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Fab five's Alberts shares who he'd pick

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Posted: Thursday April 13, 2000 07:46 PM


The NFL Draft is rapidly approaching and I have one simple question: Why are general managers so caught up with workout stats?

Just because a linebacker is 6-4 and runs a 4.5 in the 40, why does that make him a Top 5 pick? (Oh wait, that was me!)

Here's my philosophy: Forget about numbers, forget about drafting for need, take the best athlete and he'll make an impact.

So, with the Cleveland Browns' No. 1 pick, I select Peter Warrick.

That's right, Warrick.

Forget the reasons you've heard not to pick Warrick. Yes, I was there when he ran his 4.6 for the scouts. Who cares?


Did you see him play?

He's the best playmaker to come out since Deion Sanders.

How about all those teams that passed on Jerry Rice 15 years ago? Something about being "a step slow?"

Well, Carmen Policy watched Rice burn corner after corner in San Francisco. Now he'll watch Warrick do the same in Cleveland.

With the Redskins' No. 2 pick, I select LaVar Arrington. There's no doubt he's a playmaker, and his improbable dive against Illinois has teams seeing "The next Lawrence Taylor."

(For those keeping official count, this is the seventh "Next Lawrence Taylor.")

I'll turn right around and use Washington's No. 3 pick on New Mexico linebacker Brian Urlacher.


In two years, Brian Urlacher will be among the best in the business.

Urlacher is another impact guy who made plays from virtually every defensive position in his career.

Arrington and Urlacher anchoring an improving Skins defense may just propel Washington to the Super Bowl.

The Cincinnati Bengals could become the first team to publicly throw in the towel after failing with Top 5 picks for 20 years. The Bengals could trade and decide to make less stressful picks later in the draft.

But with Carl Pickens and Corey Dillon looking to bail, Cincy needs playmakers, so I'd sure use the No. 4 pick on Plaxico Burress.

He's big, fast and nobody could cover him in college. Just imagine Akili Smith throwing to Burress and the Bengals lighting it up.

I said imagine.

For the Ravens with the fifth pick, I take Courtney Brown.

Why would Brown slide to five?

It's all there -- the ability, the speed, the size -- but Brown sometimes disappeared in big games last season and had no impact.

He's either the best player in this draft or the biggest bust.

OK, that's it.

My Top 5 probably doesn't match many others.

But then again, my job doesn't depend on it ... I hope.

Good luck general managers.

Trev Alberts is a pro and college football analyst for CNN/SI.

Related information
NFL All-Time No. 1 Draft Picks
AFC Central Draft Preview's Experts' NFL Mock Draft Results
SI's Banks: No. 5 slot where draft fun starts
Making a mockery of the draft's Complete 2000 NFL Draft Coverage
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