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NFL Draft Thursday review: Young goes #1, Texans trade up

The draft day chaos started early on Thursday night when the Houston Texans unexpectedly traded for the #3 overall pick.

Houston's time as an NFL bottom-dweller may be up, as they provided the shock of the first round by acquiring the No. 3 overall pick from the Arizona Cardinals just minutes before the making the pick.

Between that surprise trade, the Panthers finding their new franchise QB, and Will Levis sliding out of the first round, we've recapped all the action from the opening night of the NFL Draft.

Panthers put their faith in Young

Bryce Young was the favorite to hear his name called first since the start of the month, and that's how it transpired when the Panthers were officially put on the clock on Thursday night.

The 2021 Heisman Trophy winner, who becomes the first No.1 overall pick from Alabama in the program's 75-year history, should bring an end to the flawed quarterback merry-go-round in Charlotte that featured the likes of Teddy Bridgewater, Sam Darnold and Baker Mayfield during the past three seasons.

Panthers owner David Tepper made an unscheduled entrance at the team's post-pick press conference to declare Young gave them "the best probability of winning us Super Bowls".

Texans initiate trade frenzy

The Texans were rumored to be thinking of using the No. 2 overall pick on Young's former Crimson Tide teammate Will Anderson Jr., but instead they let him slide to three, then drafted him anyway after pulling off a trade with the Arizona Cardinals. As a result, Houston was able to secure two of the top talents in the draft with Anderson and CJ Stroud - their No. 2 overall selection. 

The AFC South team's aggressive move, which involved giving up their 12th and 33rd overall picks this year, plus a first and a third-rounder next year, enabled them to bring in elite prospects to fill huge needs on both sides of the ball.

There was another surprising trade inside the top ten when the Chicago Bears swapped spots with the Eagles at nine and 10 to enable Philadelphia to grab yet another star of the Georgia Bulldogs' Championship-winning roster.

They had been heavily rumored to want DT Jalen Carter, so the Bears used the information to prise an additional fourth-round pick out of them for the privilege of moving up one spot.

Chicago then brought in some bulky pass protection for Justin Fields by taking Tennessee offensive tackle Darnell Wright amid a run of linemen who came off the board.

The Tennessee Titans took the most polished of them, Peter Skoronski, at pick 11, before the Pittsburgh Steelers traded places with the New England Patriots to grab Broderick Jones at 14, denying the New York Jets a chance of getting one of the best four tackles in this year's draft.

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Lions and Falcons grab elite rushers

The Detroit Lions decided to trade back when their expected first-choice, cornerback Devon Witherspoon, was snapped up by the Seattle Seahawks at No. 5, striking a deal with the Cardinals.

That allowed Arizona to nab the first offensive tackle of the day, Paris Johnson Jr, and left the Lions to pick twice in the first round.

Detroit took Alabama running back Jahmyr Gibbs at No. 12 and Iowa linebacker Jack Campbell at No. 18, leaving their leaky secondary to potentially be addressed on day two.

The Atlanta Falcons had earlier caused a minor stir by selecting Texas RB Bijan Robinson with their eighth overall selection, making him the first rusher taken inside the top 10 since Saquon Barkley.

Levis slides beyond day one

Draft day would not be complete without a grim green-room experience for one of the invited prospects, and this year it was Will Levis' turn to suffer the awkwardness of being passed over live on TV.

The cameras showed Levis a total of 37 times, documenting the Kentucky QB's fall from a rumored top-five pick to slipping outside the first round.

The Steelers were already fielding calls for the opening pick of the second round - No. 32 overall - before the end of the first round according to NFL Network Insider Tom Pelissero, so it looks like Levis' wait to discover his NFL destination might not be for much longer.

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