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Monday, February 25
Carr could be Texans' first draft choice

By Joel Buchsbaum
Pro Football Weekly

David Carr led Fresno State to an 11-2 record.
Right now, there is no clear-cut first choice, but quarterback David Carr appears to be a slight front-runner over defensive end Julius Peppers and offensive tackle Bryant McKinnie.

While some people rate quarterback Joey Harrington ahead of Carr and possibly the No. 1 pick in the entire draft, others feel he is more of a later first-round selection. Peppers has the most upside of any player in the draft and could eventually have a Lawrence Taylor-type impact. But he is a work in progress who still has not shown the type of ferocity and football instincts scouts look for in an upper-echelon player.

The Pick The Skinny
1. Houston Texans
QB David Carr
Fresno State
Great arm and a great kid who is very productive. He has a very quick, semi-sidearm delivery, which is a little bit quirky and causes him to release the ball much lower than scouts would like. That could lead to problems with batted-down passes since teams use so many three- and five-step drops these days. His mobility is slightly above average but not exceptional.
2. Carolina Panthers
DE Julius Peppers
North Carolina
Best and most gifted athlete in the draft. Tremendous upside if he's got the heart, passion and tenacity to be a great one.
3. Detroit Lions
CB Quentin Jammer
The Lions' secondary was an absolute disaster area this past season, in large part because of injuries. Because they can't count on all the walking wounded to return, they will look to the secondary first after deciding Joey Harrington is not worth such an early first-round pick.
4. Buffalo Bills
OT Bryant McKinnie
Miami (Fla.)
The Bills are looking for a replacement for OLT John Fina and the quarterback. If they feel Mike Williams of Texas can play the left side, they might go in his direction. They also could go for Harrington, but many people feel this is too early to take him despite his terrific intangibles.
5 San Diego Chargers
OT Mike Williams
The Chargers' weakest area is the offensive line.
6. Dallas Cowboys
DT John Henderson
The Cowboys need a big, physical inside defensive lineman in the Leon Lett mold, and while Henderson may not be Lett, he could end up being another John Hand, or perhaps better than that.
7. Minnesota Vikings
DE/LB Kalimba Edwards
South Carolina
The Vikings see him as another Chris Doleman.
8. Kansas City Chiefs
DT Ryan Sims
North Carolina
Sims was the most impressive defensive player at the Senior Bowl. He plays with great intensity and is a 300-pounder with tremendous power.
9. Jacksonville Jaguars
RB William Green
Boston College
The Jagaurs can't count on Fred Taylor to stay healthy, and Green has the best combination of size and speed of any back in the draft.
10. Cincinnati Bengals
CB Phillip Buchanon
Miami (Fla.)
Buchanon could be the best pure athlete in the draft. He's an outstanding cover corner who also excels as a return man. Buchanon was the Big East special-teams player of the year in 2001, and with apologies to Ed Reed, Buchanon may have been the best player in the Hurricanes' secondary as well.
11. Indianapolis Colts
S Roy Williams
Tony Dungy views him as a faster, more athletic John Lynch.
12. Arizona Cardinals
DT Wendell Bryant
The Cardinals are hurting for defense, and when you need help everywhere, the best place to start is up front.
13. New Orleans Saints
WR Donte Stallworth
It appears as if Stallworth will be in the draft now. He is big and fast, catches the ball well and can jump out of the building. He will make Aaron Brooks a very happy camper.
14. N.Y. Giants (subject to coin flip with Titans)
TE Daniel Graham
After watching Graham at the Senior Bowl, it's clear that he is the most complete tight end in the draft, and that is a position in which every player the Giants have is one-dimensional.
15. Tennessee Titans (subject to coin flip with Giants)
OG Toniu Fonoti
The Titans need a replacement for Bruce Matthews, and Fonoti is the type of run blocker who can make Eddie George a happy man.
16. Atlanta Falcons (subject to coin flip with Browns)
RB T.J. Duckett
Michigan State
The Falcons will need a big-time runner unless Jamal Anderson can come all the way back, which is doubtful.
17. Cleveland Browns (subject to coin flip with Falcons)
OG-C Andre Gurode
Butch Davis wants big, strong power blockers who can knock people off the line of scrimmage, and Gurode fits the mold.
18. Washington Redskins
QB Joey Harrington
Harrington is the wild-card entry in this draft, and his value is being disputed leaguewide. Some people put him right up there with David Carr, perhaps even above Carr, while other people believe Harrington is a questionable first-round pick. Although he has had his moments throwing the ball, Harrington does not appear to have exceptional arm strength and can be inconsistent throwing at times. Obviously, his intangibles are very good, but he is not especially mobile.
19. Denver Broncos
S Ed Reed
Miami (Fla.)
The Broncos have not received satisfactory play from their safeties for years.
20. Seattle Seahawks
TE Jeremy Shockey
Miami (Fla.)
Shockey is the type of tight end you want in a West Coast offense. He's not going to be an overpowering blocker, but he can be a very good receiver because he's big and mobile and runs routes like a wide receiver.
21. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (pick now belongs to Oak.)
WR Jabar Gaffney
Should be a very nice complement for Keyshawn Johnson as long as there is enough mustard for both of them.
22. N.Y. Jets
DT Albert Haynesworth
The Jets need more size, quickness and athleticism inside on defense.
23. Oakland Raiders
OLB Napoleon Harris
The Raiders' weakest position is probably outside linebacker.
24. Baltimore Ravens
OL Kendell Simmons
May be able to play tackle but definitely can play guard, and the Ravens really need help on the offensive line. Terrific player who has a terrific attitude.
25. Miami Dolphins
RB DeShaun Foster
The Dolphins have been looking for a big-time runner for years, and Foster could be their answer.
26. Philadelphia Eagles
DL Anthony Weaver
Notre Dame
Weaver can play either tackle or end, and the Eagles are a little thin at both positions. They do not have any pressing needs other than wideout, and they are still hoping their young receivers will step up now that they've had experience in the system.
27. San Francisco 49ers
OT Levi Jones
Arizona State
The 49ers' offensive line is starting to get old and creaky, and Jones is the type of player who can play left tackle at the next level and any other position on the line except center.
28. Green Bay Packers
WR Josh Reed
Louisiana State
Brett Favre finally gets the type of sure-handed target with great run-after-the-catch ability that he really needs. Reed could be another Sterling Sharpe in the Packers' offensive scheme.
29. Chicago Bears
DE Dwight Freeney
The Bears could use a big-time edge rusher to go with their other players on defense.
30. Pittsburgh Steelers
CB Keyou Craver
Craver lasts this long because he had some lapses in coverage and gave up quite a few big plays, but he has tremendous athletic ability and upside as a corner.
31. St. Louis Rams
CB Derek Ross
Ohio State
Has the size and speed to be a big-time corner in the NFL, and Aeneas Williams is not getting any younger, though he played like he found the fountain of youth this season.
32. New England Patriots
WR Ashley Lelie
Lelie has the size and speed the Patriots lack at wide receiver, but he is a work in progress who could have used another year in school to polish his route-running and improve his strength. However, when a team is picking 32nd, it can't always get a ready-for-prime-time player. The Patriots have shown they will be patient with players and do a great job of teaching them.

Pro Football Weekly Material from Pro Football Weekly.
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