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Brazill selected in 6th round of draft by Colts

Leading up to the NFL Draft, former Ohio receiver LaVon Brazill was considered one of the top sleeper picks by many experts. Maybe Brazill took the term too literally.

Tired of waiting for his name to be called, Brazill decided to take a nap when the sixth round of the draft began Saturday afternoon.    

But a phone call awoke him. On the other end was an Indianapolis Colts representative, who informed Brazill that the team was going to select him with the 206th pick of the draft.

“Before the sixth round, I was like, ‘This is going into the sixth round; I’m going to go to sleep and take a nap.’ And then my phone rang,” Brazill said.

Brazill was the second receiver the rebuilding Colts took during the draft. He will join quarterback Andrew Luck of Stanford, whom Indianapolis selected with the No. 1 overall pick Thursday night.

Brazill said he has been waiting for the opportunity to catch passes from Luck, whom many have called the best quarterback prospect in 20 years.

“I’m very excited. At the combine, I was talking to (Luck) and I asked him, ‘When am I going to catch one of your passes?’” Brazill said. “I’m just ready to catch passes for him.”

Brazill became the 30th Bobcat to be selected in the history of the NFL Draft and the fourth in five years. He follows 2010 selectee Taylor Price as the fourth Ohio receiver to be drafted.

“I’m just thanking God,” Brazill said. “I’m blessed. He’s been leading me through all this.”

Former Ohio linebacker Noah Keller also received a call from a team sharing its intentions to pick him in the fifth round, but that team later traded its pick and Keller went undrafted.

Before the draft, Keller listed seven teams that had shown interest in drafting him. Of those, only the New England Patriots traded their fifth-round pick. Keller had a private workout with New England before the draft.

Less than 24 hours after the draft ended, Keller signed as a preferred free agent with the St. Louis Rams.

“I had been in contact with them throughout the draft and even before,” Keller said. “On day two of the draft, I had been talking with their linebackers coach and special teams coach. I was just kind of hoping that I would have my name called, but if not, I knew they wanted to have me as a preferred free agent.”

Keller also had post-draft offers from the Patriots, San Diego Chargers and New York Jets, but he said he figures he has the best chance of making the Rams’ roster.

“I thought it was the best situation for me,” Keller said. “The coaches seemed like they wanted to have me there, so I thought I would stand a good chance of making the team. They need linebackers, and it’s also a system where I would be able to play multiple positions and start on special teams.”

Keller believed he had a good chance of getting drafted after recording Pro Day statistics similar to those of players who were invited to the NFL Combine.

Though he was hoping to be selected at the draft, Keller said it was nice to have the flexibility to pick the team he wanted to sign with.

“A lot of ups and downs here and there, but the day after I realize that, it’s not really a big deal,” he said. “Whether I was drafted fifth, sixth or seventh round, I’d still be in the same position that I’m in right now. I would have to make the team before I ended up making any money, so it’s all the same at that point.”

Former Ohio punter Paul Hershey has signed as a free agent with the Kansas City Chiefs, while former receiver and quarterback Phil Bates signed with the Seattle Seahawks.

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