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Sunday Hopefuls

By Bryan Rosenbaum and Chris Reimer
Arizona Daily Wildcat
April 15, 1999
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Arizona Daily Wildcat

Senior cornerback Chris McAlister (11) shuts down Cougar wide receiver Jerry Roquemore (89) last season at Arizona Stadium. ESPN expert draft analyst Mel Kiper is predicting McAlister will be chosen by the Minnesota Vikings as the 11th pick in the first round during Saturday's NFL draft.

The 1999 NFL Draft takes place Saturday and Sunday in New York. Many UA students will be watching to see who their favorite team picks, but none will have more interest than the following UA football players. [Picture]

Kelvin Eafon, RB

Draft projection - late-round, most likely a free agent.
1998 stats - 572 rushing yards, led team with 16 TDs.
Strengths - Tough and aggressive, plays with a lot of heart. NFL coaches like him because he is a big back and can play special teams. Could be a fifth RB or special teams player.
Weaknesses - Neither a true halfback nor a true fullback. Emotion sometimes gets the best of him. Doesn't have that elusive speed.
RB coach Jeff Woodruff - "Kelvin was a great leader for us. He's a great physical player who can lead the way. He's a true big back." [Picture]

Mike Lucky, TE

Draft projection - middle-round.
1998 stats - 11 catches, 142 yards.
Strengths - Great size, big target, underrated hands, strong blocker.
Weaknesses - Not very quick and lacks lower-body explosive power.
Head coach Dick Tomey - "Mike has worked really hard and is such a dominant blocker. He will play on Sundays possibly as a second or third tight end or even an offensive lineman." [Picture]

Chris McAlister, CB

Draft projection - No. 2 CB in draft, high first round.
1998 stats - Led team with five interceptions, plus two in the Holiday Bowl. Returned a punt, kickoff and interception for a TD. 34 tackles. First-team All American.
Strengths - Great athletic ability and good size. Ran a 4.38 on grass, best out of all cornerbacks. Excellent cover man, could return kicks and a team player.
Weaknesses - none
Tomey - "I have never seen a cornerback that was more of a complete player. Coming back for his senior season benefited Chris greatly and will have a tremendous financial impact for him." [Picture]

Jeremy McDaniel, WR

Draft projection - middle-round.
1998 stats - 58 receptions, 916 yards, led team with nine receiving TDs. Second-team All-Pac-10.
Strengths - Hands, good size, goes across the middle.
Weaknesses - Scouts question speed, durability.
WR coach Rob Ianello - "Some scouts have called him the best blocking receiver in the draft." [Picture]

Edwin Mulitalo, OT

Draft projection - middle- to late-round. Stock is rising.
1998 stats - Second-team All-Pac-10.
Strengths - Size, blocking and durability.
Weaknesses - Can slide only one way, sometimes looks off-balanced.
Tomey - "Edwin gave us maturity on the offensive line and a work ethic that was contagious throughout the team. Since the end of the season, he has dropped 30 pounds and improved his 40-yard dash times." [Picture]

Yusuf Scott, OG

Draft projection - middle- to late-round.
1998 stats - 102 pancake blocks, 1998 First-team All-Pac-10 and second-team All-American.
Strengths - Size, quick for his body, finishes blocks well, improved every year.
Weaknesses - Could have used another year, had a disappointing combine.
OL coach Charlie Dickey - "Everybody likes Yusuf. He's a great player to coach, has a great attitude, one of the best O-lineman we've had here."

Other possible free agents-

Paul Shields, FB - "He will get a shot to play on Sundays as a multi-position player." -Tomey
Daniel Greer, DL - "Has made progress in the offseason, and if he doesn't get a chance to play on Sundays, he'll get a chance to play in Canada." - Tomey

Picking the NFL Draft

The Daily Wildcat's projections for the first round of Saturday's NFL Draft:

Team                      Pick          Comment
1. Cleveland       Akili Smith, QB, Oregon Arm strength and speed get him the nod 
2. Philadelphia    Tim Couch, QB, Kentucky Couch's arm lowered his status
3. Cincinnati      Donovan McNabb, QB, Syracuse McNabb is a leader, something Cincy needs
4. Indianapolis    Ricky Williams, RB, Texas Could be traded; leaves Faulk on the block
5. Washington      Champ Bailey, CB, Georgia Versatile CB/WR is in the Darrell Green mold
6. St. Louis       Edgerrin James, RB, Miami  Rams need a healthy running back badly
7. Chicago         Chris Claiborne, LB, USC Only if McNabb is gone
8. Arizona         John Tait, OT, BYU Unless Claiborne is around, Cards need an OL
9. Detroit         Jevon Kearse, LB/DE, Virginia  Kearse had a great Peach Bowl, combine 
10. Baltimore      Torry Holt, WR, N.C. State Holt one of three great receivers in draft
11. Minnesota      Chris McAlister, CB, Arizona If drafted by Vikes, starts immediately
12. New Orleans    Cade McNown, QB, UCLA Offering their entire draft to trade up for Williams
13. Pittsburgh     David Boston, WR, Ohio St. Steelers need a WR to fill in for the ones who left 
14. Kansas City    Anthony McFarland, DT, LSU Kearse and McFarland are top DTs in draft
15. Tampa Bay      Daunte Culpepper, QB, Cent. Florida Will sit a few years, like McNair did
16. Tennessee      Ebenezer Ekuban, DE, UNC Titans need some help on DL
17. Seattle        Aaron Gibson, OT/OG, Wisconsin Seahawks may get a WR to help Galloway
18. Oakland        Andy Katzenmoyer, LB, Ohio St. The Big Kat helps Raider run defense
19. N.Y. Giants    Lamar King, DE, Saginaw Valley St. King is an unknown, like Michael Strahan 
20. New England    L.J. Shelton, OT, Eastern Michigan Pats need a RB more, might draft up/down
21. Arizona        Troy Edwards, WR, Louisiana Tech Edwards is a big play WR
22. Dallas         Peerless Price, WR, Tennessee Stock has dropped, but still a big game WR
23. Buffalo        Antoine Winfield, CB, Ohio St. Thorpe Award winner is what Bills need
24. Miami          Cecil Collins, RB, LSU Could trade, but Johnson loves draft picks
25. Green Bay      Fernando Bryant, CB, Alabama Packers need help at CB
26. Jacksonville   Patrick Kerney, DE, Virginia Run defense has collapsed in past playoffs
27. San Francisco  Kris Farris, OT, UCLA 49ers like homegrown guys, but could get QB
28. New England    Kevin Faulk, RB, LSU With Edwards possibly out for good, Pats need RB 
29. Minnesota      Reggie McGrew, DT, Florida Good run stopper, will help against good backs
30. Atlanta        Solomon Page, OT, West Virginia Dirty Birds need to block more for Anderson
31. Denver         Jon Jansen, OT, Michigan He'll wait for playing time, has bright future