Riding the pre-draft roller coaster
Posted: Friday April 16, 1999 06:54 PM
ASHBURN, Va. -- Now for the 10 Draft Things I Think I Think, on draft eve:
1. I think the Marshall Faulk deal makes the Rams a very interesting team. I talked to coach Dick Vermeil last night, and though he tried to point me to the defensive side of the ball for St. Louis's sixth overall pick, imagine, for a moment, St. Louis picking North Carolina State wideout Torry Holt. Now, instead of Tony Banks, Greg Hill and a bunch of wideout nobodies as the Rams' skill players, St. Louis could throw Trent Green (okay, so I like him more than most people; I think he's a 20% upgrade on Banks and significantly more efficient), Faulk, Holt and Isaac Bruce (if his hammies cooperate) at defenses this fall. I just hope Faulk's the Faulk of the '98 season's salary drive, not the oft-injured guy of the previous two years.
2. I think the Redskins , the team I'm covering this weekend, are dead-solid set on Champ Bailey or a very rich trade-down.
4. I think you can tell I'm a little skeptical that Smith's and Maas's scores are on the level.
5. I think Dennis Green and the Minnesota Vikings are hot on the trail of Daunte Culpepper today.
6. I think this is the order of the top 10 picks as I see it as of noon Friday:
Cleveland: QB Tim Couch.
Philadelphia: QB Donovan McNabb, but why was an Eagles front-office guy talking long and deep with Akili Smith's agent, Leigh Steinberg, within the past 48 hours?
Cincinnati: QB Akili Smith, although the Bengals ought to deal. They ought to trade down right now to 12, take New Orleans' bounty and pick Cade McNown.
Indianapolis: RB Ricky Williams.
Washington: CB Champ Bailey.
St. Louis: WR Torry Holt.
Chicago: CB Chris McAlister, or a trade down to 11 to nab McNown.
Arizona: RB Edgerrin James, or a trade down to New England, which wants James.
Detroit: LB Chris Claiborne.
Baltimore: QB Daunte Culpepper.
7. I think we should all take a moment , as the odd lawyer on Ally McBeal sometimes does (when he's not preparing a fresh bowl), and send Wayne Gretzky our appreciation for a career well done. I spent a couple of days with him as a Newsday fill-in hockey writer in 1987 in Toronto and Edmonton. A greater player I've never seen. A finer superstar I've never met. If this is it, Wayne, thanks for those greased-lightning up-ice rushes with the puck glued to your stick and defenses flailing away at you uselessly.
8. I think unless Gretzky's a draftnik, he'll never read those words.
9. I think I can't say this strongly enough: The one man six or eight GMs will regret passing on from this draft is Cade McNown.
10. I think this draft will be one wild ride.
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