"This is really a beauty-in-the-eye-of-the-beholder draft," says
Seahawks general manager-coach Holmgren. Players who are
projected high on one team's board are way down on another's.
After you get past Michael Vick, anything can happen. At least
half a dozen teams want to trade down, but with cap money
running thin, there are few takers. The action, if any, won't
come until after the drafting begins. (Asterisk denotes a
1 CHARGERS Michael Vick, QB, VIRGINIA TECH
He'll be the NFL's best athlete at his position, a title that
once went to, well, Doug Flutie, who will be Vick's mentor.
2 CARDINALS Gerard Warren, DT, FLORIDA
A force for a team that desperately needs help up front, but
Arizona is one of many clubs that want to trade down.
3 BROWNS LaDainian Tomlinson, RB, TCU
He shot up on the charts when he ran a 4.36 in the 40 at the
combine--after weighing in at 221 pounds.
4 BENGALS Leonard Davis, T, TEXAS
I actually saw one scouting report on this 6'6", 370-pound
monster that began, "Good size." He's also light on his feet.
5 FALCONS Justin Smith, DE, MISSOURI
David Terrell is a possibility, but serious edge rushers are
scarcer than wideouts. Smith has a nonstop motor and great
6 PATRIOTS David Terrell, WR, MICHIGAN
Speed, size (6'3", 214 pounds), toughness--he has it all. You'd
expect Bill Belichick to go for defense, but Terrell is special.
7 SEAHAWKS (from Cowboys) Damione Lewis, DT, MIAMI
Holmgren picked up two DTs in free agency, but he wants more.
"I'll never be caught short in defensive linemen again," he says.
8 BEARS Andre Carter, DE, CAL
He's undersized at 249 pounds but a real competitor. Some
Chicago scouts are pushing for Wisconsin RB Michael Bennett.
9 BUCS (from 49ers)* Kenyatta Walker, T, FLORIDA
Tampa Bay moves up to get this smooth pass blocker, who will be
immediately plugged in at left tackle.
10 PACKERS (from Seahawks) Koren Robinson, WR, N.C. STATE
On ability he's the second-best wideout on the board. On
maturity he's a question mark. The Pack thinks Brett Favre can
shape him up.
11 PANTHERS Dan Morgan, LB, MIAMI
The best linebacker in the draft. Browns coach Butch Davis, who
had him at Miami, considered taking Morgan with the third pick.
12 RAMS (from Chiefs)* Marcus Stroud, DT, GEORGIA
Dealing quarterback Trent Green puts St. Louis in position to
get a 321-pound shock absorber in the middle.
13 JAGUARS Steve Hutchinson, G, MICHIGAN
Form blocker with power, and a perfect replacement at right
tackle for cap-casualties Leon Searcy and his replacement, Todd
14 BILLS Jamal Reynolds, DE, FLORIDA STATE
Buffalo is desperate for a speed rusher to replace Marcellus
Wiley. Reynolds has the quickest burst of any of the
15 REDSKINS Chris Chambers, WR, WISCONSIN
Marty Schottenheimer loves his 4.4 speed. The scouts favor the
bigger, stronger Rod Gardner of Clemson. The coach wins.
16 STEELERS Richard Seymour, DT, GEORGIA
A steal for the Men of Steel, who figured that this quick
299-pounder would be long gone by now.
17 SEAHAWKS (from Packers) Nate Clements, CB, OHIO STATE
Seattle gets its top-rated cornerback. Everyone wants to lose
the shrimp DBs, and Clements, at 5'11", 209 pounds, is big enough.
18 LIONS Jeff Backus, T, MICHIGAN
New general manager Matt Millen makes his first venture into the
drafting game, and wouldn't you know he would grab the toughest
offensive lineman he could find.
19 JETS Santana Moss, WR, MIAMI
A little guy at 5'9 1/2" and 185 pounds, but he averaged 18.2
yards per punt return as a senior and will provide instant field
20 RAMS Shaun Rogers, DT, TEXAS
He's rehabbing an ankle injury and won't be ready before August,
but Mike Martz figures he's so talented that it's worth the
21 49ERS (from Bucs)* Deuce McAllister, RB, MISSISSIPPI
The Niners were short on cash and couldn't re-sign Charlie
Garner, so this 4.43 sprinter fills a real need.
22 COLTS Kenny Lucas, CB, MISSISSIPPI
They'd love to get Clements, but they'll settle for Lucas, whose
size (6 feet) sets him apart from the other cornerbacks.
23 SAINTS Fred Smoot, CB, MISSISSIPPI STATE
"I can't wait to see Freddy go against Joe Horn in practice,"
says Jim Haslett of Smoot, who's the top cornerback on some
24 BRONCOS Will Allen, CB, SYRACUSE
Cornerbacks are going in bunches. Denver loves Allen's tight
coverage skills, though he may be chosen earlier.
25 EAGLES Rod Gardner, WR, CLEMSON
Donovan McNabb excelled without a full arsenal last year. Now he
has a tough, quick 219-pounder to work with.
26 DOLPHINS Drew Brees, QB, PURDUE
Hard decision. No one wants to put pressure on Jay Fiedler, but
Brees is too productive to pass up this low in the draft.
27 VIKINGS Willie Middlebrooks, CB, MINNESOTA
Zone teams don't like him because his skills are in bump-and-run
coverage, but his style suits the Vikings just fine.
28 RAIDERS Alge Crumpler, TE, NORTH CAROLINA
With Rickey Dudley gone, this 266-pounder with 4.74 speed can
add some punch to an offense bolstered by arrival of Garner.
29 RAMS (from Titans) Jamar Fletcher, CB, WISCONSIN
Continuing his overhaul on defense, Martz takes a cornerback
who's small (5'8 3/4") but a terrific competitor.
30 GIANTS Todd Heap, TE, ARIZONA STATE
The Raiders are also taking a long look at this quick,
productive pass catcher; Allen was first on Giants' wish list.
31 RAVENS Freddie Mitchell, WR, UCLA
Big enough at 5'11 1/2", 185 pounds and certainly fast enough
with 4.43 speed, he also fills a real need for a team that's
overly stacked on the defensive side of the ball.
COLOR PHOTO: BILL FRAKES Movers and shakers Miami's Morgan (44) terrorized opponents, while Michigan's Terrell (opposite) averaged 15.8 yards a catch.
COLOR PHOTO: JOHN W. MCDONOUGH [See caption above]