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Kiper's latest


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Jan 8, 2002
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I know he's an a$$ but hey it's the offseason, we'll listen to anyone that writes something about football! :D

1. Houston Texans -- David Carr, QB, Fresno State
The Texans have already indicated that Carr will be their first-ever draft pick. They have identified Carr as their franchise quarterback and will start negotiating a contract.

2. Carolina Panthers -- *Julius Peppers, DE, North Carolina
Not only is Peppers a local product, but he has as much upside potential as any player in the draft. He is still the No. 1 overall player on my draft board. Plus, he would fill a critical need area for the Panthers. Outside of Mike Rucker, the Panthers were lacking pass pressure off the edge. They need a defensive difference-maker like Peppers.

3. Detroit Lions -- Quentin Jammer, CB, Texas
They desperately need an impact defensive player, and Jammer or Roy Williams would fit the bill. What they need the most is a shutdown cornerback like Jammer opposite Terry Fair.

4. Buffalo Bills -- *Albert Haynesworth, DT, Tennessee
Haynesworth would fill a major need because the Bills need desperate help on the defensive line. They must have a big interior presence to play alongside Pat Williams, who is coming off a good season. At 320 pounds and over 6-foot-6, Haynesworth's athletic ability is off the charts. Granted, he didn't have a ton of domination-type plays at Tennessee. But like Peppers, once he is coached up and gains more experience, Haynesworth could be a feared presence in the NFL.

5. San Diego Chargers -- Bryant McKinnie, OT, Miami (Fla.)
The Chargers need a left tackle to protect young quarterback Drew Brees, and McKinnie -- like Peppers -- has yet to play his best football. While he was not up to the consistent level of Orlando Pace, Jonathan Ogden or Tony Boselli at the college level, McKinnie could be as good as it gets in the NFL once he settles in and has a complete understanding of the position.

6. Dallas Cowboys -- *Donte Stallworth, WR, Tennessee
The Cowboys could use a big receiver like Stallworth, a talented, vertical-stretch receiver with ideal size and athleticism. Although wide receiver is not a critical need area because they have Joey Galloway and Rocket Ismail, Stallworth could help accentuate the skills of young quarterbacks Chad Hutchinson and Quincy Carter.

7. Minnesota Vikings -- *Roy Williams, S, Oklahoma
The Vikings need to fill both safety positions now that starters Orlando Thomas and Robert Griffith are gone. Williams would be a major upgrade and is a difference-making player.

8. Kansas City Chiefs -- Ryan Sims, DT, North Carolina
Defensive tackle is the Chiefs' No. 1 need area. Sims is a collapse-the-pocket type of defensive tackle with incredible lower-body strength. The Chiefs need a player who can command a double team, like Sims could.

9. Jacksonville Jaguars -- Mike Williams, OT, Texas
The Jaguars would be fortunate to still see Williams still on the board. They plan to move Maurice Williams to left tackle, and Mike Williams would fit in nicely at right tackle, his natural position at Texas. Then they would have the bookends they need.

10. Cincinnati Bengals -- Joey Harrington, QB, Oregon
Whether or not they pick Harrington depends on if they can acquire Drew Bledsoe through a trade. If they can, that eliminates Harrington as an option. If they can't, Harrington can be the franchise quarterback they have been searching for.

11. Indianapolis Colts -- *Phillip Buchanon, CB, Miami (Fla.)
Buchanon could work opposite Walt Harris, a free-agent pickup from Chicago. They could also be looking for a defensive tackle, but they need a big-time shutdown corner, which is what Buchanon projects to be. He really solidified his spot by running a 4.39 40 during his individual workout. His skills are similar to former Hurricane Duane Starks, who went 10th overall to Baltimore in 1999.

12. Arizona Cardinals -- Wendell Bryant, DT, Wisconsin
This pick remains unchanged from my last projection. After a solid, unspectacular senior year, where he was basically the only player up front that the opposition had to worry about, Bryant didn't attend any all-star games and didn't work out at the combine. But he had an outstanding individual workout. While the Cardinals are building a lethal offense, their defense is horrible. On paper, though, the Cardinals' defense has a chance to show some improvement. They added several quality players through the draft last year, and Bryant would continue their defensive upgrade.

13. New Orleans Saints -- Charles Grant, DE, Georgia
Grant has elevated his grade during workouts. Although he was inconsistent last season aside from a great game against Auburn, when he recorded five quarterback sacks and finished with 13 total tackles, he shows natural pass-rush ability. Remember, until the Saints signed David Sloan, I was projecting tight end Jeremy Shockey would go to New Orleans. The Saints lost defensive end Joe Johnson to Green Bay, which is why they need Grant, who could fit in immediately for Johnson. If Grant can gain the necesssary consistency, a Pro Bowl future awaits.

14. Tennessee Titans -- John Henderson, DT, Tennessee
This remains unchanged from the last projection. While his stock has dropped since the preseason, when he was projected to be one of the first three players taken in the draft, Henderson had a phenomenal junior year. His drop in productivity as a senior was a direct result of an ankle injury sustained early in the year. He's a local product who would solidify an area of concern for the Titans, who allowed Gary Walker to move on two years ago and just lost Jason Fisk in free agency.

15. New York Giants -- Levi Jones, OT, Arizona State
Jones would be the left tackle the Giants desperately need, even though they could look at tight end and take Shockey. Jones has been one of the fastest risers on the draft board. He had an outstanding year at left tackle for Arizona State. He built momentum at the Senior Bowl practices, where he was outstanding, consistently keeping defensive ends at bay. Jones also had a superior combine workout. He is the most athletic offensive tackle in the draft.

16. Cleveland Browns -- *T.J. Duckett, RB, Michigan State
Butch Davis reportedly showed a lot of interest in both Green and Duckett at the combine, and Duckett would be available at this spot to fill the Browns' running back need. Although he didn't run at the combine, he looked physically impressive.

17. Atlanta Falcons -- *Ashley Lelie, WR, Hawaii
I have wide receiver listed as the Falcons' biggest need area. Right now their starters would be Shawn Jefferson and Brian Finneran. Lelie would make a great deal of sense. A Michael Vick-to-Lelie tandem could strike fear in the hearts of opposing defensive coordinators.

18. Washington Redskins -- *Toniu Fonoti, OG, Nebraska
Unchanged from the last projection. The strength of the Redskins' offensive line is at the tackle spots, with Jon Jansen and Chris Samuels. They could use help at the guard spots, and Fonoti is a pure guard who specializes in the pancake block.

19. Denver Broncos -- *Jabar Gaffney, WR, Florida
Denver needs more weapons at the wide receiver position, especially with Ed McCaffrey coming back from a broken leg. Gaffney could be another fast playmaking receiver in coach Mike Shanahan's arsenal to go with Rod Smith, McCaffrey, 2001 draft pick Kevin Kasper and recently signed Rob Moore.

20. Seattle Seahawks -- Daniel Graham, TE, Colorado
Graham is the tight end they need for Trent Dilfer. Graham looked good at the Senior Bowl practices, where he was coached by Mike Holmgren. Graham was the No. 1 go-to option for the Buffaloes. He showed great hands and tremendous athleticism at the combine. He would provide Dilfer with a Shannon Sharpe type of natural pass-receiving tight end.

21. Oakland Raiders -- Napoleon Harris, OLB, Northwestern
Unchanged from the last projection. Linebacker is a need area for the Raiders, and Harris is without question the top linebacker in the draft. While his senior year wasn't up to the level expected, he was playing out of position at defensive end. As an outside linebacker in 2000, Harris was spectacular.

22. New York Jets -- Edward Reed, S, Miami (Fla.)
Neither starting safety, Damien Robinson or Sam Garnes, is an exciting option. Reed is one of the top pass-coverage safeties you will ever see, setting a Big East record with 21 career interceptions.

23. Oakland Raiders -- *Jeremy Shockey, TE, Miami (Fla.)
Even though they traded for Roland Williams a year ago, they still need help at tight end. I thought they could have considered Todd Heap a year ago. Shockey, who ran a 4.64 in the 40, would be a solid choice as an all-around, pass-catching tight end.

24. Baltimore Ravens -- Lito Sheppard, CB, Florida
If Harris is available, they could look to fill a need at linebacker. Otherwise, they could go with a corner like Sheppard, someone to play oppositie Chris McAlister. Sheppard checked in at 5-foot-10, 194 pounds at the combine and showed in 2000 that he was a blue-chip, big-play cover man.

25. New Orleans Saints -- *Reche Caldwell, WR, Florida
Unchanged from the last projection. The Saints received this pick from the Dolphins in the Ricky Williams trade. Receiver is a need position for the Saints, who don't know if free agent Willie Jackson will return. And Albert Connell was a huge disappointment last season. Caldwell turned in an excellent combine workout and would be an excellent complement to Joe Horn.

26. Philadelphia Eagles -- *William Green, RB, Boston College
If Green is available, he becomes a pick much like Deuce McAllister was for the Saints last year. I see Correll Buckhalter as more of a backup running back. While Green didn't have a great 40 time at the combine, his performance at Boston College speaks for itself. He's a potential big-time, feature back.

27. San Francisco 49ers -- *Mike Pearson, OT, Florida
I have offensive line listed as the No. 1 need area, mostly because Ray Brown, a Pro Bowler last season, is 39. Pearson could play left tackle and allow the 49ers to move Derrick Deese inside to guard.

28. Green Bay Packers -- *Antonio Bryant, WR, Pittsburgh
Unchanged from the last projection. While Terry Glenn has been added to the equation, Antonio Freeman could be cut loose and Bill Schroeder has signed with Detroit. Brett Favre is the Packers' difference-maker along with running back Ahman Green. Another receiver seems to be a necessary alternative. Bryant's stock dropped aftrer his subpar 40 time at the combine workout.

29. Chicago Bears -- *Dwight Freeney, DE, Syracuse
The Bears desperately need a sack artist off the edge. Freeney, who as a junior sacked Michael Vick 4½ times, is an awesome outside pass rusher with tremendous speed -- 4.38 in the 40.

30. Pittsburgh Steelers -- Lamont Thompson, S, Washington State
Unchanged from the last projection. The Steelers could use a challenger to former undrafted free agent Brent Alexander. While Roy Williams and Edward Reed get all the publicity at the safety spot, let's not forget that Thompson finished his career with 24 interceptions, three more than Reed.

31. St. Louis Rams -- *Josh Reed, WR, LSU
Unchanged from the last projection. Although Ricky Proehl signed a one-year deal to remain in St. Louis, Az-Zahir Hakim moved on to the Detroit Lions. The Rams could use Reed's natural pass-receiving skills and tremendous burst out of his break. As a former tailback, Reed is a real threat in the open field after the catch.

32. New England Patriots -- Kalimba Edwards, DE, South Carolina
The Patriots need a defensive end who can get after the quarterback, which is why Edwards, if he slid down that far, would be a good pick. Actually, had it not been for a late-season knee injury and a decent, not great, senior year, Edwards could have been a top-10 pick.
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