Swerb's Draft Notebook, Vol 5

Swerb is back with a three-round mock draft and his comments about the first round. Here's Part 5 of Swerb's draft notebook, with one more installment to go before the big day!

Ten days.  That's all that remains until the 2003 NFL Draft is upon us.

 It's truly amazing the amount of hype that surrounds the draft as it nears each season.

The reader response that I get when writing draft articles or pumping out mock drafts dwarves the replies I receive when writing about anything else…even the most disputed and controversial of subjects.  I've truly enjoyed talking draft with the visitors of this site via e-mail as well as the various message boards.

 Over the past month I've tried to make sense of what is ahead of us.  I've scoured the plethora of quality draft-devoted websites and repeatedly rifled through the 3-4 scouting publications I subscribe to annually.  As a draftnik, the recent passing of Pro Football Weekly guru Joel Buschbaum hit me hard.  I had read every word written by the man for the past 10 years.

 Projecting the draft gets tougher and tougher every season even though more information becomes available each year.  As Browns fans, we know the lengths NFL personnel staffs go through to maintain secrecy over who they may or may not be interested in.  And some would argue that it worked for us last year as any team that may have been interested in William Green did not attempt to move ahead of us and select him after we brought T.J. Duckett in for 5 "special visits" in the last 2-3 weeks leading up to draft day.

Regardless, to follow is my best stab (enter your favorite Ray Lewis joke) at how this thing will shake down next weekend.  I've projected the entire first day of the draft…expanded from my regular two wound mocks.  Although I feel there will be several trades on draft day, I've included none of them below.  I'll be releasing one final mock next week, with my final alterations and projected trades included.  Enjoy…and let me know your thoughts at swerb@berniesinsiders.com.


1. Cincinnati - QB Carson Palmer, USC:  The Bengals would love to, and will likely deal this pick.  Should they keep it, the selection will likely be Palmer, Terence Newman, or one of the big defensive tackles (Kennedy or Robertson).  In the end, Marvin Lewis cannot keep fooling himself that Jon Kitna is the man to restore pride in the city that Jerry Springer was once mayor of.  But with the hapless Bungles…anything is possible.

2. Detroit - WR Charles Rogers, Michigan State:  Forget about talks of masking agents and character questions.  Rogers could have walked into his meeting with Millen and Mooch with a blunt lit and he would still be the pick here.  Big, fast, and with great hands…Rogers is the ideal target for Joey Harrington and the Lion offense.  And he's a local product.

3. Houston - WR Andre Johnson, Miami Fla.:  David Carr needs help.  Do the Texans go after a bodyguard (Gross) or a target?  My $$$ is on the target.  Johnson is every bit as physically gifted as Rogers is…but with muscle.  Think David Boston minus the repeated drug offense charges.  The Texans may move up to select Rogers or may move down and take Gross…but after it's all said and done I think Johnson ends up a Texan at #3.

4. Chicago - DT DeWayne Robertson, Kentucky:  Robertson wowed scouts at his workout posting a jaw dropping 40 time of 4.84 for a man with his immense size and brute strength.  The Bears and Brian Urlacher would both benefit greatly from his presence in the middle of the defensive line.  The Bears may trade down, and if so…are said to like Kyle Boller.  There is also the possibility of them taking a QB here.

5. Dallas - CB Marcus Trufaunt, Washington St.:  Common knowledge says Terence Newman here but I think there is a lot to be said about the nerve damage showing up in his shoulder.  And I keep getting the feeling Trufaunt is a guy The Tuna has been targeting all along.  When thinking about Newman, I keep thinking about the foot stress fractures everyone warned about when the Browns were considering David Terrell and the subsequent foot injuries that followed last year.  When picking this high, you have to be sure, and I think Dallas goes with the Cougar CB here.

6. Arizona - DE Terrell Suggs, Arizona St.:  The Cards try their luck with another Sun Devil phenom here just as the Jake Plummer era ends.  Despite so-so workouts and legal troubles, Suggs is by far the best true pass rusher in this draft…something the Cards have desperately needed ever since Simeon Rice left town.

7. Minnesota - DT Jimmy Kennedy, Penn State:  The Vikings defense still needs a lot of help and putting the mammoth Kennedy next to Chris Hovan gives them a nice base.  Remember…the Vikes tried to pick Ryan Sims last year but ended up backing into Bryant McKinnie.

8. Jacksonville - CB Terence Newman, Kansas St:  The Newman slide ends.  And don't get me wrong, Newman could easily still end up going #1.  And there's no way he falls past the Jags.  Simply put, Newman is the top cover corner prospect to enter the draft since Champ Bailey

9. Carolina - OT Jordan Gross, Utah:  The Panther offense needs help and the team surprisingly seems content with the Delhomme/Peete/Fasani trio at QB.  With no WR or RB worthy of a pick this high, I have the Panthers plucking the draft's top offensive lineman off the board here at #9.  The Panther line was weak last year, and Chris Terry was also let go this off-season.

10. Baltimore - QB Byron Leftwich, Marshall:  It almost seems wrong that Leftwich is still here at #10, and Ozzie Newsome will take advantage.  Although there is some speculation that Brian Billick prefers Boller, I cannot imagine the Ravens not taking Leftwich here if he is still on the board.

11.   Seattle - QB Kyle Boller, California:  Resisting the urge to grab one of the talented DT's here at #11, the Seahawks will make Boller their QB of the future here.  Neither Trent Dilfer nor Matt Hasselback is the future here, and for the first time Mike Holmgren will not be God on draft day for the Seahawks…a move that should help the team next weekend.

12.   St. Louis - OLB Boss Bailey, Georgia:  Once thought to be too small to play LB at the next level, The Boss has bulked up to go with his freakish speed and nearly 4 foot vertical leap.  The Rams are obsessed with speed on both sides of the ball for their fast track and linebacker was a huge weakness for the team last season. 

13.   NY Jets - DT Kevin Williams, Oklahoma St.:  Williams has been a fast riser on draft boards, spearheaded by his dominating performance at the Senior Bowl.  The Jets like his game and will be going DT here.  Their other choices are Jonathon Sullivan or William Joseph.  The Jets also need a WR, but will likely wait until #22 to address that need as this is the area of the draft DT's should start flying off the board.

14.   New England - DT Jonathon Sullivan, Georgia:  Another team with 2 picks, I feel the Pats will go defense at both #14 and #19.  Defensive line and linebacker are the likely selections for them and once again, I feel they go DT first in fear that the top run stuffers will not be there at #19.  In Sullivan, they get a 6'5 290 lb. specimen to play next to Pro Bowl '01 pick Richard Seymour.

15.   San Diego - DT William Joseph, Miami Fla.:  Even though they are looking to replace Seau and Harrison, and could also use help at OG (Steinbach?) I feel the Chargers will simply not be able to pass on a DT of Joseph's ability should he still be there at #15.  The Chargers have always prided themselves on having a solid defensive front four…and the addition of a Joseph goes a long way in keeping that unit formidable for years to come.

16.   Kansas City - DE Jerome McDougle, Miami Fla.:  McDougle becomes the 3rd Hurricane to go in the top 16 picks when the Chiefs take him off the board here.  Despite the high selections of DT's Ryan Sims and Eddie Freeman last season, the defensive line…especially on the ends…remains a liability.  The Chiefs also need secondary help, and either Weathersby or Woolfolk remain strong options here as well.  If the Chiefs go best defensive player available, which I'm guessing they will, McDougle is the pick under this scenario.

17.   New Orleans - CB Andre Woolfolk, Oklahoma:  Despite the acquisition of Tebucky Jones, one of the Saints two picks here will be to further help repair a secondary that spelled the teams demise a season ago.  Woolfolk, Weathersby, Doss, and Polamalu are their options and Woolfolk is the best athlete of the bunch. 

18.   New Orleans - OG Eric Steinbach, Iowa:  With Kyle Turley in St. Louis, offensive line becomes even more of a priority heading into the draft.  The Saints are well aware of the impact a seasoned rookie lineman can have after LeCharles Bentley developed into one of their best lineman in his rookie season.  A guy like Steinbach is versatile, and will help make Brooks, Deuce, Horn, and Stallworth better players.

19.   New England - ILB E.J. Henderson, Maryland:  Belichick is elated that Henderson is still here at #19 after taking the DT off the board earlier.  Henderson projects as a guy that can play either inside or outside and makes for a great fit in the Patriot defensive scheme that sees 7 LB's get regular playing time each game. 

20.   Denver - DE Michael Haynes, Penn St.:  The Broncos spare the Browns of having to decide whether or nor to select another Penn St. DE and take Haynes off the board at #20.  While his workouts were so-so, every time this guy is put in game situations he thrives…putting constant heat on opposing passers.  Denver is getting old on both the offensive and defensive lines and Haynes is a nice start to that rebuilding process.

21.   CLEVELAND - OT Kwame Harris, Stanford:  Although I still think this pick may very well be the best defensive player available, in this scenario no one has really slipped and the mega-promising Harris is still on the board.  Browns fans have been clamoring for the team to select a mammoth tackle for years now, and they get their wish here.  Harris is 6'7, 310 and would have likely been a top 5 pick next season had he stayed in school.  Shoring up the need on the offensive line early allows the Browns to spend their next 3-4 picks on defense, and filling some of their holes as the draft progresses.

22.   NY Jets - WR Kelley Washington, Tennessee:  In desperate need of a WR with Laverneus Coles in the nation's capital…the Jets will simply be unable to pass on a player with Washington's raw tools and athletic ability here at #23.  Washington has the potential to be every bit as good as the two wideouts taken at the top of this draft, and the Jets are eager to replenish Pennington's weapons as to prevent from stunting his development.

23.   Buffalo - CB Dennis Weathersby, Oregon St.:  The Bills could go Witten, Peterson, Doss, or Polamalu here but if Weathersby is still available I don't feel they will be able to resist from taking the last legitimate 1st round CB prospect off the board.  Weathersby will team with the Bills current Buckeye corners (Clement and Winfield) and help shore up their nickel/dime defenses….which were torched by opposing signal callers last season.

24.   Indianapolis - S Troy Polamalu, USC:  Tony Dungy continues to revamp the Colt defense, getting his John Lynch clone in the form of Polamalu, who had very impressive personal workouts.  Polamalu should step in and start immediately for a young and improving Colt defense that still needs a lot of help in the secondary.

25.   NY Giants - DE Kenny Peterson, Ohio State:  The Giants are in serious need of help along the defensive line.  They have several options here (Kelsay, Warren, Redding, Eason, Long) but elect to go with Peterson for his high motor, quickly improving game, and ability to play both tackle and end.

26.   San Francisco - DE Chris Kelsay, Nebraska:  Kelsay parlayed a very nice effort at the Senior Bowl into a 1st round selection, and should be the pick of the 49ers here as the best defensive lineman left.  Although the Niners also need help in the secondary, if Polamalu/Weathersby/Woolfolk are off the board…they'll look for help on the defensive line after losing Okafor in free agency.

27.   Pittsburgh - QB Rex Grossman, Florida:  Also resisting the need for secondary help, the Steelers select their heir apparent to Tommy Maddox here and take Grossman off the board.  Given the Stillers track record on first round selections, Grossman should unfortunately end up being a good one if he is the pick here. 

28.   Tennessee - C Jeff Faine, Notre Dame:  With a huge hole at center ever since Bruce Matthews retired…the Titans go with Faine, a player that they feel can start right away, here at #28.  Jeff Fisher desperately wants to reestablish their inside running game, and a running back could be their pick in the second round. 

29. Green Bay - DT Ty Warren, Texas A&M:  With Grossman and Boller gone, the Pack will turn their attention here to repairing their dilapidated defensive line.  Unfortunately for them, a whopping 10 defensive lineman have been selected already!  This pick could also easily be one of the top LB's left on the board, possibly Terry Pierce or Nick Barnett.

30. Philadelphia - TE Jason Witten, Tennessee:  The Eagles get a gift here, as Witten slips to them at #30.  Ideal for the Eagles west coast short passing game, Witten should garner immediate playing time with Chad Lewis in the Eagles 2 TE sets and could make a healthy impact as a rookie.

31. Oakland - WR Tyrone Calico, Middle Tennessee St.:  Al Davis is enamored with speed, and in Calico he is getting possibly the fastest player in the draft.  Calico will have a couple of seasons to learn behind two of the greatest WR's to ever play…and we've seen how that has helped Jerry Porter.  Porter and Calico will represent the next generation of Raider wideouts.

32.  Oakland - DE Corey Redding, Texas:  More speed for the Raiders here as they land one of the draft's best pure edge pass rushers.  Redding will have a year to learn behind Trace Armstrong and provide immediate help rushing the QB on passing downs. 



  1. Cincinnati-ILB Terry Pierce, Kansas St.

  2. Detroit-OLB Nick Barnett, Oregon St.

  3. Chicago-RB Larry Johnson, Penn St.

  4. Houston-RB Lee Suggs, Virginia Tech

  5. Arizona-WR Taylor Jacobs, Florida

  6. Dallas-QB Chris Simms, Texas

  7. Jacksonville-WR Bryant Johnson, Penn St.

  8. Minnesota-S Michael Doss, Ohio St.

  9. Baltimore-OT George Foster, Georgia

  10. Seattle-DT Nick Eason, Clemson

  11. St. Louis-CB Rashean Mathis, Bethune Cookman

  12. Washington-DT Rien Long, Washington St.

  13. Carolina-OG Vince Manuwai, Hawaii

  14. San Diego-CB Eugene Wilson, Illinois

  15. Kansas City-QB Dave Ragone, Louisville

  16. Buffalo-DE Tully Banta Cain, Cal

  17. Miami-OT Wayne Hunter, Hawaii

  18. New England-RB Willis McGahee, Miami Fla.

  19. Denver-OT Jon Stinchcomb, Georgia

  20. CLEVELAND-DE DeWayne White, Louisville

  21. NY Jets-CB Sammy Davis, Texas A&M

  22. New Orleans-DE Calvin Pace, Wake Forest

  23. Atlanta-WR Brandon Lloyd, Illinois

  24. NY Giants-DT Kenny King, Alabama

  25. San Francisco-WR Sam Aiken, North Carolina

  26. Indianapolis-C Al Johnson, Wisconsin

  27. Pittsburgh-S Ken Hamlin, Arkansas

  28. Tennessee-RB Justin Fargas, USC

  29. Philadelphia-ILB Gerald Hayes, Pitt

  30. Philadelphia-OT Tony Pashos, Illinois

  31. Oakland-RB Onterrio Smith, Oregon

  32. Tampa Bay-TE Dallas Clark, Iowa


  1. Cincinnati-CB Kevin Garnett, SMU

  2. Detroit-RB Musa Smith, Georgia

  3. Houston-OT Brett Williams, Florida St.

  4. Chicago-S Terence Holt, NC St.

  5. Dallas-DE Tyler Brayton, Colorado

  6. Arizona-CB Donald Strickland, Colorado

  7. Minnesota-WR Kevin Curtis, Utah St.

  8. Jacksonville-OG Torrin Tucker, Southern Miss

  9. Seattle-CB Drayton Florence, Tuskegee

  10. St. Louis-WR Justin Gage, Missouri

  11. New England-WR Teyo Johnson, Stanford

  12. Carolina-TE Bennie Jopru, Michigan

  13. Baltimore-DE Antwan Peek, Cincinnati

  14. New Orleans-S Julian Battle, Tennessee

  15. Buffalo-OG Montrae Holland, Florida St.

  16. San Diego-OG Derrick Dockery, Texas

  17. Washington-DT Ian Scott, Florida

  18. Denver-TE Donald Lee, Mississippi St.

  19. Houston-DE Andrew Williams, Miami Fla.

  20. CLEVELAND-OLB Chaun Thompson, West Texas St.

  21. NY Jets-DT Jarrett Johnson, Alabama

  22. New Orleans-OLB Cie Grant, Ohio St.

  23. Miami-OT Ben Johnson, Wisconsin

  24. Houston-OLB Shurron Pierson, South Florida

  25. San Francisco-CB Bryan Scott, Penn St.

  26. Indianapolis-DE Jamal Green, Miami Fla.

  27. NY Giants-WR Doug Gabriel, Central Florida

  28. Pittsburgh-RB Chris Brown, Colorado

  29. Tennessee-DT Eric Manning, Oregon St.

  30. Green Bay-ILB Clifton Smith, Syracuse

  31. Philadelphia-DE Kindal Moorehead, Alabama

  32. Oakland-C Bruce Nelson, Iowa

  33. Tampa Bay-RB LaBrandon Toefield, LSU

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