Josh McRoberts was never so relieved to hear his name called.

The former Duke forward was taken with the 37th pick by the Portland Trail Blazers in the 2007 NBA Draft held June 28 in New York City's Madison Square Garden.

McRoberts, thought to be a surefire lottery pick out of high school, surprisingly slipped into the second round even though most experts believed the 6-foot-9 forward would be taken in the mid to late first round.

The Trail Blazers, who had passed on McRoberts with the 24th pick, were ecstatic he was still on the board at 37.

"We were shocked actually [that he fell]," Portland Assistant General Manager Tom Penn said. "We thought for sure he was first-round talent."

The Trail Blazers apparently weren't alone in that assessment, as Penn said two teams attempted to trade with Portland in order to take McRoberts with the 37th selection.

"I thought Josh would have been good value at the end of the first round," Duke alumnus and ESPN draft analyst Jay Bilas said. "He was a steal for Portland at 37."

McRoberts had been on the Trail Blazers' radar since his standout high school career at Carmel High School in Indiana.

"He was a very accomplished player at the high school level, and we were aware of it then and of course tracked his every move at Duke, so we felt like we knew him pretty well," Penn said. "Our scouts were at a number of Duke games, and of course they appear on television every once in a while."

McRoberts capped his high school career by earning MVP honors in the McDonald's All-American Game and joined the Blue Devils with high expectations. While he often showed flashes of his potential brilliance on the court, he was plagued by inconsistency in his two seasons at Duke.

In many ways McRoberts was the victim of poor timing in Durham. Playing alongside J.J. Redick and Shelden Williams his freshman season, McRoberts was often relegated to a tertiary option on offense. A year later, he was thrust into the limelight following the graduation of Redick and Williams but never seemed comfortable in his role as a go-to scorer. He led the Blue Devils in scoring only four times in ACC play and struggled down the stretch in many close games.

"He's a good complementary player, and I mean that as a compliment," Bilas said. "He makes people around him better. He's not a solo guy, he's an ensemble player."

McRoberts will have plenty of young stars to complement in Portland, beginning with his friend and fellow Indiana native, top-pick Greg Oden.

"It's helpful that [McRoberts] and Greg are friends because of course that fosters better team chemistry and just creates a comfort level for both of those guys," Penn said. "It was sort of icing on the cake."

Oden and McRoberts are not the only parts of the Trail Blazers' youth movement. Last season's NBA Rookie of the Year Brandon Roy and recent college standouts LaMarcus Aldridge, Channing Frye and Jarrett Jack are all part of the rebuilding in the Pacific Northwest.

"We've got big time competition at every position," Penn said. "It's difficult to say where [McRoberts] or anybody else is going to shake out in the playing rotation, but for a rookie he's going to have a chance to earn minutes and certainly be a part of the team."

Meredith Shiner contributed to this story.