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NFL Notebook

Flacco joins Ravens' flock

Too tempting to pass up, the Raiders added Arkansas running back Darren McFadden to their crowded backfield. Too tempting to pass up, the Raiders added Arkansas running back Darren McFadden to their crowded backfield. (Frank Franklin II/Associated Press)
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Associated Press / April 27, 2008

Thwarted in their bid to trade up and draft Boston College's Matt Ryan, the Ravens worked a pair of deals to get the second-best quarterback on their board: Joe Flacco.

Flacco, who led Delaware to the NCAA Championship Subdivision title game, was taken with the 18th overall pick yesterday, and was the second quarterback selected.

Ryan went third overall to the Falcons. Baltimore general manager Ozzie Newsome had conversations with St. Louis in an effort to secure the second pick in the draft, but the Rams wouldn't budge.

"Teams in front of you do so much work, when they wake up Saturday morning, they wake up saying, 'This is our guy,' " Newsome said. "It's hard to get them to move away from that."

So Newsome waited until it was time to pick at No. 8 before pulling off his first trade of the day.

Baltimore was on the clock when Newsome dealt the selection to Jacksonville for the 26th overall choice, two third-rounders (71st and 89th), and a fourth-round pick.

Rather than risk losing Flacco to another team, Newsome dealt the first-round choice from Jacksonville, along with the 89th pick and a sixth-rounder, to Houston for the No. 18 pick.

Then, with much delight, the Ravens chose Flacco.

"We decided it was time to pull the trigger on the quarterback that we felt like was the guy to lead our football team into the future," Newsome said.

Rams get instant rush
The Rams filled a need so glaring with the second pick that they quickly anointed Virginia defensive end Chris Long a starter.

St. Louis's defensive ends totaled just 5 1/2 sacks last year and top pass rusher Leonard Little is coming off toe surgery that limited him to one sack in seven games. That made the 6-foot-4-inch, 275-pound Long, an All-American and son of Hall of Famer Howie Long, the logical selection.

"I don't want to use the overused term, no-brainer," Rams coach Scott Linehan said. "But I guess I'm going to have to. It's just going to be a great fit for us and a great fit for the city."

"I didn't know it was going to be me until the commissioner called my name," Long said.

Full-house backfield
Even though the Raiders are pretty well-stocked in the backfield, a player with the dynamic talents of Darren McFadden proved too tempting to pass up. Oakland selected the two-time Heisman Trophy runner-up with the fourth overall selection.

"I knew months ago that this was the guy that we had to have and we had to figure out a way to get him," coach Lane Kiffin said.

Kiffin talked before the draft how the Raiders were stocked at running back after re-signing Justin Fargas to a $12 million, three-year contract earlier in the offseason, renegotiating Dominic Rhodes's contract, and with Michael Bush, who missed his rookie season recovering from a broken leg. LaMont Jordan is also on the roster but likely will be gone before training camp.

Jones deal approved
The complicated deal to get Adam "Pacman" Jones to the Cowboys will get league approval today. Dallas will give the Titans a fourth-round pick today and a sixth-rounder next year. The Cowboys would get back a fourth-rounder in 2009 if Jones isn't reinstated from his suspension, or a fifth-rounder if he returns then gets punished again . . . Lions safety Kalvin Pearson was arrested in southwest Florida on domestic violence charges. Pearson was charged with aggravated battery on a pregnant woman and domestic battery by strangulation, both felonies. He was being held without bail in a Tampa jail . . . The Titans and left tackle Michael Roos agreed to a six-year, $43 million extension.

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