NFL Draft analysis: NFC Central

April 17, 2000

NFC Central

Chicago

Rd. No. Player Pos. College

1 9 Brian Urlacher LB New Mexico

2 39 Mike Brown S Nebraska, 3 69 Dez White WR Georgia Tech

3 87 Dustin Lyman TE Wake Forest

4 125 Reggie Austin DB Wake Forest

6 170 Frank Murphy RB Kansas State

6 174 Paul Edinger K Michigan State

7 223 James Cotton DE Ohio State

7 254 Mike Green DB N'western State

Pick to watch: WR Dez White -- On a team that likes to throw, White can fit right in immediately.

Analysis: The Bears thought they were going to have to choose between Plaxico Burress and Brian Urlacher in the first round. But the Steelers made the decision for them by taking Burress so Urlacher was the automatic choice; he should upgrade their defense. Since Gary Crowton's offense can never have too many wide receivers, the Bears came back for a receiver in the third round in White after taking defensive back Mike Brown in the second round.

Grade: B-

Detroit

Rd. No. Player Pos. College

1 20 Stockar McDougle OT Oklahoma, 2 50 Barrett Green LB West Virginia

3 81 Reuben Droughns RB Oregon

5 145 Todd Franz DB Tulsa

6 181 Quinton Reese DE Auburn, 7 253 Alfonso Boone DT Mt. S. Antonio JC

Pick to watch: RB Reuben Droughns -- The Lions had Droughns rated as a first-round talent despite his fumbling problem.

Analysis: The entire Lions team rushed for only 1,245 yards last year after Barry Sanders retired, so even though they signed James Stewart, they wanted to further improve their running game. They started out by grabbing the second best lineman, Stockar McDougle, in the first round and added Droughns in the third. The Lions went for defense in the second round by taking linebacker Barrett Green and then finished up their six-player draft with three more defensive players.

Grade: C+

Green Bay

Rd. No. Player Pos. College

1 14 Bubba Franks TE Miami

2 44 Chad Clifton OT Tennessee, 3 74 Steve Warren DT Nebraska

4 98 Na'il Diggs LB Ohio State

4 114 Anthony Lucas WR Arkansas, 4 126 Gary Berry DB Ohio State

5 149 Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila DE San Diego State, 5 151 Joey Jamison KR Texas Southern, 7 224 Mark Tauscher OT Wisconsin , 7 229 Ron Moore DT N'western Okla.

7 242 Charles Lee WR Central Florida, 7 249 Eugene McCaslin LB Florida, 7 252 Rondell Mealey RB LSU

Pick to watch: TE Bubba Franks -- He'll be groomed to become the new Mark Chmura.

Analysis: Even before Chmura faced sexual assault charges, there were questions about his ability to play again because of his neck injury. Chmura's uncertain status made Franks an obvious choice in the first round. They waited until the fourth round to address their need at wide receiver.

Grade: C

Minnesota

Rd. No. Player Pos. College

1 25 Chris Hovan DT Boston College, 2 55 Fred Robbins DT Wake Forest

2 56 Michael Boireau DE Miami

3 88 Doug Chapman RB Marshall, 4 106 Antonio Wilson LB Tex. A&M-Comm.

4 118 Tyrone Carter DB Minnesota

5 165 Troy Walters WR Stanford

7 240 Mike Malano C San Diego State, 7 244 Giles Cole TE Texas A&M-Kings.

7 248 Lewis Kelly G S. Carolina State

Pick to watch: DT Chris Hovan -- The Vikings are desperate for help on defense, so he has to play right away.

Analysis: After bombing on Dimitrius Underwood last year, coach Dennis Green didn't gamble this time. He made the safe choice by selecting Hovan in the first round. The Vikings are so thin on defense that they took linemen in the next two rounds, but Michael Boireau was a reach in the third round. Even he was surprised to go that high. That's typical of Green, who reaches too often.

Grade: C

Tampa Bay

Rd. No. Player Pos. College, 2 51 Cosey Coleman G Tennessee, 3 90 Nate Webster LB Miami, 5 157 James Whalen TE Kentucky, 6 193 David Gibson DB So. California

7 234 Joe Hamilton QB Georgia Tech

Pick to watch: LB Nate Webster -- His off-the-field problems made him an unusual gamble for Tony Dungy.

Analysis: The trade for Keyshawn Johnson made this a great draft for the Bucs. Getting him for the 13th and 27th picks was the best move of this draft. He should jump-start the Bucs' anemic passing game. They added a guard in Cosey Coleman and then pulled a surprise in the third round by drafting linebacker Nate Webster, the latest in the long line of Miami (Fla.) problem players. It's unusual for Dungy, a no-nonsense coach, to take a chance on a player who's had various off-the-field problems.

Grade: B+

Draft analysis The NFL draft analysis was compiled by Sun staff writer Vito Stellino.

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