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Insider

Barnes, Roth make first-round debut

4/6/2005

The NFL draft is less than a month away and draft boards all over the NFL are starting to take a clearer shape.

The battle for the No. 1 spot has taken another turn in my latest first-round projection with quarterback Aaron Rodgers trading on his California connection to get into the top spot, while Miami cornerback Antrel Rolle is back in the top 10 after falling slightly during his senior season.

In all, 23 schools are represented among the first 32 selections, including two apiece for Florida State, Georgia, Michigan, Texas and USC, while Auburn and Oklahoma each places three players in the first round. Nine defensive linemen, five defensive backs and five wide receivers are on the list, while three running backs, three offensive linemen, two quarterbacks, two linebackers and one tight end complete the positional breakdown.

And two new players make their debuts this week in my first-round projection: Washington offensive tackle Khalif Barnes and Iowa defensive end Matt Roth, who happened to have some tremendous one-on-one battles at the Senior Bowl.