Top 5 picks will make an immediate impact
Coming up on April 26 and 27 is the much-anticipated NFL Draft. This year's lot is full of raw talent and is stocked full of franchise quarterbacks. Draft headliners include DC's own quarterback Byron Leftwich, Heisman trophy winning quarterback Carson Palmer, and stud defensive end Terrell Suggs. These three are locks to be in the top five picks of the draft.
The first pick of the 2003 draft will be University of Southern Cal's Palmer. Palmer had a superb senior season and is just what the Bengal's need to get out of the NFL cellar. The Bengal's were 2-14 last year and inconsistency at the quarterback position led to a lot of their downfall. One can assume with new defensive mastermind Marvin Lewis as head coach that the Bengal's will have a decent defense.
Offensively they could scoop two key weapons with their first two picks. Palmer who I believe will be there starter by game six and they could pick up a second round sleeper like wide receiver Teyo Johnson from Stanford. Johnson's a 6'5, 240 pound wide out, with hands, size, and leaping ability. He is a master of the fade to the back of the end zone for seven.
The Bengal's could have a top 10 defense and Palmer, pro bowl running back Corey Dillon, the 3rd pick of the 2000 draft Peter Warrick and Johnson at receiver. Not this season but not to many down the road the Bengal's may be somewhat competitive again.
Michigan State's Charles Rogers will go to Detroit for the second pick of the draft. He's a hometown superstar who had an outstanding senior year and is just what the Lion's need, a speedster opposite Az Hakim. The lions will have speed like NASCAR at wide out.
They could also use a solid outside linebacker like a Boss Bailey from Georgia, but I doubt he'll slip to the second round. Defensively they were ranked 31st last season, but they have upgraded the cornerback position by signing Dre Bly from the Rams, and have a promising defensive line led by veteran defensive end Robert Porshe. With a good 2nd round outside linebacker pick they could have a 10- 20th ranked defense. Offensively the team will take a while to gel. They need an upgrade at running back because James Stewart is an inconsistent, injury plagued, over paid bum.
After a dismal inaugural season the Houston Texans are in desperate need of a solid defensive playmaker. Arizona States Terrell Suggs is the premiere defensive player in this years draft and is a great fit in Houston. The Texans have a great franchise quarterback in David Carr, a slew of capable running backs, and an offensive line that once Tony Boselli is at 100 percent will be formidable. They could use help at wide receiver but a great catch like Florida's Taylor Jacobs will probably be around in the second round.
Defensively the Texans suck and could use a super pass rushing end, which Suggs is. Suggs was an All State running back in high school, averaging 7.6 yards a carry and totaling 26 touchdowns his senior season. Because of his running back duties in high school he's like a wild cheetah on the defensive side of the ball. He led the nation in sacks his junior year at ASU with 24 quarterback corals and would be a prize acquisition for Texans.
The Chicago Bears need a solid quarterback, pass rushing defensive lineman and a shutdown defensive back. Chi-town won't be a football town for a good longtime. The Bears will pick Leftwich with the fourth pick and develop him as a starter.
Leftwich in my eyes is the best quarterback in the draft. He combines size and strength like non other. His mobility is questioned a lot and his knee injury during his senior season did not help his cause at all. However he has had impressive workouts and is not nearly as immobile as his 6'5 241 pound frame would suggest. On short yardage situations he can be just as lethal as dare I say Daunte Culpepper.
Last season running back Anthony Thomas, nicknamed the A-Train, derailed and had a horrible sophomore slump. If he picks up his game this year, and wide receivers David Terrell and Mary Booker keep up there level of play offensively the Bears may be a force. Defensively they are losing a lot of weapons from the front 7 and the secondary is not nearly as capable as it may seem. With only one true playmaker in Mike Brown the Bears D is lacking this year. Brian Urlacher is still on the up curve of his career and it's amazing to think that he could be better this year than he was last.
To close out the top five picks will be the Dallas Cowboys. The Cowboys are going to be contenders this year. As much as I dislike the silver and blue, they will be a force in the NFC East. With new head coach Bill Parcel's in control, and the 5th pick in the draft the Cowboys are looking for a quick return to prominence.
The road to success as with all Bill Parcel's teams starts at the line of scrimmage. The Cowboys line needs serious help. The acquired Texans tackle Ryan Young but the group is still shallow and not very talented. The best player available at that time will be Kansas State's superstar cornerback Terrance Newman, but I doubt Parcel's picks him over Utah's tackle Jordan Gross.
Gross is the best tackle in the draft and comes out of college with exceptional hands, light feet, and superior athleticism. While playing at Utah he has not seen the best competition available, but he is still considered at the top of his class. The Cowboys must address their line problem before they can fix anything else.
In the second round the Cowboys will probably be able to pick up a quality running back like Miami's Willis McGahee and maybe former Pittsburgh quarterback Kordell Stewart through free agency. The boys will be competitive this year because Coach Parcel's will not let them fall to the pits of the NFC.
The top five picks of this years draft will all be big time stars within three years. Palmer will be starting midway through the season, Rogers, Suggs, Leftwich, and Gross will all start right away. All of these studs are the future of their respective futile NFL franchises. The Bengal's and the Cowboys will make the biggest turn around. Cincinnati will play .500 plus football next season. Could the Bengal's even make it into the playoffs…naw not just yet, but in a few seasons' the black and orange will be like the St Louis Rams of 2000.
Calvin Anderson. Calvin Anderson was born in Washington D.C. on January 3rd 1986. He now lives with his mom in Takoma Park Maryland. Calvin is the man behind the infamous column Cal's Call. In addition to writing his column he enjoys playing sports including lacrosse and basketball … More »