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.
|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
|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
|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
|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
|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
|6. Arizona Cardinals
DE Terrell Suggs
|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
|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
|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
|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
|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
|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
|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
|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
|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
|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
|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
|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.