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 by Indianapolis. He got a nice consolation prize Friday when the 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 the Seahawks and Alabama linebacker Courtney Upshaw by Baltimore.
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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.
“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 by 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 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.
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.”
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 – the fastest player at the NFL combine.
A smaller flurry of trades occurred Friday, five involving nine teams in the second round, five more involving 10 teams in the third round.
Two All-Americans defensive linemen were chosen in the second round: Devon Still of Penn State by Cincinnati and Jerel Worthy of Michigan State by Green Bay.