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pakowitz 03-31-2004 11:40 AM

Mock draft: 'Canes come first on draft day
March 29, 2004
By Dennis Dodd Senior Writer
Tell Dennis your opinion!

How many this year? How many first-round draft choices for Miami?

Maybe the question is, how much more attrition can Larry Coker and his program take? Since 1998, Miami has produced 16 first-round draft choices. There have been 13 first-round draft choices combined in the last three years. By Miami's research that's the best three-year run ever. As is the two-year run in 2001 and 2002 (nine players taken in the first round). The five players taken in 2002 tied the first-round record set by USC in 1968.

Next month the program will undoubtedly break the record it shares with Florida: Most consecutive years with at least one first-round choice (nine).

This year there is the possibility of five more Hurricanes going in the first round: tight end Kellen Winslow Jr., defensive tackle Vince Wilfork, safety Sean Taylor and linebackers Jonathan Vilma and D.J. Williams.

While we're not quite predicting that many in the latest mock draft below, Miami definitely can sell the NFL to its recruits. More amazing is that Coker and the Hurricanes seem to recover.

After losing those 13 first-rounders the past three years, try guessing where the Hurricanes will be ranked before next season? Top 10, at least.

1. San Diego, Eli Manning, QB, Mississippi: Still having reservations about this one. Manning is plenty talented, but Marty Schottenheimer doesn't like to pick quarterbacks in the first round. A trade is still a possibility. Big decision here. The last two big-time quarterbacks that came to America's Finest City were Cryin' Leaf and Drew Brees.

for the rest of this mock draft, click here:

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