The National Football League turned a little more green and gold this weekend.
The 2010 NFL Draft came and went Thursday, Friday and Saturday placing six former CSU Rams with NFL teams in the process, one by draft and five by free agency.
Offensive lineman Shelley Smith was the highest CSU product selected in the draft, going in the sixth round to the Houston Texans. Smith was the 187th pick overall.
Three other former Ram offensive linemen signed free agent contracts following the draft. Center Tim Walter signed with the Chicago Bears, Cole Pemberton is set to join Smith in Houston with the Texans and Adrian Martinez elected to sign with head coach Pete Carroll and the Seattle Seahawks.
Martinez, a 6-foot-4-inch, 300-pounder, said itâ€™s a dream come true to actually be an NFL player.
â€œIt feels really great â€“â€“ almost surreal,â€ Martinez said. â€œItâ€™s been my goal for so long. To finally be here feels great.â€
Martinez flew out for a meeting with the Seahawks before the draft and was introduced to the entire Seattle coaching staff, including offensive line coach Alex Gibbs. The California native is scheduled to fly out to Seattle again Thursday and participate in a Seahawks mini-camp.
Rounding out the newly NFL-bound Rams are wide receiver Rashaun Greer, who ended up in Dallas with the Cowboys, and safety Klint Kubiak, who earned a tryout with the Washington Redskins. Kubiak heard from the Redskins on Sunday and will head out to Washington D.C. next weekend to attend a mini-camp.
Kubiak, who stands at 6-foot, explained just how much even a tryout for an NFL team means to him and said he was just hoping for something to happen.
â€œI was just hoping for a chance with anybody,â€ Kubiak said. â€œFor them to give me a tryout means the world (to me).â€
Martinez said heâ€™s proud so many Rams made it into the NFL, especially on the offensive line.
â€œItâ€™s awesome,â€ he said. â€œIâ€™m just happy for the other guys. I knew we all had potential to play in the pros.â€
Kubiak agreed but admitted it makes the Ramsâ€™ disappointing three-win 2009 season all the more difficult.
â€œI think we had a really great group of players, so itâ€™s disappointing we didnâ€™t have a better season last year,â€ he said. â€œIt looks like we had all the pieces there and it just goes to show a team needs a lot more than talent. They need other things to win.â€
Assistant Sports Editor Adam Bohlmeyer can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.