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Is Help on The Way?

Dec. 06, 2004
Dec. 06, 2004

Table of Contents
Dec. 6, 2004

SI Adventure
LETTERS
SI Players
MOTOR SPORTS
COLLEGE FOOTBALL
College Football
PRO BASKETBALL
PRO FOOTBALL
HIGH SCHOOL BASKETBALL
PAINTBALL
Paintball
  • Its origins lie in kids' games, but there's nothing immature about the booming Paintball industry

TRACK AND FIELD
Inside
Inside the NBA
  • Seattle is off to a scorching start thanks to Ray Allen, who's having so much fun he might just stick around for a while

Inside College Basketball
Inside College Football
Inside Motor Sports
Inside the NFL
LIFE OF REILLY
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Is Help on The Way?

Pickings could be slim at the top of the 2005 draft

THE 49ERS and the Dolphins picked the wrong year to be selecting at the top of the NFL draft. The early book on next April's player pool: very few sure things at the top of the board, but lots of good mid-first-rounders. "This is the year to have the 12th pick, not the second," a college scout for one NFL team said on Monday. It's too early to know which players, such as fourth-year junior quarterback Matt Leinart of USC, might declare early for the draft, but here are the top five prospects who are now eligible, four seniors plus former USC wideout Mike Williams, who unsuccessfully tried to enter the 2004 draft after his sophomore season.

This is an article from the Dec. 6, 2004 issue Original Layout

1. ANTREL ROLLE, CB, Miami

A player the 49ers, who desperately need a cover corner, should pick; he's a physical tackler too.

2. MIKE WILLIAMS, WR, USC Smooth, athletic and mature, but will the pros downgrade him because he missed a year of football?

3. ERASMUS JAMES, DE, Wisconsin Might develop Michael Strahan--like run-stuffing and pass-rushing skills, which every team needs.

4. CADILLAC WILLIAMS, RB, Auburn Speedster edges teammate Ronnie Brown and Cedric Benson of Texas as the top running back.

5. TRAVIS JOHNSON, DT, Florida State

Inconsistent 290-pounder could become an every-down force in the mold of the Vikings' Kevin Williams. --Peter King

COLOR PHOTOJ. PAT CARTER/AP Antrel Rolle (6)