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2008 NFL Draft Analysis - Round Two
California WR DeSean Jackson
California WR DeSean Jackson
CollegeFootballNews.com
Posted Apr 25, 2008


Who went where in Round Two of the 2008 NFL Draft? From the collegiate perspective, here are the breakdowns of every pick for every team.

2008 NFL Draft - Second Round

- 2008 NFL Draft Breakdown and Analysis
1st Round
| 3rd Round | 4th Round | 5th Round | 6th Round | 7th Round 

  ROUND 2
# Pick Team
1 32 Miami      Phillip Merling, DE Clemson
The upside is limitless if a coaching staff is willing to be patient and will work with him on becoming a more refined pass rusher. He's great at getting to the quarterback and creating pressure, but he needs to become a better closer, which likely would've happened if he had stayed for his senior season. With excellent size, he can be a near-perfect end in a 4-3 and has the quickness to grow into a top pass rusher in a 3-4. Always working and always on, he never dogs a play and is always going full-tilt. While he was hurt and wasn't able to work out as expected this off-season, that only got some teams excited about the possibility to get him on the cheap. There's no real downside, and he could become special in a few years.
CFN Projection: First Round    CFN Position Rank:
2
2 33 St. Louis    Donnie Avery, WR Houston
A slight disappointment at the Combine, he was fast, but he didn't put up the blazing sub-4.4 time expected. That could be seen as a slight positive; that means he just played really, really fast. He's a gamebreaker and a polished deep runner who can blow by any corner who doesn't get a jam right away. He'll have to work on some basic mechanics and his hands are questionable, but he's not pretending to be the next Wes Welker; he's a long-ball hitter.
CFN Projection: Mid-Second to Third Round   CFN Position Rank: 13
3 34 Washington (from Tampa Bay)     Devin Thomas, WR Michigan State
One of the biggest boom-or-bust picks of the draft, Thomas only produced for one year after coming to MSU from the JUCO ranks. He has decent size, excellent speed, and great moves in the open field. In a draft full of NFL No. 2 receivers, Thomas is the one who could be a No. 1 if everything works out. He has the make-up, the deep speed, and the toughness to revolve a passing game around. However, and it's a huge however, he needs the right coaching and a lot of breaking in. He might not be ready to star right away, he'll need some polish to his route running and he needs to prove he can handle the responsibility of being the guy, but the sky's the limit.
CFN Projection: Late First to Second Round     CFN Position Rank: 3
4 35 Kansas City    Brandon Flowers, CB/FS Virginia Tech
Flowers grew into a big-time ball-hawker over his last two years at Virginia Tech breaking up 35 passes and picking off eight throws. A great tackler who seems to crave the assignment of facing a top-flight receiver, he has a safety hitting mentality in the body of a brash corner. His problem is his speed; he doesn't have much. In a draft with so many speed corners, running a 4.59 makes him no better than several linebackers. He'll eventually have to be moved to safety.
CFN Projection: Second Round to Third Round    CFN Position Rank:
5
5 36 Green Bay (from NY Jets)  Jordy Nelson, WR Kansas State
Ultra-productive in his senior year no matter who covered him or what any defense tried to do, Nelson blew up into an unstoppable machine any time he touched the ball. While he's not going to blow past anyone and he's not as physical as his size might show, but he has functional speed and can separate when needed. Outside of a serious injury, there's no bust potential whatsoever. He plays hurt, has nice hands, and can be used in a variety of ways. He'll have a ten-year career as a complimentary receiver. If he goes to a team with a star No. 1, he'll be outstanding.
CFN Projection: Second To Third Round    CFN Position Rank: 4
6 37 Atlanta    Curtis Lofton, ILB Oklahoma
A tremendous inside presence, the 243-pound playmaker is a consistent big-hitter who's great when the spotlight goes on. The best pure inside linebacker in the draft, Lofton plays better than his athleticism because he always knows what he's doing and has great anticipation. While he might not be able to run down too many speedsters, he takes good enough angles to overcome his lack of raw speed. He's a flat-out baller.
CFN Projection:
Second Round   CFN Position Rank: 4
7 38 Seattle (from Baltimore)    John Carlson, TE Notre Dame
A mega-flop in off-season workouts after being considered by many to be the top tight end prospect after the season ended, he made up for a disastrous Combine with a decent pro day workout to get back in the overall picture. Even so, he still timed relatively slow and he's just not strong enough to be a dominant blocker. On the plus side, he's big, smart, and can catch the ball easily. After slipping in everyone's rankings, he should bounce back to become a steady starters.
CFN Projection: Late Second Round   CFN Position Rank: 4
8 39 San Francisco    Chilo Rachal, OG USC
He could've used another year in school, leaving early due to family medical issues, but he's just fine as a guard prospect if he's allowed a little time to develop. He'll have problems against quicker linemen and isn't a great pass protector, but he has good size and nice power for the ground game. If he has to be nimble and has to get on the move in a finesse offense, he won't fit. Ask him to hit someone over and over again on a second half drive and he'll get the job done.
CFN Projection: Third Round   CFN Position Rank: 2
9 40 New Orleans   Tracy Porter, CB Indiana
Arguably the best corner in the Big Ten that no one paid any attention to, Porter was a great three-and-a-half year starter with nice 4.49 speed and good shut-down ability. He made a lot of tackles, including 83 last season, but he's not the best run stopper and he'll get shoved around by the bigger, stronger receivers. He should be a nice second corner and a tremendous third man in the mix.
CFN Projection: Third Round   CFN Position Rank:
13
10 41 Buffalo   James Hardy, WR Indiana
The receiver call of the draft. A total mellonhead at times in his Indiana career, he had a variety of off-the-field issues early in his career, and while he's supposedly a changed man, there will always be that question mark. However, most star NFL receivers haven't exactly been choir boys. Hardy isn't going to blaze past anyone and will have problems when matched up against a physical lock-down corner, but at 6-6 and 215 pounds with tremendous leaping skills and a nose for the end zone, he could be a killer goal line option on jump ball. More than anything else, he made plays. There's no projecting on what his could do, like a Limas Sweed; Hardy produced.
CFN Projection: Second Round   CFN Position Rank: 2
11 42 Denver   Eddie Royal, WR Virginia Tech
An attractive prospect because of his return ability as much as his receiving skills, he never really blew up as a college target, but that was because Virginia Tech wasn't exactly Texas Tech when it came to throwing the ball. He has good speed, but not elite wheels, and he's not big enough to take any sort of a pounding across the middle. He'll bust his tail to find a role somewhere and could eventually become a nice option in the slot. He'll be an underwhelming No. 2 but a great No. 3
CFN Projection: Mid-Third to Fourth Round    CFN Position Rank:
14
12 43 Minnesota (from Philadelphia)    Tyrell Johnson, SS Arkansas State
Kind of like a critically acclaimed underground movie that's finally getting a wide release, Johnson goes from being a star that most college football junkies knew about for the last four years to a possible big-value selection. A tremendous starter from day one, Johnson can do it all with 363 career tackles and 13 interceptions to go along with good leadership skills. Forget about the stigma of playing in the Sun Belt; he showed up against the big boys, too. A huge hitter with fantastic speed, timing a 4.44 at the Combine, he just needs a little bit of coaching to put it all together and be a possible star. He'll be an instant impact player
CFN Projection: Second Round    CFN Position Rank: 2
13 44 Chicago    Matt Forte, RB Tulane
Forte is the back for those who believe breakaway speed is overrated. After all, how many backs tear off 40-yard runs? Forte doesn't have great straight-line speed, but he's a strong inside runner who was extremely dependable last season rushing for 2,127 yards and 23 touchdowns for the Green Wave. A big runner who pounds away, he's a positive carry every time he touches the ball. If you're looking for a thrilling back who'll make the highlight reel, that's not Forte. If you're looking for a steady, dependable all-around back who can catch, pound, and work his tail off, that's Forte.
CFN Projection: Third Round    CFN Position Rank: 9
14 45 Detroit     Jordon Dizon, LB Colorado
An undersized, ultra-productive tackler who came up with a whopping 297 stops, most of them solo, over the last two seasons. He's always working, has a tremendous motor, and finds his way to the ball over and over again. He's a good athlete, but he's not an elite one and it'll be asking a lot to hold up in a 16-game schedule at just 5-11 and 229 pounds. He plays through everything, including dehydration issues, and he'll have to prove he can handle the duties on the outside, but he'll be a major-league producer in the right system.
CFN Projection: Third to Fourth Round     CFN Position Rank: 8
15 46 Cincinnati   Jerome Simpson, WR Coastal Carolina
With great hands, good enough size, and O.K. speed, he looks the part of a regular starting NFL receiver. A little too thin and not a polished or disciplined route runner, he's hardly a sure-thing and he'll need a lot of coaching and work. However, there's upside. He'll work to be better and he'll make plays with the ball in his hands, but he's not going to be a deep threat and he's not going to carry anyone's passing game. He'll be a sure-handed third down target who could quickly become a quarterback's best friend.
CFN Projection: Mid-Third to Fourth Round    CFN Position Rank: 15
16 47 Philadelphia (from Minnesota)     Trevor Laws, DT Notre Dame
112 tackles as a senior. For a tackle. Again, 112 tackles in one season. While he's not necessarily a tackle to build a defense around, he has the drive and the fire to become a bear of a starter and a phenomenal second interior option next to a bigger established starter. Very active and with a great motor, he can be used in a variety of ways and will still produce. At only six-feet tall, he's a bit of a bowling ball and he isn't a good interior pass rusher, but he'll make plays and will always keep working.
CFN Projection: Second Round     CFN Position Rank: 3
17 48 Washington (from Atlanta)   Fred Davis, TE USC
While he timed well, he has been underwhelming in post-season workouts and hasn't stood out like many assumed he would considering he was the Mackey Award winner. For all intents and purposes he was the USC passing game last season with a great 63-catch, eight touchdown season and he can be plugged right in and can roll from day one. He's not huge and he's not going to dominate anyone with his blocking skills, but he's a big receiver who could blow up in the right system.
CFN Projection: Second Round     CFN Position Rank: 2
18 49 Philadelphia     DeSean Jackson, WR California
If you're asking Jackson to be a star target to revolve an NFL offense around, he's not going to be it. If you're asking him to go deep five times a game to clear out the safeties and have a gaudy yard-per-catch average, he's your guy. Make him a No. 2 or No. 3 target against a relatively slow defensive back and he'll hit home run after home run. The problem is his size. He's never going to be big, he's always going to be too thin, and he's not going to be a smallish physical receiver, like a Steve Smith. Banged up at times, he was a major disappointment in 2007; he didn't make the Cal offense better. Still, his blinding speed and electrifying return skills make him a fun weapon to have in the arsenal.
CFN Projection: Late First to Second Round     CFN Position Rank:
8
19 50 Arizona      Calais Campbell, DE Miami
Potentially the boom or bust pick in the draft, Campbell has freakish size at close to 6-8 and 290 pounds. While he's not fast, he's a good athlete who has functional football speed with the ability to chase down ball-carriers. Ultra-productive, did it all his sophomore year with a whopping 84 tackles and 20.5 tackles for loss, and while his numbers dipped a bit last year, he still had a nice season. However, he's raw. He disappeared at times against the better tackles and he has to learn how to play like the biggest, baddest end around. Don't expect a Pro Bowl rookie season, but by year three he could end up being the best defensive lineman in this draft.
CFN Projection: Late First Round to Early Second Round    CFN Position Rank: 5
20 51 Washington    Malcolm Kelly, WR Oklahoma
While Kelly has the look of a No. 1 receiver and he should grow into the role, he has a ceiling. A hard one. Without the high-end speed needed to be a star, he'll have to use his great size to be a physical target who outjumps and outmuscles his way for the ball. He's tough, isn't afraid to take a shot or two, and can make some moves in the open field, but he could potentially be shut down cold by the fastest NFL corners. He still needs a little bit of coaching to improve his technique and there's a knee injury that's a bit of a concern, but if someone can light the fire, he'll be the steadiest, surest receiver prospect. He just might not be the most spectacular.
CFN Projection: Late First Round    CFN Position Rank:
1
21 52 Jacksonville (from Tampa Bay)   Quentin Groves, OLB/DE Auburn
Groves is a textbook example of how lazy scouts can be. He came back for his senior year and was a bit of a disappointment, which led to him getting downgraded. Lost in the analysis by many was how Groves tried to play through dislocated toes, not just a toe, along with a shoulder. If used right, he's going to be a devastating pro with tremendous speed to be a perfect 3-4 outside linebacker/defensive end. He needs to turn up the intensity and he could get more physical against the run, but he's the type of toy defensive coordinators love to play with.
CFN Projection: Second Round    CFN Position Rank: 5 (as a LB)
22 53 Pittsburgh    Limas Sweed, WR Texas
Outside of the wrist injury that cost him most of last year, he has it all. Tremendous size, good enough speed, and fantastic athleticism, he looks the part of a receiver to build a passing game around. He's not a receiver to build a passing game around. Too streaky and not a dominant player at any time at the collegiate level, he was simply above-average, never special. To compare him to a similar sized Longhorn receiver, Sweed isn't as fast as Roy Williams and isn't even in the same league when it comes to home run hitting potential. He'll work his tail off and will be a very productive ten-year pro, but while there's no real downside, it'll take a special set of circumstances to be a star.
CFN Projection: Late First to Second Round   CFN Position Rank: 7
23 54 Tennessee   Jason Jones, DE/DT Eastern Michigan
An interesting prospect who could pay off big with a little time, Jones was a quick, undersized tackle at EMU who was great at getting into the backfield. He's actually more of an oversized end at 6-5 and 275 pounds with excellent speed and versatility. If he wants it and will work for it, he'll have the chance to grow into a steady starter.
CFN Projection: Late Third Round to Early Fourth Round     CFN Position Rank:
10 (as a DE)
24 55 Baltimore (from Seattle)  Ray Rice, RB Rutgers
It all depends on how much of a chance someone is willing to give him. Rice has a lot of tread on the tires. A LOT. On the plus side, he proved he could handle a big workload and was ultra-durable. However, if you're a believer that a back only has so many carries in him, the 935 total touches in three years at Rutgers might mean a short shelf live. Who cares about five years from now? For the next few seasons, Rice could turn into a productive, consistent runner at a high level if he's allowed to pound away. His size, around 5-8, could be a positive as he'll dart in and out of the line behind his big blockers. Much faster than he looked on the field, he has the speed to hit the home run, but that's just gravy. He'll be a consistent positive-yardage machine if he's a featured back for a stretch. He's not the type to get a few carries here and there; he'll need a few series here and there.
CFN Projection: Late Second Round   CFN Position Rank: 6
25 56 Green Bay    Brian Brohm, QB Louisville
The brother of former New York Jet Jeff Brohm was groomed to be a pro passer. He's as NFL ready as any quarterback prospect having been a star for his entire career. The pressure was on from day one to produce, and he did. He's not the greatest athlete and his arm is just average, but he can make the throws needed. The big issue will be his durability. While he's an abnormally quick healer, he suffered a few major injuries throughout his career and can't be counted on for a full 16-game NFL slate. He took his lumps in a disappointing senior season, at least for Louisville, and that could be a good thing; he never quit on his team during a dud year.
CFN Projection: Late First Round   CFN Position Rank: 2
26 57 Miami   Chad Henne, QB Michigan
With the right coaching and a little bit of time to fine-tune his arm and his mechanics, he could turn out to be a steal. Strong with a gun of an arm, he can make any throw and can drive the ball to any spot needed at a high NFL level, but he needs time to throw and he needs a good line to work behind. He's not going to move too much and he needs to step up and fire or else his accuracy wavers; he's not going to make anything happen on his own. He could become another Matt Schaub who sits behind someone for a little while and builds a big buzz before getting a big payday in the free agency market.
CFN Projection: Late Second Round   CFN Position Rank: 3
27 58 Tampa Bay (from Jacksonville)  Dexter Jackson, WR Appalachian State
Unreal speed, he cranked out a 4.36 to build on the brewing buzz building after the Michigan win. Stronger and more physical than his size, he won't be afraid to take a hit and is more than quick enough to avoid tacklers on the move. Just get him the ball in a variety of ways and let him go to work. The problem will be his size at 5-9 and 182 pounds. He's not going to block anyone and he'll get shoved around by the stronger NFL corners. Even so, he'll be a killer slot receiver if he's not the focal point of a passing game.
CFN Projection: Mid-Second to Third Round    CFN Position Rank:
10
28 59 Indianapolis   Mike Pollak, C/OG Arizona State
Able to play center or guard the big, strong anchor of the Arizona State line is great on the move and is the type of player who'll be plugged into a lineup and won't leave for ten years. It's not his fault the Sun Devil line had such a lousy year in pass protection. While he's not a brutish run blocker and isn't going to flatten too many defenders at the pro level, he can be a dependable cog in a finesse attack.
CFN Projection: Third Round   CFN Position Rank:
1
29 60 Green Bay   Patrick Lee, CB Auburn
With great speed and excellent size, he looks the part of a top-flight corner and he's not afraid to play like it both against the run and when the ball is in the air. He'll do whatever is needed and is a very willing worker who'll try to do whatever is needed to help the team. He only started for one year and he needs time to learn how to be an elite corner, but it's all there for him if someone is willing to be a little bit patient.
CFN Projection: Second Round to Third Round   CFN Position Rank: 12
30 61 Dallas   Martellus Bennett, TE Texas A&M
A big, imposing target, even if he's a big thin on a 6-6 frame, Bennett looks like an NFL tight end. Athletic with the moves of a big receiver, he's smooth and strong when the ball comes his way. He's not all that fast and he needs to prove he can produce at a high level after being underutilized at A&M, but the former basketball player could be another Antonio Gates if he reaches his potential.
CFN Projection: Late Second Round     CFN Position Rank: 3
31 62 New England   Terrence Wheatley, CB Colorado
While he's not all that big at just 5-9 and 187 pounds, he hits like a much bigger player and has elite speed. Because of his size he'll have injury problems, and missed all of 2005 with a wrist injury, but he's not going to stop hitting and he should play a role in some was as a nickelback or as a No. 2 cover-corner. As long as he knows what his role is and doesn't try to be something he's not, he should last in the league a long time.
CFN Projection: Fourth Round   CFN Position Rank:
16
32 63 NY Giants  Terrell Thomas, CB USC
Strong with good size and good quickness, he's a good form corner who isn't afraid to take chances, for good and bad, and isn't afraid to hit. While he's not a blazer, he's able to keep up with the speedier receivers and can bully the smallish ones. He's had injury problems and he doesn't have the talent to be a No. 1 NFL corner, but he'd be a good two and he could end up moving to safety as his career goes on.
CFN Projection: Third Round   CFN Position Rank: 15

- 2008 NFL Draft Breakdown and Analysis
1st Round
| 3rd Round | 4th Round | 5th Round | 6th Round | 7th Round