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2007 NFL Draft Analysis - Round One

CollegeFootballNews.com
Posted Apr 28, 2007


Who went where and how good are each of the draft picks? Pete Fiutak analyzes and breaks down every pick of the 2007 NFL Draft from a collegiate perspective, including the newest Oakland Raider, JaMarcus Russell.


By Pete Fiutak

- 2007 NFL Draft Breakdown and Analysis
2nd Round
| 3rd Round | 4th Round | 5th Round | 6th Round | 7th Round

  ROUND 1

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Pick Team
1 1 Oakland   JaMarcus Russell, QB LSU – If he doesn’t have the best arm in the history of organized football, he’s in the team photo. A physical specimen at 6-6 and 260 pounds, he’s mobile, can’t be brought down with just one man, and can flick his wrist and put the ball on a 35-yard line when on the move. He still needs work on his mechanics and he still has to prove he can be a good decision maker under pressure, but in a few years, he could be special if he wants to work for it.
2 2 Detroit     Calvin Johnson, WR Georgia Tech – The best all-around prospect in the draft with almost no negatives, he’s 6-5, 235 pounds, and runs a 4.4. He has it all, and that includes the right attitude and mental makeup. Don’t expect Chad Johnson or Terrell Owens; he’s not going stir any pots or call attention to himself. If you’re looking for the pimple on the beauty queen, while he’s a true football player and a great competitor, does he have the Johnson/Owens fire that’ll demand the ball like a top number one receiver? He didn’t always have it at Georgia Tech when he went through stretches where he didn’t do much (partly due to having Reggie Ball at quarterback). Then again, it’s not like Marvin Harrison is going to be hosting The Tonight Show any time soon.
3 3 Cleveland   Joe Thomas, OT Wisconsin – A near perfect tackle prospect, he’s an athletic big man with a great heart, toughness, and the type of attitude that every team wants; he takes it extremely personally when he misses on a play. He’s a phenomenal pass blocker, a steamroller for the running game, and can get downfield to make big plays home runs. He could stand to get bigger and is more of a technician than a killer, but he’ll be a rock on the line for ten years.
4 4 Tampa Bay   Gaines Adams, DE Clemson – He has it all with good size, a tremendous burst, and excellent strength against the run … for the most part. He’s a do-it-all defender when he wants to be. Will he be consistent? He turns it on when he has to and will make the spectacular play to make the highlight reels, but he’ll disappear for long stretches and isn’t exactly what you’d call a gym rat type of player. However, with his pass rushing skills, he has the potential to be dominant if the coaching staff can light a fire under him for a full 16 games.
5 5 Arizona   Levi Brown, OT Penn State – While Joe Thomas is everyone’s top tackle prospect, Brown is closer behind than you might think. He’s not nearly as athletic as the former Badger star, but he’s bigger and plays like it. Incredibly smart and intense, all he’s missing is a bit better overall technique. His footwork will keep him from being a superstar, but he’ll be a rock.
6 6 Washington   LaRon Landry, S LSU – A sure-thing, he started for four years at LSU and was a top player right off the bat. Smart, tough, and extremely fast, he’s an extraordinary playmaker who can cover like a corner, but he’ll need to work on making more on making a play when the ball is in the air. It’s actually a slight negative that he covers like a corner.
7 7 Minnesota   Adrian Peterson, RB Oklahoma – A jaw-dropping physical specimen, he’s built like a linebacker with sub-4.4 speed. He might run a bit too high, will be open to getting hit by monster shots, and might be too physical and too competitive for his own good, but he’s the ultimate gamer, a workhorse who demands the ball in crunch time as well as in garbage time, and has the cutting ability of a much smaller, more compact player. One of the rare players in college football history who could’ve turned pro right out of college and been a starter from day one, and that’s a problem. Now he’s worn down and banged up a bit. If he stays healthy, everyone might look back and wonder why he wasn’t the number one pick in the draft.
8 8 Atlanta (from Houston)   Jamaal Anderson, DE Arkansas – One of the hottest prospects after the season ended, he cooled off a bit after workouts. With great size, tremendous athleticism and natural pass rushing skills, he has the potential to be a Pro Bowl star with a little more work. He needs to work on his overall pass rushing technique, but he should eventually destroy the slower NFL offensive tackles. Tremendous upside, but it might take a year or three.
9 9 Miami    Ted Ginn, Jr., WR Ohio State – Can he actually play wide receiver? He’s one of the fastest players in the draft and a heck of a return man, but he was only above-average as a pass catcher at Ohio State. He’ll be great when he gets in the open field, but he might not get there too often. Bigger, physical defensive backs will shove him all over the place. While he might emerge as a dangerous deep threat in time, he’s not Joey Galloway or Terry Glenn.
10 10 Houston (from Atlanta)   Amobi Okoye, DT Louisville – The youngster quickly became the hot prospect in post-season workouts showing off great athleticism with an unlimited upside. He still needs plenty of work and needs to get stronger, but in time, he could become something special if he bulks up and doesn’t lose his speed.
11 11 San Francisco   Patrick Willis, LB Ole Miss – A high-character tackling machine who’s tough enough to play inside and fast enough to star outside. He’s everything you want in a linebacker attitude-wise with most of his mistakes coming when he tries too hard and is too aggressive. He’s tough as nails and the type of defender you build a defense around.
12 12 Buffalo   Marshawn Lynch, RB California – He’s not the sure-thing many are going to want him to be. In a lousy year for running backs, he’s everyone’s number two behind Adrian Peterson with great speed, tremendously cutting ability, and is a good blocker. Is he a workhorse? When he’s gotten significant carries, he’s been banged up. He’ll have “wow’ games when he tears off big plays and cranks out big numbers, but don’t expect him to do it for a full 16-game season.
13 13 St. Louis   Adam Carriker, DE/DT Nebraska – He quickly became the hot prospect once the season ended. Eventually, he’ll be up to close to 300 pounds with tremendous quickness on the end or inside as a tough tackle. He won’t be moved against the run and will work himself into a solid pro. He might be the safest defensive pick in the draft.          
14 14 N.Y. Jets (from Carolina)   Darrelle Revis, CB Pitt – He’s just not fast enough. He’s fast, but he’s not a blazer and will get blown past by a disciplined route runner with great quickness. Great in run support and very physical, his game will be about jamming receivers early and knocking them out of their rhythm. He worked out better than he actually is.
15 15 Pittsburgh   Lawrence Timmons, LB Florida State – Not nearly as big as originally listed by FSU, but he’s strong, has nice athleticism, and is fantastic in pass coverage at either outside linebacker spot. He’s still a bit of a work in progress needing to work on his overall technique and football savvy, but he’s a great prospect who should quickly become a difference maker.
16 16 Green Bay   Justin Harrell, DT Tennessee – One of the best values in the draft, he’s a top ten-caliber pick who dripped because of question marks about his health suffering a torn biceps early on last year. When he’s right, he’s a quick, strong defender who can play almost anywhere on the line and can be an anchor who takes on two blockers at a time. That’s if he stays healthy.
17 17 Denver (from Jacksonville)  Jarvis Moss, DE/LB Florida – A true tweener able to play outside linebacker of end, he’s a high energy defender who just makes plays. He’s always on the move and always flying around; there’s no worry about getting him motivated. He’s going to struggle against the run if he’s a full-time end and should be at his best as a linebacker.
18 18 Cincinnati   Leon Hall, CB Michigan – A phenomenal athlete who looks like a natural in coverage. He stops and starts on a dime, makes plays when the ball is in the air with great adjustments, and is a good one-on-one, lockdown defender who’ll shut down average receivers. However, he doesn’t have enough raw speed to be an elite NFL corner and got beaten up by Ted Ginn and Dwayne Jarrett late in the year. Overrated, even though he slid.
19 19 Tennessee   Michael Griffin, S Texas – While he makes a ton of tackles and was a great stat-sheet defender, he isn’t the best pure cover safety but he’s a blow-him-up hitter and an intimidating force. He has decent size and runs like a corner with tremendous upside as long as he doesn’t have to be the star of the secondary. Not always a sure tackler, he goes for the kill shot a bit too often. An amazing special teamer, he’s great at blocking kicks.
20 20 N.Y. Giants   Aaron Ross, CB Texas – The Thorpe Award winner as the nation’s best defensive back, he was a great playmaker and a terrific stat sheet filler, but the Longhorn secondary got torched way too often last year and he struggled at times on deep balls. He’s not a pure athlete and is more like a safety playing corner at an NFL level despite his great speed. He’s great at fighting for the football and breaking plays, but can he do the same things against bigger, stronger pro receivers? The jury’s still out.
21 21 Jacksonville (from Denver)   Reggie Nelson, S Florida – A tremendous athlete who makes plays all over the field with unbelievable range and cover ability. He basically erased the Ohio State receivers in the national title game. While he’s not going to deliver the huge hit, he’ll get there and make the play. If needed he can move over to cornerback from time to time, but he projects to be a dream free safety.
22 22 Cleveland (from Dallas)   Brady Quinn, QB Notre Dame – Groomed as the next big thing under the tutelage of Charlie Weis, Quinn’s been under the microscope for the last two seasons. He was such a hot prospect, considered the number one overall pick for most of last year, everyone’s worked hard to knock him down a peg. “He can’t win the big game” is the big issue, but he had absolutely no time whatsoever to operate behind an awful offensive line. Despite having to rush every throw and getting hit way too often, he still threw 32 touchdown passes and seven interceptions. Look at the UCLA game this year. Hit all game long, the offense went into max protection and he rallied the Irish to the win. He has the size, the arm, the experience, and the ability to play under pressure. In other words, he’s an NFL quarterback.
23 23 Kansas City   Dwayne Bowe, WR LSU – One of the hot all-around prospects as soon as the season ended, Bowe is a big, physical receiver who can make the big play and catch the deep ball. While he’s not polished and could use a little coaching, he does everything well, and that includes blocking. Don’t expect him to be Terrell Owens with the ball in his hands on the move, but he’ll hit more than his share of home runs.
24 24 New England (from Seattle)   Brandon Meriweather, S Miami – Phenomenal speed and range, great at getting to the ball in a hurry and does a little of everything well. He’s not huge and could stand to hit and play bigger, but he’s versatile enough, and good enough in space, to play several different safety spots and be a star. He tackles better than his wiry frame might indicate. He’s not the bad guy or a low character player he’s been made out to be.
25 25 Carolina (from N.Y. Jets)   Jon Beason, LB Miami – While he’s not all that big and not lightning fast, he’s tremendously quick and strong enough to occasionally play inside if needed. He’s a good tackler, but he’s not great at getting into the backfield and has to learn how to become better in pass coverage. Basically, he’s one of the best of an average outside linebacker lot.
26 26 Dallas (from Philadelphia)  Anthony Spencer, DE/LB Purdue – Spencer went from a good prospect to a must-have defender after doing a little of everything well last year. He couldn’t be kept out of the backfield, was tremendous against the run, and showed off the athleticism that makes him so attractive as either a big outside linebacker or a decent-sized end.
27 27 New Orleans    Robert Meachem, WR Tennessee – A yards-after-the-catch receiver who made Erik Ainge look great last season, he’s great on the move and as fluid as anyone in the draft. He’s a natural athlete, but he might have trouble when he gets pushed around by the more physical NFL defensive backs. He’ll be better on the inside than the outside.
28 28 San Francisco (from New England)   Joe Staley, OT Central Michigan – The most athletic tackle in the draft, he’s a beefed up tight end who might just be scratching the surface on how good he can become. He’s still learning to play up to his size and will get ripped apart by the more athletic ends for a while. While he needs work, he’s got a huge ceiling.
29 29 Baltimore   Ben Grubbs, OG Auburn – Every team wants him but no one wanted to pay an early pick for a pure guard. He has tackle athleticism and is a polished all-around blocker, even if he could become a bit tougher in the running game (at least for NFL types). His athleticism alone should keep him in the league for a decade.
30 30 San Diego   Craig Davis, WR LSU – A tremendous athlete with size and speed, he has the potential to be the great receiver value pick in the draft. Don’t be shocked if he turns into a number one target faster than fellow Tiger Dwayne Bowe does. He’ll work his way into a great pro.
31 31 Chicago  Greg Olsen, TE Miami – Neck-and-neck with Arizona State’s Zach Miller for the number one tight end prospect after the season ended, the debate was over after Olsen ripped off a 4.45 40. He’s a great athlete and a better receiver than he was able to show in the shockingly average Miami passing attack. He’ll quickly become a go-to target with his great route running ability and soft hands. What he won’t do much of is block; he needs to get stronger.
32 32 Indianapolis   Anthony Gonzalez, WR Ohio State – Almost as overrated as fellow Buckeye, Ted Ginn, Gonzalez has the speed, he has the quickness, and he has the hands. Now he has to prove the national title game against Florida was a fluke. With Ginn out, Gonzalez became the number one receiver and was never, ever, ever able to get open. Love him as a number three, hate him as a number two.

 - 2007 NFL Draft Breakdown and Analysis
2nd Round
| 3rd Round | 4th Round | 5th Round | 6th Round | 7th Round