Carolina Panthers coach Ron Rivera was visiting general manager Marty Hurney's office last season while Hurney was watching video of Midwestern State guard Amini Silatolu.
"The first thing that you see is him just finishing people," Rivera told reporters in Charlotte on Friday. "You get excited and say, 'Gosh, I hope a guy like that is around [for us to draft].' Lo and behold, only 3 1/2 months later, we're looking at this kid as part of our football team now."
The Panthers used a second-round pick -- 40th overall -- to select Silatolu, making him the first Midwestern State player ever to be drafted.
"I didn't think I was going to go this early, but I had a great visit with them [the Panthers], so I had a feeling they would pick me up," Silatolu said.
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Silatolu, who will compete to start at left guard, was the first of seven players with Texas ties to hear their names called Friday.
In the second round, Iowa State offensive guard Kelechi Osemele (Langham Creek) went 60th overall to the Ravens and Oregon running back LaMichael James (Texarkana Liberty-Eylau) went 61st overall to the 49ers. In the third round, SMU offensive guard Josh LeRibeus (Richardson Berkner) went 71st overall to the Redskins; Missouri tight end Michael Egnew (Plainview) went 78th overall to the Dolphins; Oklahoma cornerback Jamell Fleming (Arlington Seguin) went 80th overall to the Cardinals; and Arizona quarterback Nick Foles (Austin Westlake) went to the Eagles at 88th overall.
Fleming returns to the state where he was named MVP in the 2011 Fiesta Bowl.
"[Arizona] has been awesome for me," Fleming told Arizona reporters. "I won two MVPs out in Arizona.... I didn't think they were going to be the team to take me, but I did know that a lot of teams did like me, and I could fall anywhere. I'm just glad that Arizona picked me up."
Slow day for Big 12
Five Big 12 players went in the first round Thursday. Kelechi Osemele, Michael Egnew and Jamell Fleming were among five Big 12 players to hear their names Friday.
Oklahoma had two players selected other than Jamell Fleming. Receiver Ryan Broyles went to Detroit in the second round and offensive tackle Donald Stephenson went in the third round to the Chiefs.
Broyles is coming off knee surgery after tearing the ACL and the meniscus in his left knee in a Nov. 5 victory against Texas A&M. He said Friday he is on pace to be ready for training camp.
No University of Texas players have been drafted.
Weeden in; Colt out?
The Cleveland Browns drafted Brandon Weeden, they made perfectly clear, to be their starting quarterback. So where does that leave Colt McCoy?
Browns general manager Tom Heckert suggested the team could attempt to trade the former Texas quarterback. McCoy is 6-15 as a starter since Cleveland made him a third-round pick in 2010.