proCane streak of no first-round picks in NFL Draft continues

Thursday’s first round was supposed to be a silent night for the Miami Hurricanes. Cell phones weren’t supposed to ring for any of the seniors and underclassmen who put their names in for the NFL Draft.

And it remained that way.

For the fourth year in a row, the first round came and went without a single Hurricane getting picked. But that didn’t mean some weren’t sitting around with their families, hoping, praying and anxiously waiting for the phone to ring.

“Two years ago, where did they think [Tim] Tebow was going? Didn’t they say he was going in the fourth or fifth round? He ended up in the first round. So, you never know,’’ said Tommy Streeter Sr., the father of receiver Tommy Streeter, before Thursday’s draft.

“They can slot you here, they can slot you there, and someone can surprise you and pick you up. So, I really don’t care what any experts say.’’

Draft experts Mel Kiper and Todd McShay of ESPN were pretty confident no Hurricanes would get picked Thursday. But they expect the phone to start ringing for them Friday when the second and third rounds get under way.

In his seven-round mock draft released Wednesday night, McShay projected seven Hurricanes would be chosen — the earliest being junior tailback Lamar Miller (second round, 59th overall, to Green Bay). After that McShay has defensive end Olivier Vernon going in the third round, 80th overall to Arizona. On Saturday, McShay thinks linebacker Sean Spence will go in the fourth round, 124th overall, to Buffalo; Streeter in the fifth round, 154th overall, to the New York Jets; offensive lineman Brandon Washington five picks later in the fifth round to Pittsburgh; defensive end Marcus Forston going in the sixth round, 176th overall, to Jacksonville; and receiver Travis Benjamin going 15 picks later in the sixth round to Cincinnati.

Some Hurricanes fans believe if Streeter is taken that low he will have made a mistake leaving school early. But his father strongly disagreed and said wherever his son is taken “is a blessing.’’

“It was the right decision 100 percent,’’ Streeter Sr. said. “A lot of people can say if he stayed one more year this might of happened, he could have gone higher. But you never know what could have happened. He could have gotten injured. You can’t wait on that. You make a decision and you move on.’’

Miller, who became UM’s first running back to break the 1,000-yard mark since Willis McGahee in 2002, was asked on an ESPN chat if his decision not to return for his senior year was based on avoiding injury.

“Not really,’’ Miller said. “I know that running backs have a short lifespan. I think I put myself in a good position to get drafted. I just wanted to take my talents to the next level and live my dream.”

Miller said he planned to spend Thursday night at his home watching the draft on TV. He said he would do the same Friday. “Some of my friends and family will be over," Miller said on the chat. “We’ll watch it, play dominoes and cards until I get that phone call.”

Streeter also will be surrounded by family. After Streeter worked out privately for the Dolphins and Patriots, his father said he had no clue which team would snap him up. But staying home and playing for the Dolphins wouldn’t be bad.

“If it works out like that, it would truly be a blessing,’’ Streeter Sr. said. “But we’re not going to put our hopes up high because we don’t want to have a letdown. We’re putting it in God’s hands. Whoever picks him, that’s where we’re going.

“But the anticipation. Man, that’s something.’’

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