The overnight wait paid off for Stanford tight end Coby Fleener. 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. Chances are very good Fleener will become a starter - and a main target - for Luck.
“I just sent [Luck] a text message that had a lot of exclamation points in it,’’ said Fleener, who had 10 touchdown catches last season and 18 in his career for Stanford’s prodigious offense.
Indianapolis 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.
“I expected to be on a team where I wasn’t familiar with the offense or the quarterback,’’ Fleener said. “I can’t wait to get started, to be honest with you.’’
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 Thursday night, accumulating several extra picks and also taking LSU defensive tackle Michael Brockers 14th overall. The 6-foot-4-inch Quick had a strong Senior Bowl, showing he could play at the highest college level and helping his stock in the draft.
Linebacker Courtney Upshaw of national champion Alabama was chosen by Baltimore, the Ravens’ first pick of the 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 2 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.
Hill pumped his arms to the fans in the balcony at Radio City Music Hall after having his name announced by Wesley Walker, one of the best deep receivers the team has had.
After New York and Seattle took the lead on trading Friday, the Rams - no surprise considering their earlier wheeling and dealing in coach Jeff Fisher’s first draft in charge - pulled off another. The Bears swapped with St. Louis to move up five spots and get South Carolina receiver Alshon Jeffery.
Two All-Americans defensive linemen were then chosen: 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.
Oregon star running back LaMichael James, the nation’s leading rusher in 2010, went to San Francisco 61st overall. He joins a crowded backfield.
The Giants finished the second round by selecting LSU receiver Rueben Randle, the last of 26 players invited to the draft to be chosen.
In the third round, Russell Wilson, a standout at North Carolina State who transferred to Wisconsin and led the Badgers to the Rose Bowl, went to Seattle.
Ohio State wide receiver DeVier Posey, who was suspended for five games in 2011 as part of the Buckeyes’ NCAA troubles, was taken by Houston. Punter Bryan Anger of California, the first kicker chosen, joined Jacksonville.
New deal for Kiwanuka
The New York Giants signed linebacker Mathias Kiwanuka to a three-year-year contract extension that will keep him with the team through 2015 .
The Super Bowl champions announced the deal Friday, a day after they signed veteran defensive tackle Shaun Rogers.
Kiwanuka, a former Boston College star, will earn more than $21 million, including an $8.5 million signing bonus, under terms of the deal, which was posted on the NFL Players Association website. He base salary will only be $950,000 next season but his salaries over the final three years will be $2.95 million, $4.375 million, and $4.775 million. The deal also includes incentives.
The signing further clouds whether the Giants will give defensive end Osi Umenyiora a new contract. He said general manager Jerry Reese promised to rework his contract after the 2010 season and that still has not been done. Umenyiora, who is in the final year of a deal that will pay him $3.975 million this season, refused to speculate on how the Kiwanuka deal will affect his situation.
“No idea what it means, but we will see,’’ Umenyiora said in an email to the Associated Press. “I thought it was a good, smart decision by the Giants.’’
The 29-year-old Kiwanuka appeared in all 20 games last season, playing strongside linebacker on first and second downs and as a lineman in passing situations. The seven-year veteran finished fourth on the team with 84 tackles, 3 1/2 sacks, 13 tackles for losses, 9 quarterback hits, an interception, 2 forced fumbles, and a fumble recovery.
Kiwanuka missed most of the 2010 with a neck injury and did not get a big deal, re-signing for just two year. His play last season convinced the team he was worth a long-term contract.
Kiwanuka was drafted in the first round of 2006 as a defensive end but was switched to linebacker in 2007. He played end in 2008-09 and returned to linebacker in 2010.
Jaguars trim roster
The Jaguars have waived six players, including running back Deji Karim, who backed up Maurice Jones-Drew last season. Also waived were linebacker JoJo Dickson, linebacker Stephen Franklin, linebacker Jammie Kirlew, defensive back Trumaine McBride, and place-kicker Sam Swank. Karim, a sixth-round draft pick from Southern Illinois in 2010, ran 63 times for 130 yards last season, averaging just 2.1 yards per carry. With top backup Rashad Jennings returning from a knee injury and fellow backs Montell Owens, DuJuan Harris, and Richard Murphy also in the mix, Jacksonville decided Karim was expendable . . . The first round of the NFL draft averaged 6.66 million viewers on ESPN, up 11 percent from last year and the second-highest audience since 7.29 million tuned in two years ago.