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Vikings, Saints working overtime

this is a discussion within the Saints Community Forum; By Todd McShay Scouts Inc. Archive Former Virginia Tech quarterback Marcus Vick made headline news when he received an invitation to attend Dolphins camp. However, Vick did not even rank among the best prospects overlooked during the 2006 NFL draft. ...

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Old 05-06-2006, 04:24 PM   #1
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Vikings, Saints working overtime

By Todd McShay
Scouts Inc.

Former Virginia Tech quarterback Marcus Vick made headline news when he received an invitation to attend Dolphins camp. However, Vick did not even rank among the best prospects overlooked during the 2006 NFL draft. The following is a breakdown of the top-10 players on my board still available follwing the draft, and where they've subsequently signed as free agents:

1. Charles Gordon, DC/RS, Kansas -- Minnesota Vikings
Gordon should simply be considered an "athlete", rather than labeled as a receiver or cornerback. He seemed far more comfortable at the wide receiver position in college, but might have more upside at cornerback in the NFL. Regardless, it was his marginal 40-yard dash times that kept him from being drafted. If the Vikings give him the proper coaching and time to develop, Gordon could emerge as a good sub-package cornerback and punt return specialist.

2. Brian Iwuh, DS/OLB, Colorado -- Jacksonville Jaguars
Iwuh isn't an ideal fit at either safety or linebacker, so it's unlikely he ever becomes a fulltime starter in the NFL. However, he has the versatility to line up as a nickel linebacker or situational run-stuffing safety. He also has the athletic ability, burst and tenacity to make an immediate impact on special teams. As a result, it won't be surprising to see Iwuh earn a roster spot for the Jaguars.

3. Eric Henderson, DE, Georgia Tech -- Cincinnati Bengals
Injuries hampered Henderson throughout his collegiate career and caused him to go undrafted. He also lacks ideal height and has room to improve in terms of his lower body strength and ability to anchor versus the run. However, Henderson's outstanding athletic ability, instincts, upper-body power and motor make him an intriguing free agent to monitor in training camp this summer. If Henderson can kick the injury bug and reach his full potential, the Bengals could be rewarded.

4. Anwar Phillips, DC, Penn State -- New Orleans Saints
As a former wide receiver, Phillips continued to make noticeable strides as a second-year starter at the cornerback position in 2005. He has good height, long arms and above average speed for his size. However, Phillips needs to get stronger to match up better in run support and to hold up in man-to-man coverage versus more physical receivers in the NFL. He also must become more consistent with his recognition skills and tackling. Character concerns cost Phillips a spot in the draft, but the Saints took a chance on him in the free-agent market. If Phillips can stay out of trouble and use the disappointment as motivation, he could emerge as the Saints' fifth cornerback coming out of training camp this summer.

5. Andre Hall, RB, South Florida -- Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Hall made a name for himself in his first season (2004) with South Florida after transferring from the JUCO ranks. He continued to improve his draft value with a productive senior season in 2005, followed by an impressive showing at the combine. Hall lacks size and strength, and is still a bit raw in the passing game. However, he is a dangerous runner because of his vision, body control and burst, and also flashes explosiveness as a receiver and kickoff return specialist. Coach Jon Gruden could fall in love with his versatility, which gives Hall a legitimate shot to make the Buccaneers' 53-man roster.

6. Tim Day, TE, Oregon -- Chicago Bears
Day does not possess elite top-end speed and is never going to be a dominant blocker in the NFL. He also has durability issues, which played a big part in him going undrafted. However, Day continued to get bigger, stronger, faster and more polished throughout his three seasons as a starter at Oregon. He also remained healthy and productive as a senior in 2005. Day has a terrific feel for the passing game and shows the potential to immediately contribute as a sure-handed situational receiver in the NFL. The Bears certainly need assistance in that area, which gives Day a chance to earn a roster spot as the third tight end behind Desmond Clark and John Gilmore this season.

7. Darrell Hackney, QB, UAB -- Cleveland Browns
Hackney put up some impressive numbers during his final two seasons as a starter at UAB. He is thick with adequate arm strength and above average athletic ability. However, his marginal size and durability issues were major red flags that caused him to go undrafted. Hackney has his work cut out this summer, as he attempts to unseat Derek Anderson as the third quarterback in Cleveland.

8. Greg Lee, WR, Pittsburgh -- Arizona Cardinals
Lee was very productive during his collegiate career and is a big, durable, strong athlete with the potential to develop into a sub-package possession receiver in the NFL. However, he lacks the initial burst, top-end speed and quick-twitch athleticism to transfer his big-play ability in the NFL. To make the Cardinals' roster, Lee will need to beat out seventh-round pick Todd Watkins -- among others -- for the fifth wide receiver spot.

9. Travis Williams, OLB, Auburn -- Atlanta Falcons
Williams is an undersized weak-side linebacker prospect with experience inside and outside. He lacks the size to play in most schemes as a starting WLB in the NFL and does not have much more room on his frame to grow. He also lacks the speed to play safety in the NFL. However, Williams is one of the most fundamentally sound and aggressive linebackers in this year's class, and also hits much harder than his frame would indicate. He is an instinctive, athletic, tough, cerebral football player with the toughness it takes to make a contribution at the next level. The Falcons still need depth at linebacker and Williams' versatility gives him a legitimate opportunity to make the cut.

10. Hank Baskett, WR, New Mexico -- Minnesota Vikings
Baskett had his most productive season as a senior in 2005, finishing with 1,071 yards and nine TDs on 67 receptions. He is a big, physical receiver with impressive top-end speed and leaping ability for his size. However, Baskett is not a natural pass-catcher and seems to fight the ball at times. He also lacks quick-twitch athleticism and will need lots of technique work to improve his route-running skills to the point where he can consistently separate in the NFL. Baskett will be one of at least six youngsters competing for the fifth and final wide receiver spot on the Vikings' roster.

Drew Olson, QB, UCLA -- Baltimore Ravens
Erik Meyer, QB, Eastern Washington -- Cincinnati Bengals
Paul Pinegar, QB, Fresno State -- Jacksonville Jaguars
Wendell Mathis, RB, Fresno State -- Minnesota Vikings
Taurean Henderson, RB, Texas Tech -- Minnesota Vikings
Gerald Riggs Jr., RB, Tennessee -- Miami Dolphins
Matt Bernstein, FB, Wisconsin -- Detroit Lions
Martin Nance, WR, Miami-OH -- Buffalo Bills
Miles Austin, WR, Monmouth -- Dallas Cowboys
Jovon Bouknight, WR, Wyoming -- Carolina Panthers
Troy Bienemann, TE, Washington State -- New Orleans Saints
Cooper Wallace, TE, Auburn -- Chicago Bears
Derek Morris, OT, N.C. State -- Kansas City Chiefs
Adam Stenavich, OG, Michigan -- Carolina Panthers
Patrick Ross, OC, Boston College -- Seattle Seahawks
Michael Degory, OC, Florida -- St. Louis Rams
Mike Kudla, DE, Ohio State -- Pittsburgh Steelers
Brandon Guillory, DE, Louisiana-Monroe -- Kansas City Chiefs
Tony McDaniel, DT, Tennessee -- Jacksonville Jaguars
T.J. Jackson, DT, Auburn -- Atlanta Falcons
Kai Parham, ILB, Virginia -- Dallas Cowboys
Dale Robinson, ILB, Arizona State -- Indianapolis Colts
Freddie Roach, ILB, Alabama -- New England Patriots
Spencer Havner, OLB, UCLA -- Washington Redskins
Darrell Hunter, DC, Miami-OH -- Arizona Cardinals
Dion Byrum, DC, Ohio -- Chicago Bears
Dwayne Slay, DS, Texas Tech -- Chicago Bears
Jahmile Addae, DS, West Virginia -- Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Most Successful Teams
Going undrafted doesn't always spell doom for NFL hopefuls. There is a long list of NFL greats who entered the league as rookie free agents, including Warren Moon, John Randle, Priest Holmes, Kurt Warner and Jake Delhomme. That's why many front offices put great emphasis on signing priority free agents immediately following the conclusion of the draft.
Some teams obviously take this part of the process more seriously than others. There are still some top prospects that have yet to be signed, but the following is my opinion of the six most successful teams during the free-agent signing period to date:

1. Minnesota Vikings
Key additions: Charles Gordon, DC/RS, Kansas; Wendell Mathis, RB, Fresno State; Taurean Henderson, RB, Texas Tech; Cory Ross, RB, Nebraska; Drew Olson, QB, UCLA; Hank Baskett, WR, New Mexico; Ed Hinkel, WR, Iowa; Barrick Nealy, QB, Texas State.

2. New Orleans Saints
Key additions: Anwar Phillips, DC, Penn State; Troy Bienemann, TE, Colorado; Will Allen, OG, Texas; Bruce Eugene, QB, Grambling; Bobby Iwuchukwu, OLB, Purdue; Steve Weatherford, PT, Illinois.

3. Chicago Bears
Key additions: Tim Day, TE, Oregon; Cooper Wallace, TE, Auburn; Dion Byrum, DC, Ohio; Dwayne Slay, DS, Texas Tech; Mark LeVoir, OT, Notre Dame; Donnie McCleskey, DS, California; Josh Huston, PK, Ohio State; Joel Stelly, PT, La.-Monroe.

4. Cincinnati Bengals
Key additions: Eric Henderson, DE, Georgia Tech; Erik Meyer, QB, Eastern Washington; David Jones, TE, LSU; Ryan Hamby, TE, Ohio State; Nate Livings, OG, LSU; John Busing, LB, Miami-OH;Danny Baugher, PT, Arizona.

5. Carolina Panthers
Key additions: Jovon Bouknight, WR, Wyoming; Adam Stenavich, OG, Michigan; Brett Basanez, QB, Northwestern; Albert Toeaina, OT, Tennessee; Devan Long, DE, Oregon; Seppo Evwaraye, OT, Nebraska.

6. Jacksonville Jaguars
Key additions: Brian Iwuh, DS/OLB, Colorado; Paul Pinegar, QB, Fresno State; Tony McDaniel, DT, Tennessee; Ryan Gibbons, OT, Northeastern.

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Old 05-06-2006, 04:43 PM   #2
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RE: Vikings, Saints working overtime

5 together in that list I like...

T.J. Jackson, DT, Auburn -- Atlanta Falcons
(pretty tenacious; I'm guessing he didn't get drafted cause he's shorter than NFL teams like, but he played pretty well in the SEC)

Kai Parham, ILB, Virginia -- Dallas Cowboys
(thought he would've been drafted; wonder why he wasn't?)

Dale Robinson, ILB, Arizona State -- Indianapolis Colts
(if you saw the LSU/Ariz.St. game I think this guy made almost every tackle and caused problems the whole game)

Freddie Roach, ILB, Alabama -- New England Patriots
(Bama had an overall good D and with DeMeco Ryans and Roach had some good LB's; obviously didn't get drafted which I think is a little bit of a surprise)

Spencer Havner, OLB, UCLA -- Washington Redskins
(didn't see him play but I kept hearing his name mentioned before the draft)
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Old 05-07-2006, 08:27 AM   #3
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RE: Vikings, Saints working overtime

Dallas - QB Jeff Mroz Yale 6' 5",230 here is my big time sleeper pick up.
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Old 05-07-2006, 08:29 AM   #4
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RE: Vikings, Saints working overtime

keep an eye out on Nick Hartigan RB Bown who tried out for the Browns and the Colts.
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