Originally created 04/17/99

Chavous steps behind mike to assess NFL draft



Once again Corey Chavous has himself prepared for the NFL draft.

This time around, the Silver Bluff product isn't a walking bundle of nerves. Instead of fretting over where he'll be taken, he can speculate on the future destinations of college football's top talent.

The Arizona Cardinals cornerback has followed the NFL draft since 1983. As a hobby, Chavous cross-references the specific needs each team has with what's available in the draft.

Radio station KLIF 570 AM of Dallas approached Chavous in the season opener with the Cowboys with the idea of handicapping the 1999 draft. He joins hosts Norm Hitzges and Rick Gosselin of The Dallas Morning News in New York this weekend to give commentary on the draft.

"Keeping up with the draft is something I've always had an infatuation with," Chavous said.

KLIF will have insider information on two of the drafts entrants. D'Wayne Bates of Northwestern was a teammate of Chavous at Silver Bluff High School. Cousin and former Vanderbilt teammate, Fred Vinson, played for North Augusta.

Chavous said both local products are "solid second-rounders" who could sneak into the bottom of the first round. He described Bates as a physical receiver with deceptive speed.

According to one general, Bates has the softest hands in the draft, Chavous said.

"He has the concentration to make plays," Chavous said of Bates. "He attacks the ball in the air."

Vinson's big-game mentality is one of his strengths, Chavous said. His long arms and cat-like movement make him a solid cover man.

"He's a great bump-and-run corner," Chavous said. "Fred may be the best cornerback in the draft."

Last year, the Augusta area had three draftees selected. Former Washington County teammates Robert Edwards (New England) and Takeo Spikes (Cincinnati) were taken in the first round while Chavous was taken in the second.

Jimmy DeButts can be reached at 706-823-3221.