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Friday, March 7, 2003
Updated: April 15, 10:17 PM ET
 
Dorsey's outing might change some NFL minds
Associated Press

CORAL GABLES, Fl. -- Ken Dorsey threw sideline passes and deep balls. He threw with the wind and against it. He threw from the pocket and on the run.

Dorsey did anything asked of him Thursday at Miami's NFL workout, a showcase for 18 former Hurricanes.

You don't play at this level, in this many big games, for that long and win that many games and compete the way he has and be a stiff. You just don't do that.
Lions president and GM Matt Millen, on Ken Dorsey

He didn't have much choice.

After a subpar performance at the NFL combine in Indianapolis last month, Dorsey needed a better on-campus workout to improve his status for April's NFL draft. He got it, and with more than 100 NFL scouts, coaches and general managers watching.

"Ken threw the ball a lot better here than he did at the combine," Washington Redskins coach Steve Spurrier said. "He can make it. He can make all the throws. He's a big, tall guy, a wonderful leader, and he's used to winning. That's important. You need guys on your team that like winning and hate losing, and that's what these guys at Miami are all about. They're about winning."

The Hurricanes have had a combined nine first-round selections the past two years, and several NFL coaches and GMs said next month's draft will be no different.

"Take a look around; this place is a magnet," Detroit Lions president and general manager Matt Millen said. "Everybody in the league is here. The top talent in the country is here. By and large, there are so many guys to look at and so many quality players that are going to be on teams next year, competing either for you or against you. It's the only place to be, which is why the whole league is here."

Receiver Andre Johnson, already considered an early first-round pick even though he didn't take part in drills in Indianapolis, had the best workout Thursday and probably improved his draft stock.

The 6-foot-2, 224-pound Johnson ran the 40-yard dash in 4.3 seconds, cleared 10 feet in the long jump and nearly went off the scale in the vertical jump with a 41¼-inch effort.

"He's just rare," Millen said. "You just don't find a lot of those people. Guys like that don't help themselves because you can't be helped that much more. Guys like that just verify what you already know, and he verified a lot of things."

Several defensive linemen also had strong workouts, including Jamaal Green, William Joseph, Jerome McDougle, Matt Walters and Andrew Williams.

"There's a number of guys that everybody will be considering, and that's why you see such a big turnout here," Houston Texans coach Dom Capers said. "There's a large number of guys on both sides of the ball. Defensive linemen always seem to climb up and go higher because everybody's looking for those big, physical guys on defense."

Although Dorsey won't be a first-round pick, he had everyone's attention Thursday.

The 6-foot-4 quarterback set just about every passing record at Miami, and maybe more importantly, was 38-2 as a starter. He led the Hurricanes to the national championship game in each of the last two seasons and was twice invited to the Heisman Trophy presentation.

But he spent much of last season defending his arm strength, accuracy and mobility. And after the Indianapolis combine, there was talk he might not get drafted.

That seemed to change Thursday -- even though some scouts still contend that Dorsey doesn't have a strong enough arm to play outside a West Coast offense and he's not mobile enough to play in it.

"You don't play at this level, in this many big games, for that long and win that many games and compete the way he has and be a stiff," Millen said. "You just don't do that. He can play, and he'll be in the league."