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The Atlanta Falcons Pick Marquis Spruill in the Fifth Round

...And the second Syracuse player is off the board.

Jonathan Daniel

Marquis Spruill will be staying in ACC country.

The Atlanta Falcons selected Spruill in the fifth round of the NFL Draft.  Spruill recorded 41.0 tackles for loss in his career, the second-most in Syracuse history.  Last season, he had 66 total tackles, including a sack in the Texas Bowl.

Spruill, a native of Hillside, N.J., exceeded expectations by being pick No. 168.  Last month, Mel Kiper projected him to be either a sixth or seventh-round pick.  He is the first Syracuse linebacker to be drafted since Doug Hogue in 2011.  He's also the second Syracuse player taken this year, after Jay Bromley was selected by the Giants in the third round. Spruill and Bromley tied for the team lead in 2013 with 14.5 tackles for loss.

Although undersized for an NFL linebacker, Spruill brings versatility to the Falcons.  He was open to the idea of playing special teams or moving to nickel back.

"I give great effort," Spruill said after Pro Day.  "You can put me almost anywhere and I’ll get the job done. That’s just the type of player you need on your team. That go-to guy and I could be that guy."