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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Troubled Phillips Top Question on NFL Draft Day

WASHINGTON -- On the one hand, there is this about Lawrence Phillips: A one-game suspension in 1993 for a fight with a Nebraska teammate; misdemeanor charges stemming from his allegedly grabbing a male student from another college around the neck in 1994, charges that were dropped after he agreed to pay $400 in damages; a plea of no contest to misdemeanor assault and trespassing in 1995 after allegedly dragging his former girlfriend down a flight of stairs.


On the other hand, there is this about Lawrence Phillips: 3,102 yards rushing and 34 touchdowns in his three-year college career; probable contention for the Heisman Trophy last season had he not been suspended for seven games for the assault-and-trespassing incident.


With the National Football League entry draft starting Saturday, pro teams must weigh the prospect of Phillips's anger resurfacing against the chance that his extraordinary ability might well lead them to glory.


He is expected to be among the top half-dozen players chosen.


The Baltimore Ravens, who have the fourth overall pick, have indicated interest. Director of football operations Ozzie Newsome, owner Art Modell and coach Ted Marchibroda had a three-hour dinner with Phillips last week in Baltimore.


"I was impressed with him, subject to further review," which probably includes a report from the NFL's security division, Modell said.


In his only recent public comments, the 5-foot-11, 225-pound Phillips said last week in St. Louis: "I don't think there will be any reoccurrence. I feel pretty comfortable about my anger and the way I'm going to control myself."


Among the other players expected to go near the top are:


?Wide receiver Keyshawn Johnson of USC. Fast, physical and intimidating.


?Tight end Rickey Dudley of Ohio State. Six-feet-6, 248 pounds and wide-receiver type speed.


?Offensive tackle Jonathan Ogden, UCLA. The prototypical player at the position most responsible for protecting the quarterback.


?Defensive end Simeon Rice of Illinois. The Big Ten's all-time sack leader, he was being touted as the No. 1 overall pick last season until he fell asleep against Penn State.


?Outside linebacker Kevin Hardy, Rice's teammate at Illinois. Perfect linebacker size at 6-4, 245. (WP, LAT)