Miami Extends First-Round Record to 13

CORAL GABLES – With three players selected in the first round of the NFL Draft on Saturday, Miami extends its record to 13 consecutive years.

Safety Brandon Meriweather was the first Hurricane selected as the New England Patriots took him with the 24th overall selection.

The Patriots felt comfortable drafting Meriweather despite two incidents that have drawn a lot of attention including a shooting last summer in which he returned shots legally and his involvement in a brawl against Florida International during the season.

"I think all of us have made mistakes," Patriots coach Bill Belichek said. "At least I have. I think what's more important is not an incident that a person had, but really who they are, what their character is, and what you think that person really is, and what they're about. I would say that about anybody."

In 52 games at Miami, Meriweather recorded 293 total tackles (182 solo tackles). He had 2.5 sacks and 20 stops for losses of 65 yards. He added seven interceptions.

The last Hurricane to be selected by New England was Vince Wilfork (2004, 1st round).

The Carolina Panthers selected linebacker Jon Beason with the 25th pick joining former Hurricane linebacker Dan Morgan, who was selected in the first round by the Panthers in 2001.

"I just felt it was a great fit for me, to come in and play with and learn from Dan, a guy I trust," Beason said. "We're both Hurricanes. I know he's going to look out for me. I think it's a great place to live. I know it's on the rise as far as real estate goes. The uniforms. I love everything. It's a great place."

In 38 games at Miami he collected 171 tackles (104 solo) with 2.5 sacks and 18 tackles for a loss. He also had one interception.

Greg Olsen was the last Hurricane drafted in the first round as the Chicago Bears selected him with the 31st pick. He was the first tight end drafted and is looking to become the next great tight end in the NFL from Miami. In his career, he totaled 87 receptions for 1,215 yards (14.0 avg.) and six touchdowns in his career at Miami.

Olsen joins former Hurricane Devin Hester in Chicago. Hester was drafted in the second round last year.

Second-day UM hopefuls include defensive end Baraka Atkins, defensive tackle Kareem Brown, running back Tyrone Moss, and wide receiver Ryan Moore.

Christopher Stock can be reached at stock@canestime.com

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