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NFL commissioner Roger Goodell announced the picks from his basement in Bronxville, N.Y. Photo: NFL via Getty Images

The virtual NFL draft went off without any major hitches (hats off to the ESPN production team), and while it was certainly low-energy at times, it was the closest thing we've had to live sports in over a month and a welcome distraction.

How it went down: Highlight packages and player analysis filled much of the airtime, and ESPN was ready with plenty of human-interest sidebars (childhood photographs, heartbreaking and heartwarming stories).

  • It was cool to see prospects react to being picked, though most reactions were delayed and there is simply no substitute for the classic "camera pans to player answering his phone, player smiles and potentially cries, hugs family, wipes away tears, fist bumps agent, walks to stage, shakes Goodell's hand and poses with new uniform" routine.
  • Personally, my favorite part of the night was getting a glimpse into the homes of coaches, general managers and prospects, alike. At the end of the day, the NFL draft is a reality show, and this was the first time we got to see the characters in their natural habitats.

By the numbers: The night belonged to the SEC, which produced 15 of the 32 first-round picks, breaking the previous common draft era record of 12 (ACC in 2006; SEC in 2013 and 2017).

  • LSU accounted for five of those first-rounders, one shy of the common draft era record, held by the 2004 Miami Hurricanes.
  • And get this: With QB Tua Tagovailoa going No. 5 overall to the Dolphins, Nick Saban has now coached a first-round NFL pick at all 12 non-specialist positions.
Joe Burrow after being selected No. 1 overall by the Bengals. Photo: NFL via Getty Images

1. Bengals → QB Joe Burrow, LSU: No surprise here. Coming off his historic season at LSU, Burrow was considered a potential franchise-altering QB. Considering the Bengals scored 21+ points just four time last year, he'll have to be.

  • 2. Redskins: DE Chase Young, Ohio State
  • 3. Lions: CB Jeff Okuda, Ohio State
  • 4. Giants: OT Andrew Thomas, Georgia
Tua Tagovailoa after being selected No. 5 overall by the Dolphins. Photo: NFL via Getty Images

5. Dolphins → QB Tua Tagovailoa, Alabama: After starting last season 0-7 and trading away several top players, it was widely assumed that the Dolphins were "tanking for Tua." When the team finished the season at 5-11, it looked like the plan had fallen apart, but one hip injury later, everything worked out.

  • 6. Chargers: QB Justin Herbert, Oregon
  • 7. Panthers: DT Derrick Brown, Auburn
  • 8. Cardinals: LB Isaiah Simmons, Clemson
  • 9. Jaguars: CB C.J. Henderson, Florida
  • 10. Browns: OT Jedrick Wills Jr., Alabama
  • 11. Jets: OT Mekhi Becton, Louisville
  • 12. Raiders: WR Henry Ruggs III, Alabama
  • 13. Buccaneers: OT Tristan Wirfs, Iowa
  • 14. 49ers: DT Javon Kinlaw, South Carolina
  • 15. Broncos: WR Jerry Jeudy, Alabama
  • 16. Falcons: CB A.J. Terrell, Clemson
Jerry Jones in his Bond villain lair. Photo: NFL via Getty Images

17. Cowboys → WR CeeDee Lamb, Oklahoma: Drafting from his $250 million mega-yacht, Jerry Jones pulled the trigger on Lamb, a slippery route-runner with elite body control who will compete for targets with Amari Cooper and Michael Gallup. Suddenly, last season's top offense just got even scarier.

  • 18. Dolphins: OT Austin Jackson, USC
  • 19. Raiders: CB Damon Arnette, Ohio State
  • 20. Jaguars: DE K'Lavon Chaisson, LSU
  • 21. Eagles: WR Jalen Reagor, TCU
  • 22. Vikings: WR Justin Jefferson, LSU
  • 23. Chargers: LB Kenneth Murray, Oklahoma
  • 24. Saints: C Cesar Ruiz, Michigan
  • 25. 49ers: WR Brandon Aiyuk, Arizona State
Jordan Love after being selected No. 26 overall by the Packers. Photo: NFL via Getty Images

26. Packers → QB Jordan Love, Utah State: 15 years after Green Bay drafted Aaron Rodgers to eventually replace Brett Favre, they drafted Love to eventually replace Rodgers. The Utah State product was already a gamble. With the Packers, that gamble has even higher stakes given the awkwardness this will inevitably cause.

  • 27. Seahawks: LB Jordyn Brooks, Texas Tech
  • 28. Ravens: LB Patrick Queen, LSU
  • 29. Titans: OT Isaiah Wilson, Georgia
  • 30. Dolphins: CB Noah Igbinoghene, Auburn
  • 31. Vikings: CB Jeff Gladney, TCU
  • 32. Chiefs: RB Clyde Edwards-Helaire, LSU

What's next: The vast majority of NFL players aren't first-round picks, so the next two days are even more important to a team's long-term success than the moves they made in Round 1.

  • Tonight (Rounds 2-3): After trading out of the first round, the Patriots have the most Day 2 selections (one second-round pick, four third-round picks).
  • Saturday (Rounds 4-7): Take a look at the full draft order to see where your team picks in the later rounds.

Go deeper: Football's underclassmen problem

Go deeper

58 mins ago - Health

Axios-Ipsos poll: America looks for the exits after a year of COVID

Data: Axios/Ipsos poll; Chart: Danielle Alberti/Axios

A year after the coronavirus abruptly shut down much of the country, Americans are watching for a clear signal of when the pandemic will be over — and most won't be ready to ditch the masks and social distancing until they get it, according to the latest installment of the Axios/Ipsos Coronavirus Index.

The big picture: The poll found that more Americans are expecting the outbreak to be over sooner rather than later, as vaccinations ramp up throughout the country — but that very few are ready to end the precautions that have upended their lives.

Caitlin Owens, author of Vitals
59 mins ago - Health

Many vulnerable Americans have received the coronavirus vaccine

Data: CDC, U.S. Census Bureau; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

More than two-thirds of Americans 75 and older have received at least one dose of the coronavirus vaccine, as have more than half of those 65-74, per CDC data.

Why it matters: Any future surge in cases almost certainly wouldn't be as deadly as previous waves, because older people are the most likely to die from the virus.

3 hours ago - World

Report: "Clear evidence" China is committing genocide against Uyghurs

The scene in 2019 of a site believed to be a re-education camp where mostly Muslim ethnic minorities are detained, north of Kashgar in China's northwestern Xinjiang region. Photo: Greg Baker/AFP via Getty Images

Chinese authorities have breached "each and every act prohibited" under the UN Genocide Convention over the treatment of Uyghurs and other Muslim minorities in China's Xinjiang province, an independent report published Tuesday alleges.

Why it matters: D.C. think-tank the Newlines Institute for Strategy and Policy, which released the report, said in a statement the conclusions by dozens of experts in war crimes, human rights and international law are "clear and convincing": The ruling Chinese Communist Party bears responsibility.

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