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Reviewing the Top Five Draft Classes in Miami Hurricanes History

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No 1: 2004


Linebacker Jonathan Vilma helped the 'Canes produce nearly one-third of the first 21 picks in the 2004 NFL Draft. Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images.
Linebacker Jonathan Vilma helped the 'Canes produce nearly one-third of the first 21 picks in the 2004 NFL Draft. Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images.

Sean Taylor, Washington Redskins (first round, fifth overall)

Kellen Winslow, Cleveland Browns (first round, sixth overall)

Jonathan Vilma, New York Jets (first round 12th overall)

D.J. Williams, Denver Broncos (first round 17th overall)

Vernon Carey, Miami Dolphins (first round, 19th overall)

Vince Wilfork, New England Patriots (first round, 21st overall)

Darrel McClover, New York Jets (seventh round, 213th overall)

Alfonso Marshall, Chicago Bears (seventh round, 215th overall)

Carlos Joseph, San Diego Chargers (seventh round, 254th overall)

Six Hurricanes were selected in the first 21 picks of the 2004 NFL Draft. Just let that sink in.

The even more shocking part is that none of the picks can be considered true busts. Taylor’s life was tragically cut short just when he was emerging into one of the best safeties in the NFL. Winslow has been a productive tight end, including a 1,000-yard season, despite missing almost three full seasons due to various injuries.

Vilma has three Pro Bowls on his resume and was regarded as one of the best linebackers in the NFL during his time in New York. Williams’ career arc is interesting: he alternated productive and unproductive seasons until his off-the-field issues with drunk driving got the better of him. Carey played eight seasons with the Dolphins before retiring after the 2012 season – although there is talk of him making a comeback. Wilfork had an immediate impact and is still one of the best 3-4 defensive tackles in the league.