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Willis Mcgahee

SELECTED BY SEATTLE , ROUND 1, PICK 23, OVERALL PICK 23
RB | (6-0, 223, 4.45) | Miami (FL)
By Pro Football Weekly

Notes: (Forty time is from spring 2002.) A third-year sophomore who decided to enter the NFL draft despite tearing multiple ligaments in his left knee Jan. 3, 2003, in the Fiesta Bowl. Redshirted in 2000 and played in eight games in '01 as the team's No. 3 running back behind Clinton Portis and Frank Gore. Some scouts think he declared because he was not the best running back at Miami and knew he wouldn't win the starting job back. Rushed 67 times for 314 yards and three touchdowns and caught one pass for seven yards. In '02, was an All-American and Heisman Trophy finalist after rushing 262-1,686-27 and catching 24-350. Also a finalist for the Walter Camp Player of the Year Award and Doak Walker Award.

Positives: Had No. 1-overall talent before injuring knee. His combination of size, speed and strength was rare. Tackling McGahee was like running with the bulls. He could outrun you or run you over. His vision, balance, patience and ability to cut and change directions was pro grade. Ran like a cross between Terrell Davis and Walter Payton. Is a diligent worker who is motivated when he believes he has something to prove. Works hard in the weight room and was ahead of schedule in his rehab according to doctors.

Negatives: Is unlikely to play in 2003, although he says he will, and may never regain the elite speed and cutback ability that made him such a weapon. Lacked mental toughness and was not mature as a college player but could grow up quickly under the circumstances. Doesn't show any polish as a receiver and his pass-blocking was marginal. May stop driving once he hits the pile after such a serious injury to his lower body, which could also hinder his cutback ability.

Summary: McGahee had rare RB skills prior to blowing out his left knee, and he is working hard and might contribute this season. His place on draft boards will be very subjective. Expect a team who can be patient, and with a deep backfield, to take a chance on him on the first day.

* Player biographies are provided by Pro Football Weekly.