Tuesday, January 25, 2022

SPORTS UPDATE: Duckett picked No. 18 by Atlanta

Former Spartan tailback T.J. Duckett was picked by the Atlanta Falcons as the 18th pick in the NFL Draft on Saturday.

Duckett, an MSU standout and fan favorite, was largely expected by analysts to be chosen by the Cleveland Browns, which would have put him at 16th in the draft. Instead, the Browns picked Boston College running back William Green.

“I didn’t know what other team needed a running back,” Duckett said.

But then he was surprised by a call from the Falcons.

“It was a shocker,” Duckett said. “That was the last team I thought was going to call.”

MSU football head coach Bobby Williams said he was confident Duckett would be picked in the first round of the draft, although the decision by Cleveland to pass up the Spartan also surprised him.

Williams said he was impressed by Duckett’s effort while NFL teams were scouting players prior to the draft.

“At first I had some questions, but after watching him work out, then there was no doubt he was going to be a first-round pick,” Williams said.

The move to Atlanta will take Duckett away from his family and home state, but there are many things the NFL recruit said he will miss.

“Everything,” Duckett said. “Friends, family, school, fans, the team - everything.”

For more information on this article, and updates on other Spartans picked in the weekend’s NFL Draft, read Monday’s edition of The State News and continued coverage at www.statenews.com.

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