Seahawks: Years from now Seattle, which picked eighth, may look like the big winner in this draft. The Seahawks' selection, Joey Galloway, the Ohio State wide-out, is that good. He's a bit small at 5'10", but he runs a 4.18 40-yard dash, which is Deion Sanders-fast. Galloway should be a 75-catch home run threat for a decade, the type of player you build an offense around.
New coach Dennis Erickson hasn't landed a big free agent, but he made a nice pickup when he traded a fourth-round choice to Arizona for Ricky Proehl. Galloway, Brian Blades and Proehl give Seattle three weapons at wideout instead of the one they have been playing with most of this decade.
Bengals: When Ki-Jana Carter visited the Carolina Panthers a couple of weeks before the draft, he told team officials that natural grass and warm weather were very important to him. At the NFL scouting combine in February he said he hoped to play behind a strong offensive line. Well, he's going to Cincinnati, where there's a lousy artificial turf field and it's cold half the season. Plus, the Bengal offensive line is not that good. Tough spot for a savior to walk into.
Cincinnati is the first team to have had the top pick in the draft in back-to-back years since Tampa Bay took Bo Jackson and Vinny Testaverde in 1986-87. Carter and last year's No. 1, defensive tackle Dan Wilkinson, need to play like Marshall Faulk and Cortez Kennedy for this franchise to come out of its '90s funk.
"We needed a little sizzle," Bengal president Mike Brown says, "and Ki-Jana brings us that." True. Now an offensive line has to take shape from a totally garbled group that includes veterans Darrick Brilz, Bruce Kozerski and Kevin Sargent. And Cincinnati still has to decide whether Jeff Blake or David Klingler will start at quarterback. Ki-Jana, eat your Wheaties.
Browns: Cleveland entered the draft with Boston College defensive end Mike Mamula as its dream pick and Penn State tight end Kyle Brady as an exciting backup. The Browns felt certain that before their pick, the 10th overall, Mamula would be taken, which he was, three spots earlier, at No. 7, but they thought Brady would be available. Thus the pall over the Cleveland war room when the Jets plucked Brady at No. 9. The Browns traded their spot to San Francisco, and about all they accomplished in the draft was to grab the man who will succeed Testaverde by 1996: the too-short but bulldog-tough Georgia quarterback, Eric Zeier. But the real key to this off-season was the signing of free-agent Andre Rison, who is a major addition to a playoff team that won 11 games last year with a weak corps of wide outs. Not getting Brady will hurt but not cripple Cleveland's chances to go to Super Bowl XXX.
Jaguars: Jacksonville did two very smart things. The Jaguars dealt next to nothing (a third- and a fifth-round pick) to Green Bay for their probable quarterback of the future, Mark Brunell. They also drafted a left tackle, Tony Boselli, with the second pick in the draft.
Not to get any hopes up in Jacksonville, but check the schedule. The Jaguars open at home with Houston on Sept. 3 and play at Cincinnati in Week Two. No NFL expansion team has started its first season 2-0. The Jaguars, whose offense is relatively NFL-ready, could do it.
Oilers: Houston kept hearing on ESPN how it took guts to pick Steve McNair with the third pick of the draft. McNair has legs like Steve Young and an arm like Phil Simms. How gutsy is that? The Oilers took a quarterback at what could be their highest draft position for years, and now they'll begin the process of building a team around him instead of Chris Chandler. Houston also won the draft's United Nations award for selecting sixth-round center Hicham El-Mashtoub, who was born in Lebanon, raised in Quebec and schooled at Arizona.