2003 NFL Draft 2003 NFL Draft

Movin' on up

Jets get No. 4 pick from Bears, eye Kentucky's Robertson

Posted: Friday April 25, 2003 1:38 PM
Updated: Friday April 25, 2003 2:07 PM
  Dewayne Robertson Dewayne Robertson figured to cause somebody to move up in the draft. AP

By Don Banks,

The first of what is expected to be a flurry of first-round trades in the NFL Draft occurred Friday when the Chicago Bears sent their No. 4 overall pick to the New York Jets in exchange for their two first-rounders, Nos. 13 and 22, plus an undisclosed conditional pick.

It was no secret that the Bears were shopping their pick and wanted to move down into the middle of the first round, where they thought the value of the draft slots better fit the prospects available. Chicago had talked extensively with New England this week about sending the No. 4 pick to the Patriots for their two first-round choices, Nos. 14 and 19, but that deal cooled Thursday.

The Jets are said to have made the move with the intent of selecting Kentucky defensive tackle Dewayne Robertson, who had widely been considered the Bears' most likely choice if they stayed in the No. 4 slot. New England also was eyeing Robertson, and the Jets' move might end any thought the Patriots of jumping up into the top five. New England has spent some time this week considering a trade with No. 5 Dallas, most likely to select Kansas State cornerback Terence Newman.

The trade also means Chicago in all likelihood won't be selecting Marshall quarterback Byron Leftwich, who was a longshot possibility at best for the Bears, given that they signed veteran starting quarterback Kordell Stewart in free agency.

The exact value of the conditional pick going from the Jets to the Bears is not known, but speculation centers on it being a 2004 draft choice.

The Jets may also consider taking wide receiver Andre Johnson of Miami if he gets by Houston at No. 3.

Although general manager Terry Bradway wouldn't disclose the name of the player he wants, he said: "The New York Jets have made a decision to move up to the fourth spot in the first round and be in a position to acquire a good football player."

The Bears, who finished 4-12 last year, chose to trade down to get extra choices to fill needs.

"We liked our options better having the extra first-round pick rather than staying at four," general manager Jerry Angelo said. "We now have three of the top 35 picks in the draft and are confident we will get three quality players."

It is the first time the Jets will draft in the top five since 1996, when they used the first pick on wide receiver Keyshawn Johnson.

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