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The NFL Draft Results Are Here
Bengals, Bucs Have Good Drafts; Jets Crash Again

Column by David Berl and Jeremy Cohen
Sports Columnists

This year, for the first time in the league's history, the NFL draft began on a Saturday, amidst reports that draft expert Mel "odrama" Kiper Jr. was suffering from a lack of weekend exposure. In case you missed the endless coverage, which featured Kiper's arrogant barbs, Chris Berman's bald spot, analysis of drug tests, interviews with agents more sleazy than Don King, and the yearly pouting of the hometown Jets fans, we in Mudville are happy to give you the winners and losers of the National Football League Selection Meeting.

Bold Team #1: Cincinnati Bengals. The Bengals were indeed bold, taking fledgling Carolina's top pick for an incredibly cheap price. While giving up just the fifth and 36th pick of the draft, the Bengals received the top pick and promptly chose the best running back to arrive in the NFL since Barry Sanders, Penn State's KiJana Carter. Carter's breakaway speed, powerful first step, escapability, and vision will make him a superstar and will lend instant credibility to the Bengals' offense by complementing a newly-found passing attack which features quarterback Jeff Blake and receivers Carl "Slim" Pickens and Darnay "Mas" Scott.

Bold Team #2: Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The usually hapless Bucs, who have not won six games in a season in over 10 years, may actually bring some victories to fans in the sombrero. Donning the clockwork-orange pants next year will be Warren "Tree" Sapp, who slipped to the 12th slot as a result of positive drug test results over the weekend.

Instead of Sapp at number seven, where the Bucs were originally slated to select, Sam "Why Ask" Wyche traded down to number 12 and gained a second-round pick in the transaction.

Along with adding Sapp, who was the most dominating defensive lineman in college football since Cortez Kennedy, the Bucs added punch to their previously porous defense by selecting Florida State linebacker Derrick "Babbling" Brooks, Kentucky safety Melvin Johnson, and Southern cornerback Jerry Wilson, all of whom will don the construction-like uniforms and bolster a defensive unit which had more potholes than Vassar Street.

Bold Team #3: San Francisco 49ers. As the saying goes, "the best never rest," and this is especially true of 49ers General Carmen "Foreign" Policy. Instead of remaining content with the best offense ever constructed, Policy boldly moved up in the first round to revamp an aging receiving corps with the selection of UCLA receiver J. J. Stokes "Theorem." Although Stokes was the third receiver selected, he will prove to be the second-best offensive player in the draft, after KiJana Carter. Stokes does not have the speed of Colorado and Ohio State receivers Michael "North by North" Westbrook and Joey "Hanging in the" Galloway, but his superior hands, size, and leaping ability will make the already potent 49ers offense even better.

Bold Team #4: Philadelphia Eagles. In an effort to revamp a pass rush that has been dormant since the loss of Jerome Brown to tragedy and Reggie White, Seth "I'm meaner than Jackie" Joyner, and Clyde "I exercise more than Richard" Simmons to free agency, the Eagles selected Boston College defensive end Mike Mamula. Mamula, who has limited size, is a ferocious defender, who plays with heart on every play and has a nose for the quarterback.

Then, to help replace Pro-Bowl cornerback Eric Allen, Ray Rhodes' team selected Notre Dame's Bobby Taylor, who fell further than even Mel "What should I do on the other 363 days of the year" Kiper had expected. With their remaining picks, the Eagles filled needs by nabbing Kansas State tackle Barrett "Still Babbling" Brooks and Miami wide receiver/trash-talker Chris "T is for Taunting" Jones.

Patriots also score

Several other clubs, including the Patriots, Cardinals, and Bears, had impressive drafts for which their respective war rooms should be commended. The Pats landed Michigan cornerback Ty "L.A." Law, Colorado linebacker Ted Johnson, and N.C. State cornerback Jimmy "Solve the Mystery" Hitchcock, who should help revamp Bill Parcells' defensive unit.

Buddy's Cardinals traded their first pick for Jets' receiver Rob "I in no way resemble Millard Fill-" Moore and filled an important hole by selecting Auburn game-breaker Frank Sanders.

Da Bears improved their meager offense by selecting Heisman Trophy winner Rashaan Salaam in the first round and sleeper Jack "Jack, Jack, Jack" Jackson in the fourth. Also, the Bears nabbed West Virginia punter Todd Sauerbrun, who threatens to knock the "G" off of the Goodyear Blimp with every ball-deflating kick.

Jets come up short - again

Unfortunately, some teams were less successful, as we see when we move on to

Wimpy Team #1: J-E-T-S-JETS, JETS, JETS. After trading their only dependable receiver for the 16th pick, the Jets had a chance to redeem themselves by either selecting J. J. Stokes or Warren Sapp.

However, Rich Kotite chose to fill the one hole his team did not have by choosing Penn State tight end Kyle Brady. Brady will become one of a "Bunch" of tight ends, the most talented of whom is future All-Pro Johnny Mitchell.

Meanwhile, the Jets have a combined total of 16 NFL receptions on their wideout corps, a void which will be filled by neither second-year anti-talent Ryan Yarborough nor rookie Tyrone Davis. This atrocious selection ranks among Kotite's all time worst - a major achievement considering the previous debacles with Leonard Renfro and Bruce Walker.

Wimpy Team #2: Minnesota Vikings. Although Dennis Green's Purple Monsters were lacking an interior defensive lineman, after the loss of nose tackle Henry Thomas, the club failed to select Sapp with the 11th pick. Instead, the Vikes opted for Florida State defensive end Derrick Alexander - a talented player, but not in the same league as Sapp.

Until the day before, Minnesota had ranked Sapp as the top defensive player in the draft, an opinion that changed due to the drug allegations against the Outland Trophy Winner. If Sapp corrects his problem (assuming the tests are indeed accurate), then the Vikings will have made a major mistake which will especially hurt them twice a year, when the Bucs are on their schedule.

The only legitimate reason for not selecting Sapp, in Mudville's view, would be to avoid slick agent Drew Rosenhaus, who could sell porch furniture to a Bangladeshi.

Wimpy Team #3: Cleveland Browns. After trading running back Eric Metcalf and losing defensive tackle Michael Dean Perry to free agency, the Browns had considerable needs to fill with the 10th pick. However, instead of opting for Sapp or Michigan running back Tyrone "Cream of" Wheatley, the Browns consummated the aformentioned deal with the 49ers, which was the club's second Mistake by the Lake.

Not even Brian Sipe's interception could compare to the stupidity exhibited by trading for the 30th selection and San Francisco's first-round pick next year (the last pick) in exchange for a player of Sapp's potential.

With the 30th selection, Bill Belichek selected Ohio State linebacker Craig "Lake" Powell, who figures to be overpowered by opponents' larger offensive linemen, rendering his considerable speed more useless than Art Modell's baby food.

Trivia

Kudos to John Rodkin '95, who was the first of eight readers who knew that Kurt Bevacqua hit a game winning home run in the 1984 World Series. This week's question comes from NFL drafts of years gone by: When the Denver Broncos traded for the right to select John Elway in 1983, what quarterback did the Baltimore Colts receive as part of the deal? Send answers to bell@mit.edu.