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Thornton first selection in Free Agent Draft

February 8, 2004 - National Football League Europa (NFLE)

BERLIN Thunder head coach RICK LANTZ made cornerback JAMES THORNTON the first overall pick in the 2004 NFLEL Free Agent Draft and then proceeded to stock his preseason roster with a host of former Scottish Claymores.

Thornton played his college football at Morris Brown University and boasts NFL experience with the Chicago Bears. He was one of five defenders taken in the first round of Sunday's draft.

The Amsterdam Admirals selected defensive end DARRELL WRIGHT with the second overall pick, before the Cologne Centurions grabbed defensive end DEMETRIC EVANS, who played in 20 games for the Dallas Cowboys in 2001-02, recording 20 tackles and 1 sack. Defensive ends were taken with the next two picks as the Scottish Claymores selected IVORY McCOY, previously of the Philadelphia Eagles, before the Rhein Fire picked RANDY GARNER, who has NFL experience with the St. Louis Rams. The defending World Bowl champion Frankfurt Galaxy bucked the defensive trend in round one as they selected West Virginia tight end CHRIS EDMONDS, who played 12 games at fullback for the Cincinnati Bengals in 2002-03, recording 7 special team tackles.

In round two, Berlin selected defensive end T.J. BINGHAM, who led the Scottish Claymores with 7 sacks in 2003, adding 26 tackles and 2 forced fumbles. The Thunder also grabbed ex-Claymores in All-NFLEL linebacker YUBRENAL ISABELLE, defensive tackle DEVONTE PETERSON, cornerback KEITH HEYWARD-JOHNSON and fullback MIKE MALAN, who caught 25 passes for 241 yards and 4 touchdowns in 2003, while chipping in with 106 rushing yards on 17 carries. The Thunder also grabbed offensive guard TROY ANDREW, who played for the Barcelona Dragons in 2003.

Round two saw the Rhein Fire grab the first of two All-NFL Europe League defenders from the 2002 season in linebacker MAUGAULA TUITELE, who recorded 61 tackles and 1 sack en route to World Bowl X. Also heading back to the Fire is cornerback EARTHWIND MORELAND, who was selected in the fourth round.

In round eleven, the Frankfurt Galaxy nabbed a defensive lineman who starred for the Rhein Fire in 2003 in the form of JOSH McKIBBEN. In helping the Fire to a berth in World Bowl XI, McKibben recorded 24 tackles, 2.5 sacks and 1 forced fumble.

In the later rounds, new Scottish Claymores head coach JACK BICKNELL grabbed a pair of wide receivers with NFLEL experience in DERONNIE PITTS (Barcelona 2002) and TODD ELSTROM (Scotland/Rhein 2003).

Running back ANTWON McCRAY, of Toledo, was the Free Agent Draft's 'Mr Irrelevant' when he was selected with the last pick of the 13th round by the Cologne Centurions. McCray has brief NFL experience with the Denver Broncos.

FREE AGENT DRAFT 2004

Round NFLEL team Player Pos College

1 Berlin James Thornton CB Morris Brown
1 Amsterdam Darrell Wright DE Oregon
1 Cologne Demetric Evans DE Georgia
1 Scotland Ivory McCoy DE Michigan State
1 Rhein Randy Garner DE Arkansas
1 Frankfurt Chris Edmonds TE West Virginia
2 Berlin T.J. Bingham DE Ouichita Baptist
2 Amsterdam Tyler Lender G Penn State
2 Cologne Will Hunter CB Syracuse
2 Scotland Gerald Dixon CB Alabama
2 Rhein Maugaula Tuitele LB Colorado State
2 Frankfurt Bary Holleyman DE Oklahoma
3 Frankfurt Sean O'Connor G Syracuse
3 Rhein Daniel Wilcox TE Appalachian State
3 Scotland James Lewis S Miami
3 Cologne Richard Newsome S Michigan State
3 Amsterdam Drew Wahlroos LB Colorado
3 Berlin Yubrenal Isabelle LB Virginia
4 Berlin Troy Andrew G Duke
4 Amsterdam Ligarius Jennings CB Tennessee State
4 Cologne Byron Hardmon LB Florida
4 Scotland Andy Bowers DE Utah
4 Rhein Earthwind Moreland CB Georgia Southern
4 Frankfurt Chad Hayes TE Maine
5 Frankfurt Drew Haddad WR Buffalo
5 Rhein Trey Freeman DT Stanford
5 Scotland Gavin Walls LB Arkansas
5 Cologne Robert Doane T Texas
5 Amsterdam Rodney Thomas LB Clemson
5 Berlin DeShaun Hill S USC
6 Berlin Devonte Peterson DT Catawba
6 Amsterdam Todd Howard* CB Michigan
6 Cologne Marcus Smith* DB Memphis State
6 Scotland Isaac Keys* LB Morehouse College
6 Rhein Charles Burton* LB Syracuse
6 Frankfurt Corey McIntyre* FB West Virginoa
7 Frankfurt Dustin Cohen* LB Miami-Ohio
7 Rhein Abdual Howard* S Florida State
7 Scotland Don McGee CB North Texas
7 Cologne Erik Totten S Western Washington
7 Amsterdam Ja'Waren Blair DT East Carolina
7 Berlin Dwayne Pierce G LSU
8 Berlin Mike Malan FB Brown
8 Amsterdam Reese Hicks T Georgetown
8 Cologne Rodnick Phillips RB Southern Methodist
8 Scotland Jermaine Chatman CB Arizona
8 Rhein Reggie Poole G Jacksonville State
8 Frankfurt John Schlecht* DT Minnesota
9 Frankfurt Tim Stuber G Colorado State
9 Rhein T.J. Watkins T Clemson
9 Scotland J.J. Jones LB Arkansas
9 Cologne Andre Arnold DE Grambling
9 Amsterdam Tim Argiriadi DT Penn State
9 Berlin Oliver Celestin CB Texas Southern
10 Berlin Keith Heyward-Johnson CB Oregon State
10 Amsterdam Terrance Leftwich CB Temple
10 Cologne Lance Gibson DE Central Washington
10 Scotland Vic Viloria LB Southern Methodist
10 Rhein Corey Chamblin CB Tennessee Tech
10 Frankfurt Ralph Parent S Boston College
11 Frankfurt Josh McKibben DT Central Florida
11 Rhein Ryan Brewer RB South Carolina
11 Scotland Matt Anderle T Minnesota
11 Cologne Curt McGill C Georgia
11 Amsterdam Gregg Kellett TE Marshall
11 Berlin Jeff Grzeskowiak T Akron
12 Berlin Michael Jennings WR Florida State
12 Amsterdam Chris Brown T Georgia Tech
12 Cologne Chris Smith T Cal-Davis
12 Scotland DeRonnie Pitts WR Stanford
12 Rhein Jon Clanton DT Nebraska
12 Frankfurt Brian Mance CB Clemson
13 Frankfurt Al Jackson G Louisiana State
13 Rhein Melvin Paige T South Carolina
13 Scotland Todd Elstrom WR Washington
13 Cologne Antwon McCray RB Toledo

* Pick used to protect veteran player

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