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DR. Z'S MOCK DRAFT
Paul Zimmerman
April 26, 2004
Last year the big guys took center stage, with 12 linemen drafted in the first round. This year it's the wideouts' turn: Seven have a chance to be among the first 32 picks, and six of them stand 6'2" or taller and weigh upwards of 200 pounds. The era of the big wideout is upon us, and defensive backs will be hard-pressed to keep pace, especially now that the officials have been told to crack down on pass-coverage techniques. "You're just going to have to find bigger cornerbacks somewhere," says Scott Pioli, the Patriots' vice president of player personnel.
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April 26, 2004

Dr. Z's Mock Draft

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9 JAGUARS
KENECHI UDEZE, DE, USC
Though their interior line is set, they need an outside rush. Udeze, relentless pursuer, is thought to be the best wing man in the draft.

10 TEXANS
TOMMIE HARRIS, DT, Oklahoma
Gary Walker and Seth Payne were hurt last season, and Houston's defense struggled. Harris will have an instant impact.

11 STEELERS
PHILIP RIVERS, QB, North Carolina State
They were ready to trade up for tins deadly accurate passer (72% as a senior), but gambled that he would still be available here.

12 JETS
DUNTA ROBINSON, CB, South Carolina
Miami LBs Jonathan Vilma and D.J. Williams are possibilities, but Robinson, a hard-to-find shutdown corner, tops the team's wish list.

13 BILLS
VINCE WILFORK, DT, Miami
This quick 344-pounder wins at the wire over WR Michael Clayton on the theory that it's easier to find wideouts later in the draft.

14 BEARS
WILL SMITH, DE, Ohio State
You don't often get the second-best outside rusher this deep in the draft. Some think the 6'3" 267-pounder is even faster than Udeze.

15 BUCCANEERS
LEE EVANS, WR, Wisconsin
The one element missing from coach Jon Gruden's offense is a swift receiver. How does a game-breaker with 4.40 speed sound?

16 49ERS
REGGIE WILLIAMS, WR, Washington
Coach Dennis Erickson is pushing for RB Steven Jackson, but the front office wants help for a receiving corps that lost both starters.

17 BRONCOS
KEVIN JONES, RB, Virginia Tech
Mike Shanahan traded up hoping this quick 221-pounder would be there. Jones will remove some of the sting from the Clinton Portis deal.

18 SAINTS
D.J. WILLIAMS, LB, Miami
A 250-pounder with 4.55 speed, Williams flies to the ball. That's the kind of speed that Jim Haslett wants to inject info his defense.

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