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Latest NFL Draft Shows How Far Florida’s ‘Big Three’ Programs Have Fallen – NBC 6 South Florida

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When you think of the NFL Draft and the big three programs in the state of Florida – the Miami Hurricanes, Florida State Seminoles and Florida Gators – you think of a history of some of the top names the league has ever seen.

Top overall picks like Vinny Testaverde, Russell Maryland and Jameis Winston along with top five picks like Edgerrin James, the late Sean Taylor, Marvin Jones, Terrell Buckley, Dante Fowler Jr. and more are what Sunshine State football was about.

In 2022, the state’s biggest powers combined for…five total draft picks, with just two of them in the first round. That comes one year after Miami, FSU and UF combined for 16 total picks in the 2021 NFL Draft.

How did the three schools fall so far that both Miami and FSU each had the same number of picks (one) as a school that still claims a national title from a 2017 season they finished ranked sixth (UCF).

Well, it could start with the fact that the three schools combined for a record of 18-19 last season with just one finishing above .500 (Miami) and just one making a bowl game (Florida, who lost to UCF).

It continues when players from Miami-Dade, Broward and counites both across South Florida and around the state are flocking to programs other than the ‘Canes, Seminoles or Gators.

It’s not just players like Patrick Surtain II leaving Plantation’s American Heritage for Alabama. When the sons of Ray Lewis turn down Miami, the son of FSU legend Marvin Jones turns down the ‘Noles and the son of UF great Emmitt Smith doesn’t go to Gainesville, there is a problem.

Mostly, it’s the fact that the schools all are still living in the past and the sense of entitlement that Miami, FSU and Florida are all supposed to have great draft classes like in decades past.

The problem with that? Only one program has won a national title in the last 13 seasons.

The college football landscape is changing from the days when Florida’s big programs were all ranked in the top 10 yearly. Either the programs find a way to right the ship or we won’t be hearing ‘Miami’, ‘Florida State’ or ‘Florida’ much come draft day.

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