" BARRY SANDERS COULD CHANGE THE FACE OF THIS YEAR'S DRAFT." SAYS SAN Diego Charger general manager Steve Ortmayer. If the NFL approves Sanders's petition for eligibility in the April 23 draft, he could be the third player selected, after UCLA quarterback Troy Aikman and Michigan State offensive tackle Tony Mandarich. The Detroit Lions, who have the third pick, will have to choose between Sanders and Florida State cornerback Deion Sanders, who's not related to Barry.
Dallas figures to take Aikman with the first pick, and Mandarich should go to Green Bay. Whichever Sanders slips past the Lions will probably go to Kansas City on the fourth pick. Most scouts prefer Barry to Georgia's Tim Worley, the top-rated runner before Sanders declared, though the 6'2", 216-pound Worley is bigger than Sanders (5'8", 195).
"Barry's a terrific back," says Dick Steinberg, the New England Patriots' director of player development. "Size is his only negative, but it's not all that important."
"Everyone in the Big Eight was pointing for him," says Washington G.M. Bobby Beathard, "yet he consistently had his best games against the best teams. He's the best."