The next group of Las Vegas athletes to invade the NFL draft looking to make a living as professional had to wait a while to be drafted but must be relieved to know where they will be starting their career. It took until the fifth round but the group will be entering the league in great positions to stick around and develop.
Fifth Round Selections
Former Cimarron linebacker Brandon Marshall (Nevada) was the first off the board landing with a Jacksonville Jaguar team in need of depth and a player capable of stepping in to play quality minutes. A four year starter in college, Marshall lands with a program where he should fill a need and have an opportunity to eventually develop into a starter.
Shadow Ridge linebacker Korey Toomer (Idaho) came off the board second. Remaining in the northwest region with the Seattle Seahawks, Toomer is a player that brings a ton of athleticism and speed off the edge. Toomer will probably spend year one as a special teams contributor but he is a player that the Seahawks staff expects to eventually develop as a pass defender from the linebacker position and possibly develop as a strong pass rusher as well.
Canyon Springs wide receiver Juron Criner (Arizona) should be the Oakland Raiders fifth option at worst upon his arrival but he is a red zone threat and big possession type of player that in a bit of a different mold than the tradition speedster the load up on along the edge. Criner will have stiff competition but bring a different set of skills and some of the best hands on the current roster.
The Cleveland Browns selected the player rated the highest among Nevada prospects before the draft in Las Vegas HS defensive lineman Billy Winn (Boise State). Moderate level work outs and tweener size kept Winn on the board much longer than expected but he steps in to a situation where he can provide depth and earn time in the defensive line rotation. Very capable of being a starting caliber lineman, Winn has to prove that he can use his versatility to be a playmaker for the Browns and that the explosion he displayed in college can transfer to play in the NFL.
A former Cheyenne quarterback, safety D.J. Campbell (Cal) used the off-season to prove he is an elite athlete for the deep backfield and landed with the Carolina Panthers. Campbell only had a single year as a starter, which hurt his stock, but he is a player that had a good buzz entering the draft. The situation at safety is favorable for Campbell in Carolina and he is experienced as a special teams guy. Minus injuries, Campbell won't have a major opportunity to play quality minutes this season but he is a player that fills a need and should land time on the active roster with a strong of-season.