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Q&A:'s Trev Alberts

Ravens, Broncos, Raiders made puzzling first-round pick

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Posted: Sunday April 16, 2000 04:49 PM


CNN/Sports Illustrated's Bob Lorenz talked with football analyst Trev Alberts about his thoughts on the first round of the 2000 NFL Draft.

Bob Lorenz: Draft day as we know make millionaires, breaks some hearts and leaves you scratching your head, too, Trev. Give us some impressions of what happened early in the draft.

Trev Alberts: Well you know, Bob, early in the draft, in my opinion, if you're going to pick in the top 5 of the draft you better get a playmaker. That's my opinion, and that's why I thought Peter Warrick should've been the No. 1 player taken in the draft. In my opinion he's the best playmaker to come out since Deion Sanders.

Then with the third pick the Washington Redskins took an offensive tackle. Sure Samuels is a good offensive tackle, but you have to pay the guy $9 million up front, and then $4 million per year -- this is a guy who just blocks people. And then the biggest no-brainer of the day: Baltimore taking Jamal Lewis. Bob, this is a guy that, no doubt about it, if he goes back to Tennessee for his senior year he isn't going to even start. Travis Henry had effectively beaten this guy out. Now, all of a sudden, he's the fifth pick, simply because he runs a 4.3 40. A horrible pick.

Lorenz: Good to see that you're in mid-season irritated-guy form, by the way. Now let's pull back a little, soften it up, find your happy place. How about something good? What teams hit home runs?

Alberts: Well, I think Arizona -- they had to hit a home run -- and certainly they needed a running back in this draft. Vince Tobin probably did cartwheels, jumped up and down, yelled "Yahoo!", because the running back who is the best running back in this draft fell right into their lap at No. 7, and that's Thomas Jones of Virginia. Here's a guy who does it all. He runs the football with a lot of power, he's got a lot of speed, and the most important thing, he catches the football out of the backfield. I think Arizona had a steal right there at the seventh pick.

Lorenz: And on draft day we always hear that some teams draft for need, some for best player available, and some teams fall right in the middle, Trev.

Alberts: They really do. You know I think you have a real danger if you just draft based on need. Because when you just draft based on need, you start reaching. And that's exactly what happened with the No. 15 for the Denver Broncos. Sure they needed a cornerback -- Dale Carter may miss the entire season -- and they took Deltha O'Neal, the cornerback from California. He's a very good football player, but certainly not the 15th pick in the draft. This is a guy who would've been around probably early in the second round.

And then another no-brainer at No. 17. The Oakland Raiders -- Al Davis is known for making no-brainer decisions -- take a kicker, Sebastian Janikowski. Sure he's a great kicker, and yes he has a strong leg, but listen to the other guys who were available at that pick: you had guys like Chad Pennington, Shaun Alexander, Stockar McDougle and Sylvester Morris, a great wide receiver. Here's a guy, Bob, who is a great kicker, but he may be deported to Poland because of his legal trouble. It would be very difficult for him to kick field goals sitting in Poland while Oakland is trying to win football games.

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

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