The Atlanta Falcons selected Syracuse linebacker Marquis Spruill in the fifth round of the 2014 NFL Draft, trading up from their sixth-round spot with the Minnesota Vikings. The Falcons gave up their sixth-round (182nd overall) and seventh-round picks (220th overall) to the Vikings for their fifth-round (168th overall) to select Spruill.
Spruill is the lone pick selected thus far by the Falcons in 2014 that was not invited to the Scouting Combine in February. Spruill is noted for his athleticism, earning nomination as a potential “freak” by CBS Sports’ Bruce Feldman last May. At his pro day, Spruill measured in at 6’1″ 231 pounds, clocking a 4.53-second 40-yard dash with 21 bench reps of 225 pounds, 34.5-inch vertical jump and 7.33-second three-cone drill.
As a senior captain, Spruill earned honorable mention All-ACC honors with career-highs of 66 tackles, 14.5 tackles for loss and 5.5 sacks. Spruill played both inside and outside linebacker at Syracuse, but played predominantly in the middle as a four-year starter with 49 career starts. He finished his career second on the school’s all-time list with 41 tackles for loss, while also adding 12.5 career sacks and four pass breakups.
Spruill will likely play inside and outside for the Falcons as a reserve behind Sean Weatherspoon at weak-side linebacker.