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NFL draft news and notes

New heights

Wake Forest LB Aaron Curry could become the highest draft pick in school history, with many projections linking him to the Chiefs at No. 3 overall. Wake Forest has produced only three first-rounders since 1945. Curry's versatility — he can play inside or outside in either a 4-3 or 3-4 scheme — makes him quite attractive. There's been buzz about him being a possibility at No. 1 overall to the Lions.

All good things ...

Remember the name Kenny Phillips. The Giants' 2008 first-round pick, above, is likely to be the last of a slew of University of Miami players to be chosen in the first round.

The school's unprecedented 14-year streak of having at least one player selected in the first round almost certainly will end Saturday. With the Hurricane program going through some lean years, CB Bruce Johnson is the only Miami prospect projected to be drafted, likely not until well into Day 2.

Miami has become accustomed to often having multiple first-round picks annually. During the streak, the school had three or more first-round picks on five occasions. Miami set an NFL record in 2004 with six first-round picks.

What happened? A more level playing field in college football has made it tougher to dominate. Plus, the recruiting classes of former coach Larry Coker — fired after the 2006 season — were lackluster, to say the least, depriving Miami of its usual wealth of talent.

But what remains is the accountability brought about by guys like former Buccaneer Warren Sapp, left, who started the streak in 1995. That's why most agree Miami one day will begin another streak.

"That's why we're NFLU," Johnson told ESPN the Magazine. "If you don't make plays, they will sit you, forget you and move on to the next guy, just like in the NFL."

History lesson

A quick look at the past five No. 19 selections, perhaps giving the Bucs a preview of what it may yield for them:

(Year, player, school, NFL team)

2008: OT Jeff Otah, Pitt (Panthers) — Started as a rookie.

2007: S Michael Griffin, Texas (Titans) — Tied for second in NFL with seven INTs in '08.

2006: CB Antonio Cromartie, FSU (Chargers) — Arguably the NFL's best cover CB.

2005: OT Alex Barron, FSU (Rams) — Reliable blocker as the starting RT.

2004: OT Vernon Carey, Miami (Dolphins) — Started all but two games since '05.

Number of the day

2,734 Combined rushing yards for Georgia RB Knowshon Moreno the past two seasons.

This is a label

BUCS picks round/overall: 1/19 | 2/50 | 3/81 | 4/120 | 5/159 | 6/191 | 7/217 | 7/226 | 7/229

NFL draft news and notes 04/21/09 [Last modified: Wednesday, April 22, 2009 7:38am]

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