News With Commentary by TSL Staff
Monday, April 28, 2003
Suggs, Pile Selected in NFL Draft
Hokies Lee Suggs and Willie Pile were the only Tech players taken in the two-day NFL draft over the weekend, with Suggs going to Cleveland in the fourth round and Pile going to Kansas City in the seventh round.
Suggs, expected by most to be selected in the first or second round, wasn't picked until day two of the draft, with the 18th selection in the fourth round, 115th overall. Pile was taken 38th in the seventh round, 252nd overall.
Suggs will join former Hokies Andre Davis, Ben Taylor, and Chad Beasley in Cleveland, where he will be coached by former Miami Hurricane coach Butch Davis, who is familiar with Suggs from Suggs' breakout season in 2000, when Davis was still coaching the Hurricanes.
Davis took a chance on Suggs, who, in addition to having a knee injury on his record (from 2001), suffered a partial tear of his rotator cuff in January and will probably require surgery.
“We knew that he was facing shoulder surgery,” Browns Head Coach Butch Davis said in an article on ClevelandBrowns.com. “He may actually spend the entire (2003) season on injured-reserve. The projection is that it’s a four or five-month recovery time. He’ll come in for a physical sometime in the next seven-to-10 days.”
"I didn't really expect to be on the board this late, but I'm glad Cleveland gave me the opportunity,” Suggs said. “They're giving me a chance by taking me in the fourth round. I know a whole lot of guys up there from Virginia Tech and it seems like the perfect place for me. It's not too far from home, and I have friends up there already, so it seems like a good fit."
As of late Sunday night, no quotes from Kansas City coach Dick Vermeil or Pile himself were available on KCChiefs.com, the official web site of the Chiefs.
The other Hokies who were possible draft choices were CB Ronyell Whitaker and OT Anthony Davis, and neither one was selected. It is not known at this time how many Hokies will sign as free agents.
The total of two Tech players selected was far below the school record of eight, set last year.
Around the Big East on Draft Day
The Big East totaled 23 players drafted on Saturday and Sunday, four less than the 27 drafted last year. The Miami Hurricanes once again led the way in the league, with eight players drafted, including four in the first round.
That gives the Hurricanes an impressive 19 players drafted in the last two years, including an amazing nine in the first round.
After the Hurricanes, the totals dropped off dramatically, with no other Big East team having more than three players drafted. But unlike last year, when no one was drafted from Rutgers or WVU, all eight Big East teams had at least one player selected.
Here's the breakdown of Big East players selected, and in what round. It's interesting to note that the Hurricanes, who play a four-man defensive front, had five defensive linemen drafted.