Rose was one of five college freshmen taken among the first seven picks. He helped the Memphis Tigers to the championship game of the NCAA Tournament last season, and became only the third guard to be taken No. 1 overall in the last 30 years, joining Magic Johnson (1979) and Allen Iverson (1996).
He grew up in Chicago, where he led his high school team to two straight state championships.
The only international player chosen among the first 19 picks was Italian forward Danilo Gallinari, who was greeted by a round of boos when he was selected by the New York Knicks.
The first true center taken was 7-2 Roy Hibbert of Georgetown, selected by Toronto.
After Mayo, the top five selections were rounded out by UCLA guard Russell Westbrook (taken by Seattle) and UCLA forward Kevin Love (selected by Memphis).