Day 1 of NFL Draft: UF's Kaiir Elam, FSU's Jermaine Johnson head to NFL late in first round

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The two Sunshine State players whom experts said would go in the first round, went.

Both Florida State defensive end Jermaine Johnson and Florida cornerback Kaiir Elam went in the NFL Draft first round. Johnson did have to wait a little longer than many thought, going to the New York Jets with the No. 25 selection; Elam went two picks earlier to the Buffalo Bills.

NFL draft tracker 2022:LIVE updates, analysis on every pick in the first round

That means both players should be facing the Miami Dolphins twice a season for a while. The Dolphins saw some big changes in the AFC East, including coveted cornerback Ahmad "Sauce" Gardner of Cincinnati also going to the Jets, despite not having a pick of their own in Round 1.

Five instant takeaways from NFL Draft:Dolphins watch Round 1 as rivals seek special Sauce

With the first pick, the Jacksonville Jaguars went after upside, taking Georgia defensive end Travon Walker over Michigan defensive end Aidan Hutchinson. The Jags then traded back into the first round and grabbed Utah linebacker Devin Lloyd with the 27th selection.

Let the debate begin:Gene Frenette: Jaguars' selection of Travon Walker a bold move, but was it the right one?

The team the Jags traded with, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, now have the first selection in Round 2, opening Friday night's festivities. The Bucs also have pick No. 60 in the second round and No. 91 in Round 3.

The Dolphins' first pick is at No. 102 in the third round's supplemental section. 

The Jaguars' picks on Friday currently are in the third round as well at No. 65 and No. 70.

The top names among Florida college players include Florida defensive lineman Zachary Carter, running back Dameon Pierce and linebacker Jeremiah Moon; FSU running back Jashaun Corbin; Miami wide receiver Charleston Rambo, defensive tackle Jonathan Ford and safety Bubba Bolden; Florida A&M safety Markquese Bell; FIU running back D'Vonte Price; UCF defensive tackle Kalia Davis

11:30 p.m. | Jermaine Johnson finally gets picked, going to the New York Jets

It took a little while. Actually longer than that.

But defensive end Jermaine Johnson of Florida State landed with the New York Jets at the 25th selection of the first round. Johnson, who transferred to FSU from Georgia before the 2021 season, landed with a coach in Robert Saleh who is known for building strong defenses.

The 6-foot-5, 260-pound Johnson considerably dropped in the draft relative to expectations. Some NFL Draft projections predicted he would be a top 10 pick. NFL Draft experts project him to be an immediate starter who could play professionally for longer than a decade. 

Johnson is first former Seminole player selected in the first round since the Carolina Panthers drafted Brian Burns at No. 16 overall in 2019. | Read more here

10:50 p.m. | Kaiir Elam is the newest Buffalo Bill with pick No. 23

Florida Gators cornerback Kaiir Elam is going to visit South Florida at least once a year for the next few years. But as a rival for the Miami Dolphins. 

Elam, who grew up in Riviera Beach and went to Benjamin in nearby Palm Beach Gardens, was taken by the Buffalo Bills with the 23rd pick of the first round. 

The Bills traded up with the Baltimore Ravens, sending picks 25 and 130 for the 23rd pick. 

Following a promising freshman season with the Florida program, Elam started 21 games combined between the previous two seasons. | Read more here

10:25 p.m. | At Jaguars draft party, fans celebrate Travon Walker pick

Dalton Sammons of Waycross, Ga., had the right idea — a red Georgia Bulldogs jersey with the name “Walker” stitched across the back. 

It didn’t matter to him that it was actually a Herschel Walker jersey with the No. 34 worn by the Dawgs Heisman Trophy winner of 1980. The meaning was clear: another Walker will be prowling TIAA Bank Field, this time as a member of the Jaguars.

Fans at the Jaguars draft party were enthused with the selection of Georgia defensive end Travon Walker at No. 1 overall. 

9 p.m. | Evan Neal from Okeechobee/Alabama goes to New York Giants

Evan Neal, Alabama's rock on its offensive line, was selected with the No. 7 pick of the NFL Draft by the New York Giants.

Neal, who is from Okeechobee, went to Okeechobee High School before moving to IMG Academy as a senior. Last season, Neal was a consensus All-America pick at tackle.

8:40 p.m. | Jags' Travon Walker pick gets a mixed reaction

With the top of the NFL Draft being in question right up until the final moments – Georgia's Travon Walker or Michigan's Aidan Hutchinson – the Jaguars' choice of Walker at No. 1 was met with some support, but not universal.

8:20 p.m. | Jaguars draft Georgia's Travon Walker No. 1 overall

After weeks of evaluating and collaborating, the Jaguars kept the suspense going right up to the final minute before they were required to reveal their No. 1 overall pick selection in Thursday night's NFL Draft. 

Doug Pederson did what many thought was taking a chance, selecting Georgia defensive end Travon Walker with the first overall selection instead of Michigan edge rusher Aidan Hutchinson.

But Walker, 6-foot-5, 275 pounds, was the betting favorite while most draft analysts had Hutchinson as their choice.

The Jaguars sought the best fit with the best upside, though. -- John Reid, Florida Times-Union | Read more  

8 p.m. | The draft begins: The Jaguars are on the clock!

The NFL Draft begins on the lake in front of the Bellagio hotel and casino, with the Jacksonville Jaguars on the clock first for the second year in a row.

Last year, the Jaguars surprised no one by taking quarterback Trevor Lawrence. This year, it's much more anyone's guess -- Michigan edge rusher Aidan Hutchinson, Georgia defensive end Travon Walker, Alabama tackle Evan Neal and North Carolina State tackle Ikem Ekwonu are all possibilities.

7:14 p.m. | Jermaine Johnson looks fresh at the NFL Draft

Florida State's Jermaine Johnson was hyped before tonight's NFL Draft, and not just for his football skills.

Johnson's draft night suit was designed by Tom Marchitelli, who also produced this viral get-up for Joe Burrow at the Super Bowl. Johnson's electric yellow jacket caught eyes before the main event in Vegas.

The patches on the back of the jacket tell Johnson's football story, from Eden Prairie High School in Minnesota to Georgia and FSU.

7 p.m. | What will Dolphins fans do tonight? Well, there are Tyreek Hill highlights to watch

So, in case you forgot, the Miami Dolphins will not be drafting in the first round. Or the second. And their third-round pick doesn't come until No. 102. 

So what's a Dolphins fan to do? I think there's plenty to watch: A few highlights of the guy for whom they traded this year's first and second pick, along with two fourth-round picks and a sixth-round pick next year. Tyreek Hill. 

When DO they draft?:What draft picks does Miami have? Here's when the Dolphins pick in the 2022 NFL Draft

6:20 p.m. | There's another Floridian in the mix: Don't forget Evan Neal

Yes, we're paying attention to people like Florida State's Jermaine Johnson and Florida's Kaiir Elam, but there's at least one Floridian who may be closer to the top.

Evan Neal, Alabama's all-everything tackle, was born and raised in Okeechobee. He started out his high school career at Okeechobee High School before moving to IMG Academy in Bradenton for his senior season.

From mac & cheese to lean meats:How Evan Neal changed his diet to become top NFL Draft prospect

The 6-foot-7, 337-pound earth mover is considered a prototypical tackle and some experts have him going, if not first, then pretty close to No. 1.

And, by the way, he's looking stylish tonight. 

5:30 p.m. | Where do mock drafts have Florida's college players going?

Though this year's draft has a chance to be quite chaotic, one clue may be the various NFL experts who love to put up a mock draft. Often, several versions of one – there are a few instances of a Mock 4.0 at this point.

For example, Florida State's Jermaine Johnson could end up anywhere from Pick No. 4, going to the New York Jets, all the way down to No. 23 and the Arizona Cardinals. 

Or what about Kaiir Elam, cornerback of the Florida Gators? He could go late in tonight's first round or early in tomorrow's Round 2.

Who will draft Jermaine Johnson?:NFL experts' mock drafts predict Florida State star's fate

What about the Gators?:Where do the NFL experts have Florida Gators going in their mock drafts this season?

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