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NFL DRAFT

THE BALTIMORE SUN

AFC East

Buffalo

Rd., No., Player, Pos., College

2, 39, Sam Cowart, LB, Florida St.

3, 68, Robert Hicks, OT, Mississippi St.

5, 131, Jonathan Linton, RB, N. Carolina

6, 160, Fred Coleman, WR, Washington

7, 198, Victor Allotey, G, Indiana

7, 238, Kamil Loud, WR, Cal Poly-SLO

Pick to watch: Cowart. He needs to make an immediate impact.

Analysis: The Bills, who gave up their first- and fourth-round picks to get quarterback Rob Johnson, went for need with their first pick on the second round by taking Cowart, who'll be groomed to replace Bryce Paup now that he's signed with Jacksonville. How Johnson plays will determine whether or not this was a good draft.

Grade: C

Indianapolis

Rd., No., Player, Pos., College

1, 1, Peyton Manning, QB, Tennessee

2, 32, Jerome Pathon, WR, Washington

3, 71, E.G. Green, WR, Florida St.

4, 93, Steve McKinney, G, Texas A&M;

5, 135, Anthony Jordon, LB, Vanderbilt

7, 190, Aaron Taylor, G, Nebraska

7, 231, Corey Gaines, DB, Tennessee

Pick to watch: Manning. He not only has to win games, but sell tickets.

Analysis: A draft that starts with Manning is off to a good start, but the two players who'll make or break this draft are wide receivers Jerome Pathon, a second-round pick, and E. G. Green, the player the Colts got on the third round with the choice they got from the Ravens for Jim Harbaugh. Although the Colts will stress the run, Manning needs solid receivers to be effective and Pathon and Green are being counted on to give him good targets.

Grade: A-

Miami

Rd., No., Player, Pos., College

1, 29, John Avery, RB, Mississippi

2, 44, Patrick Surtain, DB, So. Miss.

2, 49, Kenny Mixon, DE, LSU

3, 79, Brad Jackson, LB, Cincinnati

3, 82, Larry Shannon, WR, East Carolina

4, 102, Lorenzo Bromell, DE, Clemson

5, 143, Scott Shaw, G, Michigan St.

6, 171, Nathan Strikwerda, C Northwestern

6, 172, John Dutton, QB, Nevada

7, 210, Jim Bundren, G, Clemson

Pick to watch: Surtain. He has to justify the Dolphins giving up a first-round pick in 2000.

Analysis: Jimmy Johnson showed he's still a wheeler-dealer at heart. After trading his first-rounder in 2000 for Carolina's second-round pick (he used it to take Surtain), he traded down on the first round for a second-round pick and then traded that to Detroit for three more picks. He wound up with five picks in the first three rounds, 10 overall, but he reached for Avery and took Mixon despite his collegiate drug suspension.

Grade: B-

New England

Rd., No., Player, Pos., College

1, 18, Robert Edwards, RB, Georgia

1, 22, Tebucky Jones, DB, Syracuse

2, 52, Tony Simmons, WR, Wisconsin

2, 54, Rod Rutledge, TE, Alabama

3, 81, Chris Floyd, RB, Michigan

3, 83, Greg Spires, DE, Florida St.

4, 115, Leonta Rheams, DT, Houston

5, 145, Ron Merkerson, LB, Colorado

6, 176, Harold Shaw, RB, So. Miss.

7, 211, Jason Andersen, C, BYU

Pick to watch: Edwards. He has to prove he can fill Curtis Martin's shoes.

Analysis: Despite having six picks in the first three rounds, the Patriots didn't distinguish themselves. The Patriots passed on Vonnie Holliday because they targeted Jones, who's been a defensive back just one year, with their second first-round pick and they needed a running back (Edwards) with the first one. Their third pick, Simmons, broke a foot in 1996 and has been inconsistent. For the players they got, they might as well have traded up for Curtis Enis.

Grade: D

New York Jets

Rd., No., Player, Pos., College

2, 56, Dorian Boose, DE, Wash. St.

3, 67, Scott Frost, DB, Nebraska

3, 87, Kevin Williams, DB, Oklahoma St.

4, 111, Jason Fabini, OT, Cincinnati

5, 134, Casey Dailey, LB, Northwestern

5, 141, Doug Karczewski, G, Virginia

5, 146, Blake Spence, TE, Oregon

5, 149, Eric Bateman, G, BYU

6, 163, Eric Ogbogu, DE, Maryland

6, 174, Chris Brazzell, WR, Angelo St.

6, 183, Dustin Johnson, RB, BYU

7, 195, Lawrence Hart, TE, Southern

Pick to watch: Frost. He is a project who will be converted from quarterback to safety.

Analysis: Just as he did last year, Bill Parcells filled his grocery cart by trading down. He had three players targeted for the 41st pick, including Leon Bender, who was taken by the Raiders with their controversial compensatory pick. When they were all gone, he traded down and gambled on Dorian Boose, a player who has a lot of potential, but needs a lot of developing. Another project is turning Frost into a safety. This draft doesn't appear to provide a lot of immediate help.

Grade: C-

AFC Central

Baltimore

Rd., No., Player, Pos., College

1, 10, Duane Starks, DB, Miami

2, 42, Pat Johnson, WR, Oregon

5, 124, Martin Chase, DT, Oklahoma

5, 133, Ryan Sutter, DB, Colorado

6, 154, Ron Rogers, LB, Georgia Tech

6, 164, Sammy Williams, OT, Oklahoma

7, 241, Cam Quayle, TE, Weber St.

Pick to watch: Johnson. He was a good value pick on the second round.

Analysis: To steal a line from draftnik Joel Buchsbaum, the Ravens can field a relay team after getting a pair of speedsters in Starks and Johnson. The receiver may have been a better pick than Starks because he wasn't a reach. The Ravens, who wound up with just two picks in the first four rounds, went for depth with five picks in the last three rounds when they couldn't trade for New England CB Jimmy Hitchcock. But this draft will be judged on how well Harbaugh, who cost them a third-round pick, plays.

Grade: C+

Cincinnati

Rd., No., Player, Pos., College

1, 13, Takeo Spikes, LB, Auburn

1, 17, Brian Simmons, LB, N. Carolina

2, 43, Artrell Hawkins, DB, Cincinnati

3, 75, Steve Foley, LB, NE Louisiana

3, 78, Mike Goff, G, Iowa

4, 105, Glenn Steele, DE, Michigan

6, 167, Jason Tucker, WR, TCU

7, 202, Marcus Parker, RB, Virginia Tech

7, 222, Damian Vaughn, TE, Miami, Ohio

Pick to watch: Simmons. Will he turn out to be more productive than Randy Moss?

Analysis: This was a classic need draft. The Bengals needed linebackers and took three of them with their first four picks. They want to play the 3-4 zone blitz defense that Dick LeBeau brought from Pittsburgh and they need linebackers to do it. The first two linebackers they got, Spikes and Simmons, were well-rated, but on that 17th pick, they could have rolled the dice on Randy Moss.

Grade: B-

Jacksonville

Rd., No., Player, Pos., College

1, 9, Fred Taylor, RB, Florida

1, 25, Donovin Darius, DB, Syracuse

2, 57, Cordell Taylor, DB, Hampton

3, 86, Jonathan Quinn, QB, M. Tenn. St.

4, 101, Tavian Banks, RB, Iowa

4, 118, Harry Deligianis, DT, Y'town St.

5, 148, John Wade, C, Marshall

6, 179, Lemanzer Williams, DE, Minnesota

6, 182, Kevin McLeod, RB, Auburn

7, 192, Alvis Whitted, WR, N.C. St.

7, 214, Brandon Tolbert, LB, Georgia

Pick to watch: Darius. Is he good enough to justify not getting Curtis Enis?

Analysis: The Jaguars made one of the more intriguing decisions when they refused to give up their two first-round picks to Chicago to grab Enis unless the Bears gave back a No. 2. They thought the Bears would cave, but they didn't so the Jaguars stayed at No. 9 and took Taylor. If Taylor and Darius make it big, they'll be vindicated. If not, and Enis makes the Pro Bowl, they'll regret not trading up.

Grade: C

Pittsburgh

Rd., No., Player, Pos., College

1, 26, Alan Faneca, G, LSU

2, 41, Jeremy Staat, DT, Arizona St.

3, 66, Chris Conrad, OT, Fresno St.

3, 92, Hines Ward, WR, Georgia

4, 117, Deshea Townsend, DB, Alabama

4, 123, Carlos King, FB, N.C. St.

5, 137, Jason Simmons, DB, Arizona St.

6, 178, C. Fua.-Ma'afala, RB, Utah

6, 186, Ryan Olson, LB, Colorado

7, 221, Angel Rubio, DE, So. Mo. St.

Pick to watch: Staat. He has to justify the three picks the Steelers gave up to get him.

Analysis: The Steelers started out with 14 picks, more than any other team, including three third-rounders, so they gave up third- and fifth-round picks to the Jets to move up 15 spots on the second round to grab Staat. Since they lost John Jackson in free agency and Will Wolford will retire at the end of the year, they took Faneca and Conrad in the first and third rounds. They traded three of their seventh-round picks to Atlanta to take Simmons in the fifth round.

Grade: B+

Tennessee

Rd., No., Player, Pos., College

1, 16, Kevin Dyson, WR, Utah

2, 46, Samari Rolle, DB, Florida St.

3, 77, Dainon Sydney, DB, UAB

4, 107, Joe Salave'a, DT, Arizona

5, 139, Benji Olson, G, Washington

6, 169, Lee Wiggins, DB, S. Carolina

7, 205, Jimmy Sprotte, LB, Arizona

7, 229, Kevin Long, C, Florida St.

Pick to watch: Dyson. He will be counted on to form a 1-2 receiving punch with Yancey Thigpen.

Analysis: Dyson falling to the Oilers on the 16th pick wasn't good news for the Ravens. They swept the Oilers last year and need to do it again this year, but quarterback Steve McNair now has a lot more firepower with Dyson and free-agent acquisition Thigpen at the wide receiver slots.

Grade: B

AFC West

Denver

Rd., No., Player, Pos., College

1, 30, Marcus Nash, WR, Tennessee

2, 61, Eric Brown, S, Mississippi St.

3, 91, Brian Griese, QB, Michigan

4, 122, Curtis Alexander, RB, Alabama

5, 153, Chris Howard, RB, Michigan

7, 200, Trey Teague, OT, Tennessee

7, 219, Nate Wayne, LB, Mississippi

Pick to watch: Griese. He has to show he's got the talent to be an NFL quarterback.

Analysis: The Broncos are starting to find out how difficult it is going to be to live in the post-John Elway era. Even if Elway comes back this fall, the sand is running out of the hour glass for him. That's why the Broncos took a chance on Griese in the third round and will try to groom him for the future. But Griese, who doesn't have a great arm, is never going to be another Elway. Their first two picks -- Nash and Brown -- were need selections. Even though they had Terrell Davis, they took running backs in the fourth and fifth rounds.

Grade: C

Kansas City

Rd., No., Player, Pos., College

1, 27, Victor Riley, OT, Auburn

3, 88, Rashaan Shehee, RB, Washington

4, 120, Greg Favors, LB, Mississippi St.

5, 128, Robert Williams, DB, N. Carolina

6, 181, Derrick Ransom, DT, Cincinnati

7, 216, Eric Warfield, DB, Nebraska

7, 224, Ernest Blackwell, RB, Missouri

Pick to watch: Shehee. He needs to solve the Chiefs' running back problem.

Analysis: It was taken for granted the Chiefs would take running back on the first round because Marcus Allen retired and they let Greg Hill go. But coach Marty Schottenheimer made the stunning move of going for Riley on the first round because he was the highest-rated player on their board. Schottenheimer insists that running back isn't that big a problem.

Grade: C-

Oakland

Rd., No., Player, Pos., College

1, 4, Charles Woodson, DB, Michigan

1, 23, Mo Collins, OT, Florida

2, 31, Leon Bender, DT, Wash. St.

3, 63, Jon Ritchie, RB, Stanford

4, 109, Gennaro DiNapoli, G, Virginia Tech

5, 127, Jeremy Brigham, TE, Washington

5, 152, Travian Smith, LB, Oklahoma

7, 230, Vince Amey, DE, Arizona St.

7, 235, David Sanders, DE, Arkansas

Pick to watch: Bender. He's the player the Raiders got with their controversial compensatory pick.

Analysis: With the help of a compensatory pick and a trade, the Raiders wound up with three of the first 31 picks. Woodson was an automatic choice with the first one, but they gave up two second-round picks for Tampa Bay's first-round choice and grabbed Collins five picks before San Francisco was going to take him. And then they got Bender, a player the Jets wanted 10 picks later, with the compensatory pick.

Grade: A-

San Diego

Rd., No., Player, Pos., College

1, 2, Ryan Leaf, QB, Wash. St.

2, 59, Mikhael Ricks, WR, S.F. Austin

5, 126, Cedric Harden, DE, Florida A&M;

6, 155, Clifford Ivory, DB, Troy St.

7, 194, Jon Haskins, LB, Stanford

7, 234, Kio Sanford, WR, Kentucky

Pick to watch: Leaf. He has the potential to be a rare franchise quarterback.

Analysis: Bobby Beathard made a good move when he paid a huge price to move up one spot and get Leaf. A player of his potential doesn't come around very often. But then Beathard reverted to his habit of making strange moves. Last week, he turned down Carolina's offer of the 44th pick for his first pick in 2000. He then traded it during the draft to Tampa Bay for the 59th pick and took Ricks.

Grade: B

Seattle

Rd., No., Player, Pos., College

1, 15, Anthony Simmons, LB, Clemson

2, 47, Todd Weiner, OT, Kansas St.

3, 76, Ahman Green, RB, Nebraska

3, 108, DeShone Myles, LB, Nevada

6, 162, Carl Hansen, DE, Stanford

6, 169, Bobby Shaw, WR, California

7, 197, Jason McEndoo, C, Wash. St.

Pick to watch: Green. He is being counted on to complement Ricky Watters.

Analysis: The Seahawks wanted linebackers in this draft and they took them on the first and third rounds after declining to trade up to get one of the two higher-rated ones. They didn't want to give up draft choices because they hope their rookies will bolster their special teams.

Grade: C

NFC East

Arizona

Rd., No., Player, Pos., College

1, 3, Andre Wadsworth, DE, Florida St.

2, 33, Corey Chavous, DB, Vanderbilt

2, 36, Anthony Clement, OT, SW Louisiana

4, 95, Michael Pittman, RB, Fresno St.

5, 125, Terry Hardy, TE, So. Miss.

6, 158, Zack Walz, LB, Dartmouth

7, 193, Phil Savoy, WR, Colorado

7, 209, George Cousins, DE, Florida A&M;

7, 226, Pat Tillman, DB, Arizona St.

7, 233, Ron Janes, RB, Missouri

Pick to watch: Chavous. He was one of the picks they got for trading away the second overall choice.

Analysis: It was a coup for the Cardinals to get Wadsworth and Chavous, plus a first-round pick next year, for trading the second overall pick to the Chargers. For a team with reputation for inept moves, it was a defining moment that may jump-start their franchise. But Jake Plummer has to make it big to justify passing on Ryan Leaf.

Grade: A-

Dallas

Rd., No., Player, Pos., College

1, 8, Greg Ellis, DE, N. Carolina

2, 38, Flozell Adams, OT, Michigan St.

4, 100, Michael Myers, DT, Alabama 5, 130, Darren Hambrick, LB, S. Carolina

5, 138, Oliver Ross, OT, Iowa St.

6, 188, Izell Reese, DB, UAB

7, 223, Tarik Smith, RB, California

7, 227, Antonio Fleming, G, Georgia

7, 237, Rodrick Monroe, TE, Cincinnati

Pick to watch: Adams. They didn't expect him to fall to the second round.

Analysis: They got off to a good start with Ellis and Adams on the first two rounds even though they wanted Grant Wistrom and reached for Ellis when St. Louis grabbed Wistrom. Jerry Jones also showed he's trying to put off-the-field problems behind the Cowboys by passing on Randy Moss. But the Cowboys draft tailed off after the first two picks and they didn't pick a wide receiver even though it was a major need.

Grade: C

New York Giants

Rd., No., Player, Pos., College

1, 24, Shaun Williams, DB, UCLA

2, 55, Joe Jurevicius, WR, Penn St.

3, 70, Brian Alford, WR, Purdue

5, 147, Toby Myles, OT, Jackson St.

6, 177, Todd Pollack, TE, Boston Coll.

7, 213, Ben Fricke, C, Houston

Pick to watch: Alford. They liked him enough to give up a fourth-round pick.

Analysis: The Giants have switched the draft baton from the retired George Young to Ernie Accorsi, but the philosophy didn't change much. They've always had a best-available-athlete philosophy and they followed it with Williams when he fell to the 24th pick. Their philosophy changed somewhat, though, in the second round when they had trouble picking between Jurevicius and Alford, and took Jurevicius with the 70th pick. When Alford was still there at No. 70, they dealt a fourth-round pick to trade up 15 spots to get him.

Grade: B-

Philadelphia

Rd., No., Player, Pos., College

1, 11, Tra Thomas, OT, Florida St.

3, 72, Jeremiah Trotter, LB, S. F. Austin

3, 85, Allen Rossum, DB, Notre Dame

4, 112, Brandon Whiting, DT, California

4, 116, Clarence Love, DB, Toledo

5, 142, Ike Reese, LB, Michigan St.

7, 220, Chris Akins, DT, Texas

7, 240, Melvin Thomas, G, Colorado

Pick to watch: Thomas. He is supposed to the OL who finally makes it big for the Eagles.

Analysis: The Eagles apparently are going to keep drafting offensive linemen on the first round until they get it right. They've now taken offensive linemen with eight of their last 14 picks and blown them on such busts as Kevin Allen and Antoine Davis. They were so happy about Thomas -- despite his one-game college drug suspension -- that they showed reporters film of him. They gave up their second-round pick in the trade for Hugh Douglas and a sixth-rounder for another Jet, Jeff Graham.

Grade: C+

Washington

Rd., No., Player, Pos., College

2, 48, Stephen Alexander, TE, Oklahoma

3, 69, Skip Hicks, RB, UCLA

4, 113, Shawn Barber, LB, Richmond

5, 140, Mark Fischer, C, Purdue

6, 170, Pat Palmer, WR, NW Louisiana

7, 191, David Terrell, DB, Texas-El Paso

7, 206, Antwaune Ponds, LB, Syracuse

Pick to watch: Hicks. He will give the Redskins another running threat if Terry Allen's knees bother him.

Analysis: The Redskins got outmaneuvered by Carolina when they turned down the Panthers' offer of a second-round pick this year in the Sean Gilbert deal. So the Panthers traded it to Miami for a first-round pick in the year 2000. That means the Redskins won't have the pick for two years and Norv Turner has to wonder if he'll still be the coach then. The Redskins helped their offense with Alexander and Hicks.

Grade: C

NFC Central

Chicago

Rd., No., Player, Pos., College

1, 5, Curtis Enis, RB, Penn St.

2, 35, Tony Parrish, DB, Washington

3, 64, Olin Kreutz, C, Washington

4, 94, Alonzo Mayes, TE, Oklahoma St.

6, 157, Chris Draft, LB, Stanford

6, 189, Patrick Mannelly, OT, Duke

7, 217, Chad Overhauser, OT, UCLA

7, 232, Moses Moreno, QB, Colorado St.

Pick to watch: Enis. He is being counted on to be the Bears' best runner since Walter Payton.

Analysis: New personnel chief Mark Hatley got his tenure off to a good start when he selected Enis with the fifth pick because he was the fifth-best player and Hatley couldn't get a king-sized offer for him. A lot of skeptics figured he'd cave in and trade down because the Bears had so many holes, but held firm. It was a wise move if Enis is the back he's supposed to be.

Grade: B+

Detroit

Rd., No., Player, Pos., College

1, 20, Terry Fair, DB, Tennessee

2, 50, Germane Crowell, WR, Virginia

2, 60, Charlie Batch, QB, E. Michigan

6, 185, Jamaal Alexander, DB, So. Miss.

7, 207, Chris Liwienski, OT, Indiana

Pick to watch: Batch. He will put heat on Scott Mitchell if Mitchell doesn't win in the playoffs this year.

Analysis: The Lions wanted a linebacker because of Reggie Brown's career-ending injury, but weren't willing to trade up for one of the top ones so they switched to a cornerback (Fair) on the first round. Their most intriguing selection, though, was Batch. It sends a message to Mitchell that coach Bobby Ross is losing his patience with him. They wound up with just five picks and didn't get a linebacker.

Grade: C-

Green Bay

Rd., No., Player, Pos., College

1, 19, Vonnie Holliday, DT, N. Carolina

3, 90, Jonathan Brown, DE, Tennessee

4, 121, Roosevelt Blackmon, DB, Morris Brown

5, 150, Corey Bradford, WR, Jackson St.

6, 156, Scott McGarrahan, DB, New Mexico

6, 187, Matt Hasselbeck, QB, Boston Coll.

7, 218, Ed Watson, RB, Purdue

Pick to watch: Holliday. The Packers never dreamed he would fall to them.

Analysis: The rich get richer. That was the theme of this draft for the Packers. The Packers knew they wouldn't get major defensive help at the 29th spot so they traded their second-round pick to move up 10 spots and landed Holliday. He fills a need with a quality pick because Reggie White retired yesterday and Gabe Wilkins left in free agency. They stayed with need by going for defense with their next two picks before switching to a receiver (Bradford) on the fifth round. Ron Wolf also gave coach Mike Holmgren another quarterback to develop when he picked Don Hasselbeck's son, Matt, on the sixth round.

Grade: A-

Minnesota

Rd., No., Player, Pos., College

1, 21, Randy Moss, WR, Marshall

2, 51, Kailee Wong, LB, Stanford

3, 80, Ramos McDonald, DB, New Mexico

4, 110, Kivuusama Mayes, LB, N. Carolina

5, 144, Kerry Cooks, DB, Iowa

6, 173, Matt Birk, OT, Harvard

7, 208, Chester Burnett, LB, Arizona

7, 225, Tony Darden, DB, Texas Tech

Pick to watch: Moss. He was the boom or bust pick of this draft.

Analysis: Their draft ranged from the controversial Moss on the first round to a Harvard player (Birk) on the sixth round. Despite Moss' off-the-field problems, the real question is how good a football player he is. He hasn't played against first-rate competition and has a habit of running undisciplined routes and not going 100 percent all the time. Since they didn't get a DB (McDonald) until the third round, they traded a 1999 third-round pick to New England for Jimmy Hitchcock.

Grade: C

Tampa Bay

Rd., No., Player, Pos., College

2, 34, Jacquez Green, WR, Florida

2, 45, Brian Kelly, DB, So. California

3, 84, Jamie Duncan, LB, Vanderbilt

4, 104, Todd Washington, G, Virginia Tech

6, 175, James Cannida, DT, Nevada

6, 184, Shevin Smith, DB, Florida St.

7, 212, Chance McCarty, DE, TCU

Pick to watch: Kelly. He may turn out to be a bargain with the 45th pick.

Analysis: The Bucs, who have a history of being in the top 10, did some wheeling and dealing from the 23rd position. They got a pair of second-round picks from Oakland for trading out of the first round, then traded a fourth-round pick to Atlanta to move up eight spots in the second round. They then traded one of the seconds they got from Oakland to San Diego for a first-round pick in 2000 and gave Baltimore back the 1999 third-round pick for Errict Rhett to select Washington in the fourth round. And they got a pair of quality players in Green and Kelly in the second round.

Grade: B

NFC West

Atlanta

Rd., No., Player, Pos., College

1, 12, Keith Brooking, LB, Georgia Tech

2, 53, Bob Hallen, C, Kent

3, 74, Jammi German, WR, Miami

4, 103, Omar Brown, DB, N. Carolina

4, 114, Tim Dwight, WR, Iowa

6, 166, Elijah Williams, DB, Florida

7, 199, Ephraim Salaam, OT, San Diego St.

7, 201, Ken Oxendine, RB, Virginia Tech

7, 203, Henry Slay, DT, West Virginia

Pick to watch: Brooking. He's a hometown selection who hopes to make it big.

Analysis: The Falcons targeted Brooking and were thrilled he fell to them at No. 12. The Falcons picked up a fourth-rounder from Tampa Bay for dropping eight spots in the second round, but their draft was lackluster after Brooking.

Grade: C-

Carolina

Rd., No., Player, Pos., College

1, 14, Jason Peter, DT, Nebraska

3, 62, Chuck Wiley, DE, LSU

3, 73, Mitch Marrow, DE, Penn

4, 106, Donald Hayes, WR, Wisconsin

5, 136, Jerry Jensen, LB, Washington

6, 165, Damien Richardson, DB, Arizona St.

7, 196, Viliami Maumau, DT, Colorado

7, 228, Jim Turner, WR, Syracuse

Pick to watch: Peter. They got him with the first-round pick they refused to give to the Redskins.

Analysis: The Panthers refused to give the Redskins their first-round pick in the Sean Gilbert deal and then traded their second-round pick to Miami for the Dolphins' first rounder in 2000. Even though they figure to get Gilbert, they needed a lot of help in their DL and spent their first three picks for that need.

Grade: B+

New Orleans

Rd., No., Player, Pos., College

1, 7, Kyle Turley, OT, San Diego St.

2, 40, Cameron Cleeland, TE, Washington

4, 97, Fred Weary, DB, Florida

4, 99, Julian Pittman, DE, Florida St.

5, 132, Wilmont Perry, RB, Livingstone

6, 161, Chris Bordano, LB, SMU

7, 204, Andy McCullough, WR, Tennessee

7, 239, Ron Warner, LB, Kansas

Pick to watch: Turley. He is Mike Ditka's kind of hard-nosed player.

Analysis: The Saints got themselves in a hole when they foolishly traded their third-round pick in this draft to Washington last year for Heath Shuler. The result is they got only one other player (Cleeland) besides Turley in the first three rounds and they had to reach a bit for him.

Grade: C-

St. Louis

Rd., No., Player, Pos., College

1, 6, Grant Wistrom, DE, Nebraska

2, 37, Robert Holcombe, RB, Illinois

3, 65, Leonard Little, LB, Tennessee

4, 96, Az-zahir Hakim, WR, San Diego St.

4, 97, Roland Williams, TE, Syracuse

5, 129, Raymond Priester, RB, Clemson

6, 159, Glenn Roundtree, G, Clemson

7, 236, Jason Chorak, DE, Washington

Pick to watch: Holcombe. He was a good value on the second round.

Analysis: The Rams refused to pay the price to move up one spot to take Curtis Enis and may have been vindicated when they took Wistrom and then used their second- and third-round picks on players (Holcombe and Little) who were rated to go higher.

Grade: B+

San Francisco

Rd., No., Player, Pos., College

1, 28, R.W. McQuarters, DB, Oklahoma St.

2, 58, Jeremy Newberry, C, California

3, 89, Chris Ruhman, OT, Texas A&M;

4, 119, Lance Schulters, DB, Hofstra

5, 151, Phil Ostrowski, G, Penn St.

6, 180, Fred Beasley, RB, Auburn

7, 215, Ryan Thelwell, WR, Minnesota

Pick to watch: Ruhman. The 49ers wanted a tackle but had to wait until the third round to get one.

Analysis: The 49ers were looking for offensive linemen and selected them on the second, third and fifth rounds. But they got aced out of the offensive lineman they wanted on the first round when their Bay Area rivals, Oakland, traded up to grab Mo Collins.

Grade: C+

Draft breakdown

Selections by conference

SEC 40

Big West 3

Pacific 10 37

Ivy League 3

ACC 29

MEAC 3

Big 12 28

SWAC 3

Big Ten 27

Ohio Valley 2

WAC 17

Atlantic 10 1

Big East 14

Big Sky 1

Conf. USA 12

CIAA 1

Indep. 7

Gateway 1

Mid-Amer. 6

Lone Star 1

Southland 4

SIAC 1

Top schools

Washington 10

Ariz. State 5

Fla. State 9

Cincinnati 5

Tennessee 8

Clemson 5

N. Carolina 7

Florida 5

Colorado 6

Michigan 5

Nebraska 6

Stanford 5

Syracuse 5

Draft analysis

The NFL draft analysis was compiled by Sun staff writer Vito Stellino.

Pub Date: 4/20/98

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