The former walk-on at Temple glided to the stage at the Art Museum and greeted NFL commissioner Roger Goodell enthusiastically, the completion of an improbable journey that ended up virtually in his own backyard.
Temple's Haason Reddick was smiling ear to ear Thursday night after the Arizona Cardinals selected him in the first round, the 13th pick overall.
Reddick made several NFL visits during the pre-draft process and the Cardinals were the last team he met with.
"I knew it," Reddick said about his selection by Arizona.
Having his selection come in Philadelphia made it more special.
"It means a lot, especially to hear the uproar from the crowd when my name was called, that was beautiful," Reddick said. "I didn't know it was going to be that loud."
Reddick, who hails from Camden and spent his final two injury-plagued high school seasons at Haddon Heights, said he was considered a third-to-fifth round pick after Temple's season.
Why that was the case is confounding since he set an American Athletic Conference record of 221/2 tackles for losses for an Owls team that went 10-4 and won the league championship. Reddick also added 91/2 sacks as an undersize 6-foot-1, 237-pound defensive end.
He will play linebacker in the NFL, but with his cat-quick first move he might be able to see some time at defensive end as well. Either way, he is looking to make the same type of impact that he did at Temple.
After he dominated competition at the Senior Bowl and then wowed the scouting combine by running a 4.52-second 40-yard dash, the question wasn't whether he would be a first-round pick but how high he would be selected.
He was selected by a Cardinals team whose coach, Bruce Arians, once held the same title at Temple. It was Arians' first head coaching job, from 1983-88.
"To play for a fellow Temple guy, that is special," Reddick said "How many players can come to the draft and play for a fellow alum?"
Reddick became the fourth Temple player to be selected in the first round and the first since Muhammad Wilkerson was the No. 30 overall selection by the New York Jets in 2011. He is the second-highest Temple pick, behind only offensive lineman John Rienstra, who as selected ninth overall by Pittsburgh in 1986.
Reddick said before the draft that he wouldn't mind training year-round in a warm-weather state. He obviously got his wish.
"The sun is always shining in Arizona," Reddick said. "I am definitely excited about that."
A run on QBs
Three quarterbacks went in the first 12 selections, with all three coming via trades.
After the Cleveland Browns selected Texas A&M defensive end Myles Garrett first overall as expected, the Chicago Bears pulled the evening's first stunner.
The Bears, who were slated to pick No. 3, traded a significant amount to the San Francisco 49ers to move up one spot and then selected quarterback Mitch Trubisky of North Carolina.
Trubisky's biggest knock was his inexperience. Remember last year when the Eagles selected Carson Wentz second and there was concern that he only had 23 career starts? Trubisky started just 13 games, all last season as a junior, and had an 8-5 record.
"I didn't see that coming at all. It was a mystery the last couple of weeks," Trubisky said. "I am just happy to be a Chicago Bear."
To move up one spot, the Bears traded their third-round pick (67 overall) and a fourth-rounder (111 overall) this season and their third-round selection in 2018.
For new 49ers general manager John Lynch, it was quite a first trade in his tenure. The 49ers selected defensive lineman Solomon Thomas of Stanford, a player they likely were targeting at No. 2 anyway.
The 6-foot-3, 273-pound Thomas has the ability to play tackle or end. "I can play outside or inside and be versatile and move around," Thomas said.
The next stunner came at No. 10 when Buffalo traded its pick to Kansas City. The Chiefs dealt their first pick (No. 27) and third-round pick (No. 91) this year and their first-round selection next season. The Chiefs used the No. 10 pick to select Texas Tech quarterback Patrick Mahomes II.
After New Orleans selected the top cornerback in the draft, Ohio State's Marshon Lattimore, at No. 11, quarterback-needy Houston got into the mix, trading up with Cleveland for the 12th overall pick and selecting quarterback DeShaun Watson of national champion Clemson.
Houston sent Cleveland its first-round pick this year (No. 25) and its first-round pick next season.
"Coach said come in here, put my head down, don't say anything and go to work," Watson said. "We are going to make it happen."
The other top-10 picks were LSU running back Leonard Fournette No. 4 to Jacksonville, followed by Western Michigan receiver Corey Davis to Tennessee; LSU safety Jamal Adams to the New York Jets; Clemson receiver Mike Williams to San Diego; Stanford running back Christian McCaffrey to Carolina; and Washington receiver John Ross to Cincinnati.
In a surprising move, Ohio State cornerback Gareon Conley, who was accused of sexual assault just days before the draft, was selected with the 24th pick in the first round by the Oakland Raiders. Conley has called the allegations "completely false." He has not been charged but a police investigation in Cleveland is continuing.