NFL Draft Capsules
NEW YORK (AP) _ Team-by-team capsules by selection order for the 2000 NFL draft, to be held Saturday and Sunday:
1. CLEVELAND (2-14)
LAST YEAR: Returned to NFL as expansion team. Wins came at New Orleans and Pittsburgh. Improved late, but offense and defense ranked at bottom of NFL.
NEEDS: Everything. Orlando Brown’s eye injury makes OT important. Also needs offense to complement QB Tim Couch, and pass rusher.
DRAFT DECADE: Decision to take Couch over Ricky Williams with 1999 No. 1 was correct, as was taking WR Kevin Johnson in second round. Biggest mistake was not taking RB until seventh round.
ADDITIONS: DE Orpheus Roye, OT Roman Oben, OL Everett Lindsay, FS Percy Ellsworth, RB Errict Rhett, DE Keith McKenzie, LB Marty Moore, KR/WR David Patten.
SUBTRACTIONS: OT Scott Rehberg, S Marquez Pope, CB Ryan McNeil, OT Lomas Brown, DT John Jurkovic.
GOALS FOR 2000: No playoffs, but six wins would be nice.
POSSIBLE FIRST-ROUNDER: Penn Staters DE Courtney Brown or LB LaVar Arrington over WR Peter Warrick.
2, 3. WASHINGTON (10-6)
LAST YEAR: Made playoffs for first time in seven years despite 30th-ranked defense. RB Stephen Davis, solid line and QB Brad Johnson stood out.
NEEDS: LT, where Andy Heck is 33; CB, where Darrell Green is 40; impact LB.
DRAFT DECADE: Former GM Charley Casserly and coach Norv Turner produced first-round flops (Heath Shuler, Bobby Wilson, Desmond Howard, Andre Johnson) and good low-round finds (Brian Mitchell, Tre Johnson, Cory Raymer, Davis, Stephen Alexander, Jon Jansen). Casserly, fired by new owner Dan Snyder, left legacy in excellent draft position, getting first-rounders for rights to Ricky Williams and Sean Gilbert, which Skins used to move up this year.
ADDITIONS: QB Jeff George, DE Bruce Smith and S Mark Carrier, perhaps CB Deion Sanders this summer
SUBTRACTIONS: S Leomont Evans and S Matt Stevens.
GOALS FOR 2000: Super Bowl or bust for Snyder.
POSSIBLE FIRST-ROUNDERS: They want Arrington at all costs, with fallback to Brown and OT Chris Samuels, Alabama.
4. CINCINNATI (4-12)
LAST YEAR: Finished as NFL’s worst team of the ’90s. Decided to bring back coach Bruce Coslet for final year of contract.
NEEDS: A master plan by the front office. Team emphasizes defense one year, offense the next. Short term needs at CB, DE, LT, S, WR, plus RB to complement disgruntled Corey Dillon.
DRAFT DECADE: Had first overall pick twice and took Dan Wilkinson and Ki-Jana Carter. Wilkinson is ordinary, Carter always hurt. LBs Takeo Spikes and Brian Simmons have met expectations.
ADDITIONS: QB Scott Mitchell, S Darryl Williams, OL Scott Rehberg, DT Tom Barndt, DE Vaughn Booker.
SUBTRACTIONS: QB Jeff Blake, DL Kimo Von Oehlffen. Dillon, restricted free agent, wants out.
GOALS FOR 2000: Move into Paul Brown Stadium on time, get Akili Smith established at QB after injury-shortened rookie season.
POSSIBLE FIRST-ROUND PICK: Warrick is likely, allowing release of disgruntled WR Carl Pickens.
5, 15. BALTIMORE (8-8)
LAST YEAR: Reached .500 with NFL’s second-ranked defense. First-year coach Brian Billick used three QBs before settling on Tony Banks, who directed Ravens to four straight wins before loss to New England in finale.
NEEDS: RB to complement Priest Holmes, who can’t take pounding of a 16-game season. WR, OL and LB, particularly if MLB Ray Lewis, charged with murder in Atlanta, is not available.
DRAFT DECADE: Personnel director Ozzie Newsome got Pro Bowl OT Jonathan Ogden and Lewis in first round in 1996; LBs Peter Boulware and Jamie Sharper in 1997; starting CB Duane Starks in 1998; and rapidly developing CB Chris McAlister last year.
ADDITIONS: TE Shannon Sharpe, QB Trent Dilfer, LB Dennis Stallings, OL Robert Bailey, OL Damon Denson.
SUBTRACTIONS: RB Errict Rhett, CB DeRon Jenkins, QB Scott Mitchell, G Everett Lindsay.
GOALS FOR 2000: Make playoffs for first time in Baltimore. Owner Art Modell will hand over the team to Stephen Bisciotti in 2004, and desperately craves his first Super Bowl before then.
POSSIBLE FIRST-ROUND PICK: If Warrick falls, he’s the one. If not, RB Thomas Jones of Virginia or RB Jamal Lewis, Tennessee, then a receiver with other first-round pick _ Florida’s Travis Taylor or Jackson State’s Sylvester Morris.
6. PHILADELPHIA (5-11)
LAST YEAR: Won two more games than in 1998 under rookie coach Andy Reid.
NEEDS: A lot. WR, DL, TE at the top.
DRAFT DECADE: Eagles spent ’90s taking OLs who failed. Last two No. 1s, QB Donovan McNabb and OT Tra Thomas, appear to be keepers.
ADDITIONS: Free-agent OT Jon Runyan and Thomas are good bookends; FB Stanley Pritchett; LB Carlos Emmons.
SUBTRACTIONS: LB William Thomas, released after 11 seasons.
GOALS FOR 2000: Hope for .500.
POSSIBLE FIRST-ROUNDER: WR Plaxico Burress, Michigan State, or DT Corey Simon, Florida State.
7. ARIZONA (6-10)
LAST YEAR: Followed 1998 playoff berth, first in 16 years, by falling right back. QB Jake Plummer, plagued by injuries, bad decisions and young OL, had miserable season.
NEEDS: RB, OLB, TE, G, DL.
DRAFT DECADE: Better recently. WR Rob Moore via a trade of first-round pick, and WR Frank Sanders in 1995; DE Simeon Rice in 1996; Plummer and DE Mark Smith (in the seventh round) in 1997; and DE Andre Wadsworth in 1998. WR David Boston and OT L.J. Shelton, first-rounders last year, became contributors.
ADDITIONS: K Cary Blanchard, C Mike Gruttadauria.
SUBTRACTIONS: RB Adrian Murrell, K Chris Jacke, C Aaron Graham.
GOALS FOR 2000: Playoffs, comeback for Plummer. Coach Vince Tobin in the final year of contract.
POSSIBLE FIRST-ROUNDERS: Jones, Lewis, LB Brian Urlacher, New Mexico.
8. PITTSBURGH (6-10)
LAST YEAR: Lost seven of final eight and finished with worst record in 11 years. QB Kordell Stewart threw only five TD passes before being benched with five games left. RB Jerome Bettis couldn’t find running room and pass rush was nonexistent. Coach Bill Cowher survived, but director of football operations Tom Donahoe didn’t.
NEEDS: QB, WR and pass-rushing OLB, DBs.
DRAFT DECADE: Steelers built teams that advanced to three AFC championship games in four years via smart drafts (Levon Kirkland, Chad Brown, Leon Searcy) and shrewd trades (Bettis). Last three No. 1 picks are starters: WR Troy Edwards, G Alan Faneca, CB Chad Scott, but lower rounds have produced little. Botched No. 1 pick of OT Jamain Stephens in 1996.
ADDITIONS: QB Kent Graham, RG Rich Tylski, DL Chris Sullivan, NG Kimo von Oelhoffen, OT Larry Tharpe.
SUBTRACTIONS: OLB Carlos Emmons, OL Jim Sweeney, RG Brendan Stai, QB Mike Tomczak, QB Pete Gonzalez, DE Nolan Harrison, DE Orpheus Roye.
GOALS FOR 2000: Playoffs, but no more unless Stewart enjoys dramatic comeback.
POSSIBLE FIRST-ROUNDER: Burress or QB Chad Pennington, Marshall.
9. CHICAGO (6-10)
LAST YEAR: Finished below .500 for sixth time in eight years but made progress. Despite quarterback merry-go-round and weak defense, improved their 1997 and 1998 records by two games under Dick Jauron. Discovered a huge playmaker in WR Marcus Robinson.
NEEDS: DE and DB; another RB to help injury-plagued Curtis Enis.
DRAFT DECADE: If offer is right, Mark Hatley is willing to deal. He turned six picks into 13 last year, and still managed to get QB Cade McNown. Earlier moves? Remember getting Rick Mirer for No. 11 overall pick?
ADDITIONS: DE Phillip Daniels, CB Thomas Smith, S Shawn Wooden, WR Eddie Kennison.
SUBTRACTIONS: P Todd Sauerbrun, WR Curtis Conway, QB Shane Matthews, possibly WR Bobby Engram, LB Rico McDonald, G Todd Perry.
GOALS FOR 2000: Playoffs.
POSSIBLE FIRST-ROUNDER: Urlacher, who can play TE, S, or LB.
10. DENVER (6-10)
LAST YEAR: After two straight Super Bowl wins, slid back without John Elway (retired) and injured Terrell Davis, Shannon Sharpe and John Mobley. Lost first four games behind young QB Brian Griese and never recovered.
NEEDS: Speed at WR; CB if Dale Carter gets suspended for a year; OL, DL.
DRAFT DECADE: Two NFL titles speak for themselves. Best (and luckiest) pick was Davis, sixth-rounder in 1995.
ADDITIONS: QB Gus Frerotte, DE Kavika Pittman, DE Lester Archambeau, DT Nathan Davis, SS Billy Jenkins, CBs Jeremy Lincoln, Darryl Pounds and Jimmy Spencer. Don’t discount coach Mike Shanahan’s desire to lure Steve Young.
SUBTRACTIONS: Sharpe, DE Alfred Williams, DE Neil Smith, QBs Chris Miller and Bubby Brister, RB Derek Loville, CB Tory James, DB Darrius Johnson, DT Cyron Brown, DE David Bowens. Carter’s future pending outcome of appeal of substance-abuse suspension.
GOALS FOR 2000: Playoffs.
POSSIBLE FIRST-ROUNDER: Taylor; Burress; LB-DE John Abraham, South Carolina.
11. NEW YORK GIANTS (7-9)
LAST YEAR: Looked good early, but lost six of last eight, including final three, leaving coach Jim Fassel in playoff-or-else mode for this year.
NEEDS: RB, LB, CB. Rookie RB Joe Montgomery led team with 348 yards.
DRAFT DECADE: Most first-rounders were busts or disappointments. Did well in other rounds with DE Michael Strahan, LB Jessie Armstead, FB Charles Way, WR Amani Toomer.
ADDITIONS: LB Micheal Barrow is major upgrade and OLs Lomas Brown, Glenn Parker and Dusty Ziegler add experience; CB Dave Thomas; backup QB Jason Garrett.
SUBTRACTIONS: LT Roman Oben, S Percy Ellsworth, DL Bernard Holsey, LB Scott Galyon, C Brian Williams, backup QB Kent Graham, DT Robert Harris, OT Scott Gragg, CB Phillippi Sparks.
GOALS FOR 2000: Playoffs, or Fassel is probably gone.
POSSIBLE FIRST-ROUNDER: Heavy duty RB _ Shaun Alexander, Alabama or Ron Dayne, Wisconsin.
12, 24. SAN FRANCISCO (4-12)
LAST YEAR: Steve Young played only three games after a concussion and 49ers won just two of the next 13. Had trouble stopping anybody and failed to win 10 games in nonstrike season for first time since 1980.
NEEDS: Everything. Must find QB even if Young returns. OL, DE, CB.
DRAFT DECADE: Team can’t continue to miss with top draft picks, a distressing pattern through the ’90s. Todd Kelly, R.W. McQuarters, Jim Druckenmiller, Dana Hall, J.J. Stokes are busts or failed to live up to expectations.
ADDITIONS: None. Salary cap problems.
SUBTRACTIONS: S Tim McDonald, LB Lee Woodall, CB Darnell Walker, DE Charles Haley, DE Marvin Washington, RB Tommy Vardell, QB Steve Stenstrom.
GOALS FOR 2000: Super Bowl or bust is now six wins or bust.
POSSIBLE FIRST-ROUNDER: Traded down for extra pick. Pennington; LB Julian Peterson, Michigan State; Urlacher.
13, 27. TAMPA BAY (11-5)
LAST YEAR: Most successful season in franchise history ended with 11-6 loss in NFC Championship game that reflected what was right and wrong with the team. Defense carried it, but a rookie QB and anemic offense couldn’t deliver a Super Bowl berth.
NEEDS: OL, WR, backup QB. LT Paul Gruber is considering retirement, which would create a need despite addition of free agents G Randall McDaniel and C Jeff Christy. Still lack big-play threat at WR.
DRAFT DECADE: GM Rich McKay has succeeded by drafting fast, highly productive college players instead of gambling on underachievers.
ADDITIONS: McDaniel, Christy.
SUBTRACTIONS: QB Trent Dilfer, LB Hardy Nickerson, C Tony Mayberry, LG Jorge Diaz.
GOALS FOR 2000: Anything short of the Super Bowl, which will be played in Tampa, would be a disappointment.
POSSIBLE FIRST-ROUNDERS: Coach Tony Dungy wouldn’t mind packaging the two picks to move up for Warrick or Burress. If not, Taylor is a possibility. Maybe another defender or Bubba Franks, TE, Miami.
14. GREEN BAY (8-8)
LAST YEAR: Missed playoffs for the first time in seven seasons and first-year coach Ray Rhodes was fired. Claiming discipline and focus were problems, GM Ron Wolf hired Mike Sherman.
NEEDS: Defensive and offensive lines.
DRAFT DECADE: Hidden gems in the third round (WRs Robert Brooks and Antonio Freeman, LB Brian Williams, OT Earl Dotson and CB Mike McKenzie). Used early picks to fill critical needs.
ADDITIONS: LB Anthony Harris, TE Kaseem Sinceno, DE David Bowens, DE John Thierry, DE Rod Manuel, DT James Grier, OL Doug Karczewski, LB Kevin Johnson.
SUBTRACTIONS: TE Jeff Thomason, DE Keith McKenzie, DE Vaughn Booker.
GOALS FOR 2000: Return to playoffs only acceptable destination.
POSSIBLE FIRST-ROUNDER: DE Shaun Ellis, Tennessee; Peterson; Boston College DT Chris Hovan and Wisconsin G Chris McIntosh.
16, 18. NEW YORK JETS (8-8)
LAST YEAR: Season pretty much ended when Vinny Testaverde tore Achilles’ tendon in opener. Team built for Super Bowl sputtered until it won last four games.
NEEDS: Pass-rushing DL. Also TE, deep receiving threat and safety.
DRAFT DECADE: Very mixed bag. Top choices have included Blair Thomas and Kyle Brady, but also Keyshawn Johnson and Aaron Glenn. Best pick was LB Mo Lewis in third round in 1991.
ADDITIONS: DL Shane Burton; rebuilt coaching staff, with Al Groh in charge.
SUBTRACTIONS: Bill Parcells, now chief of football operations, but probably not beyond July; S Steve Atwater, TE Eric Green and LB Chad Cascadden, OT Jumbo Elliott.
GOALS FOR 2000: Expect to compete for AFC East crown. If coaching transition goes smoothly and the Keyshawn Johnson contract mess is settled, they could contend.
POSSIBLE FIRST-ROUNDERS: Knowing Parcells, defense will come first, perhaps Ellis or DE Darren Howard, Kansas State. Franks, Taylor or Dez White, WR, Georgia Tech, if Johnson is gone.
17. OAKLAND (8-8)
LAST YEAR: Second consecutive 8-8 season under coach Jon Gruden, sixth straight season the Raiders missed the playoffs. Fired defensive coordinator Willie Shaw in January and replaced him with Chuck Bresnahan.
NEEDS: LB, and WR to complement Tim Brown.
DRAFT DECADE: Owner Al Davis loves to package picks to move up in the draft. Had busts like QB Todd Marinovich and budding stars like DT Darrell Russell.
ADDITIONS: DBs Je’Rod Cherry and Tory James.
SUBTRACTIONS: DT Russell Maryland, SS Anthony Newman, LB Richard Harvey _ all starters last season _ and TE Derrick Walker.
GOALS FOR 2000: Breaking playoff drought. A schedule that includes just two 1999 playoff teams should help.
POSSIBLE FIRST-ROUNDER: Ellis; Rob Morris, LB, Brigham Young; John Engleberger, DE, Virginia Tech; Peterson.
19, 22. SEATTLE (9-7)
LAST YEAR: Under new coach-GM Mike Holmgren, Seahawks made playoffs for first time since 1988 and had first winning season since 1990. Lost to Miami in wild-card game, giving them a 1-6 finish after an 8-2 start.
NEEDS: In second draft, Holmgren needs run stopper at MLB and another WR after the trade of Joey Galloway to Dallas.
DRAFT DECADE: Holmgren’s first draft in Seattle got Lamar King, who will start at DE this season. Charlie Rogers led the NFL and set a team record with a 14.5-yard punt return average.
ADDITIONS: SS Reggie Tongue, C Robbie Tobeck.
SUBTRACTIONS: Galloway, DE Phillip Daniels, OT Grant Williams, SS Darryl Williams, C Kevin Glover, G Brian Habib, OLB Darrin Smith.
GOALS FOR 2000: Despite loss of eight key players and a tougher schedule, Seahawks are still hoping to make the playoffs.
POSSIBLE FIRST-ROUNDER: Rob Morris, White, Sylvester Morris, WR, Jackson State.
20. DETROIT (8-8)
LAST YEAR: Made playoffs at .500, but lost at Washington.
NEEDS: RB, OL, DB.
DRAFT DECADE: Discounting QB Andre Ware in 1990, Lions have done well with first-round picks. WR Herman Moore, DE Robert Porcher, WR Johnnie Morton, DT Luther Elliss, LB Reggie Brown. LB Chris Claiborne was rookie starter last season.
ADDITIONS: RB James Stewart, CB Kurt Schulz, QBs Mike Tomczak and Steve Stenstrom.
SUBTRACTIONS: QB Gus Frerotte and CB Mark Carrier.
GOALS FOR 2000: Win NFC Central and at least one playoff game.
POSSIBLE FIRST-ROUNDERS: RB J.R. Redmond, Arizona State; OL Stockar McDougle, Oklahoma; OL Todd Wade, Mississippi; Engelberger.
21. KANSAS CITY (9-7)
LAST YEAR: Just missed playoffs in Gunther Cunningham’s first season as head coach. In horrible offseason, LB Derrick Thomas died after car accident and KR Tamarick Vanover pleaded guilty to car theft.
NEEDS: CB, where starters James Hasty and Cris Dishman are almost 35; pass-rushing LB to replace Thomas; big RB.
DRAFT DECADE: GM Carl Peterson hates to trade No. 1s, and did it only to get Joe Montana. In 11 drafts, Peterson has had most luck with defense and offensive linemen. TE Tony Gonzalez is the only skill position player developed.
ADDITIONS: OLB Lew Bush; P Todd Sauerbrun; DE Duane Clemons.
SUBTRACTIONS: OT Glenn Parker, S Reggie Tongue, DE Tom Barndt, WR Joe Horn and Thomas.
GOALS FOR 2000: The playoffs.
POSSIBLE FIRST-ROUNDER: They’d love Dayne.
23. CAROLINA (8-8)
LAST YEAR: Rebounded from 4-12 in George Seifert’s first season, making a late playoff push. Offense is strength.
NEEDS: Ranked 26th on defense last year. DT Sean Gilbert played better up front, but not worth two No. 1 picks.
DRAFT DECADE: Two of four previous No. 1 picks are no longer with the team (QB Kerry Collins and WR Rae Carruth, who is facing murder charges). Tshimanga Biakabutuka (’96) and Jason Peter (’98) have been troubled by injuries.
ADDITIONS: LB Lee Woodall, DE Chuck Smith, DL Jay Williams, CB Jimmy Hitchcock.
SUBTRACTIONS: LB Kevin Greene, Carruth, LB Mike Barrow, OL Anthony Redmon.
GOALS FOR 2000: Find a pass rush and defense to get team’s offense on the field more. Keep aging QB Steve Beuerlein healthy.
POSSIBLE FIRST-ROUND PICK: Engelberger or Abraham; Deon Grant, S, Tennessee.
25. MINNESOTA (10-6)
LAST YEAR: Coach Dennis Green gained full authority and first year was calamitous. Bypassed Jevon Kearse for QB Daunte Culpepper, then took DE Dimitrius Underwood in first round, refused to renegotiate G Randall McDaniel’s contract. Favorites to represent NFC in Super Bowl, started 2-4 and QB Jeff George replaced Randall Cunningham. Made playoffs, but lost to St. Louis after beating Dallas.
NEEDS: DE, DB.
DRAFT DECADE: Until last year, excelled at finding gems in middle rounds. Green is intent on starting Culpepper as soon as possible to show pick wasn’t as bad as it looks.
ADDITIONS: Nothing major.
SUBTRACTIONS: George, C Jeff Christy, McDaniel, WR Jake Reed, TE Andrew Glover, CB Jimmy Hitchcock. Half the coaching staff, including coordinators Foge Fazio and Ray Sherman, left in a shakeup by Green.
GOALS FOR 2000: Green insists Vikings remain a Super Bowl contender, but defense needs overhaul and whoever is QB won’t have the protection Christy and McDaniel provided. If Culpepper starts, 8-8 might be good.
POSSIBLE FIRST-ROUNDER: Rashard Anderson, CB, Jackson State; Ahmed Plummer, CB, Ohio State.
26. BUFFALO (11-5)
LAST YEAR: Immaculate Deception (Music City Miracle to those outside of Buffalo). A successful season, and QB controversy involving Doug Flutie and Rob Johnson, overshadowed by Titans’ remarkable kickoff return in playoffs.
NEEDS: DB, because Thomas Smith and Kurt Schulz left.
DRAFT DECADE: Headed by GM John Butler, Bills have reputation for making smart picks from poor draft position. Selected 23rd overall or worse seven times in the 1990s, still had 18 starters from draft last season.
ADDITIONS: No newcomers, but re-signed G Ruben Brown and TE Jay Riemersma, and extended OT John Fina’s contract.
SUBTRACTIONS: G Dusty Zeigler, DE Sean Moran, LB Dan Brandenburg, Smith and Schulz. Waived WR Andre Reed, DE Bruce Smith and RB Thurman Thomas, aging stars.
GOALS FOR 2000: Tough schedule, but could contend in AFC East.
POSSIBLE FIRST-ROUNDER: Plummer, Anderson or Dwayne Goodrich, CB, Tennessee.
28. INDIANAPOLIS (13-3)
LAST YEAR: Enjoyed most successful year since 1968 NFL championship in Baltimore. QB Peyton Manning, WR Marvin Harrison and rookie RB Edgerrin James were Pro Bowl starters.
NEEDS: Depth on defense, especially LB, where health of Cornelius Bennett is uncertain and Michael Barber was released. Deep threat at WR to complement Harrison.
DRAFT DECADE: Excellent last two years with Bill Polian as president. Top four picks in 1998 became starters, and Polian’s decision to take James ahead of Ricky Williams paid off. LB Mike Peterson, second-round pick, also became a starter. Top picks have become starters as rookies the past six years, including Marshall Faulk, Tarik Glenn, Harrison and Ellis Johnson. Injuries and personal problems in early part of decade with likes of Jeff George, Steve Emtman, Quentin Coryatt, Trev Alberts.
ADDITIONS: Used available money to re-sign TE Ken Dilger, Harrison and OT Adam Meadows to long-term contracts; QB Pete Gonzalez, DL Bernard Holsey.
SUBTRACTIONS: Barber; DL Tony McCoy expected to be released after June 1.
GOALS FOR 2000: Advancing in playoffs, where coach Jim Mora is 0-5 in 13 years as NFL head coach.
POSSIBLE FIRST-ROUNDER: Sylvester Morris; Hovan and Engleberger.
29. JACKSONVILLE (14-2)
LAST YEAR: Won AFC Central and home-field advantage through the playoffs. Lost to Tennessee, only team to beat them all season, in AFC title game.
NEEDS: Third receiver _ Jaguars got little from backup WRs Reggie Barlow and Alvis Whitted. OL, with Tony Boselli recovering from knee injury, Ben Coleman leaving and Rich Tylski already gone. This is an area where they must get better.
DRAFT DECADE: Tom Coughlin, coach and GM, has drafted excellently _ almost all his picks since franchise’s first year in 1995 have made it.
ADDITIONS: LB Hardy Nickerson.
SUBTRACTIONS: Tylski, LB Bryce Paup, RB James Stewart, QB Jay Fiedler.
GOALS FOR 2000: Nothing less than Super Bowl.
POSSIBLE FIRST-ROUNDER: OLs Cosey Coleman, Tennessee, or Travis Claridge, Southern Cal; White, Jerry Porter, WR, West Virginia
30. TENNESSEE (13-3)
LAST YEAR: Storybook season for NFL nomads. Finally settled into a new home, played before sold-out crowds and reached first Super Bowl in 40-year franchise history.
NEEDS: Few holes. Need depth at CB, LB and DT, where Josh Evans will miss the season with a one-year drug suspension.
DRAFT DECADE: Six first-round picks started in the Super Bowl, but the Titans have never drafted this late. Best was last year, when DE Jevon Kearse fell to them at No. 16. With nine picks, a trade up for an LB or CB is possible.
ADDITIONS: LB Randall Godfrey and RT Fred Miller.
SUBTRACTIONS: OT Jon Runyan and TE Jackie Harris.
GOALS FOR 2000: Only a return trip to the Super Bowl and 1 more yard will do.
POSSIBLE FIRST-ROUNDER: CB Deltha O’Neal of California.
31. ST. LOUIS (13-3)
LAST YEAR: Went from 4-12 to Super Bowl champs, largely because QB Kurt Warner, a career third-stringer, emerged as NFL MVP.
DRAFT DECADE: First year since Rams moved from Los Angeles in 1995 that they don’t enter draft with sixth overall pick, although traded up for No. 1 in ’97 to get OT Orlando Pace. Other hits: DE Kevin Carter (’95), DE Grant Wistrom (’98) and WR Torry Holt (’99). Miss in 1996 with RB Lawrence Phillips.
ADDITIONS: Coach Mike Martz, former offensive coordinator, replaces retired Dick Vermeil.
SUBTRACTIONS: Vermeil and much of his staff, C Mike Gruttadauria, OT Fred Miller, S Billy Jenkins, LB Charlie Clemons, DE Jay Williams, QB Paul Justin.
GOALS FOR 2000: Repeat surprise showing with tougher, first-place schedule. Until last year, Rams hadn’t had winning record in decade.
POSSIBLE FIRST-ROUNDER: Hard to tell this late.
33. NEW ORLEANS (3-13)
LAST YEAR: Record was second worst in mostly dismal 33-year history. Third straight losing season under Mike Ditka, seventh straight non-winning year. Owner Tom Benson cleaned house, firing Ditka and GM Bill Kuharich.
NEEDS: Using four QBS _ Billy Joe Hobert, Billy Joe Tolliver, Danny Wuerffel and Jake Delhomme _ New Orleans scored 260 points, just over 16 a game. Defense allowed 434, second most in team history. Don’t have picks to fix, thanks to Ditka’s trade for the rights to Ricky Williams. WR, OT, FB, SB, S at top of list.
DRAFT DECADE: Ditka drafts were unusual even before the only one-player draft in NFL history. Ditka, who loved tough, hard-nosed overachievers, drafted RB Troy Davis and Wuerffel, college heroes with questionable pro potential. Of his 14 picks in three years, only three started regularly last season.
ADDITIONS: QB Jeff Blake, LB Charlie Clemons, DT Norman Hand, WRs Jake Reed and Joe Horn, TE Andrew Glover.
SUBTRACTIONS: CB Ashley Ambrose, DB Je’Rod Cherry, C Kendall Gammon, WR Eddie Kennison, DE Brady Smith, RB Lamar Smith.
GOALS FOR 2000: Demonstrate enough to get fans to buy tickets. Owner Tom Benson has new marketing department and moved training camp back to Louisiana to attract fans. New Orleans has not had a home-game sellout since 1998 vs. Cowboys, when most of the fans came from Dallas.
POSSIBLE FIRST PICK: Too late to predict.
37. ATLANTA (5-11)
LAST YEAR: Fell apart after winning first NFC championship in 1998. RB Jamal Anderson went down with knee injury in Week 2. QB Chris Chandler had little help on offense and got hurt, as usual. Defense struggled to cope with loss of LB Cornelius Bennett.
NEEDS: Depth on offensive and defensive lines; backup QB, as always.
DRAFT DECADE: Before coach Dan Reeves, the Falcons were plagued by poor decisions, picking flops like Bruce Pickens and Lincoln Kennedy in the first round. Reeves wasted first-rounder on CB Michael Booker in 1997. LB Keith Brooking, No. 1 pick in 1998, has shown promise, but Reeves made horrible blunder by dealing away this year’s top pick to draft TE Reggie Kelly in second round a year ago. Kelly caught eight passes for 146 yards and Baltimore has Atlanta’s first pick, No. 5 overall.
ADDITIONS: CB Ashley Ambrose, WR Shawn Jefferson, DE Brady Smith and OL Anthony Redmon.
SUBTRACTIONS: DEs Chuck Smith and Lester Archambeau leave holes on each side of the line. C Robbie Tobeck, S Eugene Robinson.
GOALS FOR 2000: In weak NFC West, there’s hope for a quick turnaround.
POSSIBLE FIRST PICK: Ask the Ravens, who have the pick that should have belonged to the Falcons.
43. SAN DIEGO (8-8)
LAST YEAR: Remained in playoff hunt until mid-December under new coach Mike Riley. Bounced back from six-game losing streak to win four of their last five. QB Ryan Leaf, second overall pick in 1998, didn’t play a down due to a shoulder injury and was suspended for four weeks for cursing out GM Bobby Beathard.
NEEDS: DT. Also could take OL, WR, LB, S and DE.
DRAFT DECADE: Beathard made it interesting by taking LB Junior Seau in the first round in 1990 and then reverting to habit of dumping future first-round picks for second-round picks. Beathard got RB Natrone Means that way in 1993 _ but often he ended up with marginal players or busts like WR Bryan Still. Leaf, second overall pick in 1998, has been nothing but trouble.
ADDITIONS: WR Curtis Conway, CB DeRon Jenkins, OL Joe Patton, RB Robert Chancey, DE Darren Mickell.
SUBTRACTIONS: Means, LB Lew Bush, DT Norman Hand, QB Erik Kramer.
GOALS FOR 2000: To make playoffs for the first time since 1995. The players love Riley and play hard for him.
POSSIBLE FIRST PICK: Chargers spent this year’s No. 1 back in 1998, sending it to Tampa Bay to take WR Mikhael Ricks in the second round.
46. NEW ENGLAND (8-8)
LAST YEAR: Six losses in last eight games cost coach Pete Carroll his job. QB Drew Bledsoe struggled with a weak offensive line and poor running game.
NEEDS: Almost everything. OTs Bruce Armstrong and Zefross Moss were released, as was TE Ben Coates; CB; LB because of new coach Bill Belichick’s switch to a 3-4 defense; RB.
DRAFT DECADE: The Patriots did well under Bill Parcells from 1993-96, choosing Bledsoe, Chris Slade, Troy Brown, Willie McGinest, Ty Law, Ted Johnson, Terry Glenn, Lawyer Milloy and Tedy Bruschi. Good 1998 pick, RB Robert Edwards, is trying to come back from serious leg injury.
ADDITIONS: RB Raymont Harris, TE Eric Bjornson, OT Grant Williams, WR/KR Aaron Bailey.
SUBTRACTIONS: Coates, Armstrong, RB Terry Allen, WR Shawn Jefferson, DE Chris Sullivan, LB Marty Moore.
GOALS FOR 2000: The playoffs.
POSSIBLE FIRST PICK: Too late _ first-rounder went to Jets as compensation for signing new coach Bill Belichick.
49. DALLAS (8-8)
LAST YEAR: After 3-0 start, never won consecutive games, costing coach Chan Gailey his job. Offensive ineptitude, especially once Michael Irvin got hurt.
NEEDS: Replacing Irvin at WR and maybe CB Deion Sanders, who’ll probably be cut. Team addressed issue by trading for Joey Galloway and signing Ryan McNeil. Also need depth in secondary, WR and OL.
DRAFT DECADE: Jerry Jones loves to trade down, and already has by giving up first-round picks this year and next for Galloway.
ADDITIONS: Galloway, McNeil, TE Jackie Harris, DE Dimitrius Underwood, QB Paul Justin.
SUBTRACTIONS: LB Randall Godfrey, DE Kavika Pittman, OL Everett McIver, QB Jason Garrett, TE Eric Bjornson, RB Robert Chancey. FB Daryl Johnston, Irvin will probably retire. Maybe Sanders.
GOALS FOR 2000: As long as Troy Aikman and Emmitt Smith are around, Jones believes Cowboys can win Super Bowl. Wishful thinking.
POSSIBLE FIRST PICK: Too late.
53. MIAMI (9-7)
LAST YEAR: Faded after a 7-1 start, barely made the playoffs and then lost in the second round to Jacksonville, 62-7, worst defeat in franchise history. Coach Jimmy Johnson quit the next day, and Dan Marino retired with most of the NFL’s important passing records.
NEEDS: OL, OLB, TE and, of course, QB, where for now, Damon Huard and Jay Fiedler will compete.
DRAFT DECADE: Johnson liked to swap picks and loved sleepers, such as Pro Bowl middle linebacker Zach Thomas in the fifth round in 1996. Dave Wannstedt has only five choices.
ADDITIONS: RBs Thurman Thomas and Lamar Smith, G Heath Irwin, Fiedler, P Matt Turk and LB Scott Galyon.
SUBTRACTIONS: Marino; S Shawn Wooden departed via free agency.
GOALS FOR NEXT YEAR: Year of transition at coach and quarterback. Playoffs seem a reach.
POSSIBLE FIRST PICK: Too late to predict.