Defense 1st, then offense, with receivers a focal point

Michigan defensive end Aidan Hutchinson celebrates after being selected by the Detroit Lions as the second pick in the NFL football draft Thursday, April 28, 2022, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

In an NFL draft focused early on stoppers, it was the goers — wide receivers — who stole the spotlight Thursday night.

Not simply prospects, either.

Yes, the first five selections came on the defensive side of the ball, including edge rushers Travon Walker of national champion Georgia to Jacksonville and Aidan Hutchinson of Michigan to Detroit at Nos. 1 and 2. It was the first time in 31 years that no player on offense went in the opening five picks.

So, naturally, the next five choices were on offense. And those kept coming: right through No. 12.

And the theme throughout the first 20 picks was to get guys who could catch the ball — including Philadelphia acquiring standout A.J. Brown from the Titans, and Arizona getting veteran Marquise Brown from the Ravens.

“The more playmakers we can have, the better,” Cardinals coach Kliff Kingsbury said.

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