he drove about 2 1/2 hours to celebrate what he calls their “Super Bowl” in the heart of Chiefs country.
It’s a reversal from a year ago, when many Chiefs fans headed to Las Vegas for the draft.
“The Chiefs fan are celebrating a Super Bowl season from last year, but they don’t realize that the draft is our Super Bowl each year,” Lingelbach said. “There’s not a game today, so we’re just here to have a good time and we have so far. The Chiefs fans have been nice.”
RICHARDSON'S MOM, BROTHER BY HIS SIDE
Florida quarterback Anthony Richardson’s stock has been on the rise, especially given the way he performed in the workouts leading up to the draft.
Richardson's mother, LaShawnda Cleare, joined him on the red carpet outside Union Station. His younger brother, Corey, was also on hand in a suit that nearly matched big brother and a thick diamond-filled chain of his own.
LaShawnda said of Richardson: “I’ve always been proud of him. Everybody else is now getting to see how awesome they both are.”
Richardson is expected to join Bryce Young of Alabama, C.J. Stroud of Ohio State and Kentucky’s Will Levis among QBs taken in the first round. There could be a fifth in Tennessee’s Hendon Hooker, too.
BRYCE YOUNG'S PINK SUIT LOOKS FAMILIAR
The pink suit that likely No. 1 pick Bryce Young wore to the NFL draft should resonate in Kansas City: It’s the same jacket by Dior that Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce wore when he hosted “Saturday Night Live.”
The jacket retails for $3,300 and, according to Dior, “reveals an ultramodern and unique silhouette with innovative details.” It is crafted in pink wool twill and “features a removable interior scarf that mimics the style of the sleeves.”
The red carpet, and the styles worn by NFL prospects, has become a big part of the festivities in recent years.
Fellow quarterback C.J. Stroud was blinging with a diamond-encrusted chain in the shape of the No. 7, which he wore at Ohio State. Alabama defensive back Brian Branch wore a diamond-filled chain that included a palm tree and his initials.
ALABAMA'S ANDERSON ‘A COMPLETE PERSON’
Alabama edge rusher Will Anderson Jr. is considered among the best non-quarterback prospects in the NFL draft.
His talent is obvious. The 6-foot-3, 253 pound Anderson has speed, raw power and the ability to dominate a game.
Anderson also takes pride in being well-rounded off the field, too.
“I bring a complete person,” Anderson told the AP’s Rob Maaddi. “I hold myself to a very high standard and high expectation and never to embarrass myself or my family. I always treat people with respect. Whatever culture I get in, I’m gonna do my best to uphold that culture, hold myself accountable. Also, treat everyone in the facility with respect, with care, with love.”
NO PARTY AT CHIEFS FACILITY
There is usually a buzz of activity around the Kansas City Chiefs practice facility on draft night, when the Super Bowl champs welcome season ticket-holders to a massive party capped by them making their first-round pick.
That party moved about 10 miles west this year to Union Station, where the NFL is hosting the draft for the first time.
Rather than hundreds of cars pouring into the parking lots at Arrowhead Stadium on Thursday night, there was a lonely FedEx worker delivering some packages and one car that apparently got lost and was turning around.
The Chiefs are scheduled to pick last in the first round.
RAVENS SIGN LAMAR JACKSON BEFORE DRAFT
One quarterback that wasn't on the NFL draft board but was likely to impact some teams' decisions is no longer in play.
Hours before the draft, the Baltimore Ravens agreed in principle with Lamar Jackson on a five-year deal, securing their star quarterback for the foreseeable future and ending a contract negotiation saga that was dominating the team’s offseason.
It’s fair to say that in Baltimore at least, this news will overshadow whoever the team might take in the first round.
C.J. STROUD NOT CONCERNED ABOUT CRITICISM
C.J. Stroud has gone from being considered the likely No. 1 overall pick to potentially dropping out of the top 10 after reports the Ohio State quarterback scored poorly in the S2 Cognition test.
“First, second, third, 20th, 105th, whatever it looks like, I’m just blessed to be able to have an opportunity,” Stroud, seemingly not concerned about any of the negative criticism, told AP Pro Football Writer Rob Maaddi hours before the draft. “Wherever I do go, I’m gonna take full advantage of the opportunity.
“I’m not mad about it," Stroud said of the reports. “I have nothing to hide or to be ashamed of.”
STICK WITH YOUR PICK?
With about 4 hours before the first pick, are you sticking with your guy to be selected No. 1 in tonight’s NFL draft?
Alabama quarterback Bryce Young is the overwhelming favorite according to most oddsmakers and most mock drafts.
The Carolina Panthers will kick things off after trading four draft picks and wide receiver DJ Moore to the Chicago Bears for the No. 1 overall pick.
The Panthers are choosing between Alabama’s Bryce Young, Ohio State’s C.J. Stroud, Kentucky’s Will Levis and Florida’s Anthony Richardson as they try to escape the quarterback quagmire they’ve been trapped in for half a decade.
THE JALEN CARTER WATCH
The NFL draft is set to begin in Kansas City in five hours and one of the more intriguing names to watch is that of Georgia defensive lineman Jalen Carter, writes AP's Rob Maaddi.
Carter was once projected to be the No. 1 overall pick in the draft before the Chicago Bears made a trade with the quarterback-needy Carolina Panthers.
There are questions about how far the Bulldogs’ standout defensive lineman may slip because of his involvement in a car crash that killed a Georgia teammate and a team staffer. Carter was given 12 months’ probation and a $1,000 fine after pleading no contest to misdemeanor charges of reckless driving and racing
NO DRAFT PICKS FOR YOUR TEAM
Draft parties in some cities won’t be so raucous tonight because five teams don’t have any first-round selections in the NFL draft that begins in six hours.
Moving up in the draft for quarterbacks has become a common occurrence, but the Broncos, Rams and Browns bucked that trend by parting with their 2023 first-round picks in trades for veteran quarterbacks. The 49ers don’t have a first-rounder because of the Trey Lance trade in 2021 and the Dolphins forfeited their first-rounder for tampering with Tom Brady and Sean Payton while they were with other teams.
AP Football Writer Josh Dubow reviews some of the best and worst trade-ups for quarterbacks.
FASHION STATEMENTS LOOMING
Who will steal the spotlight with a daring fashion statement at the NFL draft tonight?
While top prospects in this year’s draft like quarterbacks Bryce Young, C.J. Stroud and Anthony Richardson prepare their outfits for the big night, Kristie Rieken looks back at some of the most memorable draft night ensembles since Deion Sanders made a splash with his track suit and gold chains in 1989.
WILL BIJAN BE FIRST RUNNING BACK DRAFTED?
Bijan Robinson is expected to be the first running back selected in the NFL draft. How high he goes is the big question.
The Texas star has top-10 talent but NFL teams no longer place a premium on running backs, so he could still be on the board late in the first round. Only four running backs have been selected in the first round since Saquon Barkley was chosen at No. 2 by the New York Giants in 2018. None went higher than No. 24.
“Everybody has their opinions and understandably so because the running back position came to be one-dimensional," Robinson told AP. “But if you have a guy who is really versatile and can line up as a receiver, in the slot and have as much effect (as a receiver) as at running back, that’s when the value really takes off.”
DRAFT TAKES BACKSEAT ONLY TO SUPER BOWL
The NFL draft will be held at Kansas City’s Union Station, where the league has built its largest stage complex for its second-biggest event behind the Super Bowl, writes Dave Skretta.
Once a fixture at Radio City Music Hall in New York, the draft has grown in popularity since it took to the road eight years ago in 2015. The event has become a major boon for the league, teams and host cities.