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NFL Draft Preview Capsules

April 23, 2005|Sam Farmer

* Hello: Brian Allen, LB (CAR); Santana Moss (NYJ); David Patten, WR (NE); Pierson Priorleau, S (BUF); Casey Rabach, C (BAL).

* Goodbye: Laveranues Coles (NYJ); Ola Kimrin, K (TEN); Antonio Pierce, LB (NYG); Fred Smoot, CB (MIN).

* Strategy: Thanks to a trade with Denver, Washington has two first-round picks -- Nos. 9 and 25 -- then only three more picks the rest of the draft, all in the final four rounds. The Redskins are in dire need of help at cornerback and don't want to be pushed into starting Walt Harris, who is coming off serious knee surgery. If they can get him, they'd like to grab Adam "Pac Man" Jones.

* Prospects they're eyeing: CB Adam "Pac Man" Jones (West Virginia); WR Mike Williams (USC), Mark Clayton (Oklahoma), Troy Williamson (South Carolina).

*

NFC North

*--* GREEN BAY (10-6)

*--*

* Areas of need: QB, FS, DT, G, SS, CB.

* Hello: Todd Franz, DB (WAS); Matt O'Dwyer, G (TB); Ray Thompson, LB (AZ).

* Goodbye: Michael Hawthorne, DB (STL); Bhawoh Jue, SS (SD); Marco Rivera, G (DAL); Darren Sharper, S (MIN); Mike Wahle, G (CAR).

* Strategy: The Packers, who have won three consecutive NFC North titles, have lost three key players in guards Rivera and Wahle, and safety Sharper. They're unlikely to fill all those needs in the draft, but they can try. This also could be the year the Packers use an early pick to groom a successor to Brett Favre, possibly Akron's Charlie Frye, who has the size and toughness NFL scouts like.

* Prospects they're eyeing: QB Charlie Frye (Akron), Jason Campbell (Auburn); G Marcus Johnson (Mississippi), David Baas (Michigan).

*--* MINNESOTA (8-8)

*--*

* Areas of need: FS, WR, K, OLB, CB.

* Hello: Brad Johnson, QB (TB); Darren Sharper, S (GB); Fred Smoot, CB (WAS); Travis Taylor, WR (BAL); Pat Wiggins, DT (BUF).

* Goodbye: Chris Claiborne, LB (STL); Gus Frerotte, QB (MIA); Chris Hovan, DT (TB); Randy Moss (OAK); Brian Russell, S (CLE).

* Strategy: The Moss era is over in Minnesota, and the Vikings have some holes to fill. Good thing they have two picks in the first round, Nos. 7 and 18. The Vikings are in good position to land former USC receiver Mike Williams. They've filled a lot of needs through free agency, although they could still use a good outside linebacker. And don't be surprised if they reach for a running back with their first pick, especially if one of the top three is on the board.

* Prospects they're eyeing: WR Mike Williams (USC), Troy Williamson (South Carolina), Mark Clayton (Oklahoma); OLB/DE Shawne Merriman (Maryland); LB Derrick Johnson (Texas).

*--* DETROIT (6-10)

*--*

* Areas of need: WR, T, DE, TE, OLB.

* Hello: Rick DeMulling, G (IND); Jeff Garcia, QB (CLE); Kenoy Kennedy, S (DEN); Marcus Pollard, TE (IND); Jamel White, RB (BAL); Kevin Johnson, WR (BAL).

* Goodbye: Stephen Alexander, TE (DEN); Roderick Babers, CB (TB); Stockar McDougle, OT (MIA); Mike McMahon, QB (PHI).

* Strategy: It's hard to believe the Lions would use their first pick on a wide receiver for a third consecutive year, but it could happen, especially with Charles Rogers coming off an injury. More likely, though, Matt Millen will reach for a defensive player, specifically a speed rusher who could come off the edge and get in the faces of opposing quarterbacks.

* Prospects they're eyeing: DE/OLB Derrick Johnson (Texas), Marcus Spears (LSU); T Alex Barron (Florida State); WR Mike Williams (USC), Troy Williamson (South Carolina).

*--* CHICAGO (5-11)

*--*

* Areas of need: WR, RB, QB, OLB, TE.

* Hello: Eddie Berlin, WR (TEN); Roberto Garza, G (ATL); Fred Miller, T (TEN); Muhsin Muhammad, WR (CAR).

* Goodbye: Jonathan Quinn, QB; David Terrell, WR (NE).

* Strategy: The Bears need lots of help on offense, but they would like to trade down out of the No. 4 spot, if possible. That's an awfully expensive place to pick in such a so-so draft. If they can't, they might want to take running back Cedric Benson, who could challenge Thomas Jones for the starting job. One of the premier receivers is also an option.

* Prospects they're eyeing: WR Braylon Edwards (Michigan), Mike Williams (USC), Troy Williamson (South Carolina); RB Cedric Benson (Texas), Ronnie Brown (Auburn); Carnell Williams (Auburn).

*

AFC West

*--* SAN DIEGO(12-4)

*--*

* Areas of need: WR, FS, DE, DT, CB.

* Hello: Bhawoh Jue, S (GB).

* Goodbye: Tim Dwight, WR/KR (NE); Doug Flutie, QB; Jason Fisk, DT (CLE).

* Strategy: Thanks to their trade of Eli Manning last year, the Chargers have two first-round picks -- Nos. 12 and 28. They're in good position to improve their receiving corps and maybe pick up a pass-rushing defensive end. In recent years, the Chargers have used their top picks to improve their secondary. That's not as much a priority this year.

* Prospects they're eyeing: WR Mike Williams (USC), Troy Williamson (South Carolina); DE Shawn Merriman (Maryland), Marcus Spears (LSU), James Erasmus (Wisconsin).

*--* DENVER(10-6)

*--*

* Areas of need: CB, G, T, WR, FS.

* Hello: Stephen Alexander, TE (DET); Keith Burns, LB (TB); Ron Dayne, RB (NYG); Ian Gold, LB (TB).

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