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10 NFL Draft Picks You Needed to See Live at Radio City Music Hall

There's Nothing Like Seeing Polarizing Draft Picks Happen Live

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For a lot of the picks made during the NFL Draft, it was cool just to read about them after the fact. But there were a few players who, for a variety of reasons, needed to be seen taking the stage live for the full effect. I had to take my kid to soccer practice on Thursday night but thanks to Slingbox, I saw all 10 of these future stars shake the commissioner’s hand live.

10. Anthony Barr

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Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

10. Anthony Barr

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Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The Vikings traded down one pick and after the Browns didn’t take a quarterback the pick before, everyone thought Minnesota was going to get its new franchise signal-caller right here. The speculation was that the pick would be Johnny Manziel, but instead, the Vikings shocked everyone by taking Anthony Barr. The bizarre reaction was definitely worth seeing live.

9. Justin Gilbert

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9. Justin Gilbert

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After trading down to No. 9 and then up to No. 8, everyone in the entire world thought Johnny Manziel would be Cleveland’s pick after it passed on Sammy Watkins. Instead, the Browns took a cornerback to pair with Joe Haden. Regardless of what you think of the pick, seeing everyone’s faces when this pick was made live was awesome.

8. Kelvin Benjamin

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8. Kelvin Benjamin

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After they basically lost their entire receiving corps this offseason, everyone waited to see what the Panthers would do about it with their first-round pick. While most mock drafts had Carolina taking Marqise Lee here, they went with National Championship Game hero Kelvin Benjamin instead. Again, Slingbox made the live reaction well worth it.

7. Teddy Bridgewater

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7. Teddy Bridgewater

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All the Vikings fans were screaming for it, and then it happened: Minnesota traded up to the last pick of the first round to snag Teddy Bridgewater and make sure the Texans didn’t get him with the first pick in the second round. As the first round came to an end, the anticipation for such a trade got to a boiling point and the live reaction when it finally happened was electric.

6. Zack Martin

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Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

6. Zack Martin

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Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Why an offensive lineman, you ask? Well, Johnny Manziel was still on the board when the Cowboys’ pick rolled around and a lot of fans, analysts and “experts” thought Jerry Jones would take the polarizing quarterback here. So when Roger Goodell announced the pick was Zack Martin instead, the boos from Dallas could be heard all the way in New York City. Hearing that live was priceless…unless you’re a Cowboys fan.

5. Jadeveon Clowney

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5. Jadeveon Clowney

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Pretty much everyone knew Jadeveon Clowney would go first overall, but there was still that uncertainty about the pick, especially considering the polarizing nature of Johnny Manziel and his desire to play for the Texans. So right up until the last minute, everyone needed confirmation nothing crazy would happen, so my heart was beating until Clowney’s name was called.

4. Blake Bortles

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4. Blake Bortles

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With all the offensive playmakers still on the board and Khalil Mack available as well, the Jaguars had the pick of the litter at No. 3 overall. Assuming it was going to be a quarterback, the anticipation of which quarterback was agonizing. When Blake Bortles’ name was announced live, all hell broke loose in Jacksonville.

3. Kahlil Mack

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Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

3. Kahlil Mack

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Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

Because he went to a “small” school, Khalil Mack was a very intriguing prospect on Thursday night, especially since he wore the . Plus, he was the first defensive player taken besides Jadeveon Clowney, which is always a big deal.

2. Sammy Watkins

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2. Sammy Watkins

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It was the Browns’ pick at No. 4 and they needed a playmaker. Johnny Manziel and Sammy Watkins were both on the board. Then the Bills pulled a fast one and made sure EJ Manuel had a legit No. 1 target for 2014 by trading up and snagging Watkins. Nobody saw that one coming! Watkins’ surprised look and the excitement of all the Bills fans live was awesome.

1. Johnny Manziel

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1. Johnny Manziel

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The wait for Johnny Manziel to be drafted on Thursday night went from agonizing to comical to agonizing again until the Browns finally took him after making three different trades in the first round. Once the final trade was made, Radio City Music Hall got electric and his walk out to the commissioner was incredible to see live.