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For once in NFL draft, Florida schools not top priority

In his final game for the Gators, Percy Harvin is tackled by Oklahoma’s Nic Harris in January’s the BCS title game.

Associated Press

In his final game for the Gators, Percy Harvin is tackled by Oklahoma’s Nic Harris in January’s the BCS title game.

On the day that Miami's record streak of first-round picks stopped at 14 years, all of the state's colleges were even quieter than expected on the first day of the NFL draft.

Florida receiver Percy Harvin, apparently unharmed by reports of a failed drug test at the NFL combine, was picked 22nd by the Minnesota Vikings. But he was the only first-rounder, as Florida State defensive end Everette Brown, widely projected as a first-round pick, fell all the way to the 11th pick of the second round, going to Carolina at No. 43 overall.

The last time Florida colleges had fewer than three first-round picks? In 1996, when Miami's Ray Lewis was the only one. In 12 drafts since, Florida schools had averaged 5.5 first-round picks.

On Saturday, it was just Harvin, who helped the Gators to two national titles and brings big-play potential to Minnesota.

"I'm happy for Percy," Florida coach Urban Meyer said in a statement. "He had dreams of coming to Florida to win championships and then have an opportunity to play in the NFL. His dreams came true."

Harvin, used as a running back and receiver at Florida, could also make an impact with the Vikings on kickoff and punt returns.

"With these coaches, I opened up to them and they opened up to me," Harvin told AP of his troubles, including the drug test. "So when it got to those subjects, the only thing I could do was tell them the truth, be up front, and let them judge me from there. … I've got their back and they got mine."

When Brown was still available after 42 picks, the Panthers traded their 2010 first-round pick to San Francisco to get the No. 43 pick, as well as a fourth-rounder in today's draft. Brown had 23.5 sacks in two seasons as a starter at FSU and opted to leave school after his junior season.

UF receiver Louis Murphy and tight end Cornelius Ingram and USF linebacker Tyrone McKenzie are all projected as third-round picks today.

FAST FACTS

State draft picks

Name Position School Round (Pick) Team

Percy Harvin WR Florida 1 (22) Vikings

Everette Brown DE FSU 2 (43) Panthers

For once in NFL draft, Florida schools not top priority 04/25/09 [Last modified: Saturday, April 25, 2009 11:18pm]
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