Cardinals select MSU's Christian in fifth round of 2016 NFL Draft

WICHITA FALLS, TX - Midwestern State's Marqui Christian realized his dream of playing professional football Saturday when the Arizona Cardinals used the 28th pick in the 5th round of the 2016 NFL Draft on MSU's all-time leading tackler.
 
"He is an instinctive safety who has adequate ball skills," ESPN NFL draft analyst Kevin Wield posted on ESPN.com. "He is also a reliable tackler who will bring quality value on special teams coverage units early in his career."
 
Christian gained first-team All-America honors from the American Football Coaches' Association and D2CCA/CoSIDA (Collegiate Sports Information Directors of America) while earning second-team Associated Press Little All-America honors.
 
Christian, who received the Cliff Harris Award as the top defensive player in the country representing Division II, Division III and NAIA, has piled on postseason accolades becoming MSU's first defensive player since 1952 to earn Associated Press Little All-America honors taking second team honors.
 
The 5-10, 196-pound safety was a first-team All-America selection by the American Football Coaches' Association (AFCA), D2CCA (sports information directors) and D2Football.com teams after gaining J.V. Sikes/Lone Star Conference Defensive Player of the Year and top defensive back honors as a three-time, first-team All-LSC performer.
 
Christian, who was taken with the 167th overall pick, closed his Midwestern State career as the program's all-time tackle leader with 295.
 
"When I went out there to Arizona, I just felt like it was the place for me and now I'm a Cardinal," Christian told azcardinals.com. "They talked about a hybrid-type guy, a safety playing down in the box. Just using my different talents - blitzing off the edge, man-to-man in the slot, zone and being interchangeable at safety."
 
Christian becomes the third MSU player to be selected in the NFL Draft and the first since Amini Silatolu was taken with the 40th overall pick at the beginning of the second round by the Carolina Panthers in the 2012 draft.
 
Defensive tackle Dudley Meredith was taken with the 251st overall pick of the 21st round by the Detroit Lions in 1957. He went on to play six seasons with the Houston Oilers and Buffalo Bills of the AFL from 1963-68.
 
Christian will be the seventh player from Midwestern State to play in the NFL joining Meredith, defensive back Ray Gene Smith (1954-57), wide receiver Bryan Gilmore (2000-07), running back Dominic Rhodes (2001-10), offensive lineman Joe Unga (2013-14) and Silatolu (2012-present).
 
Christian helped Midwestern State to a 10-2 regular season, an LSC playoff title and to its sixth NCAA Division II playoff berth in 2015.

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