NEW YORK, NY (WAVE) - For the first time in University of Louisville school history, three former Cards were picked in the first round of the 2014 National Football League draft.
Calvin Pryor was the first to go. The safety was the #18 overall pick by the New York Jets.
Then it was Marcus Smith's turn. The defensive end, who led the nations in sacks in 2013, was the #26 pick by the Philadelphia Eagles.
Smith tried to show his versatility during workouts with individual teams. "Doing linebacker drills in all my workouts and showing them that I can be the complete package," he said. "Sometimes teams might see you as a just a pass rusher, or just a third down guy, I think all my workouts and them going back to watch more film on me, they see that I can be an every down player."
Teddy Bridgewater was the last Card to be picked. Minnesota traded up to the final pick of the first round, making a deal with Super Bowl champion Seattle for selection #32.
"From the moment we arrived here tonight, we had our mind made up that we were just going to enjoy this moment," Bridgewater told the NFL Network. "It was a long night, but my mom always tells me, "be anxious for nothing." This is all God's timing. Everything happens for a reason. God has a plan for myself, for this Vikings organization, just blessed to be here."
A few months ago Bridgewater was in the conversation to the be the #1 overall pick in the draft. That honor went to South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney. He was picked by Houston. The top quarterback was Blake Bortles of Central Florida, who went #3 to Jacksonville.
Even 2012 Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel heard his name called before Bridgewater. Manziel went #22 to Cleveland.
"It happened, and it happened for a reason," Bridgewater said. "I can look back now and say I made it, today is in the past, now my focus is on getting started with my career with the Vikings."
Indiana wide receiver Cody Latimer was also on the list of 30 players invited to New York. He was not selected in the first round. UofL's Preston Brown and UK's Avery Williamson are expected to be drafted as well.
Rounds two and three are Friday night.
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