Others: DT Nick Eason (Clemson), DE Dewayne White (Louisville), DE Tully Banta-Cain (California), DE Alonzo Jackson(Florida State), DT Ken King (Alabama), DT Jarret Johnson(Alabama), DT Matt Walters (Miami), DT Dan Klecko (Temple), DE Kindal Moorehead(Alabama), DE Andrew Williams (Miami), DE Jamaal Green (Miami), DT Eric Manning (Oregon State), DT Rashad Moore (Tennessee), DE Shurron Pierson (South Florida), DT Matt Leonard (Stanford), DT Ian Scott (Florida), DT Colin Cole (Iowa), DE Omari Hand (Tennessee), DE Charles Alston (Bowie State).
Rising: Penn State tackle Anthony Adams is just 5-feet-11 3/8, and 299 pounds, and is a noticeably short-armed defender. But his recent workouts have pushed him into a solid first-day choice and he could go as high as the second round now. Adams plays with great pad level, tenacity and leverage, a pesky guy who is usually around the ball. Florida end Clint Mitchell has experienced some off-field problems but, at nearly 6-feet-7, and with lots of room to add tonnage to his long frame, is a likely first day choice. Oregon State tackle James Lee moves well for a 325-pounder, displayed very good quickness at the combine, and could be a good find for a team willing to be patient with him for a year or two.
Declining: Oklahoma end Jimmy Wilkerson probably made a judgment error in deciding to bypass his senior season and enter this year's draft. A solid player, he clearly needed another season to mature, and he will be hurt by the strong pool of defensive linemen in this draft. There is promise here but Wilkerson might have been a high-round pick in 2004, and he might not go off the board this year until the second day.
Intriguing: In the past three seasons, Boston College end Antonio Garay has missed 24 games with knee, ankle and neck injuries. But at 6-feet-3 ¾ and 295 pounds, he has been clocked in the low 4.9s and some teams are really coming on to him. Garay had five sacks before fracturing his ankle last season and, in terms of pure athleticism, ranks among the elite players in the defensive line pool. The team that takes him could end up with a real steal or with skyrocketing health insurance premiums. San Diego State end Akbar Gbaja-Biamila, the brother of Green Bay's celebrated Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila, has good size but lacks the explosive nature of his older sibling. But there's just enough of a flicker there, along with the bloodlines, to get him drafted, probably on the second day. End Antwan Peek of Cincinnati can't be an every-down player, at least not at 246 pounds, but the guy can run and chase people. Most important, he gets after the quarterback, as noted by his 18 ½ sacks the past two years. He may not be able to make transition to linebacker but might be a third-down end.
Sleepers: End Osi Umenyiora of Troy State didn't even starting playing football until his junior year of high school. Before that, he was a soccer star. But for a team looking for a pet project, this could be the guy, given his size (6-feet-3 ¼, 278 pounds) and speed (4.68). Umenyiora had 16 sacks in 2002, and added 20 ½ tackles for losses and an amazing 43 hurries. Some team is going to take him earlier than expected. End Jacques Cesaire of Southern Connecticut State has a big motor, runs well, makes plays, and will at least make someone's practice squad as a rookie.
Notable: Alabama could supply three prospects in end Kindal Moorehead and tackles Kenny King and Jarret Johnson. . . . Tackle Dan Klecko of Temple is the son of former New York Jets star nose tackle Joe Klecko. . . . Clemson tackle Nick Eason played each of the last two years as a graduate student, having earned his sociology degree in the summer of 2001. . . . Miami end Jerome McDougle is the brother of Detroit Lions offensive lineman Stockar McDougle, a first-round choice in the 2000 draft. . . . South Carolina nose tackle Langston Moore was a starting offensive guard before switching to the defensive side of the ball two years ago. . . . Ty Warren, a tackle from Texas, is the nephew of former Indianapolis Colts tailback Curtis Dickey. . . . Boston College end Antonio Garay competed in the NCAA wrestling championships.
Position trend: Looking for a defensive lineman with great quickness and viable NFL potential? You could do worse than to head to Coral Gables, Fla., and the campus of the University of Miami. There could be five linemen from Miami - ends Jerome McDougle, Andrew Williams, Jamaal Green and Cornelius Green, and tackle William Joseph - chosen in the '03 draft. If all five are drafted, it will be a record for the number of defensive line prospects produced by one school in a draft.