3. Miami, 35 players from 2001 to 2004
It wasn’t really working out under Butch Davis.
After two okay seasons going 17-6 – trying to restore the program after it was hammered by the NCAA – Davis went 5-6 in 1997, sitting on the hottest of hot seats.
But the Canes started winning again, helped by all of the great local talent Davis and his staff started to amass. The program lost 19 games in five years, but eight Hurricanes were taken in the 1997 Draft including three first rounders. The sales pitch was working.
Miami went 11-1 in 2000, finished second in the nation in both polls, and sent seven players into the 2001 Draft. Four went in the first round, including Dan Morgan, Santana Moss, and Reggie Wayne.
Davis infamously left for the Cleveland Browns job, but the machine was humming for new head man Larry Coker and a run in one of the greatest seasons of all-time in 2001, and almost a second straight national championship to close out 2002.
Five Hurricanes were selected in the first round of the 2002 Draft – starring Ed Reed and Jeremy Shockey – and Clinton Portis went in the second round. In all, ten players were selected, but there were a whole lot more ready to go.
Eight more Miami players were taken in 2003, with Andre Johnson, Willis McGahee, and four going in the first.