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hagan714 02-03-2007 08:43 AM

Assessment of the Talent in the 07 Draft
Underclassmen greatly improve WR crop available in 2007 draft

As has been the case for some years now, the annual horde of underclassmen eligible for the draft has significantly affected the overall crop.

That especially appears to be the case this year at the WR position.

At wide receiver, PFW projected only one senior, LSU’s Dwayne Bowe, as a first-round-caliber talent before juniors Calvin Johnson (Georgia Tech), Ted Ginn Jr. (Ohio State), Dwayne Jarrett (USC) and Robert Meachem (Tennessee) entered the mix. The crop of pass catchers has now become deep enough to make it possible to find some talented receivers even on the second day of the draft.

Juniors have also made their presence felt at the RB position, but that’s solely due to the draft declarations of Adrian Peterson, an Oklahoma Sooner who PFW is predicting will be selected as soon as the third pick overall in the first round and California product Marshawn Lynch, who figures to be a top-15 pick in Round One. Aside from those two, this year’s stable of backs appears extremely weak.

On the other side of the ball, the DE crop was definitely fortified by three solid juniors from the Southeastern Conference — Jarvis Moss (Florida), Jamaal Anderson (Arkansas) and Charles Johnson (Georgia). A case could be made for defensive end as this year’s strongest position, at least at the top of the litter, with seniors Gaines Adams (Clemson), Quentin Moses (Georgia), Anthony Spencer (Purdue) and Adam Carriker (Nebraska) expected to attract a lot of attention.

Arguably the strongest position this year will be safety, with three seniors — LaRon Landry (LSU), Michael Griffin (Texas) and Brandon Meriweather (Miami, Fla.) — all potentially fitting into the first round, as well as Florida junior Reggie Nelson.

What follows is a quick assessment of the talent levels at the other positions not previously mentioned:

Quarterbacks — Good but not great, headlined by Notre Dame’s Brady Quinn and enigmatic, boom-or-bust LSU junior JaMarcus Russell. Stanford’s Trent Edwards has a lot of uspide, but it will be difficult to find more than backups in the rest of the class.

Fullbacks — As bad a class as there’s been in recent years with only a handful who may get drafted.

Tight ends — One of the weakest positions in the draft. Miami’s (Fla.) Greg Olsen will work out well and may intrigue some late in first round.

Centers — Class is typically weak and doesn’t feature a first-rounder.

Guards — Class is heavy on converted offensive tackles and former defensive tackles and is solid at the top, with several players potentially fitting into the first round, but the group is thin overall.

Offensive tackles — Class features some premier top talent but, like guard, is not deep. Wisconsin’s Joe Thomas is a top-line left tackle, but Penn State’s Levi Brown, once his technique improves, may have more upside. Both of them are top prospects.

Defensive tackles — Michigan junior Alan Branch is the prize of the group. Otherwise, the position is marked by a lot of overrated prospects and is among the weakest in the draft.

Inside linebackers — A typically weak group. Mississippi’s Patrick Willis is the standout of the class. Florida junior Brandon Siler is high-maintenance but talented.

Outside linebackers — Two juniors — Miami’s (Fla.) Jon Beason and Florida State’s Lawrence Timmons — head the class, along with rock-solid Penn State senior Paul Posluszny. Not nearly as strong as last year’s class, but it was improved by early-entry juniors.

Cornerbacks — Not a good year for corners, with no true elite prospect rising to the forefront. Michigan’s Leon Hall had the best senior year. A number of juniors could factor into the first day, but they all could have benefited from another year in school.

Specialists — Nothing special. Colorado PK Mason Crosby is the best of the bunch.

papz 02-05-2007 08:52 AM

RE: Assessment of the Talent in the 07 Draft
Very good assessment and I'd have to agree with most of it except the center/guard part.

spkb25 02-05-2007 10:29 AM

RE: Assessment of the Talent in the 07 Draft
hey who are the two wo's from ohio state, i wouldn't mind one of those cats if they are in the draft

saintsfan1313 02-05-2007 07:53 PM

RE: Assessment of the Talent in the 07 Draft
Ginn Jr. and Gonzalez....Ginn is all over the place, KR, PR WR and all that good stuff, we got that already in Bush. Gonzalez was a nobody before this year, had a huge game against Texas, and then didnt do a whole lot afterwards, especially when Ginn went down in the bowl. He's more of a possesion receiver, think Chrebet with some more size.

TheDeuce 02-05-2007 08:14 PM

RE: Assessment of the Talent in the 07 Draft
I agree that this isn't the greatest class, but at the same time it's not the worst. Last year's draft was one of those "once in an aeon" kinda deals where you had players like Reggie, VY, Leinart, etc etc all coming out. This year, there aren't any guys who are causing that kind of commotion, but it definitely isn't a 2005 kind of draft where you got Alex Smith at the top...

saintsfan1313 02-05-2007 09:07 PM

RE: Assessment of the Talent in the 07 Draft
True, the good thing about this years draft, is there isnt a huge drop off in all positions. They arent many clear cut, best player at a position as in recent years. Theres some good corners to keep an eye on this year, which is great cuz we need it. Here some names I'd like everyone to keep an eye far as our needs

CB's----Ross out of UT, Revis out of Pitt, Hall out of Michigan, Houston out of Arkansas, Hughes out of Cal, Jackson from Syracuse (plays safety and CB), Wilson from Maryland (damn hes fast)

Thats a good crew, they should be available in the 1st and 2nd around where we pick, maybe even Wilson slidding to round 3....

Ill post some LB's and DT's when I get a chance....

TheDeuce 02-06-2007 07:49 AM

RE: Assessment of the Talent in the 07 Draft
Hall will be long gone by the time we pick.

pakowitz 02-06-2007 08:58 AM

RE: Assessment of the Talent in the 07 Draft
this class has alot of talent at DE, WR and Safety.. not much on LBs.. there are a few corners but not many with 1st round talent IMO

TheDeuce 02-06-2007 06:14 PM

RE: Assessment of the Talent in the 07 Draft
I agree with you pak, not too many solid CB prospects, and definitely nobody who could be considered a "lockdown" corner. I really hope that nobody takes Willis by the time we pick.

hagan714 02-06-2007 08:38 PM

RE: Assessment of the Talent in the 07 Draft
still think we will have to take the best player at this point. If they meet an area of need or not. Ol and DL starts equalling out with the impact players left by the time we pick at 27. This will be a tuff pick thats for sure. Who will be the combine hypes and who will fall?
Ross out of UT and Jackson from Syracuse would be the most versitile players to help in the secondary. definitly look to be the best athletes. but at 27 they seem to be a bit of reach. would you trade down to the top of the second to get them or gamble and reach on the pick?

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