The defensive tackle received a pleasant surprise. The Tennessee Titans selected Marks in the second round with the 62nd overall pick.
"I had no idea who would pick me and when I'd be picked," Marks said. "I just sat around waiting, and it just happened.
"A lot of people had me in the second or third round. But I saw a lot of guys go ahead of me that I didn't expect, but it really didn't matter to me. It just feels great."
Marks decided to forego his senior season, choosing instead the riches of the NFL Draft.
For some time, that decision seemed to backfire. Marks watched his draft status drop after a bad combine showing and a less-than-stellar Pro Day performance.
Still, the Titans decided to take a chance on the second-team all-SEC player late in the second round.
Tennessee was one of a few teams that Marks visited.
"The Titans complex was the only facility that I went to visit and I really enjoyed it," Marks said. "It was a lot like Auburn's, so I felt very familiar with it. I really liked the d-line coaches and the way that they coach. I really liked my visit and enjoyed it."
Marks didn't start playing football until high school. Because of his late interest, many programs did not recruit the two-star prospect out of high school.
Once Marks got to Auburn, however, he exceeded expectations. He finished as at least a part-time starter over all three seasons at Auburn after redshirting in 2005.
Marks finished with 32 tackles in 2008, including 10 tackles for loss and a pair of sacks. He also blocked a kick.
As a sophomore in 2007, Marks accumulated 43 tackles, including nine for loss.
Marks, a 6-foot-2, 306-pound lineman, has experience playing at end. He split time there in '07 before moving full-time to tackle as a junior.
Tennessee needed help along the defensive line after Albert Haynesworth left the team to sign a lucrative deal with the Washington Redskins.
"Sen'Derrick Marks is perfect getting up the field," ESPN analyst Todd McShay said "He's at his best when he's on the move. He's a little bit undersized. Early on, he can come in and rush the passer from the interior. Certainly Tennessee needs some depth at the defensive tackle position, and I think Marks will provide some of that."
The Titans tried to address the position through free agency, signing former Tampa Bay starter Jovan Haye.
As a 14-game starter, Haye finished with 33 tackles. Another defensive tackle, Tony Brown, had 52 tackles, including four sacks, last year. Jason Jones is the only other Titans tackle with significant experience.
Marks was one of six defensive tackles selected in the first two rounds.
"I went crazy," Marks said. "When I went to visit the Titans, I asked coach (Jeff) Fisher how it all works on draft day, and he asked if I really wanted to know and he told me. When he just called me, he said, 'Didn't I tell you that it was going to be a great feeling?'"
Around the state
• Former Daphne High School and West Virginia quarterback Pat White was chosen by the Dolphins with the 44th pick. That seems like a smart pick for the Dolphins, who introduced a "Wildcat" package last year. With his running abilities, White would be effective in that package. The 6-foot, 197-pounder finished his career with 10,529 yards in total offense, including 4,480 rushing.
• Troy defensive back Sherrod Martin was taken by the Carolina Panthers 15 picks after Miami chose White. Martin recovered from two injury-plagued seasons to jump up draft boards after a strong senior season that included a three-interception game, where he intercepted three passes in one quarter against Alcorn State.
The 6-foot-1 Martin played safety in college but will start out as a cornerback with Carolina.