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ESPN INSIDER DRAFT RUMORS

this is a discussion within the Saints Community Forum; Since this is from insider cant post a link but it's the full article. Houston won't trade down from No. 3 PICK OPTIONS THE SKINNY No. 3 Draft Pick Houston Texans WR Johnson Trade? CB Newman OT Gross Apr. 25 ...

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Old 04-25-2003, 11:28 AM   #1
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ESPN INSIDER DRAFT RUMORS

Since this is from insider cant post a link but it's the full article.

Houston won't trade down from No. 3

PICK OPTIONS THE SKINNY

No. 3 Draft Pick
Houston Texans WR Johnson
Trade?
CB Newman
OT Gross Apr. 25 - Ignore all the talk about the Texans trading down from No. 3. Johnson is their guy. Johnson is the big, deep threat who could do a lot of exciting things with quarterback David Carr, and they want his size and speed to improve their offense.

The temptation would have been to move down to somewhere between No. 6 and No. 10 and take OT Jordan Gross, but the Texans would need great value in a trade for that to happen. They might get a call from Dallas to move back two spots to No. 5 and let the Cowboys take DT Dewayne Robertson, but Houston could end up losing Johnson to Chicago. Forget that deal.
-- John Clayton

WHO INTERESTED THE SKINNY
Terrell Suggs
Arizona St.
DE Vikings
Cardinals
Ravens
Bears Apr. 25 - Suggs has to worry about the Cardinals trading out of the No. 6 pick, but he might not have to worry too much. The Vikings might take Suggs at No. 7, since they don't like Jimmy Kennedy that high, because he's not the perfect fit in the defensive line. They would rather take him at No. 10, but they can't work out a trade with Baltimore.

Suggs is a pass-rusher, and playing on the turf in the Metrodome could give Minnesota some excitement and big-play ability on their defense. His poor times in the 40 hurt his stock, but it only cost him maybe two or three spots in the first round. Though his 40 times aren't good, his game tapes are great.

PICK OPTIONS THE SKINNY

Nos.17,18
New Orleans Saints CB Newman
CB Trufant Apr. 25 - The Saints continue to push to move into the top seven to get a cornerback, and their best opportunity is currently with the Cardinals, who hold the No. 6 pick. To make that trade, Arizona has to give up the chance to take Terrell Suggs. The Saints would move to No. 6 and hope to get CB Terence Newman or settle for CB Marcus Trufant, which is good in the eyes of the Saints.

New Orleans doesn't like what it expects will be available at No. 17 and No. 18 and believes it could have made this deal Thursday. But the Saints would prefer to wait until they are on the clock Saturday to make sure the player they want still is on the board.
-- John Clayton

WHO INTERESTED THE SKINNY
Taylor Jacobs
Florida WR Jets
Chiefs
Rams
Eagles Apr. 25 - Jacobs might have one of the most uneasy and exciting Saturdays in the draft. He could go as high as No. 12 to the Rams, if they opt not to take linebacker Boss Bailey. Though the Jets prefer not to take a wide receiver in the first round, they might take Jacobs at No. 23. But he also could fall to the Eagles at No. 29. Because of the uncertainty about the neck injury WR Kelley Washington suffered last fall, Jacobs could be the third wide receiver off the board. It's more likely for Jacobs to go between 20 and 30 in the first round than in the top 15.

April 24 - There is some support on the Jets staff for choosing Jacobs, a very fluid receiver with a slender build, over Tennessee WR Kelley Washington, provided, of course, New York uses one of its two first-round picks on a receiver. Jacobs is the more polished product at this point and runs excellent routes. The Chiefs are leaning more toward defense, but word is they could be tempted by Jacobs in the first round.
-- Len Pasquarelli

PICK OPTIONS THE SKINNY

No. 10 Draft Pick
Baltimore Ravens DT Kennedy
OT Gross
QB Boller
QB Leftwich
DE Suggs Apr. 25 - The Ravens will get a quarterback during the first day of the draft, but it probably won't be Byron Leftwich or Kyle Boller. The Ravens are content to draft at No. 10, even if Leftwich goes to Jacksonville at No. 8. The Ravens know they are going to get a great player. They could get DT Jimmy Kennedy to Bolster their defensive line or OT Jordan Gross for their offensive line. The second-round quarterbacks are good enough to make them happy. A Rex Grossman could be a good fit, too.

Bottom line, the Ravens aren't trading up to get Leftwich at No. 7 or trading back to take Boller at a lower spot in the first round.

April 24 - The only way the Ravens will make a first-round trade is if DE Terrell Suggs or CB Marcus Trufant fall to them at No. 10 in the first round. If they're available, Baltimore would take DT Jimmy Kennedy or OT Jordan Gross in that spot, but likely not Suggs or Trufant. Taking Trufant that high could complicate negotiations on a long-term contract for cornerback Chris McAlister, the Ravens' franchise player.

But the odds of Baltimore even having to face that scenario aren't very high. A good player -- such as Kennedy, Gross or possibly even QB Byron Leftwich, will fall to the Ravens. Of course, Baltimore could decide to take Suggs and stop pursuing linebacker-defensive end Jamir Miller.
-- John Clayton

WHO INTERESTED THE SKINNY

Larry Johnson
Penn State RB Steelers Apr. 25 - If a few things happen, Johnson could end up becoming a Steeler. That wouldn't be preferable for Pittsburgh, which has a couple of other guys they want first.

The Steelers would rather take CB Andre Woolfolk or S Troy Polamula, but both could be gone by the 27th pick. They also would have a hard time passing on QB Kyle Boller. But if those three are gone, Pittsburgh would lean toward Johnson, a safe pick that would fit their running game. They've already told Jerome Bettis they might take a running back. The Steelers want to keep Bettis, but the value of finding his future replacement might be tough to ignore.

Johnson will go toward the top of the second round, but the Steelers would be the perfect fit. While he may not have the initial explosion for some teams, he works well in Pittsburgh's offense, which requires power and durability.

PICK OPTIONS THE SKINNY

No. 2 Pick
Detroit Lions WR Rogers
CB Newman
DE Suggs Apr. 24 - Team officials are prepared to begin negotiations with potential first-round candidates as soon as the Cincinnati Bengals finalize their deal with top pick Carson Palmer. According to league rules, the Lions are ostensibly "on the clock," once that occurs, and are free to open contract talks.

Detroit will speak with the agents for Kansas State cornerback Terence Newman, Arizona State defensive end Terrell Suggs and Michigan State wide receiver Charles Rogers, the player most connected to them. However, there is a concern about "signability" with Rogers, since his agents, Kevin and Carl Poston, are notorious for contract disputes. If the Lions perceive the Poston brothers are going to be difficult, they could go another direction.
-- Len Pasquarelli

April 22 - The brief flirtation with the idea of trading defensive tackle Shaun Rogers and passing on wide receiver Charles Rogers is starting to die. The best offer for Shaun Rogers is a low second-round pick. There are several offers involving third-rounders, but none of those deals are good enough for Matt Millen to take.

The plan was to trade Shaun Rogers for a first-rounder, then replace him by drafting either Jimmy Kennedy or Dewayne Robertson with the No. 2 pick. The Lions then would have used their new first-round pick and their second-rounder on a cornerback and a wide receiver. Now the only way the Lions will trade Shaun Rogers is during the draft, and, as expected, Charles Rogers will be the Lions first-round choice.
-- John Clayton

WHO INTERESTED THE SKINNY

Carson Palmer
USC QB Bengals Apr. 23 - It appears the only thing left to do is get Palmer's name on the paperwork and get it approved by the league. Cincinnati reportedly reached agreement in principle with the USC quarterback Wednesday night and will make Palmer the No. 1 pick in Saturday's draft.

PICK OPTIONS THE SKINNY

No. 6 Draft Pick
St. Louis Cardinals DE Suggs?
CB Trufant?
Trade? Apr. 24 - There is growing doubt the Cardinals will take DE Terrell Suggs at No. 6. While they didn't have problems with his 40 times a month ago, they apparently are starting to wonder now. Arizona could trade down or could take CB Marcus Trufant, and teams below No. 6 are planning scenarios for Suggs to fall.
-- John Clayton

April 18 - The Cardinals still view sackmaster Suggs as a viable choice at No. 6, because despite his slow 40 times, they can't ignore the fact he had 24 sacks in 2002 and 44 in his three-year college career. Arizona had a combined 65 sacks the past three seasons.
-- Len Pasquarelli

WHO INTERESTED THE SKINNY
Eric Steinbach
Iowa G N.Y. Jets
Cleveland
New England Apr. 24 - Athletically, Steinbach is a top-15 pick, but that won't happen, because there are so many good defensive tackles in the draft. Still, Steinbach's value comes in after the Saints make their two selections at No. 17 and No. 18. New Orleans is hoping there is so much interest in offensive linemen that teams in the bottom of the round will make offers to trade up.

The Patriots will be tempted, but they might take a pass. The Browns want Steinbach more than Stanford tackle Kwame Harris. And the Jets, who have the 22nd pick, would love to get Steinbach there.
-- John Clayton

April 22 - From an athletic and production standpoint, a top 10-12 choice who could slip a bit lower, since teams are not yet certain if he can move outside and play left tackle. He showed some flashes of tackle skills at the Senior Bowl but might need a bit more bulk to play there regularly. But if he slips down to the middle of the first round, he'll be a steal, whether he plays tackle or guard in the NFL. The Browns, sources say, would snatch him quickly if he remains on the board until their No. 21 slot.
-- Len Pasquarelli

PICK OPTIONS THE SKINNY

No. 11 Pick
Seattle Seahawks DT Williams
DT Sullivan Apr. 24 - Talk that Seattle is debating the merits of DTs Kevin Williams and Jonathan Sullivan appears to be just a smokescreen. The team is concerned about Sullivan's work ethic, or perceived lack thereof, and feels Williams has far more intensity. Williams is also a better candidate to play the "3-technique" spot usually manned by John Randle, the aging veteran who will be spelled more this season, than he is to play the "under" tackle slot. New defensive coordinator Ray Rhodes wants an inside disruptor and feels Williams can be that guy for him.
-- Len Pasquarelli

April 23 - The Seahawks want a DT, but they are still debating whether to take Williams or Sullivan. It's an interesting discussion. Williams is the quicker, more athletic player who could provide extra pass rush from the inside. Sullivan is the better run stopper, which is a team need. For the time being, Williams has the edge, but the decision might not be sorted out until Friday.
-- John Clayton

PICK INTERESTED THE SKINNY
Rashean Mathis
Bethune Cookman FS Colts Apr. 24 - Colts coach Tony Dungy said early this week he covets "some interceptors" for his defense, and there was no bigger thief than Mathis in the college game last year. His 14 interceptions, three of which he returned for touchdowns, led all NCAA divisions.

Mathis has natural "ball" skills and, for an Indianapolis defense that nabbed just 10 interceptions in 2002 (three of them by departed weakside linebacker Mike Peterson), he would be a good fit. Dungy fooled a lot of people by choosing undersized DE Dwight Freeney in the first round last year, and he might have another surprise up his sleeve.
-- Len Pasquarelli

PICK INTERESTED THE SKINNY
Charles Tillman
Louisiana-Lafayatte CB Raiders
Titans
Cardinals
Vikings Apr. 24 - With a great combination of size and speed, Tillman is a late riser, but he's a player meriting a lot of attention. Beyond speed in the low 4.3s, he is a good hitter, has solid hands and loves to play bump-and-run. The second round is now a realistic spot for him, although at least one team could consider him toward the end of the first round.
-- Len Pasquarelli
WHO INTERESTED THE SKINNY
Dewayne Robertson
Kentucky DT Patriots
Bears
Cowboys Apr. 23 - The Patriots reportedly have their eye on moving up in a trade with Chicago to get Robertson with the No. 4 pick, but the Bears and Pats still haven't come to agreement on the deal. But the Chicago Sun-Times reports the Bears are also interested in Robertson and might keep the pick. The paper also said, though, that if the Bengals don't take Carson Palmer, Chicago actually is more likely to deal out of the fourth spot so it's not faced with the choice of whether or not to take Palmer.

ESPN.com's John Clayton reports the Cowboys, who pick at No. 5, also might be interested in Robertson and could try to swing a deal with Houston to move into the No. 3 slot to get him. Bill Parcells reportedly likes Robertson better than Penn State's Jimmy Kennedy, who entered the offseason as the leading defensive tackle candidate. The Cowboys still are leaning toward take Kansas State cornerback Terence Newman, but the influence of Parcells looking for bigger defenders can't be forgotten.

PICK OPTIONS THE SKINNY

No. 31, 32 picks
Oakland Raiders Trade?
Leftwich?
DE
CB Apr. 23 - With the final two choices of the first round, it won't be easy for the Raiders to move too far up the board, but they are trying anyway and have spoken with several teams in the top 10. The object of their affection is said to be Marshall quarterback Byron Leftwich, a player owner Al Davis loves, and who the team could afford to let sit and learn for a few seasons. Always looking ahead, the Raiders know that starter Rich Gannon is 37 years old. And the current coaching staff doesn't have the same high regard for backup Marques Tuiasosopo that Jon Gruden's staff did.
-- Len Pasquarelli

April 22 - A year ago, the Raiders moved up in the first round and grabbed cornerback Phillip Buchanan. As much as they might consider moving up from No. 31 and No. 32 in the first round, it might be tougher this year. Few teams at this time seem to interested in moving back. In fact, most of the calls being received by the Raiders are from teams in the second round trying to trade up. Those teams might be interested in positioning themselves for cornerbacks, quarterbacks, wide receiver and possible Wllis McGahee.

Don't be surprised if the Raiders trade back. It would save them cap dollars giving up a first-rounder for a second rounders. Getting a third-rounder in return wouldn't be bad if the Raiders can't find the defensive end, cornerback or other position they might get at that spot.
-- John Clayton

WHO INTERESTED THE SKINNY

Byron Leftwich
Marshall QB Ravens
Jaguars
Raiders Apr. 23 - The Raiders are trying to trade up, using pick Nos. 31 and 32, and have spoken with several teams in the top 10. The object of their affection is said to be Marshall quarterback Byron Leftwich, a player owner Al Davis loves, and who the team could afford to let sit and learn for a few seasons. Always looking ahead, the Raiders know that starter Rich Gannon is 37 years old. And the current coaching staff doesn't have the same high regard for backup Marques Tuiasosopo that Jon Gruden's staff did.
-- Len Pasquarelli

April 21 - Forget all the speculation that the Ravens covet California quarterback Kyle Boller with the 10th overall pick. If Lefwich is still on the board, Baltimore GM Ozzie Newsome will grab him. He is rated significantly higher on the Ravens' board than Boller. But if Leftwich is gone, the Ravens will select a player from another position, or trade back and try to take Boller later in the round, at around the 18-20 spots.-- Len Pasquarelli

PICK WHAT THE SKINNY

No. 5 Pick
Dallas Cowboys Browns deal? Apr. 23 - A rumored deal in which the Cowboys would trade their No. 5 pick and Dexter Coakley to Cleveland for QB Tim Couch and RB Jamel White just doesn't make sense. Sure, Bill Parcells would like to get a veteran quarterback, but the Cowboys would take a step back if they bring in a new signal-caller every year. Plus, Couch lacks the mobility the Cowboys need with the current state of their offensive line. There are questions enough about Chad Hutchinson's footspeed. To add Couch to the mix at such a high price doesn't work.

It also doesn't make a lot of sense for Cleveland. Sure, new defensive coordinator Dave Campo would love to get Coakley at linebacker, but if the Browns want a linebacker, they'll have a shot with the 21st pick at every linebacker but maybe Boss Bailey.
-- John Clayton

WHO INTERESTED THE SKINNY

Dave Ragone
Louisville QB Bears Apr. 23 - The conventional wisdom has been that the Bears would bypass a quarterback in the first round and grab one in the second. But the name most often connected to Chicago in that scenario has been Chris Simms of Texas. But the Bears' focus may have switched. Chicago scouts will now audition Ragone on Thursday in a private workout.
-- Len Pasquarelli

WHO INTERESTED THE SKINNY
Bennie Joppru
Michigan TE Browns
Colts
Eagles Apr. 23 - One of the best tight ends in recent Wolverines history, Joppru may have leap-frogged Tennessee's Jason Witten for the top spot at the position. Teams like his in-line blocking skills, and the Browns, kind of in no-man's land in this draft, have been trying to solidify their tight end situation the past three years. Joppru would be the kind of combination H-back/tight end the Colts also have been trying to find, unsuccessfully, in free agency.
-- Len Pasquarelli

WHO INTERESTED THE SKINNY
George Foster
Georgia OT Dolphins
Saints Apr. 23 - Played the 2002 season with his right hand encased in a huge cast, courtesy of an offseason accident in which he broke his wrist, and it certainly affected his performance. Some teams are concerned the wrist has not healed quickly enough, but the Dolphins, desperate for a left tackle of the future, may be willing to gamble with their second-round pick, No. 49 overall. Foster is a huge blocker with deceptively good feet and the kind of size that allows him to engulf some defenders. He would be a reach for the Saints in the first round, but if they're stuck with their current two first-round picks they'll consider him.
-- Len Pasquarelli

WHO INTERESTED THE SKINNY
Julian Battle
Tennessee DB Titans
Raiders Apr. 23 - One of those "fringe" players who could sneak into the first round but is solidly entrenched in the second. Battle has played both safety and cornerback in college and, with the dearth of big cornerbacks in this draft, several teams view him as a possibility at the outside position. Physical and can run but is deemed by many teams to be a bit immature. A big-time talent, though, and a guy who is worth watching in the latter stages of the first round and top half of the second.
-- Len Pasquarelli

WHO INTERESTED THE SKINNY
Calvin Pace
Wake Forest DE Giants
Texans
Steelers
49ers Apr. 23 - Some teams feel Pace belongs among the top three ends in the pool, and the 3-4 teams, like Houston and Pittsburgh, see him as a rush linebacker in their schemes. No matter where he plays, Pace brings plenty of quickness, and he has more size than some of the other end candidates in this draft. He could go anywhere from No. 25 overall to about No. 40 overall, but he is going to play, at least situationally, as a rookie.
-- Len Pasquarelli
WHO INTERESTED THE SKINNY

Kyle Boller
California QB Ravens
Steelers
Rams
49ers Apr. 22 - Boller still has a chance to be the 10th pick in the draft by Baltimore, but he could fall toward the bottom of the round. That creates a few interesting scenarios. The 49ers may have a chance to take him with the 26th pick. Even though Jeff Garcia is a Pro Bowler, they may have a hard time re-signing him in the next couple of years. The 49ers would like to get a receiver or find a defensive lineman or cornerback with their first-round pick, but Boller would be too good a temptation.

Boller has established himself as one of the top 15 players in this draft, but after the Ravens pick at 10, teams in the middle of the draft have their quarterbacks.

The Steelers would surely take Boller if he drops down. This will be a test for Rams coach Mike Martz, who said he would consider taking him at No. 12.
-- John Clayton

WHO INTERESTED THE SKINNY
Artose Pinner
Kentucky RB Chicago
Carolina
Pittsburgh
San Francisco Apr. 22 - Suffered a broken left foot in the Senior Bowl game but, before that, was regarded as one of the top pure runners in the talent pool. Now that he is fully recovered, Pinner is getting a ton of interest, and several teams had him to their complexes for personal visits over the last two weeks. In a draft rife with second-round tailbacks, he is a value pick, a low-slung power guy with some wiggle to him.
-- Len Pasquarelli

WHO INTERESTED THE SKINNY
Nnamdi Asomugha
Cal S/CB Tennessee
Detroit
Jacksonville Apr. 22 - One of the few cornerbacks with size in this year's draft, he could sneak into the bottom of the first round, but is more likely a No. 2 pick. But he won't fall very far into the second round, given his combination of size, speed and athleticism. Some teams feel he can move inside and play safety as well.
-- Len Pasquarelli

WHO INTERESTED THE SKINNY
Chris Kelsay
Nebraska DE N.Y. Giants
Buffalo
San Francisco Apr. 22 - Giants officials have him in a coin-toss with some other linemen like Kenny Peterson. It might come down to whether a club wants a tackle or an end. Teams in general love his motor and feel that, even though he wasn't a big-time pass rusher for the Cornhuskers, he should develop into a player along the lines of Rams right defensive end Grant Wistrom, another former Nebraska star.
-- Len Pasquarelli

WHO INTERESTED THE SKINNY
Jon Stinchcomb
Georgia OT Miami
Tennessee
Houston Apr. 22 - Brother of Oakland Raiders offensive lineman Matt Stinchcomb, probably not a first-rounder, but a guy who will go very high in the second stanza. Has bulked up considerably since the conclusion to the 2002 season and now a legitimate 303 pounds, with no loss of quickness. A very bright guy on and off the field. Miami would like to get him and groom him to eventually take over the left tackle spot, a perennial problem area for the Dolphins.
-- Len Pasquarelli

WHO INTERESTED THE SKINNY
Tony Pashos
Illinois OT Miami Apr. 22 - The Dolphins, who have him rated higher than many other teams do, will especially look hard at him if players like Stinchcomb and George Foster, another former Georgia tackle, are gone. Pashos' candidacy is being championed by Illini head coach Ron Turner, who just happens to be the brother of Miami offensive coordinator Norv Turner. Pashos is more a right tackle but Miami feels he could eventually play the weakside spot.
-- Len Pasquarelli

WHO INTERESTED THE SKINNY
Drayton Florence
Tuskegee CB Raiders
49ers
Cowboys
Patriots
Jaguars
Ravens Apr. 22 - Bothered by hamstring problems throughout the offseason, Florence is going to hold a Wednesday workout Wednesday to improve his stock. He ran a 4.44 40 at the combine but slightly pulled a hamstring. Though he pretty well locked up a spot in the second or third round, Florence wants to give teams an extra look to show that the hamstring has recovered well. The fact that six teams are going to the workout shows the interest and the questions teams have about the hamstring. A good time will secure his status in the second round.
-- John Clayton



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