Roethlisberger Goes 11th to Pittsburgh Steelers in NFL Draft
April 24, 2004
NEW YORK - Junior quarterback Ben Roethlisberger made Miami football history at the 69th Annual NFL Draft, becoming the highest Miamian ever selected, going 11th overall to the Pittsburgh Steelers. Offensive lineman Jacob Bell was selected with the sixth pick in the fifth round by the Tennessee Titan.
Roethlisberger, who left Oxford after leading Miami to MAC and GMAC Bowl Championships and a 13-1 record last season following a 49-28 win over Louisville in the GMAC Bowl. Roethlisberger bests Bob Babich, who was selected 18th overall by the Chicago Bears in the 1969 draft.
A semifinalist for the 2003 Davey O'Brien Award, Roethlisberger put together his best season of his career last year, completing 69.1 percent (342-of-495) of his passes for 4,486 yards and 37 touchdowns, all new school single-season records. He also finished as the school's career leader in pass attempts, completions and touchdowns.
He is just the third quarterback in MAC history to pass for 3,000 yards in three seasons and he broke the 10,000-yard plateau for his career, making him just the 30th player in NCAA history and just the fifth MAC quarterback to accomplish the feat.
Under the direction of Roethlisberger, the Miami offense was one of the most potent in school and MAC history, racking up a record 602 points (43 points per game fifth in NCAA) and over 6,000 yards of total offense.
A first-team all-MAC honoree and 2004 Senior Bowl selection, Bell was selected 138th overall by the Tennessee Titans with a pick the Titans obtained from the Houston Texans. Bell was the ninth tackle chosen and joins a franchise that posted a 12-4 mark last season and advanced to the NFL playoffs.