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BILLS PICK GRADUATE OF TIGHT END U.

The University of Miami is developing into a breeding ground for NFL tight ends. Bubba Franks and Jeremy Shockey found immediate stardom in the pros, while greatness has been predicted for Kellen Winslow Jr.

Where does Kevin Everett fit in that group?

"I feel like I'm just as good as those guys if not better," Everett said after being picked in the third round of the NFL draft by the Buffalo Bills on Saturday. "There are just a few things I've got to work on, but I set high goals for myself and I plan on reaching that."

At 6-4 and 241 pounds, Everett certainly looks the part. He's a terrific athlete with good hands and runs very well for a big man.

Everett is not the finished product Franks, Shockey and Winslow -- high first-round draft picks -- were coming out of college. But the Bills are excited about Everett's long-range potential.

"Coming out, he's not as developed as those guys," Bills regional scout Marc Ross said. "But as far as raw ability, he's on par with those guys, and probably faster than those guys. They tell you down there in Miami when those guys raced, he beat Winslow in a flat-out race. But Kellen was special in the things he could do, and Kevin is still developing. He's got that potential. He just hasn't had a chance to put it together there."

Everett started 11 games last season, catching 23 passes for 310 yards. He sat out the Peach Bowl with a separated shoulder. Everett started 15 games in his two-year career at Miami after leaving Kilgore (Texas) Junior College.

Everett was the 86th pick in the draft. The last time the Bills had that selection, they took a small-college wide receiver named Andre Reed.

Everett may not have the same Hall of Fame-type career, but the Bills expect big things out of their rookie tight end.

"He's an outstanding athlete for the position," Ross said. "He's going to be an asset and a weapon in the passing game for us, and he's going to be hard to cover."

The Bills trotted out quarterback J.P. Losman for a mock news conference shortly after the Dallas Cowboys made the second of their two their first-round picks.

The Bills traded this year's 20th overall selection to Dallas for the right to get Losman in 2004.

"It's a pleasure for me to announce the Buffalo Bills' first-round draft choice," team owner Ralph Wilson said with tongue planted firmly in cheek. "We flew him in (Friday). I worked out with him in the field house. He threw me a few passes. I dropped them all. We're happy to introduce J.P. Losman."

Bills President and General Manager Tom Donahoe said the team decided to have a little fun because of all the talk about it not having a first-round pick. But the Bills feel Losman was better than any quarterback in this draft and would have been the top player selected this year.

"I thought I was the No. 1 guy last year in my head, but it didn't work out that way," Losman said. "Who knows what might have happened (this year)? We're excited. I'm glad to be a Buffalo Bill and looking forward to next season."

Roscoe Parrish is the first wide receiver drafted from Miami since Andre Johnson was the third overall pick by Houston in 2003. . . . The Bills have drafted nine former Hurricanes, including Willis McGahee and Hall of Fame quarterback Jim Kelly.
e-mail: awilson@buffnews.com