NEW YORK (AP) -- The Big 12, led by Oklahoma, kicked off a big party for itself at Radio City Music Hall in the first prime-time NFL draft Thursday night.
Tim Tebow had a grand time, too, breaking into the first round at No. 25 to Denver. The selection of the Florida quarterback, the mystery man of this draft, drew the loudest reaction -- a mix of cheers and boos -- from the audience.
The Rockettes would have loved it, from the early dominance of the Big 12 to the show biz drama surrounding the Broncos' choice of Tebow.
Starting with quarterback Sam Bradford going to the St. Louis Rams, five of the top six picks were from the Big 12 -- three of them Sooners.
The Oklahoma junior became the eighth quarterback since 2001 taken atop the draft. He was immediately followed Thursday night by defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh of Nebraska, the AP Player of the Year; DT Gerald McCoy and OT Trent Williams, Bradford's teammates with the Sooners.
"That's pretty cool because I know the Big 12 has been getting a lot of slack lately," Bradford said. "People for some reason didn't think that we played much football in the Big 12 and sure didn't think we played much defense, so for two defensive tackles to go in the first three picks is a credit to the Big 12."
And what about the Sooners' run at the top of the festivities?
"It's insane isn't it?" McCoy said with a huge smile. "We can't play football in the Big 12, but the first four picks went out the Big 12? Mmmmm -- three of 'em from Oklahoma, by the way."
Tebow was the third Florida player chosen -- and by far the most controversial selection Thursday night. A winner for four years with the Gators, including two national championships, his unorthodox style and strange throwing motion made for widely divided opinions on him.
Not, apparently, for Broncos coach Josh McDaniels, who hopes he found the long-term replacement for Jay Cutler. In his rookie season as a head coach, McDaniels feuded with Cutler a year ago and traded him to Chicago.
Copyright 2010 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
1. Rams: Sam Bradford, QB, Oklahoma
2. Lions: Ndamukong Suh, DT, Nebraska
3. Bucs: Gerald McCoy, DT, Oklahoma
4. Redskins: Trent Williams, OT, Oklahoma
5. Chiefs: Eric Berry, S, Tennessee
6. Seahawks: Russell Okung, OT, Oklahoma State
7. Browns: Joe Haden, CB, Florida
8. Raiders: Rolando McClain, LB, Alabama
9. Bills: C.J. Spiller, RB, Clemson
10. Jaguars: Tyson Alualu, DT, California
11. 49ers: Anthony Davis, OT, Rutgers
12. Chargers: Ryan Mathews, RB, Fresno State
13. Eagles: Brandon Graham, DE, Michigan
14. Seahawks: Earl Thomas, S, Texas
15. Giants: Jason Pierre-Paul, DE, South Florida
16. Titans: Derrick Mason, DE, Georgia Tech
17. 49ers: Mike Iupati, G, Idaho
18. Steelers: Maurkice Pouncey, C, Florida
19. Falcons: Sean Weatherspoon, LB, Missouri
20. Texans: Kareem Jackson, CB, Alabama
21. Bengals: Jermaine Gresham, TE, Oklahoma
22. Broncos: Demaryius Thomas, WR, Georgia Tech
23. Packers: Bryan Bulaga, OT, Iowa
24. Cowboys: Dez Bryant, WR, Oklahoma State
25. Broncos: Tim Tebow, QB, Florida
26. Cardinals: Dan Williams, DT, Tennessee
27. Patriots: Devin McCourty, CB, Rutgers
28. Dolphins: Jared Odrick, DT/DE, Penn State
29. Jets: Kyle Wilson, CB, Boise State
30. Lions: Jahvid Best, RB, California
31. Colts: Jerry Hughes, DE, TCU
32. Saints: Patrick Robinson, CB, Florida State