Terps' Wilson taken in second round

Cornerback goes to Seahawks

Eagles select ex-Gilman star Abiamiri

April 29, 2007|By Don Markus | Don Markus,Sun reporter

In terms of the day itself, Josh Wilson and Victor Abiamiri had to wait nearly nine hours before hearing their names called last night in this year's NFL draft.

In terms of when they had expected to be drafted, the wait wasn't nearly as long for them as it had been for Abiamiri's Notre Dame teammate, Brady Quinn, or others who dropped much lower than anticipated.

If the former Maryland cornerback from Upper Marlboro shared anything with the former Irish defensive end from Randallstown, it was in the element of surprise. Neither had figured on going to the teams that picked them.

Wilson, a 5-foot-9, 189-pound cornerback who started since the end of his sophomore year at Maryland, was picked in the second round by the Seattle Seahawks -- the first for the team and the 55th overall.

Abiamiri, a 6-4, 270-pound defensive end who anchored the Irish's line the past two seasons and was an honorable All-American last season, was chosen two picks later by the Philadephia Eagles.

"I interviewed with them a couple of times, I met with them at the combine, but they drafted me out of nowhere, kind of," Abiamiri said last night from his family's home. "I was excited to be drafted by anybody. I went into the draft with an open mind."

Wilson was also surprised by his selection since he had never heard from the Seahawks after meeting Jim Mora, the team's new secondary coach, at the Senior Bowl and talking with some scouts at the NFL Combine in Indianapolis, where Wilson ran a 4.39 40-yard dash to improve his draft status.

Asked his reaction to getting a call from the Seahawks, Wilson said, "I never felt so much relief off my chest after that moment."

After watching the first round at his mother's home, things became a little nerve-wracking for Wilson when two teams that had worked him out, the St. Louis Rams and the Cleveland Browns, each passed on him right before the Seahawks took him. The Browns even used the 52nd pick on Nevada-Las Vegas cornerback Eric Wright.

"When I saw that, my heart kind of sunk," Wilson said.

Neither pick should come as a total surprise given the deficiencies of the respective teams in that position.

The Seahawks finished last season in the middle of the pack in overall pass defense, near the bottom in interceptions and with few healthy members in the secondary during their playoff loss at Chicago. Seattle also needs some help returning kicks. The Eagles are looking for some young legs, and muscle, on the defensive line.

Abiamiri and Wilson will be following in the NFL footsteps of someone close to them: Abiamiri's brother, Rob, was a practice squad player for the Ravens last season. Wilson's late father, Tim, was the blocking back for the legendary Earl Campbell with the Houston Oilers.

Wilson, who stayed home to play at Maryland after a high school career at nearby DeMatha, doesn't mind going to the West Coast to start his NFL career. And Abiamiri, who played at Gilman before going off to South Bend, certainly doesn't mind returning to his East Coast roots, albeit a couple of hours up Interstate 95.

"Not quite [home] but pretty close," Abiamiri said.

Said Wilson: "I was willing to go wherever somebody was willing to have me."

Told that the Seahawks play the Ravens this season, Wilson seemed excited.

"At home?" he asked.

In Seattle, Wilson's new home.

don.markus@baltsun.com

Baltimore Sun Articles
|
|
|
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.