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Brown's pick by Cardinals surprises him

The Penn State tackle says he had no pre-draft contact with the team other than workouts.

Rutgers' Brian Leonard, a running back, was selected in the second round, 52d overall, by the St. Louis Rams.
Rutgers' Brian Leonard, a running back, was selected in the second round, 52d overall, by the St. Louis Rams.Read more

NEW YORK - Penn State offensive tackle Levi Brown heard from many teams before yesterday's NFL draft, but he had minimal dealings with the club that chose him.

The fifth overall selection in yesterday's draft, Brown was selected by the Arizona Cardinals, a team in need of linemen after finishing last in the NFL with a rushing average of 3.2 yards per carry.

"I was actually very surprised, considering I didn't have any contact with the Cardinals the whole process," Brown said during a conference call with reporters. "They worked me out at my pro day [at Penn State], but that was it. I didn't know what to expect."

The 6-foot-5, 323-pound Brown knows he will be pushed hard by new Cardinals line coach Russ Grimm, who worked him out at Penn State.

"He really tried to kick my butt," Brown recalled. "I'm ready for him to be my coach. We'll go out there and we'll get some things done. I'm sure he'll make me a better player."

Grimm said yesterday that he likes Brown's aggressive style of play and the fact that he moves so well for someone his size.

"I think he still has a lot of upside - that's kind of exciting," Grimm said. "The thing that impressed us the most when we went to work him out was the passion he has for the game."

Brown was the highest-selected Penn State player since 2000, when Courtney Brown was the first overall pick by Cleveland and LaVar Arrington went second to Washington.

Penn State linebacker Paul Posluszny, considered a potential first-round pick, was taken with the second pick of the second round (34th overall) by the Buffalo Bills. While he would have preferred to go earlier, Posluszny couldn't be happier to be selected by the Bills.

"To have been taken in the first round, it would have been quite an accomplishment," he said in a conference call. "I'm very happy with the way things worked out and to be able to play for a team like Buffalo. I'm excited about it and I can't wait to be a part of the team."

Posluszny played outside linebacker but shifted to the middle for the last five games of his senior season. In the NFL, Posluszny prefers playing the position that would get him on the field the fastest.

"I've been able to play both of them and I am comfortable with them," said Posluszny, who recorded a school-record 372 career tackles. ". . . Wherever you can get a chance to make the most plays is where I want to be."

Rutgers running back-fullback Brian Leonard was selected in the second round by St. Louis with the 52d overall selection.

Leonard rushed for 427 yards and five touchdowns, averaging 4.6 yards per carry as a senior when his role evolved into a blocker for Ray Rice. He is Rutgers' all-time leader in receptions (207), touchdowns (45) and points by a non-kicker (272).

Leonard said he thought he was going to the Eagles or the Rams. The Eagles picked 57th in the second round.

"I just think St. Louis is a great fit and I'm excited," Leonard said.

Two picks after Leonard was selected, the Kansas City Chiefs used the 54th overall choice to select Tennessee defensive tackle Turk McBride, a former Inquirer South Jersey defensive player of the year from Woodrow Wilson High in Camden.

"I'm so happy and I figured I would go somewhere in the second round," McBride said in a telephone interview from South Jersey.

McBride said there were stressful moments waiting for his name to be called.

"Draft day is so long, it was definitely getting to me at some point," he said. "I was going crazy, and when I got the call it was such a thrill."

Penn State defensive tackle Jay Alford was taken in the third round by the New York Giants, the 81st overall pick.