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Old 05-24-2004   #1
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Join Date: May 2004
Location: Houston
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Default Evaluating the 2001 draft

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Best first-round picks: Atlanta (Michael Vick), San Diego (LaDamian Tomlinson), San Francisco (Andre Carter), New England (Richard Seymour), Arizona (Leonard Davis), Jacksonville (Marcus Stroud), Seattle (Koren Robinson and Steve Hutchinson), New York Jets (Santana Moss), Pittsburgh (Casey Hampton), St. Louis (Adam Archuleta), Buffalo (Nate Clements), N.Y. Giants (Will Allen), New Orleans (Deuce McAllister), Minnesota (Michael Bennett), Baltimore (Todd Heap).

Best second-round picks: Bengals WR Chad Johnson (offense) and Carolina DT Kris Jenkins (defense). Runner-ups were Steelers LB Kendrell Bell (defense) and Bills RB Travis Henry (offense).

Without commenting on whether I agree with all the evaluations in the article, I think this should remind us how difficult it is to compete in only our third year. A lot of people think that the Jags have an improved team this year and that Leftwich has gotten off to a good start. Well, the Jags had Fred Taylor, Jimmy Smits and a pair of defensive tackles drafted in the first round (one is mentioned above). Better weapons than Carr had his first year.

Particularly in a salary cap regime, it's helpful to have guys in their third and fourth years. Typically, they have some experience and haven't earned their big free agent contracts yet. By definition, our fourth year players are players that other teams have been prepared to part with.

How would a Casey Hampton; Kendrell Bell; Kris Jenkins; etc. look as a Texan.
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