Work in Sports
Redskins in draft's driver's seat
Posted: Thursday April 13, 2000 10:52 PM
NEW YORK (AP) -- Thanks to Charley Casserly's maneuvering in 1998 and 1999 and Mike Ditka's magnanimity, the Washington Redskins own the second and third picks in Saturday's draft, an unheard of scenario for a playoff team.
Unless 35-year-old owner Dan Snyder, who fired Casserly shortly after he bought the team, gets impetuous, the Skins should add two more potential stars to a team that's aiming at nothing less than a Super Bowl.
Snyder, naturally, is looking to State College, Pa., where defensive end Courtney Brown and linebacker LaVar Arrington played. The owner hired two limousines to drive him there to interview the two young men. The Redskins want both, but particularly Arrington.
One problem: Cleveland picks first. And if the Browns don't, the New York Jets will, having acquired two first-rounders from Tampa Bay for Keyshawn Johnson. That gave them four overall and the wherewithal to trade with Cleveland for the No. 1 spot.
As is de rigeur before the draft, the Browns have been feinting one way and the other - to Florida State wide receiver Peter Warrick, to Brown, and to Arrington, hoping the Skins might want the linebacker so badly that they might surrender the second and third picks for him.
But there's another problem: A less-than speedy workout has dropped Warrick below the two Nittany Lions.
So when Paul Tagliabue announces Cleveland (or New York's) first pick, it will be LAVAR ARRINGTON, LB, Penn State.
2. WASHINGTON: Dan the Fan takes COURTNEY BROWN, DE, Penn State, giving Norv Turner, who had hoped for Arrington, an excuse for not going 19-0 next season.
3. WASHINGTON: The Redskins have two 1,000-yard receivers, but Warrick, despite his troubles, could be something special. Not for the Skins, who take CHRIS SAMUELS, OT, Alabama.
4. CINCINNATI: Warrick can only hope that the worst franchise of the '90s hears rumors that he's dropping (the Bengals do little of their own research) and bypass him. But the Bengals want to dump Carl Pickens, so it's PETER WARRICK, WR, Florida State.
5. BALTIMORE: The Ravens got this pick courtesy of Atlanta -- Dan Reeves traded it to move up in the second round last year. If Warrick's not around, JAMAL LEWIS, RB, Tennessee.
6. PHILADELPHIA: Andy Reid and Tom Modrak are quietly rebuilding the Eagles. COREY SIMON, DT, Florida State, is a premium-type player, an inside lineman who can move the pile.
7. ARIZONA: The Cardinals change running backs more often than they change location. THOMAS JONES, RB, Virginia.
8. PITTSBURGH: It's not Chad Pennington. It's PLAXICO BURRESS, WR, Michigan State.
9. CHICAGO: It's all in the name. BRIAN URLACHER of New Mexico, 260 pounds of LB-SS-TE, sounds like a Monster of the Midway.
10. BALTIMORE: The Ravens traded up for a premium wide receiver, TRAVIS TAYLOR of Florida.
11. NEW YORK GIANTS: Everything points to a running back, although the Giants often defy conventional wisdom. There are questions about RON DAYNE, RB, Wisconsin, but not at the Meadowlands.
12. JETS: Other than Tony Gonzalez, first-round tight ends have not developed well, as the Jets know from their experience with Johnny Mitchell. But almost everyone likes BUBBA FRANKS, TE, Miami.
13. NEW YORK JETS: A pass rusher is what they need and they know Green Bay likes SHAUN ELLIS, DE, Tennessee. Sorry, Pack.
14. GREEN BAY: Ellis or not, the Packers may have taken KEITH BULLUCK, LB, Syracuse, in any event.
15. DENVER: Smart trade down. The player, they wanted, JOHN ABRAHAM, DE-LB, South Carolina, is available here. The only knock on him is that he played on teams that were 1-21 the last two seasons.
16. SAN FRANCISCO: Dropped from No. 3 because they don't have cap money for high pick. In a quarterback-poor draft, they take CHAD PENNINGTON, QB, Marshall, and hope he turns into the next Joe Montana.
17. OAKLAND: Have had problems at linebacker forever. JULIAN PETERSON, LB, Michigan State (no relation to Morris) might solve that problem.
18. JETS: Again. DEZ WHITE, WR, Georgia Tech, who has plenty of speed. The Jets think they can train him to hold on to the ball.
19. SEATTLE: No Joey Galloway. SYLVESTER MORRIS, WR, Jackson State, to try to replace him.
20. DETROIT: Always need help up front. STOCKAR MCDOUGLE, G, Oklahoma.
21. KANSAS CITY: In this draft, where spots 10 to 40 are about the same, SHAUN ALEXANDER, RB, Alabama, might have gone at No. 11. The Chiefs jump on him here.
22. SEATTLE: One of the picks the Seahawks got for Galloway goes for another MORRIS - ROB, LB, Brigham Young.
23. CAROLINA: The early Carolina teams thrived with defense. This team needs it badly. DEON GRANT, S, Tennessee, is a playmaker who needs tackling lessons.
24. SAN FRANCISCO: Anyone who caught a glimpse of the 49ers last season knows the worst of many problems was on the corner. AHMED PLUMMER, CB, Ohio State.
25. MINNESOTA: The Vikings have lost a lot up front to free agency. COSEY COLEMAN, G, Tennessee is a start.
26. BUFFALO: The Bills pick in the 20s every year because they pick good players here and don't lose enough games to move up. Lots of holes in the secondary. DELTHA O'NEAL, CB, California.
27. JETS: Them again? If they don't get Ellis, they might take John Engelberger of Virginia Tech. But Bill Parcells likes pass-rushing linebackers like DARREN HOWARD, Kansas State, a good risk when you have four first-rounders.
28. INDIANAPOLIS: Marvin Harrison gets doubled too much. JERRY PORTER, WR, West Virginia.
29. JACKSONVILLE: The Jaguars' success has been up front. TODD WADE, T-G Mississippi, is insurance for Tony Boselli's knee.
30. TENNESSEE: With Josh Evans suspended for a year, CHRIS HOVAN, DT, Boston College, is a good fit.
31. ST. LOUIS: Some people speculate the team that allegedly has everything could opt for Sebastian Janikowski, the Florida State kicker. ADRIAN KLEMM, OT, Hawaii.