AUBURN, Ala. — It didn't take long for Angelo Blackson to hear his name called Saturday. The former Auburn defensive lineman was the first pick of the fourth round by Tennessee, which was No. 100 overall.
The pick came as a bit of a surprise to many, including Blackson himself, as he was projected by most to be a sixth- or seventh-round selection.
"My agent has done a good job. We had a thought that (I) was going to go in this round. We didn't think it would be the first pick," Blackson said in a conference call hosted by the Titans. "I'm just happy and excited. I'm ready."
Blackson said he had followed Tennessee closely in his time at Auburn. Tracy Rocker, who was the Tigers' defensive line coach when Blackson signed in 2011, left the team that year to take serve in a similar capacity for the Titans.
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The team, Blackson said, has told him he will be "a five-technique end," but at 6-foot-4 and 318 pounds, he has the flexibility to play inside as well.
"I'm just ready to get in there and work," he said. "I'm ready to work no matter where it's at."
A Delaware native, Blackson made 17 tackles (5.5. for loss) and three sacks last season. He also had six quarterback hurries and forced a fumble. Though his numbers last year weren't dazzling, Blackson made up for it at the NFL combine. There, his 40-yard dash (5.02 seconds) and three-cone drill 7.50) times both ranked in the top six among defensive linemen.
Blackson's former coach couldn't contain his excitement.
"Congrats Angelo Blackson on being drafted by the Titans!" Auburn's Gus Malzahn tweeted from his personal Twitter account. "Proud of you! #WarEagle"
Blackson is the second Auburn player selected in this year's draft; receiver Sammie Coates went to Pittsburgh in the third round with the No. 87 overall pick.