NFL Draft: Final round kind to four local players
Former Weber State guard Pat McQuistan spoke regularly with members of the Dallas Cowboys' front office Sunday, so he wasn't too surprised when the team picked him in the NFL draft.
But he was somewhat shocked a few moments before he saw his name flash on TV as the team's seventh-round selection. He received a phone call from Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, who wanted to personally welcome him to his team.
"I've seen that guy on TV, on NFL Films," McQuistan said. "It was pretty awesome."
The phone call was a highlight of a spectacular weekend for the McQuistan twin brothers. Paul McQuistan was picked by the Raiders in the third round of the draft Saturday. The brothers celebrated their 23rd birthday Sunday.
"We knew one of us getting in was a big deal," Pat McQuistan said. "To have both of us drafted is pretty amazing."
It was a quiet day for state college players until Pat McQuistan was picked. His selection then started a mini-run on local players. Former Brigham Young receiver Todd Watkins went to Arizona seven picks after McQuistan. Near the end of the seventh round, former Utes Spencer
Toone and Quinton Ganther were selected by the Titans in back-to-back picks.
Few would have guessed that the first two state college players selected in this year's NFL draft would both be Wildcats. Paul McQuistan was considered a middle-round prospect. Watkins was picked a little later than expected. And although Pat McQuistan said he wasn't shocked by getting drafted, his selection was somewhat surprising.
Pat McQuistan was a starter for just one full season at Weber State. He started in five games during the team's dismal 1-10 season in 2004 before becoming a full-time starter last year.
"The more people saw him, the more they obviously started liking him," said
coach Ron McBride, who was handling some football business in Hawaii on Sunday. "I thought he would probably go late because he has good upside."
Through hard work in the weight room and film study, Pat McQuistan made himself a prospect.
"If you go back and watch film from our 1-10 season, you'll see that I've improved a lot," he said.
Although Toone and Ganther are headed to the same team, they'll be in much different situations. Toone will provide the Titans with some depth at linebacker and should contribute on special teams right away. Ganther is entering a crowded backfield that features Chris Brown and Travis Henry, as well as second-round pick LenDale White.
Ganther, in a conference call, said he's ready for the challenge.
"Anything you do is a competition throughout life," he said. "You graduate from college and get your degree, but you still have to go out and get a job. That's what I'm trying to do. I'm trying to go out and get a job."
The biggest name to be drafted on the second and final day of the draft was former Winter Olympian Jeremy Bloom, out of Colorado. The Eagles took him in the fifth round and plan on using him as a kick returner and on other special teams.