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Thursday, January 30
Updated: February 4, 9:34 AM ET
Palmer will likely be No. 1 pick

Pro Football Weekly

As opposed to last year, when there was little movement at the top of the draft order, this year could be quite volatile due to the fact that there isn't a clear-cut No. 1. Some say USC quarterback Carson Palmer is the best, but even he has his detractors.

As a result, teams that need to upgrade their roster at several positions like Cincinnati (No. 1), Houston (No. 3) and Chicago (No. 4) could trade down for more picks.

Three of the biggest movers and shakers could be the teams with multiple first-round picks -- New England (Nos. 14, 19), New Orleans (Nos. 17, 18) and Oakland (Nos. 31, 32).

With offenses around the league continuing to depend more and more on the passing game, look for premiums to be placed on pass rushers (defensive ends), pass defenders (cornerbacks) and pass protectors (offensive tackles).

This also looks to be an exceptional year for quarterback talent with as many as nine or 10 signal-callers projected to go in the top half of the draft.

Finally, one of the most intriguing questions in this draft is: where will Miami (Fla.) running back Willis McGahee get drafted? Despite seriously injuring his knee in the Fiesta Bowl, the Heisman Trophy finalist still made himself eligible for this year's draft. Before the injury, he was a top-five pick. It will be interesting to see how teams measure the risk involved in drafting damaged goods.

The Pick The Skinny
1. Cincinnati Bengals
QB Carson Palmer
Whether the Bengals hold on to the pick or not, Palmer is the consensus No. 1 pick. The Bears could trade up and claim the Heisman Trophy winner.
2. Detroit Lions
WR Charles Rogers
Michigan State
The Lions' staff says it must find a playmaker with its first pick, though the team wouldn't mind moving out of this slot. If Rogers is there, his combination of size and speed would be perfect when paired with QB Joey Harrington.
3. Houston Texans
OT Jordan Gross
Even though Tony Boselli has promised Dom Capers that he will be on the field in 2003, the Texans are proceeding as if Boselli won't be around. Gross, when paired with Ryan Young and Boselli, would give offensive coordinator Chris Palmer the protection he desires for David Carr.
4. Chicago Bears
DT Jimmy Kennedy
Penn State
General manager Jerry Angelo hasn't exactly been forthcoming about his desire, or lack of, to bring in a young quarterback. Leftwich might tempt the Bears if they cannot get Palmer, but defensive tackle is another need.
5 Dallas Cowboys
CB Terence Newman
Kansas State
The Cowboys' secondary was weak last season, and Bill Parcells will address that unless Gross or Kennedy fall to fifth. Third-round find Derek Ross panned out as a rookie in 2002 and Newman could help give the secondary additional clout.
6. Arizona Cardinals
DE Terrell Suggs
Arizona State
A natural fit because he is a home-grown kid. Suggs' speed off the edge is much-needed, benefiting DT Wendell Bryant and DE Kyle Vanden Bosch.
7. Minnesota Vikings
CB Marcus Trufant
Washington St.
His stock hiked by a strong Senior Bowl showing, Trufant would give the Vikings something they haven't had in years -- a shutdown corner. Trufant has speed and cover skills that legitimize the Vikings' secondary immediately.
8. Jacksonville Jaguars
WR Andre Johnson
Jimmy Smith lost a step and the offense lacked a No. 2 receiver. If Terrell Suggs is available, the Jags could snag him to bolster their pass rush.

9. Carolina Panthers
QB Byron Leftwich
This would be the steal of the draft if Leftwich dropped this far. The Panthers must address the QB position, but running back, wide receiver and secondary are other options.
10. Baltimore Ravens (subject to coin flip)
OL Eric Steinbach
Best feet of any offensive lineman in the draft. Built more like a tight end, but has the strength to move defenders off the ball. If the team falls in love with a receiver, it could grab someone to line up opposite of Travis Taylor.
11. Seattle Seahawks (subject to coin flip)
DT William Joseph
Team's key needs are considered big defensive tackle and big-time defensive end. Provides pass rush from DE position and can play the run.
12. St. Louis Rams
OT Kwame Harris
Offensive line was a sieve most of last year and could lose depth via free agency. Harris would provide a bookend on the right side with Orlando Pace, almost a lock to return at left offensive tackle. Playmaking linebacker is also a consideration because Jamie Duncan and Robert Thomas were disappointing in trying to fill London Fletcher's void.
13. Washington Redskins
WR Taylor Jacobs
Reunited with former Florida head coach Steve Spurrier, who needs a playmaker to stretch the field and pair with Rod Gardner.
14. New England Patriots (from Buffalo)
DT Kevin Williams
Oklahoma St.
Active interior defensive lineman could be perfect alongside third-year DT Richard Seymour. Running back and cornerback are considerations if the team believes it can get good value at this spot.
15. San Diego Chargers
OT George Foster
Defensive tackle is a top consideration, but Foster's athleticism and size could pique John Butler's interest. However, Foster has health concerns and must pass the usual poking and prodding at the Scouting Combine.
16. Kansas City Chiefs
LB E.J. Henderson
The top linebacker on the board, Henderson fits Kansas City's most pressing need. The Chiefs will hunt for linebackers in free agency, which could lead them toward an outside linebacker in the draft.
17. New Orleans Saints
CB Andre Woolfolk
The Saints' secondary was abysmal and New Orleans has to love the upside of Woolfolk, a converted wide receiver.
18. New Orleans Saints (from Miami)
LB Gerald Hayes
Defensive picks will keep coming when your defense allows 20 or more points in each of its 16 games. Jim Haslett, a former linebacker from Western Pennsylvania, will fall in love with Hayes' toughness.
19. New England Patriots
RB Larry Johnson
Penn State
It was clear the Patriots were not sold on Antowain Smith. Johnson is a power back that can make people miss in the hole. Johnson is a decent receiver out of the backfield as well.
20. Denver Broncos
DE Chris Kelsay
High character with great motor is a nice fit at defensive end opposite Trevor Pryce. Kelsay has good speed as a pass rusher.
21. Cleveland Browns
DL Jerome McDougle
Butch Davis and Pete Garcia recruited McDougle at Miami (Fla.) and know what he can do. There is a chance McDougle will come off the board earlier but the Browns need a McDougle-type because of health questions surrounding Courtney Brown and the lack of production from DT Gerard Warren.
22. New York Jets
DT Dewayne Robertson
Wide-body that can disrupt in a two-gap alignment. Robertson and DTs Josh Evans and Jason Ferguson make for a nice interior and would take pressure off of DE John Abraham.
23. Atlanta Falcons
S Mike Doss
Ohio State
The Falcons are likely to add a big-play wide receiver via free agency from a crop that could include David Boston and Peerless Price. This pick would fall under the umbrella of best available athlete. Doss is physical and a model fit for Wade Phillips' 3-4 defense.
24. Indianapolis Colts
LB Boss Bailey
A cornerback might be more appealing if Mike Peterson returns, but Tony Dungy has to love Bailey's speed on the outside.
25. New York Giants
DT Rien Long
Washington St.
An active player whose body is still under construction, Long is a logical fit here and would replace veteran DT Keith Hamilton.
26. San Francisco 49ers
DE Michael Haynes
Penn State
Despite the steady development of Andre Carter, the 49ers are in need of a viable pass rush. Though Tai Streets had his best season in the NFL, he is a free agent and could force the Niners to go receiver.
27. Pittsburgh Steelers
CB Sammy Davis
Texas A&M
Active cornerback who makes more than his share of plays. The Steelers need quality at this position in the worst way.
28. Tennessee Titans
RB Lee Suggs
Virginia Tech
Floyd Reese will take the best available player, and could draft a wide receiver here. However, Suggs combines the running styles of Eddie George and Robert Holcombe, who rotated in the Titans' backfield the second half of the season.
29. Green Bay Packers
QB Kyle Boller
Typical West Coast offense quarterback whose stock rose during the Senior Bowl. Boller has size and arm strength and could learn behind Brett Favre for a year or two before becoming the starter.
30. Philadelphia Eagles
WR Brandon Lloyd
Donovan McNabb is in desperate need of a consistent, play-making wide receiver. Freddie Mitchell hasn't risen to the occasion and Antonio Freeman is a free agent. Inside linebacker is a need for Jim Johnson's defense.
31. Oakland Raiders
S Troy Polamalu
Big hitter who can cover and play the run. With Rod Woodson near the rocking chair and Anthony Dorsett due a large roster bonus, the Raiders need help behind Charles Woodson and Phillip Buchanon.

32. Oakland Raiders (from Tampa Bay)
DT Jonathan Sullivan
A near 300-pounder, Sullivan is quick off the ball and loves to attack. A quarterback could come off the board here, but with Sam Adams' future uncertain, Sullivan would be great value this late in the first round.

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