The 2017 NFL draft was full of locals who were also stars in track and field. The top two picks among area standouts are both starters in the secondary for their teams.
CB Shaquill Griffin, Seattle Seahawks
High school: Lakewood
Pick: Round 3 (90th overall)
A state champion in track, Griffin focused solely on football once he got to college. He had offers from several schools, including Miami, but turned them down to attend UCF so he could continue to play with his twin brother, Shaquem. As a senior, Shaquill had his best season with the Knights, recording 49 tackles and four interceptions in 2016. Taken by the Seahawks in the third round, Shaquill has recorded at least 59 tackles in each of his first three seasons. His best season came last year when he was named an alternate to the pro bowl. In 2018, Shaquem joined the Seahawks as a fifth-round pick.
S Rayshawn Jenkins, Los Angeles Chargers
High school: Admiral Farragut
Pick: Round 4 (113th overall)
The two-sport star grew up with 17 brothers and sisters and had a rough childhood. His escape was sports. Jenkins was a state champion in the hurdles at Admiral Farragut. He used those skills to become a solid contributor in the Hurricanes’ secondary and move up the draft charts. Taken by the Chargers in the fourth round, Jenkins has steadily improved. Last season, he played the most snaps of any defensive player on the team and finished with 54 tackles and a team-best three interceptions.
WR Rodney Adams, Indianapolis Colts
High school: Lakewood
Pick: Round 5 (170th overall by the Minnesota Vikings)
As a senior in 2016, Adams set USF single-season records for receptions (67) and yards (822). His 16 receiving touchdowns are the second-most in school history. Picked by the Vikings, Adams lasted one season before signing a reserve/futures contract with the Colts in February of 2018. Two months later, he retired from football. After a nearly two-year absence, Adams decided to return to the Colts and was reinstated.
DB Leon McQuay III, Kansas City Chiefs
High school: Armwood
Pick: Round 6 (218th overall)
A star in the secondary at Armwood and USC, McQuay was picked by the Chiefs in 2017 but struggled to permanently stay on the active roster. He was waived in May of last year.
DL Joey Ivie, Tennessee Titans
High school: Pasco
Pick: Round 7 (228th overall by the Dallas Cowboys)
The Cowboys took Ivie after his impressive pro day at Florida. Waived in September of 2017, Ivie bounced from three teams (Falcons, Seahawks, Chiefs) before the Titans signed to their practice squad this past November. A month later, he was promoted to the active roster.