Draft puts

Published 12:00 am Friday, April 29, 2005

final bow on AU's

13-0 season

Unless you are an Auburn football fan or a San Francisco 49ers fan this may be one of the most uneventful drafts held by the 30 members of the National Football League this weekend.

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The scuttlebutt surrounding the draft is there is no clear-cut No. 1 pick in this draft and teams like the Miami Dolphins, which have the No. 2 pick are trying to trade down because the talent pool this year either isn't very deep or it's one gigantic wading pool.

No matter what happens today, which will feature the first three rounds, the conclusion of the first round will likely put the final orange and blue bow on on Auburn's storybook 13-0 season with up to four of its players being taken.

The tailback tandem of Ronnie Brown and Carnell Williams could be scooped up within the first five picks. But then there is the talk of where these two talented backs will go.

Before, during and after the Senior Bowl in Mobile, Tampa Bay coach Jon Gruden harped about how explosive Williams was during practices leading up to the all-star game.

Mock draft experts still have Williams as Tampa's pick, but there has been rumors that the Bucs could pass on Cadillac and try to draft a quarterback.

That may be a bad move on Tampa's part given its stable of running backs is not exactly All-Pro material.

Brown's future team also is as hazy .

The Miami Dolphins, who are in desperate need of help in the backfield after the Ricky Williams fiasco, look poised to pick Brown. But rumors also have spread that Miami wants to trade down and take their chances later in the draft in picking up a quality back.

There is no doubt these two running backs will be taken in the first round today, but the question is which team will they end up playing for on Sunday.

The NFL has never seen a college team produce two first-round running backs in the same year. The closest it has come at Auburn, which has been known as a running back or linebacker school, was in the late 1980s.

Joe Cribbs was a second-round pick of the Buffalo Bills and the very next year, James Brooks was taken in the first round by the San Diego Chargers.

Auburn also has had its share of multiple first-rounders in the draft. The last time the Tigers had more than one first-round pick was in 1998 when Takeo Spikes was taken by the Cincinnati Bengals and Victor Riley was tabbed by the Kansas City Chiefs.

Carols Rogers will become the third first-rounder taken from Auburn today. Early on Rogers was predicted to become an early second-round to late first-round pick.

Since then, his stock has risen where he is projected to be a Top 10 pick.

That's enough first-rounders for Auburn to beat its chest about,


Not quite.

Now the Tigers' quarterback Jason Campbell may sneak in as a first-rounder with the Washington Redskins looking to solve their problems behind center.

Campbell came on in his senior year under his fourth offensive coordinator in four years to become a Heisman Trophy candidate.

But a first-round pick?

It's possible.

And because it's possible, it would be fair to ask the question: Was Auburn the best team in the land this season?

That's been the argument since Southern California dismantled Oklahoma in the Orange Bowl.

Maybe not, Tiger fans. But you can make the argument today that Auburn may have been the most talented team on the field in 2004.

Kevin Taylor is sports editor of The Greenville Advocate. You can e-mail him at kevin.taylor@greenvilleadvocate or call (334) 382-3111 ext. 122.