The end of the 2017 NFL Draft had a distinct Western New York flair.
The Cincinnati Bengals drafted University at Buffalo tight end Mason Schreck with the 251st pick in the seventh round Saturday night, two spots before the Denver Broncos made Chad Kelly "Mr. Irrelevant" as the 253rd and final selection.
Schreck, a 6-foot-4, 250-pounder, played in 46 games for the Bulls, registering 108 catches for 1,120 yards and six touchdowns. He really came on as a senior, finishing the year with 59 catches for 651 yards and four touchdowns. He had 10 more catches than his first three seasons combined and his 651 receiving yards were the most ever by a tight end in a single season in school history.
"Just finally settling in and being comfortable," Schreck said of his breakout season. "I'm still really new to the tight end position. Every day was a learning experience for me."
Schreck played quarterback in high school, and credited former UB teammate Matt Weiser from showing him the ropes at tight end.
"My coaches always believed in me. Them and my teammates," said Schreck, who graduated in December with a degree in communications.
Schreck becomes the 10th member of the Bulls to be drafted since 1997, and first since Kristjan Sokoli in 2015.
"My first day, going against guys like Steve Means and Khalil Mack, and playing with Branden Oliver and Alex Neutz, those guys paved the way for me and set the example," he said. "I just wanted to do the best I could, do what I was asked, do what I was coached to do. It's a blessing to be able to say I went to UB."
The Bengals were not one of the 10 teams who attended the Bulls' Pro Day in March, but Schreck made an official pre-draft visit and knew they were interested. The native of Medina, Ohio, will return to his home state to purse his professional career.
"Every time I've gone to Cincinnati, I've had a pretty good feeling, so to say I play for the Bengals is pretty cool," he said.
Schreck spent Saturday in Fort Myers, Fla., with his parents, brother, girlfriend and grandparents. He watched the draft after playing a round of golf in the morning. As the draft wound down, Schreck started to field phone calls from teams interested in signing him as a priority free agent. He thought he had a deal with the Philadelphia Eagles, until his phone rang with a Cincinnati area code.
"It was coach Marvin Lewis, and he said we're going to lock you in right here," Schreck said. "I broke down, and my family did too. It was a great experience to have everybody here, and for my dream to come true."