The University of Miami football team set new records for NFL draft picks in a single season and in consecutive years, as six Hurricanes were selected on the first day of the 2002 draft – five in the first round. Over the course of the two-day draft, Miami led all schools with 11 selections.
Five Hurricanes – offensive tackle Bryant McKinnie (No. 7, Minnesota Vikings), tight end Jeremy Shockey (No. 14, New York Giants), cornerback Phillip Buchanon (No. 17, Oakland Raiders), safety Edward Reed (No. 24, Baltimore Ravens) and cornerback Mike Rumph (No. 26, San Francisco) – were all selected in the first round. That gave UM an all-time record for most players drafted in the first round over two seasons.
Miami has had a total of nine players taken in the first round over the 2001 and 2002 drafts, surpassing the record held by USC (1968-69) and Notre Dame (1993-94). The Hurricanes’ five first round picks also tied USC’s 1969 record for most players from a single school taken in the first round. In addition, the ‘Canes raised their first-round total to 31 since 1987 – tops in the nation.
Miami’s previous best first round showing was last season, as four Hurricanes – defensive tackle Damione Lewis (No. 11, St. Louis Rams), linebacker Dan Morgan (No. 12, Carolina Panthers), receiver Santana Moss (No. 16, New York Jets) and receiver Reggie Wayne (No. 30, Indianapolis Colts) were taken in the first round.
Besides the five players selected in the first round of the 2002 Draft, tailback Clinton Portis (Denver Broncos) was taken on the first day of the draft with the No. 51 pick in the second round. Portis, along with Buchanon and Shockey, elected to forgo their senior years in favor of the NFL.
Five more Hurricanes, all seniors, were selected on the final day of the draft. Offensive guard Martin Bibla (Atlanta Falcons) and running back Najeh Davenport (Green Bay Packers) were selected in the fourth round. Safety James Lewis will join former Hurricanes Edgerrin James and Reggie Wayne in Indianapolis, where he was taken by the Colts in the sixth round.
The Giants added another Hurricane to their roster in the seventh and final round, selecting receiver Daryl Jones. Former UM head coach Butch Davis continued his trend of drafting former players, taking offensive tackle Joaquin Gonzalez in the seventh round. Last season, Davis drafted former ‘Canes James Jackson and Andre King.
The Hurricanes have established themselves as a force to be reckoned with in the NFL. UM could fill an All-Pro team with the likes of linebackers Ray Lewis and Jessie Armstead and quarterbacks Jim Kelly and Bernie Kosar. This year’s draft further emphasizes that if an NFL team wishes to be successful, it should field at least a few ex-Hurricanes.