Luck selected 1st in Pro Bowl draft

ByJosh Weinfuss ESPN logo
Thursday, January 22, 2015

PHOENIX -- Michael Irvin didn't hide his allegiances during Wednesday's Pro Bowl draft.

The Dallas Cowboys' Hall of Fame receiver picked seven Cowboys, including quarterback Tony Romo and running back DeMarco Murray, as the alumni captain of Team Irvinduring the televised event at the Arizona Biltmore.

If seven Cowboys weren't enough -- there were eight invited to the NFL's all-star game -- Irvin picked Dallas coach Jason Garrett and his staff to lead his team in Sunday's game at University of Phoenix Stadium.

Romo was picked second overall, following Indianapolis quarterback Andrew Luck, who went first overall to Team Carter,led by alumni captain and Hall of Fame receiver Cris Carter. It was the third time in four years Luck has been the first pick in a draft, having gone No. 1 overall in the 2012 NFL draft and No. 1 in last year's Pro Bowl draft.

"It's nice, I guess," Luck said. "The reality is that everybody is deserving of it. There's a bunch of No. 1 picks in there but it's nice I guess."

Ravens coach John Harbaugh and his staff will coach Team Carter.

The first six picks were offensive players before Arizona cornerback Patrick Peterson started a run of four consecutive defensive players. Following Peterson was Carolina linebacker Luke Kuechly, Buffalo defensive end Mario Williams and Miami defensive end Cameron Wake.

All four Cardinals in the Pro Bowl - Peterson, defensive end Calais Campbell, special teamer Justin Bethel and cornerback Antonio Cromartie - were drafted by Carter and will play together on their home field.

Bethel was among the special teamers, kickers, punters, full backs, interior offensive linemen, return specialists and interior defensive linemen drafted Tuesday night.

Players like the draft format, which was implemented in 2014.

"It was already tough enough to get drafted once," said Broncos linebacker Von Miller, who was drafted by Team Irvin. "This is what the fans want see. They want to see a team get picked and go by step-by-step. And it has some of the same similarities that the draft does. The excitement. You get the fans involved."

In addition to Luck, Carter also drafted New Orleans' Drew Brees and Cincinnati's Andy Dalton. Luck and Dalton were given familiar faces to throw to: Indianapolis' T.Y. Hilton and Cincinnati's A.J. Green, who was picked third overall.

Irvin added Detroit's Matthew Stafford and Atlanta's Matt Ryan to his roster, giving Stafford fellow Lion Golden Tate as a target.

Kansas City's Jamaal Charles was the first running back taken, by Carter at No. 5. A pick later, Irvin added his second Cowboy and the first offensive tackle taken, Tyron Smith. Team Carter's defensive front, which included Houston's J.J. Watt, Kansas City's Justin Houston and Campbell, had a combined 49.5 sacks in 2014. Carter also drafted the Bills defensive front of Marcell Dareus, Mario Williams and Kyle Williams.

Irvin countered by picking St. Louis defensive linemen Robert Quinn and Aaron Donald and three Indianapolis Colts defenders - cornerback Vontae Davis, linebacker D'Qwell Jackson and safety Mike Adams.

They'll be trying to intercept and sack their quarterback, Luck, whose slip of the tongue after getting drafted left him nearly speechless.

Speaking with the media after he was drafted first overall, Luck was asked how he's felt in the days since losing the AFC championship to New England on Sunday, in what's being referred to as "Deflategate" because off accusations that the Patriots had 11 of their 12 footballs under-inflated by two pounds per square inch.

"It's sort of, the energy is sort of sucked out of you," Luck said. "You do feel deflated."

It took Luck a moment to realize what he said and a look of regret washed over his face. He closed his eyes and struggled to find words to recover. He was then asked about the Patriots using under-inflated balls but said he didn't notice anything about New England's footballs because Indianapolis used its own.

"We lost the game and once that happens, my mind shifts over and you start focusing on the next season," Luck said.

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