Will Draft Trades Materialize?

For all the talk of trades that could affect how the Cowboys pick in Saturday's 2003 NFL Draft, it seems the teams in front of Dallas may be settling in on their choices.

Three teams have multiple first-round picks, and several of them were talking about jumping into the top five to snag the player they covet about a week ago. But as the clock ticks to 48 hours until the draft, the teams in front of the Cowboys are looking more like they'll keep their picks than trade them.

In discussions Wednesday with some of the media types for the teams in front of the Cowboys, an interesting scenario had emerged.

The Bengals are likely to announce today that an agreement has been reached with Carson Palmer, locking up the first pick before the draft. The Lions remain locked in at No. 2 with Charles Rogers -- a decision that has been one of the worst-kept secrets in recent draft memory.

Here's where the interesting part comes. The Texans, who have long been the target of trade talks, might still be interested in trading the third pick, but from what we're hearing a team looking to move into the spot would likely take WR Andre Johnson -- the player the Texans have targeted if they stay at No. 3.

Next are the Bears. Once thought to be shopping the #4 pick, unless they get an offer that blows them away, the Bears will keep the pick and take Dewayne Robertson.

After that are the Cowboys.

While both Jerry Jones and Bill Parcells are notorious for making draft-day trades downward, Terence Newman is a player we've been told they targeted almost immediately, but they didn't think he would be on the board at #5. If he is, the Cowboys may just keep their pick and add the player they wanted all along.

Also, the Cowboys may still be willing to trade down to acquire extra picks, and consider drafting Washington State cornerback Marcus Trufant.

In addition, rumors continue to persist about a possible trade with Cleveland for QB Tim Couch, however sources say talks have cooled for now between the two clubs.

Then come the Cardinals. An organization that spent millions more for Emmitt Smith than anyone else was willing to offer, it looks they may reject trade offers to take Arizona State DE Terrell Suggs to increase interest and sell jerseys and merchandise.

At #7, if the projected trades have not been made, the Vikings will have their choice of Jimmy Kennedy or Marcus Trufant, or have the option to trade down with the Ravens and still likely get one of those two players.

But, if the rest of the teams are holding form, don't be shocked if the Vikings follow suit, keep the pick and take the player they want at #7.

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