NFL Draft: Marshall leads handful of draftees with local ties


Brandon Marshall woke up at 5 a.m. Saturday, the anticipation too much to allow him to drift back into sleep.

So he played video games and tried to find a way to make four hours quickly disappear before the NFL Draft's final four rounds began.

The wait was worth it.

Marshall, a Cimarron-Memorial High School graduate who went on to play linebacker at UNR, was selected by the Jacksonville Jaguars with the seventh pick of the fifth round.

He was the 142nd selection overall and the first of three players with Las Vegas ties to be taken in the fifth round. Five went overall.

No UNLV players were drafted for the second year in a row, but wide receiver Phillip Payne signed a free-agent contract with the San Diego Chargers.

Marshall (6 feet 1 inch, 242 pounds) visited the Jaguars before the draft, so he knew they were interested.

"I had a great feeling," Marshall said. "They've been calling me, and they really liked me. So I'm excited and blessed."

He led the Wolf Pack in tackles last season with 102, including 7½ for loss. Marshall started his final three seasons and six games as a freshman.

He will compete in minicamp beginning Thursday. The Jaguars have five other linebackers on the roster, and they plan to go into the season with six.

"Toward the end of last season, we were running out of linebackers," Jacksonville player personnel director Terry McDonough said. "We were getting guys off the street to play linebacker. This is a player that in the fifth round we felt like he has upside to someday eventually become a starting mike (middle) or will (weakside) linebacker in the league. He can blitz, he can play the run, he's very instinctive, and he can play the pass."

Idaho linebacker Korey Toomer (6-2, 234), a Shadow Ridge High product, was selected in the fifth round, No. 154 overall, by the Seattle Seahawks.

Like Marshall, Toomer was drafted by the team he visited. Unlike Marshall, he didn't pay close attention to the draft, choosing to have breakfast with his mother.

Toomer showed his versatility at Idaho by playing fullback and on the defensive line in addition to linebacker. He made 68 tackles last season, including 10½ for loss and four sacks.

At Idaho's pro day, he ran the 40-yard dash in 4.49 seconds and stood out in other events.

"I was kind of under the radar until people watched pro day," Toomer said.

The other locals who were drafted:

■ Arizona wide receiver Juron Criner (6-2, 224) was taken in the fifth by the Oakland Raiders. The Canyon Springs High graduate went 168th overall.

■ Boise State defensive tackle Billy Winn (6-3, 294) was chosen near the end of the sixth round by the Cleveland Browns, at No. 205 overall. Winn, who went to Las Vegas High, was expected to be picked as high as the second round.

■ California safety D.J. Campbell (5-11, 202) went early in the seventh round, at No. 216 overall, to the Carolina Panthers. He prepped at Cheyenne High.

Payne (6-3, 210), who played at Western High in addition to UNLV, said he was excited to join the Chargers.

"It's a definite relief after going through the whole draft process and not hearing my name called," Payne said. "I get to play football, which I love. It feels amazing right now."

Contact reporter Mark Anderson at manderson@reviewjournal.com or 702-387-2914. Follow him on Twitter: @markanderson65.

 

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