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Dr. Z's Three Big Threes SI's resident expert ranks the most talented players at the richest positions in the draft and identifies hidden gems

April 26, 2004
April 26, 2004

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April 26, 2004

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Dr. Z's Three Big Threes SI's resident expert ranks the most talented players at the richest positions in the draft and identifies hidden gems

QUARTERBACKS

This is an article from the April 26, 2004 issue

THE BIG THREE

1. ELI MANNING
MISSISSIPPI

Has a bigger arm than his brother Peyton did coming out of
college; while not the athlete that his father, Archie, was, Eli
knows how to manage a game.

2. BEN ROETHLISBERGER
MIAMI (OHIO)

Not as ready to play as the other two marquee passers, but the
most physically gifted of the three.

3. PHILIP RIVERS
NORTH CAROLINA STATE

Completed 72% of his passes as a senior; raises his game when the
stakes are highest.

VALUE PICK
CASEY CLAUSEN
TENNESSEE

"Tremendous accuracy and savvy," says Rams coach Mike Martz.
"Someone's going to get a really good player."

SECOND-DAY SLEEPER
CASEY BRAMLET
WYOMING

Supposedly has so-so arm strength, but he threw an impressive
deep ball for scouts during postseason workouts.

OFFENSIVE LINEMEN

THE BIG THREE

1. ROBERT GALLERY, T
IOWA

"The best player in the draft, period," says Patriots VP Scott
Pioli; has size (6'7", 323), speed (4.95), quick feet and
intelligence.

2. SHAWN ANDREWS, T
ARKANSAS

A natural right tackle, the 373-pound powerhouse has to spend
less time with the knife and fork.

3. VERNON CAREY, G
MIAMI

Onetime tackle who moved inside last season explodes into his
blocks with 363 pounds of punch.

VALUE PICK
ALEX STEPANOVICH, C
OHIO STATE

At 301 pounds he's not as big as some of the others, but he has
great athleticism and strength.

SECOND-DAY SLEEPER
MARKO CAVKA, T
SACRAMENTO STATE

A volleyball player in high school, this 6'8" 300-pounder is a
slender, agile run blocker with great upside.

WIDEOUTS

THE BIG THREE

1. LARRY FITZGERALD
PITTSBURGH

Scouts are still talking about his recent workout, especially the
bad-ball drill in which he grabbed everything within reach.

2. ROY WILLIAMS
TEXAS

With his size (6'2", 212) and speed (4.37), he's drawing
comparisons with the Vikings' Randy Moss.

3. MICHAEL CLAYTON
LSU

Originally projected as a second-rounder, he has shot up the
board the last few weeks. "A real tough guy," says Lions
president Matt Millen. "He'll knock you out."

VALUE PICK
KEARY COLBERT
USC
Precise route runner with speed but had a subpar vertical jump
(30 inches) at the combine.

SECOND-DAY SLEEPER
CLARENCE MOORE
NORTHERN ARIZONA

Raw and unpolished, this 6'5" 211-pounder has quickness and runs
his routes well.

COLOR PHOTO: GARY BOGDON ROETHLISBERGERCOLOR PHOTO: WESLEY HITT/ICON SMI ANDREWSCOLOR PHOTO: WINSLOW TOWNSON/AP FITZGERALD