The 2003 NFL Draft turned out to be just another successful draft for the UM football program.
Eight Miami Hurricanes were selected overall in the draft, which brought their two year total to a 19 players, which ties the NCAA all-time record for any college program, a record the ‘Canes had a share of when they did it in 1987-88.
This time, the ‘Canes came extremely close to breaking the record. The only reason Miami did not break the record was due to a surprising draft day falling of the stock of All-American center Brett Romberg, who ended up signing a free agent deal with the Jacksonville Jaguars.
The ‘Canes sported four first round selections in Andre Johnson, Jerome McDougle, Willis McGahee, and William Joseph. Johnson started things off by going No. 3 overall to the Houston Texans. Johnson’s 1092 yard, nine-touchdown season earned him the honor of being a top five selection.
Jerome McDougle’s name was called out next, when he became the first of five Hurricane defensive linemen selected, at No. 15 to the Philadelphia Eagles.
In perhaps the shock of the draft, the Buffalo Bills became the unlikely team to take a flyer on the injured Willis McGahee, doing so with the 23rd overall pick in the draft, despite McGahee’s uncertain status for the 2003 season. William Joseph joined McDougle in the NFC East, going to the New York Giants with the 25th pick in the first round.
The first day of the draft was not finished for Hurricane players, as Andrew Williams became the 89th overall pick of the draft, and a third round selection of the San Francisco 49ers. The Williams pick marked the third defensive lineman taken off of the ‘Canes defensive line, which was widely regarded as the best in the nation last season.
Day two of the draft yielded three more Hurricane selections, two of which came off the defensive line. Jamaal Green kicked things off in the fourth round, joining McDougle in Philadelphia, as the 131st overall pick. Just 19 selections later, Matt Walters became the fifth and final Canes defensive lineman to be selected, at No. 150 to the New York Jets.
The last round of the draft may have been the one every ‘Canes fan was waiting for. Star QB Ken Dorsey, a California native, was taken by his hometown team, the San Francisco 49ers with the 241st overall selection in the 7th round. It will be a homecoming for Dorsey, who is expected to compete for the backup quarterback spot on the 49ers, playing under former UM head coach Dennis Erickson.
These eight Hurricanes all have a very good chance of making the squads that they were drafted on, and several could be impact players right away. With these eight players selected, the Miami Hurricanes football program continues to set the standard for the rest of the colleges to follow.