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This has to be a draftnik`s living room, because a tape of the Senior Bowl is replaying on a large-screen TV in the corner. Who else notices that game once, let alone encases it for further study? That`s like bronzing your worn-out sneakers.

Scattered on the couch are the reports of the big names in college senior sorting — Buchsbaum, Kiper.

In them are entries like, “Bobby Joe Rickets, 6-foot-6, 285 pounds. Time in the 40: 4.5. Bench Press: 540 pounds. Vertical Leap: 45 inches. Turn ons: A woman who can make him laugh. A real Charles Atlas body, with the potential to be a dominating defensive end. In seventh grade geography class, though, identified Pierre as the capital of North Dakota instead of South Dakota, so intelligence could be a drawback.“

There, in a room of raw data, were the extrapolations on a legal pad. That`s what we really came here for.

The draftnik had been doing homework and, with the NFL draft here, it was time to get a peek at the notes.

What might the Dolphins be able to get, picking 16th? What can a middling team do from the middle?

The draftnik goes to the legal pad, flipping through pages and crinkling a brow. Suggestions come with all do respect to Team Shula.

A FEW ARMCHAIR IDEAS

The rundown begins: “They need defensive line and offensive line. They need a little of everything.

“If they needed a linebacker, there`s Ken Harvey of California. I do like him. He`s a little undersized, but has great speed and hitting ability.

“On the offensive line, if (Michigan`s) John Elliott is gone, I like Eric Moore of Indiana.

“In the second round, I`d like Brad Edwards (safety) out of South Carolina. He had a fantastic game against Miami. And he`s a typical Shula player, smart, good instincts.“

There is every chance that the University of Miami`s Dan Stubbs will be on the board, almost begging to be taken, when the Dolphins line up for their first selection. A ferocious pass rushing defensive end with a streak of rebellion in him. You wonder how that sits with the draftnik.

Comes the answer, “He is a great pass rusher who probably won`t play a lot on first down. You have to figure if you can afford that. I think the pass rush is the thing. If you`ve got that, you can win.

“But… I don`t know. I don`t know if he fits in as the Dolphins` type.“ Scratch him.

Opinion is the draftnik`s heartbeat. Don`t interrupt it. The best thing to do is to throw open the floor and just listen.

PUTTING PLAYERS IN THEIR PLACE

On Florida quarterback Kerwin Bell: “I think he has a good enough arm, is tall enough and mobile enough. One minute he`s throwing the ball on the button, and the next minute he`s really erratic. A third-rounder.“

On Florida State quarterback Danny McManus: “Might be a good back-up for somebody. The kid`s a winner. I always go for the players with heart.“

On FSU linebacker Paul McGowan: “I love him. But the question is, is he beat up too much from all the punishment. He`ll have a tough time, but he`s the kind of guy I`d like to have in camp.“

On the Dolphins` draft history: “I think the past two years, it has gotten better. Look at (Troy) Stradford and (John) Offerdahl from the year before. After 1983, they went through a couple down years. I think they deviated from their formula. But it`s getting better.“

This and much more from the living room of Coral Springs housewife Connie Carberg.

Gotcha.

She was Connie Nicholas, daughter of the New York Jets team internist, when she first hooked on with the Jets as a receptionist in 1974. But her bubbling interest in judging players and her native feel for it convinced the Jets to make her the NFL`s first woman scout in 1976. Because the team owner resisted the idea of a woman on the road scouting, Carberg spent 1977-80 secluded in the Jets offices, grading films and interviewing potential draft choices.

After the 1980 season, she moved here with her husband and settled into a family role. Perhaps one day she`ll try to get back inside the game.

Now, her 5-year-old son walks into the room, sees another taped game on and sighs, “Not more football, mom.“

Now, a handyman pulls up in the circular drive in his pickup, dismounts, and before he is even in the door starts quizzing her on the draft prospects for Miami place-kicker Greg Cox.

Now, draft day is a housewive`s hobby.

April 24, 1988 | By STEVE HUMMER, Staff Columnist

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