Historic NFL Draft For Auburn Football

Auburn's draft day success will be long remembered as a record-setter for Auburn and SEC football.

Auburn, Ala.--Auburn made Southeastern Conference history on Saturday with 40 percent of the league's record record-tying 10 NFL first round draft selections being Auburn Tigers.

The parade of picks began with Auburn's Ronnie Brown going to the Miami Dolphins with the second overall pick and fellow running back Carnell Williams just behind as the fifth pick going to the Tampa Bay Bucs. That made the Tiger seniors the earliest pair of running backs selected from the same team in the history of the NFL draft.

The only other colleges that have produced a pair of first round picks in the same draft were Ohio State in 1971, Florida in 1986 and Texas A&M a year later.

Ohio State's John Brockington was the ninth pick to the Green Bay Packers and Leo Hayden was taken 24th by Minnesota.

Florida's John L. Williams was taken 15th by the Seattle Seahawks and Neal Anderson went to the Chicago Bears with the 27th pick.

In 1987 Roger Vick of Texas A&M was taken 21st by the New York Jets and Rod Bernstine was selected 24th by the San Diego Chargers.

Auburn coach Tommy Tuberville says that he was not surprised except to say that he figured Williams might have gone even sooner than number five overall.

With many draft projections predicting Jason Campbell going in the second round, Tuberville says that he expected his All-SEC quarterback to be taken in round one along with the running backs and cornerback Carlos Rogers, who was the ninth pick to the Washington Redskins.

Further history was made with Campbell joining his running backs to make the first ever complete starting backfield drafted in NFL history.

Auburn's four selections are shy of the all-time record for first round drafts that was set a year ago by Miami when six Hurricanes were selected. Miami in 2002 and Southern Cal in 1968 are the only colleges with five first round selections.

Joining Auburn with four picks are Michigan State in 1967, Ohio State in 1971, Nore Dame in 1993, Florida State in 1997, Miami in 2001 and 2003 and Penn State in 2003.

Since the SEC expansion in 1992 going from 10 to 12 teams, the league has had 79 players selected in the first round, an average of 5.6 players per season. Other SEC players taken in the first round this year include:

*WR Troy Williamson of South Carolina to Minnesota with the No. 7 pick.

*DB Thomas Davis of Georgia to Carolina at No. 14.

*DE David Pollack of Georgia to Cincinnati at No. 17

*DE Marcus Spears of LSU to Dallas at No. 20

*WR/QB Matt Jones of Arkansas to Jacksonville at No. 21

*C Chris Spencer of Ole Miss to Seattle at No. 26

The SEC also had 10 players taken in the 1998 draft. That group included two first round picks from Auburn--linebacker Takeo Spikes to the Bengals and OL Victor Riley to the Chiefs.

Others in that group included Tennessee's Peyton Manning as the No. 1 pick to the Indianapolis Colts, Florida's Fred Taylor (Jacksonville), Georgia's Robert Edwards (New England), Tennessee's Terry Fair (Detroit), Florida's Mo Collins (Oakland), LSU's Alan Faneca (Pittsburgh), Ole Miss' John Avery (Miami) and Tennessee's Marcus Nash (Denver).

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