Never has there been so much talk about doing the sort of trading down that Bill Walsh did so well in the 1986 draft. The Chargers are considering dealing their No. 5 pick for a package of draft choices, and the Bears are interested in trading down from No. 6. So are the Chiefs (No. 13), the Bills (No. 16) and at least three other teams. "The real depth is in the second round," says Kansas City general manager Carl Peterson. "It makes sense to give up your first pick if you can get a bunch of seconds."
There's depth in this year's draft, thanks to the influx of more than 35 juniors, as many as four of whom ( Illinois quarterback Jeff George, Southern Cal linebacker Junior Seau, Alabama linebacker Keith McCants and Florida running back Emmitt Smith) should crack the top 10 picks. But after that, it's a guessing game. Major trades could include Atlanta's sending the first selection in the draft to Indianapolis, which covets George and doesn't have a first-round pick, for wide receiver Andre Rison, first-rounders in '91 and '92, and a second-round choice.
1. FALCONS (or Colts in a trade), Jeff George, QB, ILLINOIS
Stock soared with a brilliant, exclusive two-hour workout this month.
2. JETS, Blair Thomas, RB, PENN STATE
McCants is tempting, but new general manager Dick Steinberg wants a sure thing.
3. PATRIOTS, Junior Seau, LB, SOUTHERN CAL
Chosen strictly for his pass-rush ability. The other stuff will come later.
4. BUCS, Cortez Kennedy, DT-NT, MIAMI
Bears will celebrate if Bucs switch gears and go for a running back.
5. CHARGERS, Richmond Webb, T, TEXAS A&M
A need pick, though they could trade down and select a runner.
6. BEARS (or trade the pick), Keith McCants, LB-DE, ALABAMA
Several teams are talking of making a move upward for McCants in this spot.
7. LIONS, James Francis, LB, BAYLOR
Heisman winner Andre Ware a natural here, but they say they want defense.
8. SEAHAWKS, Ray Agnew, DE, NORTH CAROLINA STATE
Dolphins, picking in the next spot, would love to get him.