Projected Top 10 Picks
Posted: Thursday April 15, 1999 03:12 PM
BEREA, Ohio -- Ready or not, 48 hours before the draft, here's my best guess on the Top 10 picks.
1. Cleveland: Tim Couch, QB, Kentucky. But the pressure's on agent Tom Condon to agree to the parameters of a deal before Saturday at noon.
2. Philadelphia: Donovan McNabb, QB, Syracuse. The Eagle fandom is up in arms. The people want Ricky Williams. They won't get him.
3. Cincinnati: Akili Smith, QB, Oregon. I still think the Bengals should trade down with New Orleans to the 12th pick in the first round and take Cade McNown and a treasure trove of draft choics. Too bad the Bengals don't agree with me.
4. Indianapolis: Ricky Williams, RB, Texas. Colts general manager Bill Polian told me the other day, "You have to have a big back to win in an eastern division." My hunch is that Williams is big enough.
5. Washington: Champ Bailey, CB, Georgia. But the Redskins are talking trade to about 32 teams right now.
6. St. Louis: Torry Holt, WR, North Carolina State. Now here's a shocker: The Rams, even before they traded for Marshall Faulk, were ready to pick Holt over the player most widely reported to be their lock pick, Edgerrin James.
7. Chicago: Chris McAlister, CB, Arizona. The Bears desperately want Couch and aren't enamored with many of the other quarterbacks. So they turn to a corner -- and I'll probably get in trouble for saying this -- who I think is overrated and will not, as Chicago hopes, neutralize the Randy Mosses of the NFC Central.
8. Arizona (or a trade): Edgerrin James, RB, Miami (Fla.). New England will try hard to move up and get this pick. And the Patriots should. James is only 20 and he's going to be a big star.
9. Detroit: Chris Claiborne, LB, USC. If the Bears don't get him first, look for the Lions to plug Claiborne into what is already an overstocked position for them.
10. Baltimore: David Boston, WR, Ohio State. I'll be blunt about this pick: I have no idea if Baltimore is going to take David Boston. None. But the Ravens don't know what they want to do right now, and I wouldn't be a bit surprised to see Minnesota slide into this pick and steal Daunte Culpepper.
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