PHILADELPHIA (WTXF) - Following an impromptu rendition of "Fly Eagles Fly" by former Philadelphia star safety Brian Dawkins, it was the ground game that got lots of attention in the fourth round of the NFL draft.
Saturday began with an introduction from three of Philly's football idols: Troy Vincent, now in charge of the NFL's football operations, Brian Westbrook and Dawkins . Dawkins sang, then Westbrook dared anyone representing the Cowboys to stand in front of the big crowd.
"If anybody from Dallas steps to this podium in my city, we are going to give them a true Philadelphia welcome," Westbrook promised in response to former Cowboys receiver Drew Pearson taunting the fans when announcing a Dallas pick on Friday night.
Oh yeah, there were some selections, too. Actually, dozens of them, starting with a Cheesehead going to the Packers. Green Bay stayed in-state, taking Wisconsin linebacker Vince Biegel, who comes off a season shortened by a broken foot, but was a standout for the Badgers before getting hurt.
Most notable was a concentration on running backs, including Oklahoma's highly productive Samaje Perine to Washington, Utah's Joe Williams to San Francisco, and NCAA record setter Donnel Pumphrey of San Diego State to Philadelphia.
Perine set the FBS rushing mark with 427 yards in a game against Kansas -- yes, even against the awful Jayhawks it counts.
Williams quit football before the 2016 season before last season. When Utah was ravaged by injuries to its runners, the coaching staff persuaded him to come back. He made the All-Pac-12 team.
Pumphrey seems like a terrific fit for the Eagles because he has similar skills to versatile Darren Sproles, soon to turn 34. The 5-foot-9 Pumphrey led FBS in rushing with 2,133 yards and also scored 17 TDs, and he can catch, too. He left college as the FBS career leader in rushing yards.
Oklahoma's All-America wide receiver Dede Westbrook, who finished fourth in Heisman Trophy balloting, went to Jacksonville.
The Steelers, perhaps hoping to replicate the Cowboys' success with the 135th overall slot last year -- Dallas took Dak Prescott, and the Mississippi State quarterback became the Offensive Rookie of the Year -- grabbed another Southeastern Conference quarterback, Tennessee's Joshua Dobbs, at that spot. Ben Roethlisberger has hinted about retiring in the near future, though certainly not this year, and Pittsburgh must put a succession plan in place.
Denver began Round 5 by taking Michigan tight end Jake Butt, a potential first-rounder until he tore up his knee in the Orange Bowl. Butt could miss much of 2017.