"Nervous" Draft Day for Auburn's Groves

Quentin Groves discusses his wait to be drafted and his reaction to be chosen by the Jacksonville Jags.

Auburn, Ala.--Quentin Groves developed a reputation at Auburn as someone who played college football with passion and there was plenty of that at his home on Saturday when the phone call came from a vice president of the Jacksonville Jaguars giving him the news that he was about to be selected in the NFL Draft.

"It was pandemonium," says Groves, who notes the celebration is going to be a long one. "The first thing we did after it was pray and thank God for all of his blessings and everything he did for us."

Groves, who had been projected as high as potential first round pick in some mock drafts, had an agonizing wait to hear his name called in the second round. He was drafted as the 21st pick of the second round after 51 others have been taken in rounds one and two.

How nervous was the former Tiger? "Real, real nervous after seeing all of the other defensive ends go," he says. "You see those guys get picked before you it's like, ‘Man, I know, I know, I know, I know.' Then I just sat down and relaxed and chilled out and things went great after that."

Groves says he wouldn't have guessed prior to the draft that he would have been selected by Jacksonville. He notes that he talked to the Jaguars three times, but got more attention from other teams like the Miami Dolphins, who he figured was the most likely team to draft him.

Quentin Groves (left) hangs out with former teammate Stanley McClover, an NFL defensive end with the Panthers, at Auburn's spring football game in March.

Jacksonville plays a 4-3 defensive front and Jags' officials told him on Saturday night to be ready to come in and play right defensive end when the first mini-camp starts on May 16. Groves was primarily an end at Auburn, but also worked at outside linebacker when the Tigers lined up in a 3-4.

The Auburn senior says it doesn't make any difference where he plays, noting that he is just happy to get a chance to play no matter what the system and is excited about the opportunity.

Groves wasn't the only Auburn player taken the second round. Cornerback Pat Lee, who was generally picked to be a second day draft selection, was the second Tiger selected going to Green Bay. "That is a big thing," Groves says. "It is real big for Pat."

Groves, who had what was described as minor surgery after his senior season to correct a potential heart problem, notes that he wonders if that might have knocked him back in the draft pecking order. ""Yeah, I was concerned," he says. "I was kind of worried. I just had to calm myself down a little bit and realize that ‘hey, good things are coming my way.'"

Once he got the phone call, he says that was the case. "It is like a dream come true," he says.

Groves is the first Auburn player drafted by Jacksonville since fullback Kevin McLeod was a sixth round pick in 1998.

More Tigers are hoping to hear their names called on Sunday as the NFL Draft concludes with rounds three through seven.

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