National Sports News

‘Special’ Leonard Fournette selected by Jaguars with No. 4 pick

Running back Leonard Fournette has a pretty good idea of what he would consider a successful rookie season with the Jacksonville Jaguars. “Going to the Super Bowl,” he said. “I’m really focused on this organization getting to the top.” The Jaguars have won only 17 games over the past five seasons, so they certainly have a long way to go, but the organization clearly views Fournette as a key piece of its climb, which is why it selected him fourth overall in Thursday night’s NFL draft. The 6-foot, 228-pound Fournette ran for 3,840 yards and 40 touchdowns and averaged 6.2 yards per carry in three seasons at LSU. He averaged 19.3 carries per game, and that’s the kind of role the Jaguars envision for him going forward. “He’s special,” said Tom Coughlin, the team’s executive vice president of football operations. “We need playmakers. We need people to put the ball in the end zone. We need to do something about balance. We need to do…

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Deshaun Watson goes 12th to Texans after trade with Browns

HOUSTON — The Houston Texans traded up with the Cleveland Browns to select Clemson quarterback Deshaun Watson with the No. 12 pick in Thursday’s NFL draft. Houston traded its 2017 first-round pick (No. 25) and 2018 first-round pick to move up to No. 12. Combined with an earlier first-round trade between the teams, the Texans traded two first-round picks (one from 2018), a second-round pick (’18), a sixth-round pick and? Brock Osweiler?to the Browns for Watson and a fourth-round pick. Watson called the selection a “perfect situation” for him after he was selected. “It’s amazing,” Watson said on the ESPN broadcast. “I tell myself not to cry but can’t hold it back. Now I’m finally being introduced into the National Football League. It’s a blessing, but I worked for it.” Watson brought his mother, Deann, onto the draft stage after the selection. “She’s the one who raised me,” Watson said. “And I don’t even…

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Panthers select versatile running back Christian McCaffrey at No. 8

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The Carolina Panthers legitimized Christian McCaffrey’s late rise up draft boards on Thursday night by making the Stanford running back the eighth pick of the NFL draft. McCaffrey was the second running back taken in the top 10. LSU’s Leonard Fournette went No. 4 to the Jacksonville Jaguars. “This is a dream come true right here,” McCaffrey said. “This is an unbelievable honor. I can’t tell you how thankful I am for the coaching staff believing in me. I’m out of words right now. “I’m just so blessed to be a Carolina Panther. I can’t wait to grind every single day for that organization, team, fans and for everybody there. I’m blessed to be a Carolina Panther.” The Panthers selected McCaffrey as part of an offseason evolution of the offense to take the pressure off quarterback Cam Newton as a runner. Newton, who had surgery to repair a partially torn rotator cuff in late March, is…

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Panthers select verstaile running back Christian McCaffrey at No. 8

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The Carolina Panthers legitimized Christian McCaffrey’s late rise up draft boards on Thursday night by making the Stanford running back the eighth pick of the NFL draft. McCaffrey was the second running back taken in the top 10. LSU’s Leonard Fournette went No. 4 to the Jacksonville Jaguars. “This is a dream come true right here,” McCaffrey said. “This is an unbelievable honor. I can’t tell you how thankful I am for the coaching staff believing in me. I’m out of words right now. “I’m just so blessed to be a Carolina Panther. I can’t wait to grind every single day for that organization, team, fans and for everybody there. I’m blessed to be a Carolina Panther.” The Panthers selected McCaffrey as part of an offseason evolution of the offense to take the pressure off quarterback Cam Newton as a runner. Newton, who had surgery to repair a partially torn rotator cuff in late March, is expected to have less…

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Bears draft Mitchell Trubisky, 49ers take Solomon Thomas after teams swap Nos. 2, 3 picks

The San Francisco 49ers and Chicago Bears swapped the Nos. 2 and 3 picks in the NFL draft, and the Bears used the second selection on quarterback Mitchell Trubisky of North Carolina. In swapping spots with the Bears, the 49ers get Chicago’s third- and fourth-round picks (Nos. 67 and 111) in this draft and a third-rounder in 2018. With the third pick, the 49ers chose defensive lineman? Solomon Thomas of Stanford — the highest pick of a Cardinal player in any draft. He played just two seasons at Stanford. Trubisky told ESPN after his selection that he had no idea the swap was happening and that he did not get a call to alert him to his selection. “I didn’t think I was going to get picked until the commish made the call,” he said. “It was crazy. It’s a dream come true. It’s as surreal as it gets.” Trubisky, who had just 13 starts in college, is the highest drafted quarterback by the Bears in the common draft era…

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