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Patriots select OL Isaiah Wynn with 23rd overall pick

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (AP) - The Patriots used their first pick in the NFL draft to plug a hole on their offensive line, one of several needs for the AFC champions following the departure of several starters in free agency.

The Patriots selected 6-2, 302-pound offensive lineman Isaiah Wynn out of Georgia with the 23rd overall pick on Thursday night. The Patriots also hold the 31st overall pick and a total of five selections in the first 95 picks.

Wynn started his college career as a guard but shifted to left tackle as a senior, earning second-team AP All-America honors in 2017.

He would seem to be undersized as a tackle at the NFL level, though he could be an option to replace left tackle Nate Solder, who signed with the New York Giants.

Starting right guard Shaq Mason is also entering the final year of his rookie contract and will become an unrestricted free agent following the upcoming season. With Mason expected to garner a lot of interest in the free agency market in 2019, this could be a pre-emptive move on the part of Bill Belichick to get someone in the pipeline now.

The Patriots have started rookies up front before - left guard Joe Thuney started 16 games in his first year in 2016.

Wynn's selection was part of a run on offensive linemen in the first round Thursday night. Six linemen were selected before the first wide receiver - Maryland's D.J. Moore - came off the board at No. 24.

New England still has needs on defense, including linebacker, defensive end and cornerback.

It had a chance to get former Alabama linebacker Rashaan Evans, who visited the Patriots facility during the pre-draft process.

But they were undercut by the Titans and its new head coach and former Patriots linebacker Mike Vrabel, who selected Evans with the 22nd pick it acquired from Baltimore.

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More AP NFL: https://pro32.ap.org and https://twitter.com/AP_NFL

Falcons draft another Alabama receiver, Calvin Ridley

FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. (AP) - The Atlanta Falcons went with another Alabama receiver for their offensive arsenal, picking Calvin Ridley with the 26th overall pick in the NFL draft on Thursday night.

Ridley will join Julio Jones to provide an additional deep target for quarterback Matt Ryan in an offense that dipped in production last season after leading the NFL in scoring in 2016.

While defensive tackle was a priority, Atlanta couldn't pass up the chance to grab the 6-foot-1, 189-pound Ridley, who managed to stand out even while playing in a run-oriented offense on Alabama's national championship team. As a junior, he had 63 receptions for 967 yards and five touchdowns.

The last time the Falcons picked a Crimson Tide receiver in the first round, it certainly worked out just fine. In 2011, the team traded up to select Jones at No. 6 overall.

He has developed into one of the league's top pass catchers, including 88 catches for 1,444 yards last season.

In an interesting twist, the final game of Ridley's college career was at Mercedes-Benz Stadium, the home of the Falcons. In January, it was the site of the national championship game, in which Alabama defeated Southeastern Conference rival Georgia in an overtime thriller.

While the Falcons had no overly pressing needs after their second straight trip to the playoffs, they were looking to bulk up the interior of the defensive line. Dontari Poe was lost in free agency, signing with division rival Carolina to leave a hole in Atlanta's run defense.

But with Ridley still on the board, the Falcons decided to address those needs later in the draft.

It was a change of philosophy from the last three years.

Since Dan Quinn came aboard as coach in 2015, defense had been the No. 1 priority. The last three first-round picks were all from that side of the line: defensive end Vic Beasley Jr. in 2015, safety Keanu Neal in 2016 and defensive end Takkarist McKinley a year ago.

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Follow Paul Newberry on Twitter at www.twitter.com/pnewberry1963 . His work can be found at https://apnews.com/search/paul%20newberry

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For more AP NFL coverage: www.pro32.ap.org and www.twitter.com/AP_NFL

Falcons draft another Alabama receiver, Calvin Ridley

FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. (AP) - The Atlanta Falcons went with another Alabama receiver for their offensive arsenal, picking Calvin Ridley with the 26th overall pick in the NFL draft on Thursday night.

Ridley will join Julio Jones to provide an additional deep target for quarterback Matt Ryan in an offense that dipped in production last season after leading the NFL in scoring in 2016.

While defensive tackle was a priority, Atlanta couldn't pass up the chance to grab the 6-foot-1, 189-pound Ridley, who managed to stand out even while playing in a run-oriented offense on Alabama's national championship team. As a junior, he had 63 receptions for 967 yards and five touchdowns.

The last time the Falcons picked a Crimson Tide receiver in the first round, it certainly worked out just fine. In 2011, the team traded up to select Jones at No. 6 overall.

He has developed into one of the league's top pass catchers, including 88 catches for 1,444 yards last season.

In an interesting twist, the final game of Ridley's college career was at Mercedes-Benz Stadium, the home of the Falcons. In January, it was the site of the national championship game, in which Alabama defeated Southeastern Conference rival Georgia in an overtime thriller.

While the Falcons had no overly pressing needs after their second straight trip to the playoffs, they were looking to bulk up the interior of the defensive line. Dontari Poe was lost in free agency, signing with division rival Carolina to leave a hole in Atlanta's run defense.

But with Ridley still on the board, the Falcons decided to address those needs later in the draft.

It was a change of philosophy from the last three years.

Since Dan Quinn came aboard as coach in 2015, defense had been the No. 1 priority. The last three first-round picks were all from that side of the line: defensive end Vic Beasley Jr. in 2015, safety Keanu Neal in 2016 and defensive end Takkarist McKinley a year ago.

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Follow Paul Newberry on Twitter at www.twitter.com/pnewberry1963 . His work can be found at https://apnews.com/search/paul%20newberry

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For more AP NFL coverage: www.pro32.ap.org and www.twitter.com/AP_NFL

Winning numbers drawn in 'Jumbo Bucks Lotto' game

ATLANTA (AP) _ The winning numbers in Thursday evening's drawing of the Georgia Lottery's "Jumbo Bucks Lotto" game were:

03-14-30-36-42-43

(three, fourteen, thirty, thirty-six, forty-two, forty-three)

Winning numbers drawn in 'All or Nothing Night' game

ATLANTA (AP) _ The winning numbers in Thursday evening's drawing of the Georgia Lottery's "All or Nothing Night" game were:

02-03-04-05-06-08-10-13-14-18-19-24

(two, three, four, five, six, eight, ten, thirteen, fourteen, eighteen, nineteen, twenty-four)

Bears draft Georgia LB Roquan Smith with No. 8 pick in draft

LAKE FOREST, Ill. (AP) - The Chicago Bears drafted Georgia linebacker Roquan Smith with the No. 8 overall pick Thursday night, adding a potential cornerstone player on defense rather than another offensive weapon for quarterback Mitchell Trubisky.

The Bears have spent the offseason collecting pieces they believe will help Trubisky develop into a franchise quarterback. But when Indianapolis took Notre Dame guard Quenton Nelson with the sixth pick, it became apparent Chicago would address the defense.

"What they can expect from me when I arrive is a relentless guy on the field and off the field, going about my business the right way and going to do whatever it takes to put the Bears in the best possible situation every time I step on to the field," smith said. "And I'm beyond excited, I can't put it into words how excited I am about this opportunity to be a Chicago Bear. It's insane and I'm ready to give the city of Chicago everything I have in me."

Smith joins a team with four straight last-place finishes in the NFC North and just one playoff appearance since the 2006 team's run to the Super Bowl. The Monsters of the Midway haven't finished with a winning record since 2012, Lovie Smith's last season as coach.

That's something they hope Smith will help change.

An All-American and Butkus Award winner as college football's best linebacker, he led Georgia to the national championship game last season. Though he is a bit undersized at 6-foot-1, 236 pounds, he has speed and athleticism and the coverage skills to stay on the field in passing situations. His leadership is also a plus.

Smith figures to line up inside for the Bears. He'll also be reunited with another Bulldog in outside linebacker Leonard Floyd, drafted by Chicago with the No. 9 pick in 2016.

Smith said he "looked up to the guy a lot" and is eager to play with him. He mentioned the Bears' tradition, particularly at linebacker with Dick Butkus, Mike Singletary, Brian Urlacher and Lance Briggs.

"It's insane. I'm excited," he said.

Chicago has one second-round pick, two fourth-rounders and one each in the fifth, sixth and seventh. The Bears don't have a third-round selection.

The Bears fired John Fox after three seasons and replaced him with an offensive-minded coach in Matt Nagy, who spent the past 10 years working on Andy Reid's staffs in Philadelphia and Kansas City. They also gave Trubisky some new targets, most notably signing former Pro Bowl receiver Allen Robinson.

The Bears were still looking to boost a rather effective defense. Chicago ranked 10th overall last season despite injuries to several key players, including Floyd, and tied for seventh in the NFL with 42 sacks last season. But the Bears let linebackers Jerrell Freeman, Pernell McPhee and Willie Young go.

Smith is looking forward to playing for defensive coordinator Vic Fangio, who in three seasons has helped transform a defense that ranked among the worst in franchise history. Fangio's predecessor was Mel Tucker, now Georgia's defensive coordinator.

Smith called Tucker a "great guy" who taught him "a lot of things." But Fangio has "coached a lot of legends," including similarly sized linebackers NaVorro Bowman and Patrick Willis in San Francisco.

"I feel like those guys, we're all different in our own way, especially in being very unique. I feel like me, I feel like me and Patrick Willis both have similar speed and whatnot and both have a high IQ of the game."

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For more NFL coverage: http://www.pro32.ap.org and http://www.twitter.com/AP_NFL

After rock-throwing, Ole Miss warns student baseball fans

OXFORD, Miss. (AP) - Players should throw baseballs, but the University of Mississippi is warning student spectators to stop throwing rocks.

The Oxford Eagle reports that Ole Miss officials are letting students back into an area near the visitors' bullpen at Oxford-University Stadium. But Athletic Director Ross Bjork is warning that there had better not be a repeat of the rock-throwing that plagued games last weekend against the University of Georgia. If there's more trouble, Bjork says the university could explore cutting down on student seating.

Security cleared the right-field terrace after students ignored repeated warnings to stop throwing rocks.

Ole Miss hosts Louisiana State University for a three-game series ending Saturday.

The visitor's dugout and bullpen will switch sides of the field next year after renovations, leaving students farther from the visiting bullpen.

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Information from: Oxford Eagle, http://www.oxfordeagle.com

Winning numbers drawn in 'Cash 4 Evening' game

ATLANTA (AP) _ The winning numbers in Thursday evening's drawing of the Georgia Lottery's "Cash 4 Evening" game were:

9-6-4-9

(nine, six, four, nine)

Winning numbers drawn in 'Georgia FIVE Evening' game

ATLANTA (AP) _ The winning numbers in Thursday evening's drawing of the Georgia Lottery's "Georgia FIVE Evening" game were:

7-1-5-6-8

(seven, one, five, six, eight)

Winning numbers drawn in 'Cash 3 Evening' game

ATLANTA (AP) _ The winning numbers in Thursday evening's drawing of the Georgia Lottery's "Cash 3 Evening" game were:

9-9-7

(nine, nine, seven)

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