PROJECTING THE FIRST ROUND
Bo is only a 9.9 this season, but it’s OK. It’s Bo Jackson of Auburn, not Bo Derek of Hollywood, and in these ratings, there never has been a 10.
This mock NFL draft was done by Mel Kiper Jr. of Baltimore, author of the annual Draft Report. It starts with Jackson, who Kiper says will be taken by Tampa Bay as the first pick, regardless of his baseball and USFL options. Or he had better be taken by Tampa, anyway.
“I’ll never give a 10,” Kiper said. “The only other guys I rated 9.9 since I started in 1979 were John Elway, Jim Kelly and Eric Dickerson.
“A lot of great running backs lack one thing or another. Maybe they don’t always come to play, or they don’t play well in big games, or they’re not instinctive. Curtis Dickey was a fifth pick overall. He had 4.3 speed but he wasn’t instinctive. He wasn’t really the guy.
“This guy has everything. Jackson proved in the Cotton Bowl he has good hands. A lot of people make the mistake of questioning his toughness. It was just at Auburn, they had a policy of telling kids if they were 85-90%, to take themselves out of the game. When you get a franchise back like this and you don’t pick him up. . . If Tampa Bay trades this pick, I’ll write them down as a losing organization for the rest of the time they’re in this league. And if they don’t draft him, there’ll be about five people in Tampa Stadium next season.”
Here’s the way the draft looks to Kiper, with one proviso: “After the first five picks, it’s strictly a guessing game.”
There will be only 27 first-round choices this year because Buffalo’s first-round selection was acquired by Cleveland and used to take quarterback Bernie Kosar in last year’s supplemental draft.
Team Player School Pos. Size 1. TAMPA BAY Bo Jackson Auburn RB 6-0, 225 2. ATLANTA Tony Casillas Oklahoma NT 6-2, 277 3. HOUSTON Jim Everett Purdue QB 6-5, 212 4. INDIANAPOLIS Chuck Long Iowa QB 6-3, 212 5. ST. LOUIS Jon Hand Alabama DE 6-6, 280 6. NEW ORLEANS Brian Jozwiak West Virginia OT 6-5, 300 7. KANSAS CITY Neal Anderson Florida RB 5-11, 21 8. MINNESOTA Leslie O’Neal Oklahoma State DE 6-3, 245 9. PITTSBURGH Gary James LSU RB 5-10, 21 10. PHILADELPHIA Ronnie Harmon Iowa RB 5-11, 19 11. CINCINNATI Jim Dombrowski Virginia OT 6-4, 300 12. DETROIT Reggie Dupard SMU RB 5-11, 20 13. SAN DIEGO Will Wolford Vanderbilt OG 6-4, 275 14. SAN DIEGO Kevin Murphy Oklahoma LB 6-1, 226 16. BUFFALO John Rienstra Temple OG 6-4, 280 17. ATLANTA Earnest Givins Louisville WR 5-9, 170 18. SAN FRANCISCO Keith Byars Ohio State RB 6-0, 245 19. N.Y. GIANTS Tim McGee Tennessee WR 5-9, 175 20. DALLAS Walter Murray Hawaii WR 6-3, 205 21. CINCINNATI Tim Green Syracuse LB 6-2, 245 22. N.Y. JETS James FitzPatrick USC OT 6-7, 280 23. RAMS Doug Williams Texas A&M; OT 6-5, 290 24. RAIDERS Kenneth Davis TCU RB 5-10, 21 25. TAMPA BAY Joe Kelly Washington LB 6-1, 217 26. NEW ENGLAND Mark Collins CS Fullerton CB 5-10,190 27. CHICAGO Mike Sherrard UCLA WR 6-2, 186
1. TAMPA BAY Bo Jackson; Don’t take trade rumors seriously.
2. ATLANTA Tony Casillas; Minor knee injury this season but a dominating player as a junior. Really tenacious, which is what you’re looking for in a nose tackle where the guy is getting blocked from every direction. Falcons going to the 3-4 under new defensive coordinator Marion Campbell.
3. HOUSTON Jim Everett; I think the Oilers will trade this pick and Everett is going here. I think Houston is happy with Warren Moon, and the other talk (the Oilers will keep Everett) is just a smokescreen. Everett has a strong arm, he’s mobile. Only major negative is he’s not as accurate as Chuck Long.
4. INDIANAPOLIS Chuck Long; There’s not much difference between him and Everett. A lot of people say he can’t throw long but he worked within the framework of Iowa’s offense. He had two wide receivers who ran 4.7 40s and a tight end who ran about a 4.9. They just ran underneath the coverage. When he asked to throw long, he did it well enough.
5. ST. LOUIS Jon Hand; They are going to the 3-4 and they probably have to let Al Baker go. Hand is a good pass rusher, even though he only had one sack at Alabama. When they turn him loose in the pros, he can be a dominating player. Runs in the 4.8 range.
6. NEW ORLEANS Brian Jozwiak; It’s between him and Jim Dombrowski for the top tackle. Jozwiak played at West Virginia where they don’t teach good technique. He has a defensive lineman’s temperament. Talk about a mean kid. I don’t like finesse linemen. I like people who blow people off the line.
7. KANSAS CITY Neal Anderson; I like all-purpose backs with the tools he has. He may not be as famous as some but he played in the backfield with Lorenzo Hampton (No. 1 Dolphin pick last year) and John L. Williams. Good speed. He ran under 4.5. Great strength. He benched 365. Caught the football real well. This kid is a better player than Hampton.
8. MINNESOTA Leslie O’Neal; An undersized defensive end but one of the better pure pass rushers in the draft. He had 108 tackles, 11 sacks, chased the quarterback out of the pocket 32 times. He runs about 4.7 and has a 30-inch vertical jump. Not bad for a 245-pound man.
9. PITTSBURGH Gary James; Steelers need speed in the backfield. James ran 4.38 to 4.42 for the scouting combines. He played in the backfield with Dalton Hilliard, behind an inexperienced offensive line and still averaged 5.4 yards a carry. He had 50 catches last year and 122 for his career. Hilliard is a smaller guy but he doesn’t have the speed James has.
10. PHILADELPHIA Ronnie Harmon; Buddy Ryan says he’ll gamble on Keith Byars but I don’t buy that. Harmon can do a lot of things. Very elusive, makes tacklers miss. Doesn’t have great straight-ahead speed. Runs 4.55 but Joe Cribbs only ran 4.6 when he came out of college. His Rose Bowl (three fumbles) definitely won’t hurt him. He never had a history of fumbling. Brooks Robinson once made three errors in a game. Did that mean he couldn’t field?
11. CINCINNATI Jim Dombrowski; Bad body. He doesn’t have the sculptured frame. A little flabby but good production. Strong, uses his hands and arms well. Might be too smart. There was talk he’d go to medical school but I don’t think so, not with the money he’s going to make.
12. DETROIT Reggie Dupard; Billy Sims and Wilbert Montgomery are both going to be shelved with knee injuries. This will be two years for Sims and who knows if he’ll ever play again? Dupard split time and was still eighth in the nation with over 1,200 yards, a 5.4 average, 14 touchdowns. Could be a phenomenal return specialist.
13. SAN DIEGO Will Wolford; He’s got all the physical skills. Ran in the 4.8s. One of the fastest offensive linemen in the draft. Chargers need somebody to protect Dan Fouts. The got Jim Lachey last year. The other tackle, Sam Clapham, was just a stopgap.
14. SAN DIEGO Kevin Murphy; Early in his career, he was outstanding before he got hurt in ’84. Chargers need speed and they need an outside linebacker.
15. SEATTLE Steve Wallace; Probably the meanest offensive lineman in the draft. Needs pass blocking work since all they do at Auburn is run the ball.
16. BUFFALO John Rienstra; Tremendous attitude. Heavyweight power lifter. Did 33 reps at 225 bench pressing. His 10-yard time was fastest of all the linemen at a recent combine workout at New Orleans.
17. ATLANTA Earnest Givins; The first wide receiver to go, he’s a Smurf type with great speed. Helped himself tremendously at the Senior Bowl. He and Robert Thompson of Youngstown State ran the fastest 40s at New Orleans in the combine workout.
18. SAN FRANCISCO Keith Byars; If it wasn’t for his foot injury, he’d be a franchise-type player, only a shade or two behind Jackson.
19. N.Y. GIANTS Tim McGee; They need a good receiver. Johnny Majors says he is better than Willie Gault or Anthony Hancock.
20. DALLAS Walter Murray; For size and speed, he’s been compared to Al Toon but I compare him to Darryl Turner of Seattle, a big-play man but inconsistent.
21. CINCINNATI Tim Green; He was a defensive tackle in college but he’s too smart to have any trouble making the switch. A great athlete but a little undersized to be a tackle.
22. N.Y. JETS James FitzPatrick; He might have been a little bit of an under-achiever, but he has a lot of gross potential. He probably could add 20 pounds and wouldn’t even feel it. A good player from a balanced attack, and USC has a history of turning out great offensive linemen.
23. RAMS Doug Williams; Massive kid. More a finesse than a power blocker. If he was a little tougher, he’d be a higher pick. Or they might go for Mike Ruth, the nose tackle from Boston College. Ruth’s only negative is that he’s a pumped-up 263. That means he won’t get any bigger.
24. RAIDERS Kenneth Davis; After his junior year, he probably would have been one of the top 10 picks. If they go for an offensive lineman instead, they could take Joe Millinichik of North Carolina State or J.D. Maarleveld of Maryland.
25. TAMPA BAY Joe Kelly; Fast outside linebacker.
26. NEW ENGLAND Mark Collins; Very aggressive player, solid hitter. He runs about 4.5. A return man who averaged 22 yards a punt.
27. CHICAGO Mike Sherrard; They need help with Dennis McKinnon out for the year. Sherrard is a long-strider who doesn’t have that great quickness. This would be a good place for him, alongside a big-play man like Gault.