Southern Cal wideout Keyshawn Johnson is the most dynamic player
in the 1996 NFL draft, but Nebraska tailback Lawrence Phillips
is the most intriguing. Phillips could fall anywhere among the
top four picks. He could make telephone lines hum as deals are
made, canceled and reconstructed all for the chance to trade up
for a shot at this talented runner who pleaded no contest to
assaulting a former girlfriend. The St. Louis Rams have the
sixth and 13th picks, but Steve Ortmayer, vice president of
football operations, says he won't part with both picks to move
up and draft Phillips. "I'm not giving up my two Number 1's, and
you can take that to the bank," he says.
Paul Zimmerman projects the first round.
1 Jets Keyshawn Johnson, WR, Southern Cal
Phillips and New York? Bad mix. Jets will stick with Johnson and
his solid package of size, speed and hands.
2 Jaguars Kevin Hardy, LB, Illinois
"Pass rush is the key," says coach Tom Coughlin. Hardy has been
billed as the second coming of Lawrence Taylor. Where have we
heard that before?
3 Cardinals Jonathan Ogden, T, UCLA
Lomas Brown mans the left side, Ogden steps in on the right,
and, presto, the Cards' offensive line is solid.
4 Rams (trade with Ravens) Lawrence Phillips, RB, Nebraska
Yes, the Rams will get him--for a first- and second-round pick.
5 Giants Cedric Jones, DE, Oklahoma
Illinois DE Simeon Rice is a possibility, but Jones is bigger,
at 6'4", 275, and sturdier against the run.
6 Ravens (trade with Rams, from Redskins) Simeon Rice, DE, Illinois
A 6'4", 254-pound pass rusher who can help revive this once proud
7 Patriots Daryl Gardener, DE, Baylor
He's 6'6", 320, and Bill Parcells is desperate for a big body up
8 Panthers Leeland McElroy, RB, Texas A&M
For instant impact Carolina opts for the fastest back on the
9 Oilers Eddie George, RB, Ohio State
Ball control is the key, and coach Jeff Fisher likes George's
10 Bengals Willie Anderson, T, Auburn
They need defense, but Anderson rates No. 2 among offensive-line
11 Saints Alex Molden, CB, Oregon
They have Eric Allen and the recently signed Mark McMillian, but
when you face the 49ers and the Falcons twice a year, you can't
have too many corners.
12 Buccaneers Tim Biakabutuka, RB, Michigan
The Bucs' scouts want defense, but new coach Tony Dungy quotes
his mentor, Chuck Noll: "You don't pass up the special player."
13 Rams Rickey Dudley, TE, Ohio State
Terrific speed and size, but he might be gone. He's on Eagles
coach Ray Rhodes's must-have list, so don't be surprised to see
Philly trade up.
14 Seahawks Tony Brackens, DE, Texas
Defensive line help is a must, and Cal's explosive pass rusher,
Regan Upshaw, is a possibility. Size will decide it: Brackens is
260, Upshaw 255.
15 Broncos Terry Glenn, WR, Ohio State
After a highly productive senior year, he recently ran the 40 in
4.36. Coach Mike Shanahan can't believe he's still on the board.
Neither can we.
16 Vikings Duane Clemons, DE-LB, California
"We see him as an explosive pass-rushing linebacker," coach
Dennis Green says. "If he goes lower than No. 10, he'll be the
steal of the draft."
17 Raiders Regan Upshaw, DE, California
Al Davis collects pass rushers, but he may have to trade up to
get this one.
18 Bears Eric Moulds, WR, Mississippi State
To make up for the loss of free agent Jeff Graham.
19 Colts (from Falcons) Marvin Harrison, WR, Syracuse
Fastest wideout in the draft, with a 4.28 clocking in a private
20 Cowboys (trade with Dolphins) John Mobley, LB, Kutztown (Pa.)
Jimmy Johnson trading with Jerry Jones? Well, stranger things
have happened, and the Cowboys want to make a move for this
terrific raw talent.
21 Lions (from Chargers) Walt Harris, CB-FS, Mississippi State
They also need help on the line. That can come with their next
22 Buccaneers (from Colts) Marcus Jones, DT, North Carolina
Santana Dotson and Mark Wheeler left as free agents. Jones is a
23 Lions Pete Kendall, G-T, Boston College
Aggressive, smart and versatile; he can play guard or tackle.
24 Bills John Michels, T, Southern Cal
Will go for a wide receiver if they decide not to re-sign Andre
25 Eagles Andre Johnson, T, Penn State
If they can't get Dudley, they'll turn to this 6'5 1/2",
26 Ravens (from 49ers) Reggie Brown, LB, Texas A&M
Ran a 4.46 at the combine, one of the three fastest among
27 Packers Derrick Mayes, WR, Notre Dame
A big-play receiver who ran a 4.47 for Packers general manager
Ron Wolf in a workout. His stock is soaring.
28 Chiefs Eddie Kennison, WR, LSU
They have lost little in the off-season, so the pick is for
29 Steelers Jermane Mayberry, T, Texas A&M-Kingsville
They have to get back to ball control. Purdue fullback Mike
Alstott remains a possibility.
30 Dolphins (from Cowboys) Ray Lewis, LB, Miami
"We won't stand still," Johnson says. If he has a shot at a
premier running back, he'll move up. Otherwise, he'll take the
best linebacker left.
COLOR PHOTO: PETER READ MILLER Johnson will be a prize catch wherever he lands, while Molden (1) would stay busy in the pass-happy NFC West. [Keyshawn Johnson]
COLOR PHOTO: RICHARD MACKSON [See caption above--Alex Molden in game]