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NFL Draft reunites Stanford TE Fleener with QB Luck
Fleener wasn’t chosen in the first round of the NFL draft, in which Luck was the top selection. He got a nice consolation prize Friday night when the Indianapolis Colts grabbed him with the second pick of the second round.
Among the other notable selections on the second day of the draft were: Oregon running back LaMichael James by San Francisco, Wisconsin quarterback Russell Wilson by Seattle and Alabama linebacker Courtney Upshaw by Baltimore.
“I just sent him a text message that had a lot of exclamation points in it,” said Fleener, who had 10 touchdown catches last season and 18 for his career in Stanford’s prodigious offense. “I expected to be on a team where I wasn’t familiar with the offense or the quarterback. I can’t wait to get started, to be honest with you.”
“For me, getting to play with him the past couple of years, it is speed, he is dynamic,” Luck said. “Anytime we crossed the 50-yard line it seemed like we just said, ‘Coby, go run. Go run past the safeties.’ Hopefully it continues to work out.”
The Rams actually used their own pick to begin the second round, selecting Appalachian State wide receiver Brian Quick. St. Louis traded down twice in the first round the previous night, accumulating several extra picks and also taking LSU defensive tackle Michael Brockers 14th overall. In the second-round spot they earned for going 2-14 in 2011, the Rams took a wideout from an FCS powerhouse. The 6-foot-4 Quick had a strong Senior Bowl, showing he could play at the highest college level and helping his stock in the draft.
Upshaw of the national champion Crimson Tide was chosen by Baltimore, the Ravens’ first pick of this draft. Baltimore was projected by many to take Upshaw in the first round, but dealt away its pick. Four of Upshaw’s teammates went in the first round.
Janoris Jenkins, a cornerback at North Alabama who was kicked off the team at Florida, went to the Rams six picks after they took Quick. Jenkins, holding an infant in his arms, had tears in his eyes as he spoke by phone with the Rams.
“I just be honest,” Jenkins said about talking about his past transgressions. “I don’t have nothing to hide. That was my past, that was a year ago. I took my second route to go to UNA for a reason, to show people I wasn’t a bad kid and I wasn’t running from my problems.”
Division II guard Amini Silatolu, a member of the Little All-America team, was the eighth overall selection in the second round by Carolina.
It took 11 picks before Friday’s first trade, with the Jets moving up four slots and surrendering a fifth- and seventh-rounder to Seattle to take Georgia Tech wide receiver Stephen Hill. New York needs a deep threat wideout, and Hill was the fastest player at the NFL combine. But he also comes from a running offense.
“I feel great, especially now that I’m in an offense where I can catch the ball a little bit more,” Hill said. “Catching the ball from Mark Sanchez will be great.”
By Tammy Bruce
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