1. New England Patriots (2-14)
The first major decision for new coach Bill Parcells will be whether to take a quarterback with the first pick or peddle the choice for a package of draft choices. If he keeps the pick, the decision is between Drew Bledsoe and Rick Mirer. In past years, the top pick has been signed before the draft, but Parcells says even his wife doesn't know which one he'll take. It could be she doesn't care. She still might be wondering why he gave up the Giants job two years ago, a move that has left him living alone in a Boston area hotel the past three months while making the transition to his new job.
2.Seattle Seahawks (2-14)
The Seahawks are desperate for a quarterback (Stan Gelbaugh is not the answer), and they're fortunate that there are two blue-chip quarterbacks in the draft and they've got the second pick. They want Bledsoe, but they'll settle for Mirer if Parcells takes Bledsoe.
3. New York Jets (4-12)
General manager Dick Steinberg has to decide whether to take a running back or a linebacker. Back in 1981, when Bum Phillips was in New Orleans, he took George Rogers over Lawrence Taylor. Now, Steinberg is debating whether to take linebacker Marvin Jones over running back Garrison Hearst. The Jets are apparently leaning toward Jones, who's supposed to be the next LT, as if one comes along each decade. The trouble is, Hearst might be much better than Rogers was.
4. Phoenix Cardinals (4-12)
The Cardinals have the makings of a good offense with Steve Beuerlein at quarterback and Gary Clark and Randal Hill at wide receiver. Now, they need a running back to complement them, and Hearst would fit the bill. They're keeping their fingers crossed the Jets will take Jones so they get Hearst. They're also worried that another team will trade up ahead of them to get
Hearst, so they may make a pre-emptive strike and try to trade up themselves. The Cardinals have three of the first 32 picks, their best drafting position in 30 years. They've also got the 20th pick on the first round (as compensation for Tim McDonald) and figure to go for an offensive lineman to block for Hearst. They also finally dumped George Boone as their scouting director and have turned the draft over to former Cowboys executive Bob Ackles. It could be a new day for the Cardinals, who need one.
5. Cincinnati Bengals (5-11)
The Bengals need help in both the defensive and offensive line and should have first pick at either position. That means it should come down to a choice between defensive lineman John Copeland or offensive tackle Willie Roaf, who could step in for Anthony Munoz. This will be a tough decision for the Bengals, who could decide to duck it by trading down for extra picks. Last year, they got an extra first-round choice from the Washington Redskins for moving down two spots.
6. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (5-11)
The Bucs could use a defensive lineman, a receiver and a safety, so they'll take a look at defensive linemen Eric Curry (if he's still on the board) and Dan Williams and wide receiver Curtis Conway. If the Bengals pass on Roaf, they'd also have to consider him. The Bucs also have a glaring need at quarterback because the Pittsburgh Steelers matched their offer for Neil O'Donnell. But Bledsoe and Mirer are the only two first-rounders at that position, so they can't help themselves there.
7. Chicago Bears (5-11)
Dave Wannstedt is a Jimmy Johnson protege, which means the Bears will stress speed. They need a linebacker, wide receiver, defensive lineman and tight end. If either Curry or Copeland last this long, the Bears could grab one of them. Otherwise, they'll probably go for Conway at wide receiver.
8. Detroit Lions (5-11)
The Lions need a pass rusher, and the New Orleans Saints are trying to trade them linebacker Pat Swilling for this pick. Last year, the Lions gave Swilling an offer sheet, but the Saints matched it rather than give him up for two No. 1 picks. If the Lions don't make the deal, they could go for defensive lineman Dan Williams or for Roaf if he's available.
9. New York Giants (6-10)
The Giants gave up their first-round pick this year to take quarterback Dave Brown in last year's supplemental draft. When they took Brown, they didn't dream they'd be drafting this high. But taking Brown still looks like a good move, because he's the team's quarterback of the future. This is the first time since 1975 the Giants haven't had a first-round pick. When they pick in the second round, they figure to go for a defensive lineman or a linebacker.
10. Atlanta Falcons (6-10)
The Falcons lost both starting guards on the free-agent market, so they are likely to take offensive lineman Lincoln Kennedy, who's apparently ahead of Roaf on their board. They'd also have to consider safety Patrick Bates, who'd help their secondary.
11. Los Angeles Rams (6-10)