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NFL Notebook: Miami’s draft streak to end

Associated Press
The NFL notebook …
CORAL GABLES, Fla. ó Warren Sapp got it started in 1995. Ray Lewis followed a year later. Over time, Edgerrin James, Reggie Wayne, Santana Moss, Ed Reed, Willis McGahee, Jon Vilma and Sean Taylor came along as well.
They were part of what Miami simply calls “the streak.”
And on Saturday, that recordsetting run will surely end.
For the first time since 1994, no Hurricanes will be selected in the first round of the NFL Draft. Barring something unforeseen, none will be chosen in the opening three rounds, either ó the last time that happened was 1986. And it’s not outside the realm of possibility that no Miami player gets selected in any round, something that hasn’t occurred since 1974.
How the mighty have fallen.
PATRIOTS
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. ó Bill Belichick has a shot at his second straight solid draft after two years of mediocrity.If he fails, it won’t be because he had too few chances.
Belichick has four of the first 58 picks and six of the first 97, the most since he took over as coach of the New England Patriots before the 2000 draft.
With those come many options ó package several in trades to move up from the 23rd pick in the first round; add depth at a number of positions; or simply try to figure out who to take with all those choices.
“I don’t think I have ever been in a draft where we’ve had the potential flexibility that we have this year,” Belichick said. “We could probably trade a combination of our picks in the first round and get up as high as 10.”
He’s already had discussions with other teams.
“It’s all just preliminary,” he said. “Nobody is committing to anything.”
JETS
FLORHAM PARK, N.J. ó The first draft pick in Rex Ryan’s tenure as coach of the New York Jets could be a franchise quarterback.
Or a field-stretching wide receiver.
Or a blocking tight end.Or maybe yet another new piece for a revamped defense.
In other words, your guess as to how the Jets will use the 17th overall pick is as good as anyone else’s. And that includes Ryan and general manager Mike Tannenbaum, or so they say.
“We are going to try to let the board, as much as possible, dictate what we do,” Tannenbaum said, repeating his annual draft-time mantra. “You just never know who is going to go.”
COLTS
INDIANAPOLIS ó Indianapolis president Bill Polian is a draft master.
He took Peyton Manning over Ryan Leaf and Edgerrin James over Ricky Williams in his first two seasons with the Colts, providing the foundation for a perennial playoff team. He filled in other holes by choosing players such as Reggie Wayne, Dwight Freeney and Dallas Clark outside the top 10. Heck, he even traded out of the first round in 2004 to nab Bob Sanders.
Yet this weekend could be Polian’s biggest challenge.
With the Colts undergoing major changes and no certainty about where the NFL’s salary cap is headed, Polian knows he cannot afford a costly mistake ó anytime, but especially this year.

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