Tampa Bay Coach Leeman Bennett said yesterday that, barring a last-minute trade, the Buccaneers will use the first pick in the NFL draft April 29 to take Heisman Trophy winner Bo Jackson, the Auburn running back.

"We're in agreement with all the scouting combines that Bo Jackson is the best player in the country," Bennett said. "Since he is the No. 1 player and we have the No. 1 pick, he would be our choice."

Bennett said the Buccaneers will entertain trade offers for Jackson from other NFL clubs. However, he said it would take two quality players with NFL experience and a first-round draft choice to get the top pick.

Bennett said Jackson is the best running back prospect since O.J. Simpson in 1969. "And I think Bo is faster than Simpson and catches the ball better," he said . . .

The U.S. Football League argued that the NFL had exceeded the limits of an antitrust exemption granted by Congress 25 years ago, thus a federal judge should declare the USFL winner in its $1.3 billion suit without a trial.

USFL attorney Harvey Myerson urged U.S. District Judge Peter Leisure to grant the 4-year-old league's motion for summary judgment because the older league was violating the antitrust laws by "tying up" the three national television networks with contracts . . .

A group headed by former U.S. Transportation Secretary Drew Lewis has agreed to buy a minority interest in the New England Patriots and take an option to buy full control in three years, the team announced.