MANHATTAN — Kansas State fullback Braden Wilson joined teammates and fellow Kansans Arthur Brown and Chris Harper as selections in this weekend's NFL draft at Radio City Music Hall in New York City.
At around 4:15 on Saturday afternoon, Wilson was the 204th overall pick in the sixth round by the Kansas City Chiefs.
The so-called "experts" say the fullback position is a dying breed in the league, but you can't tell that to the Chiefs nor Wilson, a Smith Center product, who grew up an avid fan of the Wildcats and Chiefs.
"I feel blessed to be in the situation I'm in," said Wilson, reached on his cell phone late Saturday afternoon. He was accompanied by nearly his entire family — minus his sister Jenna — at his brother's (Nick) residence in Olathe.
"I'm going to do my best to capitalize. I will be excited to be in the locker room for the Chiefs."
The last couple days have been difficult for Wilson, expecting the unexpected from the draft.
"It's very nerve-wracking," Wilson said. "You just don't know where you're going to be, and it's all out of your hands.
"I'm fortunate that I get to stay in Kansas City and play for the team that I've always loved. Naturally, being a Chiefs fan, in the back of my mind I was always hoping that Kansas City would come through for me, and they did."
Brown, a linebacker, was selected by the defending Super Bowl champion Baltimore Ravens in the second round on Friday night, the 56th overall pick. He starred at Wichita East High School and transferred to Kansas State after two seasons at Miami.
Around noon on Saturday, wide receiver Chris Harper, a Wichita Northwest product, became the second Wildcats player to go, chosen in Round 4 by the Seattle Seahawks.
Then came Wilson, putting a wrap on the Kansas trifecta.
Turning in back-to-back 100-tackle seasons at Kansas State, Brown was named the Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year in helping lead the Wildcats to a Big 12 championship and BCS Fiesta Bowl berth.
A 6-foot-2, 237-pounder, Brown will be one of the top candidates to fill the void left by mega All-Pro linebacker Ray Lewis to retirement.
A former quarterback at Oregon, Harper led Kansas State with 58 catches for a team-best 857 yards in 2012. He had "soft" hands and a propensity to make big plays for the Wildcats.
Notes — It extends a streak of 20 years that Kansas State has had at least one player taken in the draft. ... Brown is one of 16 players in team history to be selected in the first two rounds. ... Three players have been selected in the first round in K-State football history: Veryl Switzer, fourth overall by the Green Bay Packers in the 1954 draft; cornerback Terence Newman, fifth overall by the Dallas Cowboys in the 2003 draft; and quarterback Josh Freeman, 17th overall by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2009. ... Wilson's parents, Chuck and Meg, reside in Great Bend. ... Brown's younger brother, Bryce Brown, was a seventh-round pick of the Philadelphia Eagles in last year's draft after abruptly leaving Kansas State early in his freshman season in 2011. He became a starting running back for the Eagles late last season.