Big things happen for state players in second round

April 28, 2017
Dalvin Cook #4 of the Florida State Seminoles is upended by Brentavious Glanton #97 of the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets on October 24, 2015 at Bobby Dodd Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia. Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images)

The NFL Draft is a time for players to wear custom-cut suits, sparkling shoes and more gold than Scrooge McDuck had in his vault.

Quincy Wilson made a fashion statement of a different kind.

At his draft party in Fort Lauderdale, the former Florida cornerback donned a ringer t-shirt with a character familiar to iPhone users — the poop emoji — over the word “happens.”

[Expletive] happens.

That may have been Wilson’s attitude after falling out of the first round, but he was proud to pull on a blue and white hat after the Indianapolis Colts took him in the second round, 46th overall.

Wilson was one of five in-state players drafted in the second round Friday, when the NFL conducted the second and third rounds in Philadelphia.

Wilson’s former teammate, safety Marcus Maye, went 39th overall to the New York Jets. Florida State running back Dalvin Cook (41st pick, Minnesota Vikings) and defensive end Demarcus Walker (51st overall, Denver Broncos) and Florida cornerback Teez Tabor (53rd, Detroit Lions) also became second-rounders.

It was the first time three Florida defensive backs went in the same round.

Another Gator, linebacker Alex Anzalone, heard his name called in the early part of the third round. The New Orleans Saints took him 76th overall.

The Colts believe Wilson, the son of former UM cornerback Chad Wilson, will help improve the NFL’s 30th-ranked pass defense. “He controls a lot of wide receivers,” NFL Network analyst Mike Mayock said of Wilson, a second-team All-SEC selection listed at 6-foot-2 and 211 pounds.

“What I like is he’s square and patient at the line of scrimmage,” Mayock said. “I would just like to see him be more physical in the run game. Get off blocks and make tackles.”

Maye, a physical safety from Melbourne, saw his stock slip when he broke his arm late in 2016. That injury forced him to miss four games and the NFL Combine. In his shortened senior season, he registered 50 tackles and six pass break-ups. He was a first-team All-SEC pick in 2015.

“Maye is underrated,” ESPN’s Todd McShay wrote before the draft. “He’s extremely reliable against the run and had good ball production.”

The Jets will pair him with another SEC safety, LSU’s Jamal Adams, whom they chose sixth overall Thursday night. “It’s not even fair that we’re together,” Adams tweeted at Maye.

Meanwhile, the Minnesota Vikings found their replacement for star running back Adrian Peterson in Cook, the Miami native who tortured his hometown Hurricanes for three seasons, went 41st overall after slipping out of the first round.

The 5-11, 213-pound Cook will bring immediate help to an offense that struggled to run the ball in 2016.

FSU’s career rushing leader, Cook ran for 4,464 yards and 46 touchdowns, racking up the two best rushing seasons in FSU history (1,765 yards in 2016 and 1,691 yards in 2015). He has also developed into a consistent receiving option, grabbing 79 passes for 938 yards and two touchdowns in his college career.

“He’s special,” Mayock said.

Walker (6-4, 280) was the heart of FSU’s defense and a first-team All-American after putting up 21.5 tackles for loss and 16 sacks as a senior. The latter total was second in the nation.

“He will go down as one of the top defensive players in school history,” FSU coach Jimbo Fisher said in a statement.

Anzalone, who had 53 tackles and three sacks in 2016, is a skilled pass-rusher with coverage ability. He dropped to the third round because of shoulder trouble; he missed 16 games the last two years with injuries.

Central Florida defensive back Shaquille Griffin went 90th overall to Seattle. His twin brother, Shaquem, the American Athletic Conference player of the year who has only one hand, is also in the draft.

Florida International produced the 100th pick of the draft, in the person of tight end Jonnu Smith. Smith is heading to the Tennessee Titans as the seventh FIU draft pick in history, first since 2013 and third-highest selection in school history.

Not to be outdone, Florida Atlantic defensive end Trey Hendrickson went to the Saints with the 102nd overall pick. The Owls, who last produced a draftee in 2015, also have seven in their relatively short history.