Former Northern Nash star, tailback J.J. Arrington led the way when he was picked 12th in the second round (44 overall) by Arizona. After boosting a 2,018-yard season for Cal, Arrington saw his stock rise in the months heading into the draft. He was the fourth running back taken in the draft behind the big three of Ronnie Brown, Carnell Williams and Cedric Benson.
After a round off, North Carolina hit the fourth round hard with three natives being selected. Baltimore picked UNC center Jason Brown of Northern Vance with the 24th pick of the round (124 overall). Then Virginia teammates and Charlotte natives tailback Alvin Pearman (Charlotte Country Day), and defensive end Chris Canty (Charlotte Latin) were picked 26th (127 overall) by Jacksonville and 31st (132 overall) by Dallas, respectively.
Division I-A players weren’t the only ones who joined the party. In the fifth round, Green Bay selected center Junius Coston of Raleigh Broughton with the 7th pick (143 overall). Coston anchored the offensive line of DI-AA North Carolina A&T.
Just before the draft closed its doors St. Louis drafted UNC four-year starting fullback Madison Hedgecock with the 37 pick in the seventh round (251 overall). Hedgecock stared for Ledford High School before his days in Chapel Hill.