FIRST ROUND BREAKDOWN
NO. TEAM: 1. St. Louis (from N.Y. Jets)
PLAYER: Orlando Pace
COLLEGE: Ohio State
IT’S A FACT: Only two-time winner of Lombardi Award
COMMENT: Can make it easier for Lawrence Phillips to sidestep defenders; the law is another matter.
NO. TEAM: 2. Oakland (from New Orleans)
PLAYER: Darrell Russell
IT’S A FACT: Nine sacks, 19 tackles for losses in ’96
COMMENT: Raiders weren’t caught up in Russell-mania--the move to get this position was definitelymade off-the-Pace.
NO. TEAM: 3. Seattle (from Atlanta)
PLAYER: Shawn Springs
COLLEGE: Ohio State
IT’S A FACT: Dad Ron was a Dallas Cowboy running back
COMMENT: What do you read in this? Springs was Big Ten defensive player of the year and had no interceptions.
NO. TEAM: 4. Baltimore
PLAYER: Peter Boulware
COLLEGE: Florida State&
IT’S A FACT: Nation-leading 19 sacks in ’96
COMMENT: Similar to last year’s rookie defensive impact player Simeon Rice. Doubt if he can talk as good a game as Rice.
NO. TEAM: 5. Detroit
PLAYER: Bryant Westbrook
IT’S A FACT: Turned down basketball scholarships to play Longhorn football
COMMENT: Potential matchup: Bryant Westbrook on Michael Westbrook, the Redskin wide receiver. No relation.
NO. TEAM: 6. Seattle (from St. Louis via N.Y. Jets Tampa Bay)
PLAYER: Walter Jones
COLLEGE: Florida State
IT’S A FACT: Gave up one sack in ’96
COMMENT: College for a Kingdome: Jones played only one season at Florida State.
NO. TEAM: 7. New York Giants
PLAYER: Ike Hilliard
IT’S A FACT: Was a prep All-American as a defensive back
COMMENT: Were there any “I Like Ike” posters among the Giant draft faithful in New York?
NO. TEAM: 8. New York Jets (from Tampa Bay)
PLAYER: James Farrior
IT’S A FACT: Jets traded down to this spot from No. 1
COMMENT: Remember the Jets’ 1989 first-round bust Jeff Lageman? He was from Virginia.
NO. TEAM: 9. Arizona
PLAYER: Tom Knight
IT’S A FACT: Bounced back from major knee surgery in ’94
COMMENT: A Knight in shining armor for Cardinals, whose secondary got jostled around frequently in ’96.
NO. TEAM: 10. New Orleans (from Oakland)
PLAYER: Chris Naeole
IT’S A FACT: First-team All-American in ’96
COMMENT: Did Al Davis get slickered? Saints get the offensive lineman they wanted at this position.
NO. TEAM: 11. Atlanta (from Chicago via Seattle)
PLAYER: Michael Booker
IT’S A FACT: High school teammate of Bryant Westbrook
COMMENT: The nice thing about being a rookie cornerback for the Falcons: two games against Jerry Rice.
NO. TEAM: 12. Tampa Bay (from Seattle)
PLAYER: Warrick Dunn
COLLEGE: Florida State
IT’S A FACT: Averaged 6.9 yards a carry in Seminole career
COMMENT: Dunn’s first-round selection means Buccaneers frankly don’t give a damn about Errict Rhett.
NO. TEAM: 13. Kansas City (from Houston)
PLAYER: Tony Gonzalez
IT’S A FACT: Leading scorer in Bears’ NCAA tournament run to Sweet 16
COMMENT: Move over Deion: This two-sport star could have possibly been selected higher in the NBA draft.
NO. TEAM: 14. Cincinnati
PLAYER: Reinard Wilson
COLLEGE: Florida State
IT’S A FACT: All-time Seminole sack leader (35 1/2)
COMMENT: Where was the sack dance in the Sugar Bowl against Florida and Danny Wuerffel?
NO. TEAM: 15. Miami
PLAYER: Yatil Green
IT’S A FACT: Hurricanes’ top receiver at 17 yards a catch
COMMENT: Jimmy Johnson didn’t have to go far to find a much-needed wide receiver for Dan Marino.
NO. TEAM: 16. Tampa Bay (from San Diego)
PLAYER: Reidel Anthony
IT’S A FACT: 18 touchdown receptions for Gators in ’96
COMMENT: Can a big-play receiver and Buccaneers’ scatter-armed quarterback Trent Dilfer really co-exist?
NO. TEAM: 17. Washington
PLAYER: Kenard Lang
IT’S A FACT: Led Hurricanes with 11 1/2 sacks in ’96
COMMENT: Some say that k.d. lang would have been a better selection.
NO. TEAM: 18. Houston (from Kansas City)
PLAYER: Kenny Holmes
IT’S A FACT: 29 career sacks for the Hurricanes
COMMENT: Three players among the first 18 draft picks and the best Miami can do is a tri-Big East championship?
NO. TEAM: 19. Indianapolis
PLAYER: Tarik Glenn
IT’S A FACT: Reportedly the biggest player ever at Cal
COMMENT: Big is not better in the NFL: Glenn will have to bear down and lose some weight.
NO. TEAM: 20. Minnesota
PLAYER: Dwayne Rudd
IT’S A FACT: Southeastern Conference defensive player of the year
COMMENT: This year’s Warren Sapp of the draft. He didn’t look too happy about waiting this late to be selected.
NO. TEAM: 21. Jacksonville
PLAYER: Renaldo Wynn
COLLEGE: Notre Dame
IT’S A FACT: 16 1/2 sacks in last two seasons for Irish
COMMENT: Jaguars find themselves in a Wynn situation, getting much-needed DT without having to trade up.
NO. TEAM: 22. Dallas (from Philadelphia)
PLAYER: David LaFleur
IT’S A FACT: Leading receiver for the Tigers in ’96
COMMENT: Cowboys not skating on thin ice in trading up for LaFleur--replacement for Jay Novacek desperately needed.
NO. TEAM: 23. Buffalo
PLAYER: Antowain Smith
IT’S A FACT: Had 1,239 yards and 14 touchdowns rushing for Cougars
COMMENT: Former JC player is selected well ahead of nation’s leading rusher, Iowa State’s Troy Davis.
NO. TEAM: 24. Pittsburgh
PLAYER: Chad Scott
IT’S A FACT: High school team was winless his senior year
COMMENT: Great Scott, he’s going to replace Rod Woodson?
NO. TEAM: 25. Philadelphia (from Dallas)
PLAYER: Jon Harris
IT’S A FACT: 15 career sacks for the Cavaliers
COMMENT: Bet you didn’t see his name on many mock draft lists.
NO. TEAM: 26. San Francisco
PLAYER: Jim Druckenmiller
COLLEGE: Virginia Tech
IT’S A FACT: 35 touchdown passes the last two seasons for the Hokies
COMMENT: Compared to Jim Kelly, but the big question is, how do you get that name on the back of a jersey?
NO. TEAM: 27. Carolina
PLAYER: Rae Carruth
IT’S A FACT: Career average of 18.8 yards a catch
COMMENT: One of fastest in draft (4.29 in the 40). Should make interesting intrasquad races with Rocket Ismail.
NO. TEAM: 28. Denver
PLAYER: Trevor Pryce
IT’S A FACT: Played two seasons at Michigan before transferring
COMMENT: Pryce is right--he’s the perfect size for the Broncos, who continue to get bigger on the defensive front.
NO. TEAM: 29. New England
PLAYER: Chris Canty
COLLEGE: Kansas State
IT’S A FACT: Two-time All-American
COMMENT: Watch out. He was arrested for suspicion of driving under the influence in senior season.
NO. TEAM: 30. Green Bay
PLAYER: Ross Verba
IT’S A FACT: Was a tight end in high school
COMMENT: Packers’ last first-round selection of a Big Ten offensive tackle was Tony Mandarich in 1989.