As far as endorsements go, praise from NFL Hall of Fame linebacker Dick Butkus is the peak of the mountain for a defensive player. Butkus welcomed former Florida State defensive tackle Eddie Goldman to the Bears, saying “I like this” before reading off the selection Friday night at the 2015 NFL Draft in Chicago.
“It’s a great honor,” Goldman said in his first interview as a member of the Bears. “I’m at a loss for words. I’m just ecstatic right now.”
Mario Edwards Jr. was the first of four Seminoles drafted Friday, taken by the Oakland Raiders with the third pick of the second round. Goldman was selected in the second round with the No. 39 pick. The Buffalo Bills selected cornerback Ronald Darby with the No. 50 pick. The New Orleans Saints selected cornerback P.J. Williams in the third round with the No. 78 selection.
The Indianapolis Colts took Florida Atlantic cornerback D’Joun Smith with the first pick of the third round. Smith sat with family members, still sporting his cap and gown from FAU’s graduation ceremony, when he got the Colts’ call.
“I’m very proud of Eddie and happy for his family,” Seminoles coach Jimbo Fisher said in a statement. “He had a great career here and improved every season. He was a tremendous leader and force of nature on our defensive line this past season. He will contribute right away for the bears and is only going to get better. I’m looking forward to watching him in the pros.”
Edwards will reunite with Sal Sunseri, who left FSU this season to serve as the Raiders’ defensive line coach.
“This is a great moment for Mario and his family,” Fisher said. “I’m very excited for him. Mario got better every year. He was a dominant player and a leader of our defense. It will be fun watching him continue to improve with the Raiders. He has the ability to be a great player in the NFL.”
The Dallas Cowboys drafted Mario Edwards Sr. in the sixth round of the 2000 NFL Draft. Edwards Jr. was the top high school recruit in 2012 when he came out of Texas.
“[Darby] was the best player on the board,” general manager Doug Whaley told the Bills. “We think Darby is a heck of a football player.”
FSU led all colleges with five draft picks through the first two rounds, tying its 2013 school record and leads all school’s through three rounds with six players drafted.
“It’s a blessing,” Darby told the Bills. “I couldn’t ask for much more. I’m just ready to get out there, develop more as a player, show what I can do and just get better and make plays for the Bills.”