Reid to N.E., Waddell to Tenn., Terry to T.B.

North Carolina free safety Dexter Reid became the first Tar Heel selected in the 2004 NFL draft on Sunday. Cornerback Michael Waddell followed 11 picks later. Guard Jeb Terry went in the fifth round to Tampa Bay. <i>Inside Carolina</i> talked with all three Tar Heel draftees on Sunday afternoon ...

One thing appears certain; the three former Tar Heels chosen in the 2005 NFL draft will likey not have to experience too many more losing seasons. Dexter Reid, Michael Waddell and Jeb Terry were each selected by well-established franchises, which participated in four of the last five Super Bowls and posted a combined 33-15 record in 2003.

The defending champion New England Patriots made Reid, who led all UNC tacklers over the last two seasons, their fifth pick and the NFL's 113th overall.

"I'm excited about that," Reid told Inside Carolina via telephone from his home in Norfolk, Va. "I've got a great chance to go up there and learn from a great coach in Bill Belichick and with a great franchise; and do what he asks me to do."

Reid said he had no idea where or when he was going to be drafted until just before it happened.

"Just before the pick, they called me; and within the conversation, they had congratulated me before they announced it," he said.

The 6-foot, 187-pounder was projected by some analysts to fall to the sixth or seventh round, despite being voted first team All-ACC in 2002, finishing second in the nation with 166 tackles that year, just five shy of the school record set by Buddy Curry in 1979.

"I don't mind that; I use that as fuel for the fire," Reid said. "I'm not going to knock those experts, but I didn't play in a formation where six or seven of the guys in front of me were going in the first round my last couple of years."

For his career, Reid registered 466 tackles.

Waddell, a 5-11 defensive back who wowed scouts with his 4.31 speed, was chosen by Tennessee with the 124th overall pick. His skills as a returner boosted his stock.

"It's been a long journey; I don't think you can explain it," Waddell told IC via telephone from his home in Richmond County. "I'm pretty sure most people know how I feel. It was a dream come true and I've now accomplished that dream. Hopefully, it will just take off from here.

"To be honest, I thought I would get picked in the fifth or sixth round."

Jeb Terry, 6-foot-6 and 308 pounds from Dallas, Texas, was drafted in the fifth round by the Bucs; 146th overall.

"I had to wait around longer than I thought, but it finally happened," Terry told IC from from his agent's office in Memphis. "I'm really pumped about playing for Tampa Bay. It's going to be a really great place to be."

Terry said he and his agent, Jimmy Sexton, thought it was going to be Tampa Bay all along, but they thought he would be drafted in the third round.

"When that didn't happen, it was up in the air from there on out," Terry said.

After beginning his collegiate career on the defensive line and then suffering through an injury-plagued redshirt season in 2000, Terry came on to play in every UNC game from the 2001 through the 2003 seasons.

"I'm really happy for Dexter and Michael, also," Terry said.

Carolina is the only ACC school to have at least one player selected in every NFL draft since 1971.

Tight end Bobby Blizzard and kicker Dan Orner were not drafted and are expected to sign with teams as free agents.

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