April 28, 2012 in Sports

Draft reunites Stanford TE Fleener with QB Luck

Barry Wilner Associated Press
 
Associated Press photo

Tight end Coby Fleener, left, will join his former Stanford teammate Andrew Luck with the Indianpolis Colts.
(Full-size photo)

Rams take Griz DB Johnson

The St. Louis Rams chose Montana defensive back Trumaine Johnson in the third round.

<p>NFL.com said the 6-foot-2, 204-pound Johnson was arguably one of the best prospects to emerge from the Big Sky Conference in several years and was rated the best draft prospect at the non-BCS level. Johnson started 42 of 47 games at Montana and had 15 career interceptions.

The Rams drafted wide receiver Brian Quick of Appalachian State (FCS) with the first pick of Day 2, then picked defensive back Janoris Jenkins of North Alabama (NCAA D-II).

NEW YORK – Coby Fleener heard his name, grabbed his phone and immediately contacted his new teammate in Indianapolis – and old teammate from Stanford.

The overnight wait paid off for the Stanford tight end. He’s reuniting with his college quarterback, a guy named Andrew 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 and Alabama linebacker Courtney Upshaw by Baltimore.

Chances are very good Fleener will become a starter – and a main target for Luck – in Indianapolis.

“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.”

Indy not only parted with four-time MVP quarterback Peyton Manning this year, but also lost tight end Jacob Tamme to free agency and isn’t expected to bring back injury-ravaged veteran Dallas Clark.

Upshaw of the national champion Crimson Tide was chosen with 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 Alabama teammates went in the first round.

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.

Two All-American defensive linemen were chosen in the second round: Devon Still of Penn State by Cincinnati and Jerel Worthy of Michigan State by Green Bay.

Also chosen, by Detroit, was Oklahoma standout receiver Ryan Broyles, who wrecked his left knee in November after setting some NCAA career records.

James, the nation’s leading rusher in 2010, went to San Francisco 61st overall. He joins a backfield with Frank Gore and Brandon Jacobs.

New Orleans and Oakland made their first picks in the third round. The Saints, stripped of their second-rounder as punishment for their bounty program – they traded their first-rounder last year – chose a defensive tackle from Canada, Akiem Hicks of Regina. The Raiders finished the round with Utah guard Tony Bergstrom.

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