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Ex-Bucs quarterbacks a focus in first draft

XFL draft sees former Buc backups go with three of top four picks; Milanovich is No. 1.

By JOHN C. COTEY

© St. Petersburg Times, published October 29, 2000


Scott Milanovich may have been the second or third choice in his days as a Buccaneer backup, but Saturday in Chicago he was a first choice as the Los Angeles Xtreme made him the top pick in the inaugural XFL draft.

Milanovich was one of three former Bucs selected in the top four picks. Casey Weldon was picked second by Birmingham and Orlando chose Jeff Brohm fourth.

"I talked to a lot of coaches and they were fairly impressed with the talent in this league," said Brohm, who last was with the Denver Broncos in the preseason. "This is an opportunity for a lot of guys to get some playing time.

"I was a little hesitant at first, because in case of any injuries in the NFL I didn't want to blow any opportunity there. But some time has passed, and the more I thought about, I figured it would be best to go and play and show what I can do."

All three quarterbacks backed up Trent Dilfer at one time. Milanovich was with Tampa Bay in the preseason, getting cut on Aug. 21.

The former Bucs were a few of the 80 players taken in 10 rounds Saturday by the eight XFL teams, along with another 88 taken with territorial picks.

The XFL is a new football league slated for a spring schedule and a joint venture between World Wrestling Federation maven Vince McMahon and NBC, which will broadcast a game of the week.

The draft continues today and Monday, with teams expected to report to camps beginning Nov. 13. Every player in the draft pool already has signed a contract with the league.

Some of the bigger names in the league never made it to the draft, as each team was allowed to select 11 players from three territorial schools. Among those selected before the draft were former Buc wide receiver Alvin Harper (Memphis), wide receiver Marcus Nash (Memphis), running back Ray Zellars (Chicago) and quarterback Tommy Maddox (Los Angeles).

Jim Druckenmiller, like Maddox a former first-round draft pick in the NFL, was taking in the last round of the day by Memphis (78th overall).

Most players taken in the draft had spent time in NFL camps, and many have NFL playing experience.

Brohm said many had been NFL salary cap victims, like he was.

"I was making the league minimum (for a six-year veteran, $440,000), and then there were rookies making the minimum which I think was $150(,000)," said Brohm, who played in the NFL with San Diego, San Francisco the Bucs and Denver. "So if you're the backup and not going to play much anyway, who do you think they'll keep?"

The Arena Football League, which feared getting raided by the XFL, was not after one day of the draft (there are still more than 500 picks to be made, however). Maddox, who played for New Jersey in the Arena League last year, was one of four Arena quarterbacks taken in the first round or the territorial draft, along with Mike Pawlawski (San Francisco), Kevin McDougal (Chicago) and Charles Puleri (New York/New Jersey).

Puleri was on the Tampa Bay Storm's roster last year, but did not play.

Orlando, coached by former Gator coach Galen Hall, picked up 21 players. Among their territorial picks were linebackers James Burgess (Miami), Keith Kelsey (Florida), wide receivers Siaha Burley (Central Florida) and Tony Gaiter (Miami), cornerback Lawrence Wright (Florida) and former Hurricane Jeff Popovich, another Buc camp cut.

Other former NFL first-round picks drafted included running back John Avery of Mississippi, taken at No. 8 by Chicago Enforcers; and running back Vaughn Dunbar of Indiana and linebacker Craig Powell of Ohio State by San Francisco at Nos. 6 and 38, respectively.

The XFL's 10-game season opens Feb. 3.

Draft selections

Team-by-team selections Saturday in the XFL Draft with round selected, overall selection number in parentheses, position and college:

Birmingham Bolts -- 1 (2), Casey Weldon, QB, Florida State; 2 (15), Michael Lies, OL, Kansas; 3 (18), Henry Taylor, DT, South Carolina; 4 (31), Alonzo Wallace, DE, Maryland; 5 (34), Justin Burroughs, OL, North Carolina State; 6 (47), Stepfret Williams, WR, Northeast Louisiana; 7 (50), Duane Butler, DB, Illinois State; 8 (63), Kevin Landolt, DL, West Virginia; 9 (66), Oliver Ross, OL, Iowa State; 10 (79), Sedrick Curry, DB, Texas A&M.

Chicago Enforcers -- 1 (8), John Avery, RB, Mississippi; 2 (9), Paul Failla, QB, Indiana, Pa.; 3 (24), Julian Pittman, DE, Florida State; 4 (25), Quincy Coleman, DB, Jackson State; 5 (40), Chike Egbuniwe, LB, Duke; 6 (41), Tim Lester, QB, Western Michigan; 7 (56), Chris Ward, DL, Kentucky; 8 (57), Jayson Gray, DB, Auburn; 9 (64), Octavious Bishop, OL, Texas; 10 (73), Jaime Baisley, LB, Indiana.

Las Vegas Outlaws -- 1 (5), Chuck Clements, QB, Houston; 2 (12), Tony Edwards, DL, Valdosta State; 3 (21), Kory Blackwell, CB, Massachusetts; 4 (28), Antonio Dingle, DT, Virginia; 5 (37), Rickey Brady, TE, Oklahoma; 6 (44), Paul Bradford, DB, Portland State; 7 (53), Michael Mason, DL, Kentucky State; 8 (60), Lamont Burns, OL, East Carolina; 9 (69), Leroy Collins, RB, Louisville; 10 (76), Chris Bayne, DB, Fresno State.

Los Angeles Xtreme -- 1 (1), Scott Milanovich, QB, Maryland; 2 (16), Steve Russ, LB, Air Force; 3 (17), Derek West, OL, Colorado; 4 (32), Donnell Day, CB, Cal State-Northridge; 5 (33), James Harris, DE, Temple; 6 (48), Dell McGee, DB, Auburn; 7 (49), Rashaan Shehee, RB, Washington; 8 (65), Willie Jones, OL, Grambling State; 9 (72), Jose Portilla, OL, Arizona; 10 (80), Jon Kirksey, DL, Sacramento State.

Memphis Maniax -- 1 (3), Marcus Crandell, QB, East Carolina; 2 (14), Darick Holmes, RB, Portland State; 3 (19), Mike Sheldon, OT, Grand Valley State; 4 (30), Mike Sutton, DE, LSU; 5 (35), Rico Clark, CB, Louisville; 6 (46), D.J. Cooper, DL, Arkansas; 7 (51), Basil Mitchell, RB, TCU; 8 (62), Ketric Sanford, RB, Houston; 9 (67), O'Lester Pope, OL, Southern Mississippi; 10 (78), Jim Druckenmiller, QB, Virginia Tech.

New York/New Jersey Hitmen -- 1 (7), Charles Puleri, QB, New Mexico State; 2 (10), Jermaine Smith, DL, Georgia; 3 (23), Curtis McGee, OL, Georgia Tech; 4 (26), Tony Berti, OL, Colorado; 5 (39), Dwayne Sabb, DE, New Hampshire; 6 (42), Mike Baber, LB, Clemson; 7 (55), James Cotton, DL, Ohio State; 8 (58), Tyree Talton, DB, Northern Iowa; 9 (71), Jude Waddy, LB, William & Mary; 10 (74), Christian Maumalanga, DL, Kansas.

Orlando Rage -- 1 (4), Jeff Brohm, QB, Louisville; 2 (13), Dan Collins, OL, Boston College; 3 (20), Jonathan Brown, DE, Tennessee; 4 (29), Derrick Clark, RB, Evangel; 5 (36), Ricky Bell, CB, North Carolina State; 6 (45), James Roberson, DL, Florida State; 7 (52), Mario Bailey, WR, Washington; 8 (61), Stephen Fisher, RB, North Carolina; 9 (68), Jeremy Akers, OL, Notre Dame; 10 (77), Joe Cummings, LB, Wyoming.

San Francisco Demons -- 1 (6), Vaughn Dunbar, RB, Indiana; 2 (11), Scott Adams, OL, Georgia; 3 (22), Cordell Taylor, CB, Hampton; 4 (27), David Sanders, DT, Arkansas; 5 (38), Craig Powell, LB, Ohio State; 6 (43), Pete Elezovic, PK, Michigan; 7 (54), James Hundon, WR, Portland State; 8 (59), Emille Parker, DL, Syracuse; 9 (70), Terrence Joseph, CB, Tulsa; 10 (75), Mike Adams, WR, Texas.

Territorial picks

Birmingham Thunderbolts -- Curtis Alexander, RB, Alabama; James Bostic, RB, Auburn; James Brumbaugh, DL, Auburn; Anthony Harris, LB, Auburn; Calvin Jackson, S, Auburn; Quincy Jackson, WR, Alabama; Eric Kerley, DT, Alabama; Jason McDonald, OL, Alabama; Ozell Powell, OL, Alabama; Quinton Reese, DL, Auburn ; James Willis, LB, Auburn.

Chicago Enforcers -- Rameel Connor, DL, Illinois; Deke Cooper, S, Notre Dame; Casey Dailey, LB, Northwestern; Greg Engle, C, Illinois; Robert Farmer, RB, Notre Dame; Bobbie Howard, LB, Notre Dame; Paul Janus, OL, Northwestern; Bryan LaBelle, OL, Northwestern; Kevin McDougal, QB, Notre Dame; A'jani Sanders, S, Notre Dame; Ray Zellars, RB, Notre Dame.

Las Vegas Outlaws -- Eric Bateman, OL, BYU; Scott Brumfield, OL, BYU; Mike Croel, LB, Nebraska; Troy Dumas, LB, Nebraska; Todd Floyd, WR, UNLV; Brian Gray, CB, BYU; Josh Heskew, C, Nebraska; Julius Jackson, LB, Nebraska; Tony Ortiz, LB, Nebraska; Jamal Williams, S, Nebraska; Toby Wright, S, Nebraska.

Los Angeles Xtreme -- Rick Austin, OL, San Diego State; Chris Brymer, OL, Southern Cal; Jamal Duff, DL, San Diego State; Scott Fields, LB, Southern Cal; Errick Herrin, LB, Southern Cal; Jonathan Himebauch, C, Southern Cal; Tommy Maddox, QB, UCLA; Ricky Parker, S, San Diego State; Joe Tuipala, LB, San Diego State.

Memphis Maniax -- Darrius Blevins, WR, Memphis; T.J. Frier, DL, Memphis; Jeff Hall, K, Tennessee; Alvin Harper, WR, Tennessee; Richard Hogans, LB, Memphis; Jesse James, C, Mississippi State; Paul LaCoste, LB, Mississippi State; Tramont Lawless, LB, Memphis; Marcus Nash, WR, Tennessee; Kevin Prentiss, WR, Miss. State; Kevin Sluder, DL, Miss. State.

New York/New Jersey Hitmen -- Askari Adams, S, Penn State; Antonio Anderson, DL, Syracuse; Mike Archie, RB, Penn State; Chris Brantley, WR, Rutgers; David Byrd, CB, Syracuse; Eric Cole, C, Penn State; Kevin Mason, QB, Syracuse ; Wally Richardson, QB, Penn State; Mark Tate, CB, Penn State; Malcolm Thomas, RB, Syracuse.

Orlando Rage -- James Burgess, LB, Miami; Siaha Burley, WR, Central Florida; Mark Campbell, DL, Florida; Cal Dixon, C, Florida; Reginald Doster, CB, Central Florida; Tony Gaiter, WR, Miami; Keith Kelsey, LB, Florida; Mike Moten, DL, Florida; Jeff Popovich, S, Miami; A.C. Tellison, WR, Miami; Lawrence Wright, CB, Florida.

San Francisco Demons -- Pat Barnes, QB, California; Ferric Collons, DL, California; David Diaz-Infante, OL, San Jose State; Derrick Gardner, CB, California; Carl Hansen, DL, Stanford; Curtice MacFarlane, OL, San Jose State; Abdul-Salam Noah, DL, San Jose State; Mike Pawlawski, QB, California; Brian Roche, TE, San Jose State; Sam Sherrod, LB, San Jose State; Mawuko Tugbenyoh, LB, Cal.

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