The 1991 draft looks like a three-man parlay: Raghib (Rocket) Ismail, the Notre Dame wideout and return terror; Todd Lyght, the dazzling Irish cornerback; and Mike Croel, the gifted linebacker from Nebraska, command all the action. They should go in that order, but to whom? Teams may well trade up to get them.
The Ismail financial package-he wants a five-year, $15 million deal-is scaring people, and it'll take a team with deep pockets and a need to sell tickets to draft him. New England, which has the first pick, qualifies only on the latter point, so if someone offers the Pats serious offensive-line help, they'll listen. Atlanta, which has the third and 13th choices, wants Lyght but not Ismail. Trading up to the No. 2 spot to get a cornerback to pair up with Deion Sanders would make a lot of sense for the Falcons, who likely would have to give up both of their first-round selections. The Browns, who have the second pick, would then grab Croel and an offensive lineman, probably USC tackle Pat Harlow, with the 13th choice.
1 PATRIOTS (or a trade), Raghib Ismail, WR-KR-PR, NOTRE DAME
It'll take a Pro Bowl offensive lineman plus a first-round pick, maybe more, to get this spot from the Pats.
2 BROWNS (or Falcons in a trade), Todd Lyght, CB, NOTRE DAME
Nagging injuries limited his productivity last season, but everyone who scouted him loves him.
3 FALCONS (or Browns in a trade), Mike Croel, LB, NEBRASKA
He ran a 4.56 40 at the combine workouts and had a vertical jump of 36� inches—at 231 pounds.
4 BRONCOS, Alfred Williams, LB, COLORADO
Offensive board is wide open, but Denver says it wants a defensive player.
5 RAMS, Russell Maryland, DT-DE, MIAMI
Tennessee tackle Antone Davis is enticing but John Robinson must rebuild his defense.
6 CARDINALS, Antone Davis, T, TENNESSEE
He's narrowly the pick over the Vols' other tackle, Charles McRae; Joe Bugel is an old line coach.
7 BUCCANEERS, Charles McRae, T, TENNESSEE
If Tampa Bay goes for defense instead, it might take Michigan State tackle Bobby Wilson.
8 PACKERS, Nick Bell, RB, IOWA
They wanted a Tennessee tackle; instead they'll get a 252-pound rusher who runs the 40 in the 4.5 range.