George Young, the late Giants general manager, used to call it
"the dance of the elephants," the stage of the draft when every
team seems to snap up the big guys, the linemen. Last year the
rush came early--nine went in the first 14 picks. This time I
project eight linemen will go in that span. "When in doubt, pick
the big guy," says John Fox, the Panthers' rookie coach. No
position offers as much quality and depth as defensive tackle.
1 TEXANS David Carr, QB, FRESNO STATE
Strong-armed and poised, he seems an ideal candidate to lead
the baby Texans in their debut season.
2 PANTHERS Julius Peppers, DE, NORTH CAROLINA
Carolina thought hard about corner Quentin Jammer but will go
with a 6'6", 283-pound pure pass rusher who's run the 40 in the
3 LIONS Quentin Jammer, CB, TEXAS
QB Joey Harrington will get some consideration, but the chance
to take this gifted bump-and-run corner is too enticing.
4 BILLS Mike Williams, T, TEXAS
Brings 375 pounds of serious intent to the table; a right tackle
in college--for a lefthanded QB--will anchor the left side as a
5 CHARGERS Donte Stallworth, WR, TENNESSEE
Williams is a possibility, as is CB Phillip Buchanon, but
Stallworth's 4.27 speed will swing the election.
6 COWBOYS Roy Williams, S, OKLAHOMA
"Are we taking a safety too high?" says scouting director Larry
Lacewell. "I don't think so. We'd get the best pure player in
7 VIKINGS Bryant McKinnie, T, MIAMI
Their sights are set on a defensive lineman, figuring this 6'8",
343-pound monster will be gone. Surprise!
8 CHIEFS Joey Harrington, QB, OREGON
Some K.C. scouts are pushing for a DT, but if you have a shot
at a franchise player, you don't pass it up.
9 JAGUARS Albert Haynesworth, DT, TENNESSEE
After losing his starting DTs in the expansion draft, Tom
Coughlin will be delighted if this athletic 320-pounder is
10 BENGALS Phillip Buchanon, CB, MIAMI
At 5'9 1/2" and 186 pounds, he's not as big or as physical as
Jammer, but he's terrific in deep coverage.
11 COLTS Ryan Sims, DT, NORTH CAROLINA
"A coach's dream," says Vikings coach Mike Tice, who would take
him if not for McKinnie. Indy's desperate for defensive-line
12 CARDINALS John Henderson, DT, TENNESSEE
Coach Dave McGinnis wants to build his undernourished defensive
line around this relentless 6'7", 306-pounder.
13 SAINTS Charles Grant, DE, GEORGIA
Departure of free agent Joe Johnson makes this a need pick, and
Grant has a real burst off the ball.
14 TITANS Wendell Bryant, DL, WISCONSIN
A 308-pounder who runs a 4.83, he gives Tennessee flexibility
because he can play inside or outside.
15 GIANTS Jeremy Shockey, TE, MIAMI
They'll keep their fingers crossed that this gifted pass catcher
is still on the board. The fallback is T Levi Jones.
16 BROWNS T.J. Duckett, RB, MICHIGAN STATE
Cleveland's running attack was last in the league last season.
The 254-pound Duckett could change that.
17 FALCONS Ashley Lelie, WR, HAWAII
Put this sub-4.3 burner on artificial turf and sparks could fly.
If he's gone, Atlanta will turn to Florida wideout Jabar Gaffney.
18 REDSKINS Toniu Fonoti, G, NEBRASKA
He's the best guard in the country and the choice of the
scouts. The owner wants Gaffney. Stay tuned.
19 BRONCOS Levi Jones, T, ARIZONA STATE
An athletic pass blocker, he'll take the place of LT Trey
Teague, a free-agent departure. They could also go for a wideout.
20 SEAHAWKS Daniel Graham, TE, COLORADO
Another gifted receiver, but if they sign free agent Ken
Dilger, they'll try to move up for a defensive lineman.
21 RAIDERS (FROM BUCS) Napoleon Harris, LB, NORTHWESTERN
Weighs 253 pounds, runs a 4.53 and brings real passion to the
field for a team that must replace both of its outside backers.
22 JETS Mike Rumph, CB, MIAMI
They've got their small cover guy in Ray Mickens. The 6'2",
205-pound Rumph completes the set.
23 RAIDERS Jabar Gaffney, WR, FLORIDA
Their wideouts are showing their age. Plus, Gaffney gives
them the true downfield threat they've been lacking.
24 RAVENS William Green, RB, BOSTON COLLEGE
A talented runner who makes things happen, he has dropped on
the board because of slow workout times.
25 SAINTS (FROM DOLPHINS) Antonio Bryant, WR, PITT
He's not the fastest guy around, and he turned off some teams
with his feistiness and showmanship.
26 EAGLES Marc Colombo, T, BOSTON COLLEGE
He's raw and nasty. Philadelphia already has a tackle with an
attitude like that, Jon Runyan, and it likes him just fine.
27 49ERS Lito Sheppard, CB, FLORIDA
Good cover man and big-time punt returner, but Niners could
switch gears and go for UCLA tailback DeShaun Foster.
28 PACKERS Anthony Weaver, DT, NOTRE DAME
A pair of Reeds--safety Edward (Miami) and WR Josh (LSU)--are
also options, but when in doubt, go with the big guy.
29 BEARS Dwight Freeney, DE, SYRACUSE
An undersized edge rusher who led the country in sacks last
season, he'll be a good complement to Rosevelt Colvin.
30 STEELERS Kalimba Edwards, DE-LB, SOUTH CAROLINA
"Great as a two-way fit for us," says coach Bill Cowher, who
would have yet another pass rusher to add to the mix.
31 RAMS Javon Walker, WR, FLORIDA STATE
One of the few prime prospects who completed a full workout at
the combine; he opened everyone's eyes with a 4.35.
32 PATRIOTS Clinton Portis, RB, MIAMI
Pats prefer their backs a little bigger, but even at 5'10 1/2"
and 204 pounds, they like his pounding, relentless style.