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Rams Get No.1 Pick, Want Orlando Pace

Fri., April 18, 1997

The team that brought back Dick Vermeil after a 15-year absence made another bold move Thursday when the St. Louis Rams acquired the first pick of the NFL draft from the New York Jets.

The Rams get the chance to select Ohio State offensive tackle Orlando Pace, considered the best lineman to come along in years. He would be the first offensive lineman chosen as the top pick since Ron Yary was taken by the Minnesota Vikings in 1968.

“He’s the No. 1 most dominant guy,” Vermeil said.

The Jets, expected to draft for defense on Saturday, get four draft picks in return: the Rams’ first-rounder, the sixth overall choice, as well as selections in the third, fourth and seventh rounds.

That makes up for the two picks - third- and fourth-rounders - that went to New England in return for coach Bill Parcells, who still had a one-year obligation to the Patriots.

Breaking a monthlong impasse two days before a critical deadline, Washington and New Orleans agreed to a deal that sends quarterback Heath Shuler to the Saints.

The Redskins received the Saints’ fifth-round draft pick in Saturday’s draft, plus a third-round selection in 1998, Washington general manager Charley Casserly said.

The Jacksonville Jaguars re-signed former Central Valley High School and University of Idaho kicker Mike Hollis, tight end Rich Griffith and defensive tackle Andre Davis. Hollis, 24, kicked 30 field goals in 36 attempts and was perfect on 27 extra-point attempts.

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