Cal quarterback Jared Goff was chosen by the Los Angeles Rams as the team’s No. 1 pick during the NFL draft Thursday evening in Chicago.
Commissioner Roger Goodell announced the choice to applause.
Newly returned to Los Angeles, the Rams had made a trade with the Tennessee Titans to get the first pick.
Goff, 21, grew up in Novato, in the San Francisco Bay Area. The 6-foot-4-inch, 215-pounder is a junior at UC Berkeley. Before the draft, Goff told the Los Angeles Times he welcomed the chance to play in Southern California.
"It's a great place," Goff said of L.A. "A city I think that's been waiting for a professional football team for a long time now, and I think the fan base is still there and it would be a great situation."
Quarterback Carson Wentz of North Dakota State had also been considered a contender for the Rams’ first pick. He was selected by the Philadelphia Eagles with their No. 2 pick.
Wentz, 23, is 6 feet and 5 inches tall and 237 pounds. He's from Bismarck, North Dakota.
The two young men appeared nervous as they waited for the pick to be announced.
"It was well worth the wait. It's an unbelievable moment, a once-in-a-lifetime experience," Goff told an ESPN reporter after the pick was announced.
Earlier this week, Rams team officials discussed their priorities with their first overall pick.
“We’ve always said this: If we think there’s a guy there that can really put us over the top — or help us get over the top and mainly stay over the top long-term — then go grab him,” General Manager Les Snead said in a story posted on the Rams' website. “And sometimes, you can’t let him come to you because he won’t get there.”
To get the No. 1. pick in the trade with the Titans, the Rams relinquished their No. 15 pick, two second-round picks, and a third-round pick. The Rams also gave up next year’s first- and third-round picks.
The Rams got the Titans' picks in the fourth and sixth rounds, meaning the L.A. team's next pick will be 110th. They’ll also have the 113th pick in the fourth round and two picks in the sixth round: 177th and 190th.
"There will probably be a clump of players we'll have to fish through, and figure out which one is a best fit for us," Snead said, according to the Times. "The main goal is to never reach, to never pass on someone who is really, really good just because you have a need at a position."