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NFL Draft Analysis: AFC Central



Rd. No. Player Pos. College

1 4 Peter Warrick WR Florida State

2 34 Mark Roman CB LSU

3 66 Ron Dugans WR Florida State

4 97 Curtis Keaton RB James Madison

5 133 Robert Bean DB Mississippi State

6 169 Neil Rackers K Illinois

7 210 Brad St. Louis TE SW Missouri State

Pick to watch: WR Peter Warrick -- Has to prove he's not another Desmond Howard.

Analysis: The Bengals had the fourth pick in a four-player draft and were happy that Warrick fell to them. They think they'll have an effective three-wide receiver set with Warrick, Darnay Scott and Carl Pickens. They addressed a need with cornerback Mark Roman in the second round, but made a puzzling reach in the third round by grabbing another Florida State receiver, Ron Dugans. Maybe they took him to hang out with Warrick.

Grade: B-


Rd. No. Player Pos. College

1 1 Courtney Brown DE Penn State

2 32 Dennis Northcutt WR Arizona

3 63 Travis Prentice RB Miami, Ohio

3 79 JaJuan Dawson WR Tulane

4 95 Lewis Sanders CB Maryland

4 110 Aaron Shea TE Michigan

5 130 Anthony Malbrough DB Texas Tech

5 146 Lamar Chapman DB Kansas State

6 183 Spergon Wynn QB SW Texas State

6 206 Brad Bedell G Colorado

7 207 Manuia Savea G Arizona

7 209 Eric Chandler DE Jackson State

7 225 Rashidi Barnes DB Colorado Pick to watch: RB Travis Prentice -- Since Errict Rhett's their top back right now, they need Prentice to make an immediate impact.

Analysis: After they made the obvious pick of Courtney Brown with the first pick, they addressed their offense with the next three first-day picks with two wide receivers (Dennis Northcutt and JaJuan Dawson) and a running back (Prentice). They knew they had to give Tim Couch a better supporting cast if the offense is to be more effective this year.

Grade: B-


Rd. No. Player Pos. College

1 29 R. Jay Soward WR So. California

2 60 Brad Meester C Northern Iowa

3 92 T.J. Slaughter LB So. Mississippi

4 123 Joey Chustz OT Louisiana Tech

5 159 Kiwaukee Thomas DB Ga. Southern

6 196 Emanuel Smith WR Arkansas

7 236 Erik Olson DB Colorado State

7 241 Rob Meier DE Washington State

7 243 Shyrone Stith RB Virginia Tech

7 245 Danny Clark LB Illinois

7 247 Mark Baniewicz OT Syracuse

Pick to watch: WR R. Jay Soward -- Could make the potent Jaguars passing game even more impressive if he improves his work habits.

Analysis: Soward had a drop-off in his senior season, but admits he was cocky and says he's cleaned up his act. If Soward lives up to his potential, he'll add another dimension to the Jaguars' passing game because Keenan McCardell may be declining. Center Brad Meester, the second-round pick, will be switched to guard to fill a hole at that spot.

Grade: B-


Rd. No. Player Pos. College

1 8 Plaxico Burress WR Michigan State

2 38 Marvel Smith OT Arizona State

3 72 Kendrick Clancy DT Mississippi

3 77 Hank Poteat DB Pittsburgh

4 103 Danny Farmer WR UCLA

5 137 Clark Haggans LB Colorado State

5 163 Tee Martin QB Tennessee

6 173 Chris Combs DT Duke

6 204 Jason Gavadza TE Kent Pick to watch: OT Marvel Smith -- Needs to become an immediate starter if the Steelers are to improve their line.

Analysis: Although they took Tee Martin in the fifth round, the Steelers are sticking with Kordell Stewart at quarterback. They not only bypassed Chad Pennington in the first round, but declined when the Jets took Pennington and offered to trade him and their 27th pick for Plaxico Burress. Despite his talent, Burress is a questionable character pick. They might have been better off trading down and taking an offensive lineman. They addressed that need with Smith in the second round.

Grade: C


Rd. No. Player Pos. College

1 30 Keith Bulluck LB Syracuse

3 68 Erron Kinney TE Florida

3 93 Byron Frisch DE Brigham Young

4 124 Bobby Myers S Wisconsin

4 128 Peter Sirmon LB Oregon

5 135 Aric Morris DB Michigan State

6 197 Robaire Smith DE Michigan State

7 213 Mike Green RB Houston, 7 237 Wes Shivers G Mississippi State Pick to watch: LB Keith Bulluck -- Should upgrade their linebacking.

Analysis: The Titans went to the Super Bowl with what appeared to be a solid defense, but they stressed defense in the draft, starting with Bulluck in the first round. Seven of their first eight picks were on defense. They didn't address their wide receiver problem but it probably doesn't matter because coach Jeff Fisher isn't big on throwing the ball.

Grade: B-

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

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