Southern Cal wideout Keyshawn Johnson is the most dynamic player in the 1996 NFL draft, but Nebraska tailback Lawrence Phillips is the most intriguing. Phillips could fall anywhere among the top four picks. He could make telephone lines hum as deals are made, ca celed and reconstructed all for the chance to trade up for a shot at this talented runner who pleaded no contest to assaulting a former girl-friend. The St. Louis Rams have the sixth and 13th picks, but Steve Ortmayer, vice president of football operations, says he won't part wi both picks to move up and draft Phillips. "I'm not giving up my two Number l's, and you can take that to the bank," he says.
Paul Zimmerman projects the first round.
Jets Keyshawn Johnson, WR, Southern Cal
Phillips and New York? Bad mix. Jets will stick with Johnson and his solid package of size, speed and hands.
Jaguars Kevin Hardy, LB. Illinois
"Pass rush is the key," says coach Tom Coughlin. Hardy has been billed as the second coming of Lawrence Taylor. Where have we heard that before?
Cardinals Jonathan Ogden, T, UCLA
Lomas Brown mans the left side, Ogden steps in on the right, and, presto, the Cards' offensive line is solid.
Rams (trade with Ravens) Lawrence Phillips, RB, Nebraska
Yes, the Rams will get him—for a first-and second-round pick.
Giants Cedric Jones, DE, Oklahoma
Illinois DE Simeon Rice is a possibility, but Jones is bigger, at 6'4", 275, and sturdier against the run.
Ravens (trade with Rams, from Redskins) Simeon Rice, DE, Illinois
A 6'4", 254-pound pass rusher who can help revive this once proud defense.
Patriots Daryl Gardener, DE, Baylor
He's 6'6", 320, and Bill Parcells is desperate for a big body up front.
Panthers Leeland McElroy, RB, Texas A&M
For instant impact Carolina opts for the fastest back on the board.