December 21, 2013 - Arena Football League (AFL) - Portland Thunder
PORTLAND, OR - The Portland Thunder added nine players to its roster Friday as the Arena Football League held its first Expansion Draft since 2006. Portland was joined in the selection process by the newly-formed Los Angeles KISS. The two teams were able to select draft-eligible players from the rosters of all other AFL franchises in a round-by-round event.
Holding the first overall pick in the Expansion Draft, the Thunder selected San Antonio Talons defensive back Eric Crocker. Crocker (6-2, 195, Arkansas-Monticello) posted 70.5 tackles with three interceptions as a rookie in 2012 before signing with the New York Jets during the 2013 season.
"I was the first overall pick in the AFL Expansion Draft," Crocker tweeted upon hearing the news. "Wow... That's a blessing."
Portland selected San Jose SaberCats offensive lineman Wayne Tribue with its second pick. Tribue has yet to play in an AFL game, but brings pro experience after spending time with the Denver Broncos in 2012 and the San Francisco 49ers in 2013.
In the third round, the Thunder selected Arizona Rattlers defensive end Antron Dillon (6-5, 270, North Alabama), who delivered 4.5 sacks and six tackles for loss over his first two AFL seasons. Dillon's selection was followed by New Orleans VooDoo defensive back Dwight McClean (6-2, 210, Purdue). McClean brings three seasons of AFL experience and has recorded six interceptions and 23 pass breakups in his career.
Portland added veteran players in the fifth and sixth rounds, drafting Tampa Bay Storm defensive end Pernell Phillips and Jacksonville Sharks offensive lineman Isaac Morales. Phillips has recorded 12 sacks in two seasons while Morales has served as a starter for the Sharks in each of his four years with the franchise.
The Thunder concluded the draft by selecting Philadelphia Soul offensive lineman Sioeli Fakalata, Pittsburgh Power wide receiver Tyler Beiler, and Tampa quarterback Shane Boyd. Fakalata and Beiler will enter their sophomore campaigns in the AFL. Boyd has thrown for 557 yards and nine touchdowns in two AFL seasons.
The Portland Thunder will kick off its inaugural season at the Moda Center on Monday, March 17th when they take on the San Jose SaberCats. Season tickets are available for purchase starting as low as $99 by calling 503-773-4AFL or by visiting PortlandAFL.com.
For all the latest news and discussion on the Portland Thunder, follow the team on Facebook (facebook.com/PDXThunder), Twitter and Instagram (@PDXThunder).
FULL EXPANSION DRAFT RESULTS:
Round 2014 Team Player 2013 Team
1 Portland Thunder DB Eric Crocker San Antonio Talons
1 LA KISS C Billy Eisenhardt Arizona Rattlers
2 Portland Thunder OL Wayne Tribue San Jose Sabercats
2 LA KISS DE Marc Schiechl Spokane Shock
3 Portland Thunder DE Antron Dillon Arizona Rattlers
3 LA KISS MLB Steve Octavien San Jose Sabercats
4 Portland Thunder DB Dwight McLean New Orleans VooDoo
4 LA KISS DE Mark Crawford Jacksonville Sharks
5 Portland Thunder DE Pernell Phillips Tampa Bay Storm
5 LA KISS DB Mervin Brookins Iowa Barnstormers
6 Portland Thunder OL Isaac Morales Jacksonville Sharks
6 LA KISS OL Isaac Leatiota San Antonio Talons
7 Portland Thunder OL Sioeli Fakalata Philadelphia Soul
7 LA KISS DE Dominie Pittman Pittsburgh Power
8 Portland Thunder WR Tyler Beiler Pittsburgh Power
8 LA KISS No selection - pass
9 Portland Thunder QB Shane Boyd Tampa Bay Storm
No selection - pass