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NFL 1st Round Draft Preview

March 21, 2000 by Still Mill

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NFL First Round Preview (updated March 22)

As before in my first stab at the 1st round preview, this is not what I "want" to occur, but only what I think might occur, based on workouts, articles, quotes, and so on.

  1. Cleveland Browns

    DE Courtney Brown - Penn St

    Courtney Brown is quickly becoming the consensus favorite to be the number one pick in the 2000 draft. Brown had faster 40 times in mid-March private workouts than both college teamate Lavar Arrington and FSU WR Peter Warrick. Brown is a complete DE who combines excellent measurables with proven college performance. The Browns still need speed at the offensive skill positions and Peter Warrick has to be considered an option. However, bad offseason workouts, off the field problems, and a poor interview are likely to result in the Browns passing on Warrick. The needs at the offensive skill positions will likely be partially addressed in the second round.
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  2. Washington Redskins (from NO)

    LB Lavar Arrington - Penn St

    Arrington has the speed and playmaking ability that the Redskins desperately need to add to the corner of their front seven. Norv Turner should send Charlie Casserly a thank you card for this pick.
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  3. Washington Redskins (from SF)

    OT Chris Samuels - Alabama

    The 49ers traded down for two first rounders and two extra mid round picks. The trade puts the Redskins in a position to address their glaring need at OT. Chris Samuels is considered the next Anthony Munoz. He had a knee scope that kept him out of the college all star games, but the injury is not considered serious. Samuels is very durable having started over 40 straight games at Alabama. If the Redskins resign Andy Heck or address the OT position through free agency, this pick could be used on Peter Warrick or Courtney Brown.
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  4. Cincinnati Bengals

    WR Peter Warrick - Fla St

    The 49ers trade of the 3rd pick leaves the Bengals in a very interesting situation. The probability is that Peter Warrick will fall into their laps, leading to a trade of malcontent Carl Pickens for more draft picks. Warrick has had poor workouts since the end of the season and has not impressed teams in personal interviews. Still, he is a superb playmaker whose on the field production in college should dispel any worries about his ability to dominate in the pros. The Bengals could also use this pick on a RB if Corey Dillon gets an offer that is not matched or Chris Samuels if Warrick is taken with one of the top three picks. There have also been rumblings that the Bengals could trade down from this spot, perhaps to the Seahawks for two first rounders.
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  5. Baltimore Ravens (from Atlanta)

    RB Thomas Jones - Virginia

    This seemed to be a natural spot for Pennington or Redman, but the Ravens resigned Tony Banks and are not looking to spend a high pick on a QB. Thomas Jones is considered by most scouts to be the most complete back in the draft. Jones never missed a game or practice at Virginia and graduated in 3 years. He combines the power to effectively run between the tackles with the speed to get outside. He has good hands in the passing game, rarely fumbles, and can return kicks. If Billick decides to wait till the 14th pick to select a back or signs a free agent, this pick could be used on Plaxico Burress.
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  6. Philadelphia Iggles

    TE Bubba Franks - Miami

    The Eagles have a huge need at TE and Franks has the most talent at the position. A great athlete, Franks is moving up draft boards. He has good hands, runs well after the catch, and has shown improvement as a blocker. The Eagles could also use this pick on DT Corey Simon to solidify their interior defense. The Eagles have a huge need at WR, but are rumored to have taken Plaxico Burress off their draft board due to his poor workouts and off the field problems.
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  7. Arizona Cardinals

    RB Shaun Alexander - Alabama

    Alexander is a versatile threat that had a spectacular season and showed he could play hurt with a severe ankle sprain at the Senior Bowl. DT Corey Simon is a possibility, but RB is a major need for the Cardinals. Thomas Jones, Ron Dayne, and Jamaal Lewis could also be taken depending on the first 7 picks and the Cardinals preferences.
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  8. Pittsburgh Stillers

    WR Plaxico Burress - Mich St

    The Steelers desperately want Chris Samuels with this selection but he is unlikely to last until the 8th pick. Burress is a big, physical receiver with speed who has been compared to Randy Moss. Unfortunately, Burress has an off the field reputation that is similar to Moss coming out of college. If Burress is taken by the Ravens or the Steelers are scared by his off the field reputation, the Steelers might attempt to trade down in the draft. The Steelers seem to like LB Julian Peterson, but this is probably to early in the draft for him to be selected. Despite a need at QB, the Steelers do not seem to be enamoured with Pennington or Redman. There have been some rumors that this pick could be traded to the Rams for Trent Green, but Mike Martz seems to want to keep him on the Rams for insurance.
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  9. Chicago Bears

    LB Brian Urlacher - New Mexico St

    Urlacher is a pure talent that played rover/SS in college and is projected as an OLB in the pros. Urlacher would add athleticism to a defense in desperate need of playmakers. The Bears biggest need is for a cover CB, but the most physically gifted corners are all coming off subpar seasons. The Bears would have a tough time justifying the use of this pick on a CB like Mario Edwards, Rashard Anderson, or Dwayne Goodrich.
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  10. Denver Broncos

    DT Corey Simon - Fla St

    Corey Simon has the size and speed to collapse the pocket and there is a major drop in talent from him to the third best DL in the draft. However, there are some concerns associated with picking Simon. He has had surgery on each shoulder twice and on a knee. Also, because of the depth at Florida State he was part of a DL rotation throughout his career. There have been recent reports that the Broncos are so concerned with Brian Griese's shoulder that they would also consider using this pick on Brad Pennington.
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  11. New York Giants

    RB Jamaal Lewis - Tennessee

    The Giants have a stable of mediocre, one dimensional RBs that lack game breaking ability. Before knee surgery as a sophmore, Lewis was an explosive back with an impressive combination of size and speed. He was a bit tentative last year upon his return, but most players take two season to recover from serious knee surgery. Solid individual workouts in which he ran a 4.29 40 should move Lewis into the top 15 picks. A lack of talent on the offensive line could also lead the Giants to take Chris McIntosh or Stockar McDougal with this selection.
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  12. San Fransisco 49ers (from Carolina through Washington)

    QB Chad Pennington - Marshall

    The 49ers trade with the Redskins gives them extra picks to add depth plus puts them in a position to draft a QB for the future. The likelyhood is they will target Chad Pennington over Chris Redman. Pennington was solid in the Senior Bowl and showed the type of read/react skills the 49ers covet for the west coast offense.
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  13. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (from SD)

    OT Chris McIntosh - Wisconsin

    McIntosh is a physical power blocker that would fit into the Bucs offensive scheme. Paul Gruber has been rumored to be retiring which makes OT a need area for the Bucs. The Bucs could also use this selection on even bigger OT Stockar McDougal, WR Travis Taylor, or Bubba Franks if he is still available.
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  14. Baltimore Ravens

    WR Travis Taylor - Florida

    The Ravens need offensive weapons and should target a RB and WR with their two first round picks. Taylor followed up a solid year with an 11 catch, 156 yard, 3 TD effort in the Citrus Bowl. He has prototypical size, speed, and hands
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  15. Green Bay Packers

    DE Shaun Ellis - Tennessee

    The Packers have many needs, but adding an outside pass rusher would be a major improvement for the defense. Ellis is a good athlete with strong upside potential. Although he is listed at 265 lbs, he has a frame that could carry 280 lbs. The Packers could also select a WR, OL, DT, or LB with this pick. TE Bubba Franks would fill a major need if he fell to this spot.
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  16. New York Jets (from NE)

    DE Darren Howard - Kansas State

    The Jets get this pick for allowing Bill Belicheck to take the Patriots job. With severe cap constraints, the Jets will probably either try to package their two first rounders to move up in the draft or deal one of the picks for a second rounder and a future 1. Barring a deal, the Jets are in desperate need of DL help. Even with rumors they will sign DT Sam Adams away from the Seahawks, a DE is a dire necessity. Howard has pass rushing skill, but a knock that he does not put out on every play. The Jets could also consider DEs Shaun Ellis or John Engleberger with this pick. Bubba Franks would fill a need, but the likelyhood of him falling to 16 is slim.
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  17. Oakland Raiders

    WR Dez White - Georgia Tech

    The Raiders have a desperate need for a big play receiver opposite Tim Brown. White is strong and explosive with great size, speed numbers. The main knock on White is he dropped to many passes in college and needs to work on the consistency of his hands. Besides giving the Raiders speed at receiver, White would also help in the return game. The Raiders could also use a young QB for Jon Gruden to groom and despite poor workouts Chris Redman is a possibility.
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  18. New York Jets

    OT Stockar McDougal - Oklahoma

    McDougal is a huge, physical player that showed surprisingly good footwork and pass blocking skills at 350+ lbs. Although McDougal fills a need, as mentioned with the comments on the Jets 16th pick a more likely scenario is a trade of one or both of the Jets first round picks. TE and 3rd receiver are two specific areas of need that could be addressed with a trade down out of the first round.
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  19. Kansas City Chefs

    RB Ron Dayne - Wisconsin

    Bam Morris has retired and the Chiefs are left with Donnell Bennett, Rashaan Shehee, and Mike Cloud at HB. This collection of backs proves that quantity is not a substitute for quality. Dayne is the wild card of this draft. With the recent success of Marshall Faulk and Edgerrin James, teams seem to be looking toward multiple threat run/pass RBs instead of one dimensional big backs. If the Chiefs pass on Dayne for a WR, he could fall to the Bills at 26 or even out of the first round.
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  20. Seattle Seahawks (from Dallas)

    WR Sylvester Morris - Jackson St

    This pick was dealt to the Seahawks by the Cowboys as part of the Joey Galloway trade. By dealing Galloway, the Seahawks left themselves without a big play threat on offense. Morris combines excellent size and strength with a long stride and deceptive speed. Morris is willing to go over the middle, shows solid sideline awarenes, and maybe most importantly comes with good character references. The Seahawks really need a WR with this pick and could also consider Jerry Porter of WVU, R. Jay Soward of USC, or Dennis Northcutt of Arizona.
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  21. Detroit Lions

    T Todd Wade - Mississippi

    The signing of James Stewart as a free agent allows the Lions to use this pick to fill other needs. Wade is a natural RT at 6' 7 1/2" and 320 lbs that started 3 years in the tough SEC. Wade improved every year, but still needs to work on his consistency and technique. This pick could also be used on OG Travis Claridge of USC or even a RB to pair with Stewart.
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  22. Seattle Seahawks

    DE John Engelberger - Va Tech

    The loss of DE Phillip Daniels to free agency and the continued inability to resign DT Sam Adams makes the defensive line a major area of need for the Seahawks. Engleberger is a weight room warrior with excellent measurables that turned himself from a college walk on to a possible first round pick.
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  23. Carolina Panthers (from Miami)

    OT Marvel Smith - Arizona St

    Smith is a fluid athlete with good lateral movement, fundamentals, and pass blocking skills. The knock on Smith is that he sometimes has lapses in concentration due to a lack of intensity. Along with last seasons 2nd round pick Chris Terry, Smith would give the Panthers a pair of young bookend tackles for the future.
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  24. San Fransisco 49ers (from Washington)

    S Deion Grant - Tennessee

    Grant is a physically gifted DB that would have benefited from remaining in school for his senior season. Grant has good hands and even saw some double duty at WR for the Volunteers. Grant needs work on tackling fundamentals, but has the athletic ability to succeed. The 49ers have plenty of needs on both sides of the ball so this pick could be used for just about any position.
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  25. Minnesota Vikings

    CB Mario Edwards - Fla St

    The Vikings disapointing 10-6 season and second round playoff loss were a direct result of poor secondary play. Edwards is coming off a sub-par season and could be a reach with this pick. He is often rated as only the 4th or 5th best CB in the draft. However, Edwards is a man-on-man cover specialist with the best physical skills at the position in the draft. Selecting him in the first round is a gamble, but the Vikings have a major need for athletes in the secondary. Other CBs the Vikings could consider are Rashard Anderson, Dwayne Goodrich, or Ahmed Plummer.
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  26. Buffalo Bills

    RB Shyrone Stith - Va Tech

    The Bills are in desperate need of offensive weapons and almost have to take a RB or WR. Stith is a short, powerful runner with a nice burst. Some originally thought Stith made a mistake leaving college early, but his stock now seems to be rising. This pick could also be used on an OL or defensive player to help plug holes created by free agency.
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  27. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

    LB Brandon Short - Penn St

    Short is a smart, aggresive middle linebacker with a good feel for the game. He would be an immediate replacement for free agent loss Hardy Nickerson. Another possibility is MLB Rob Morris from BYU. Morris is considered the premier run stuffer in the draft, but turned 25 in January which will probably drop him into the second round.
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  28. Indianapolis Colts

    LB Julian Peterson - Michigan St.

    Peterson is a big play LB from a major college program whose stock has been rising due to a good week of practice at the Senior Bowl. If Peterson is unavailable, the Colts could also use this pick on a speed receiver like Sylvester Morris to play opposite Marvin Harrison or an inside, run stuffing DT like Chris Hovan.
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  29. Jacksonville Jaguars

    OG/OT Cosey Coleman - Tennessee

    The interior of the Jaguars offensive line was gutted by free agency so OG is a need position. Coleman is a solid drive blocker with a powerful lower body. If the Jaguars decide to address the OL later in the draft, this pick could also be used on a WR such as Sylvester Morris, R. Jay Soward or Jerry Porter to groom behind Jimmy Smith and Keenan McCardell.
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  30. Tennessee Titans

    LB Raynoch Thompson - Tennessee

    With this selection, 6 Tennessee Volunteers are taken in the first round. Although Thompson is a bit undersized, he is an athletic player with an aggresive, feerless attitude. Used mostly as a pass rusher in college Thompson showed the ability to drop into coverage at the Senior Bowl.
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  31. St. Louis Rams

    CB Ahmed Plummer - Ohio St

    Plummer is a workmanlike, smart, instinctive CB that is rarely caught out of position. He could step in immediately as a starter or nickel back and not look out of place. Plummer's workout numbers are not impressive, but his on the field play should make this selection a bargain with the 31st pick. The Rams could also use this selection on Brandon Short or Rob Morris to upgrade the MLB position.
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