Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson was selected with the first pick in the Pro Bowl draft on Wednesday.

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WAHIAWA, Hawaii — Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson was selected with the first pick in the Pro Bowl draft on Wednesday.

He was chosen by Michael Irvin, who is serving as a Pro Bowl legend captain opposite fellow Hall of Famer Jerry Rice.

Rice grabbed Giants quarterback Eli Manning with his first pick, second overall.

Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones went with the third choice to Team Irvin, and Oakland Raiders defensive end Khalil Mack was drafted by Team Rice with the fourth pick.

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Irvin took defensive players with his next three picks — Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman, Lions defensive end Ezekiel Ansah and Seahawks defensive end Michael Bennett — before drafting wide receivers A.J. Green of the Bengals and DeAndre Hopkins of the Texans in the sixth and seventh rounds, respectively.

Rice selected Dolphins wide receiver Jarvis Landry with his third pick and went with the Raiders’ duo of quarterback Derek Carr and wide receiver Amari Cooper with his next two selections before taking the first running back, Minnesota Vikings star Adrian Peterson, with his seventh-round pick.

Thirty-four players — mostly linemen and special-teams players — were pre-drafted on Tuesday. Forty-eight players were drafted or assigned Wednesday.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Panthers quarterback Cam Newton suggested for the first time that race may play a factor in why he’s become a lightning rod for public criticism.

“I’m an African-American quarterback that scares people because they haven’t seen nothing that they can compare me to,” said the 6-foot-5, 245-pound Newton.

The No. 1 pick in the 2011 NFL draft out of Auburn, Newton has his share of detractors who either don’t like how he plays, his celebrations or his abundance of self-confidence.

Newton, a leading MVP candidate putting up record-breaking numbers, said he learned a long time ago that he can’t please everyone.

“People are going to judge, and have opinions on things I don’t have control over,” he said.

Newton has helped lead the Panthers (17-1) to their first Super Bowl since 2003. Carolina plays the Denver Broncos on Feb. 7 in Santa Clara, Calif.


• New San Francisco 49ers coach Chip Kelly finally found a defensive coordinator, hiring former Cleveland Browns defensive coordinator Jim O’Neil.

• Washington general manager Scot McCloughan said he would rather sign quarterback Kirk Cousins to a long-term deal than use the franchise tag on him.

• Eighth-year referee Clete Blakeman will work his first Super Bowl on Feb. 7.

• Packers coach Mike McCarthy pulled out of his Pro Bowl coaching assignment, saying doctors advised him not to travel as he battles a stomach illness. The Packers said associate head coach Winston Moss will handle head-coaching responsibilities.

• In a move that could send a signal to teams in other NFL cities, the New York Jets agreed to pay nearly $324,000 to cheerleaders to settle a class-action lawsuit in which women claimed they were cheated out of wages, ordered to practices but not paid and forced to cover work-related expenses, like makeup, hair care and transportation.