*Legion*'s NFL Draft Guide 2007

Not as thorough and in-depth as my usual guides, but it'll do.

(Players already taken in bold)

*Legion*'s Top 50:
1. Calvin Johnson (WR, Georgia Tech)
2. LaRon Landry (S, LSU)
3. Gaines Adams (DE, Clemson)
4. Joe Thomas (OT, Wisconsin)
5. Amobi Okoye (DT, Louisville)
6. Patrick Willis (ILB, Ole Miss)
7. Levi Brown (OT, Penn State)
8. Adrian Peterson (RB, Oklahoma)
9. JaMarcus Russell (QB, LSU)
10. Darrelle Revis (CB, Pitt)
11. Leon Hall (CB, Michigan)
12. Dwayne Bowe (WR, LSU)
13. Reggie Nelson (S, Florida)
14. Jamaal Anderson (DE, Arkansas)
15. Paul Posluszny (OLB, Penn State)
16. Marshawn Lynch (RB, Cal)
17. Greg Olsen (TE, Miami)
18. Alan Branch (DT, Michigan)
19. Jarvis Moss (DE, Florida)
20. Aaron Ross (CB, Texas)
21. Justin Blalock (G, Texas)
22. Brady Quinn (QB, Notre Dame)
23. Robert Meachem (WR, Tennessee)
24. Marcus McCauley (CB, Fresno State)
25. Lawrence Timmons (OLB, Florida State)
26. Chris Houston (CB, Arkansas)
27. Jon Beason (OLB, Miami)
28. Kevin Kolb (QB, Houston)
29. Ryan Kalil (C, USC)
30. Joe Staley (OT, Central Michigan)
31. Brandon Meriweather (S, Miami)
32. Adam Carriker (DE, Nebraska)
33. Ted Ginn (WR, Ohio State)
34. Anthony Spencer (OLB, Purdue)
35. Ben Grubbs (G, Auburn)
36. Sidney Rice (WR, South Carolina)
37. Tony Ugoh (OT, Arkansas)
38. Justin Durant (ILB, Hampton)
39. Josh Beekman (C/G, Boston College)
40. Aundrae Allison (WE, Eastern Carolina)
41. Justin Harrell (DT, Tennessee)
42. Eric Wright (CB, UNLV)
43. David Harris (ILB, Michigan)
44. John Beck (QB, BYU)
45. Anthony Gonzalez (WR, Ohio State)
46. Zach Miller (TE, Arizona State)
47. Charles Johnson (DE, Georgia)
48. Michael Griffin (S, Texas)
49. Michael Bush (RB, Louisville)
50. Eric Weddle (S, Utah)

Positional Breakdowns:

QUARTERBACKS

1. JaMarcus Russell (LSU) - His physical tools blow the competition out of the water. Is still very raw and needs to improve his short passing. Critizied for a lack of desire, but it's unclear whether that's deserved or if it's just a function of a laid-back personality (could be a Joe Montana type that only shows fire inside the huddle). Has skills to spare but the one thing that could sink him is a lack of dedication and work ethic.

2. Brady Quinn (Notre Dame) - Comes very close to being #3 on this list. Purely a system QB. Can very easily be compared to Tim Couch. Ideally would be more like a Jeff Garcia - a guy that can thrive in a short-pass West Coast offense, but doesn't belong elsewhere. Not a good fit for all teams. Ranks as highly as he does solely for being an NFL-ready player at the high value position of quarterback.

3. Kevin Kolb (Houston) - Superb pure passer who played in a college style spread offense. Outstanding developmental prospect who could legitimately end up being the best QB of this draft in the long run. Would easily rank ahead of Quinn if he had experience in a pro-style offense. Will face a learning curve before maximizing his potential, but will likely be taken in round 2 and thus be given the time needed to develop. I could easily be talked into ranking Kolb ahead of Quinn.

4. John Beck (BYU) - Some scouts really love this guy. Other than the fact that he's got a sidearm delivery and lacks arm strength, he's got it all. Like Quinn, he should be considered a system quarterback who could thrive in the right situation. Some teams (presumably short-pass teams) even reportedly have a 1st round grade on Beck. Must fall into the right situation but has a lot of the intangibles that you want. Some knock him down their lists because of his age (25), which is higher than most rookies because he took 2 years for his Mormon mission.

5. Trent Edwards (Stanford) - Highly intelligent and talented player who, like Jay Cutler, was stuck on a bad college team and got into some bad habits trying to make things happen. Needs to be reeled in by NFL coaching, but could be molded into an NFL starter. Hard worker who offers no excuses. Doesn't show as much on tape as he should, but most of his flaws are correctable. His intelligence make him desirable as a developmental player, and don't be shocked if he finds success on the field faster than expected.

6. Drew Stanton (Michigan State) - Very inconsistant player who frustrates scouts because he has 1st round talent. Has a lot of learning to do at the NFL level. Developmental player who has starter potential but is going to take a lot of work.

RUNNING BACKS

1. Adrian Peterson (Oklahoma) - Would be an elite prospect if not for a long and sordid injury history. Couldn't complete a single full college season healthy, how will he make it through 16 NFL games? Seems like a slam dunk NFL star if he can stay on the field long enough to make that happen.

2. Marshawn Lynch (Cal) - After Lynch, there's a major drop-off at the position, which boosts his value big time. Highly productive player with some behavioral red flags. Split carries in college and might be most well off doing the same in the NFL. Every mock draft in the world has him going to Green Bay at #16, a fortunate marriage of need and value. Helped out by the fact that this is a terrible RB draft class - would rank below DeAngelo Williams and Laurence Maroney in last year's draft, IMO.

3. Michael Bush (Louisville) - Big power back who displays uncanny speed for his size. A broken leg cost him his senior season, and he didn't participate in the Combine or Louisville pro day workouts. Had a rod inserted into his injured leg, and there's obviously concern about how he'll perform since it's been so long since he's done any running. Was considered a home run 1st round prospect before the injury, could creep back into round 1, Willis McGahee style.

4. Brian Leonard (Rutgers, fullback) - Rarely do you see fullbacks rank this highly on a draft board. Leonard appears to be the next Larry Centers. A rare blend of pass-catching ability in a player more athletic than a typical fullback. Needs to be taken by a team that will use him as more than an I-formation lead blocker.

5. Antonio Pittman (Ohio State) - Undersized player who MUST add more weight to make an impact. Will he still have the same quickness when he does? A great athlete who needs more power. A lot of small backs are getting looks because of Maurice Jones-Drew, but none of the small backs in this draft are the kind of muscular freak Drew is (there's a difference between being *small* and merely being *short*). Pittman looks like he has the room to grow, though.

6. Kenny Irons (Auburn) - Very thin, but not as fast as you'd want a light guy to be. Kind of like Cadillac Williams - very talented and versatile but might struggle with durability just as Williams has.

WIDE RECEIVERS

1. Calvin Johnson (Georgia Tech) - The only true elite prospect in the draft. Great hands, great feet, doesn't give up on passes. Has freakish, Matt Jones-like size/speed combo, but with a mastery of the WR position. Was completely wasted at Georgia Tech.

2. Dwayne Bowe (LSU) - Overshadowed by Calvin Johnson but is a big reason why JaMarcus Russell is where he is. A great possession receiver with more speed than possession receivers usually have. Something like a bigger (but not slower) Hines Ward. Ranks lower on some draft boards because he's not an elite field stretcher, but he's fast for a possession receiver.

3. Robert Meachem (Tennessee) - One year star who may have turned himself into a top draft prospect had he stayed for his senior year. Needs polish with route running and holding onto passes in traffic. Has the wheels to be a deep threat and great size too. In the right offense and with some development, he could be a star. Has shot way up draft boards lately.

4. Ted Ginn (Ohio State) - Overrated prospect who nevertheless does have the potential to be the great "small guy" WR so many envision him as. Will almost certainly be drafted too high. Does not run great routes, will have to correct a lot at the NFL level that he was able to get away with in college sheerly because of his speed. But he does have the speed and hands to be a playmaker at the next level.

5. Sidney Rice (South Carolina) - Played only two years of college football, but was highly productive in the SEC. Like Robert Meachem, could have turned himself into a top-15 prospect with a great senior year. Will take some time to reach his potential but has NFL level ability from head to toe. Someone will get this guy in the 2nd round and be awfully happy for it.

6. Aundrae Allison (East Carolina) - Scouts disagree on him a lot. A juco transfer with only two years of D-I experience. Still a work in progress but is being overlooked way too much because he wasn't a big name in D-I. Has lots of speed and good hands. Most of his flaws can be fixed.

7. Anthony Gonzalez (Ohio State) - On one hand, Gonzalez often outperformed his more heralded teammate Ted Ginn. On the other hand, with Ginn injured and not on the field, he was shut down in the national championship game. Has untapped potential that may make him a better pro than a college player.

8. Dwayne Jarrett (USC) - A Keyshawn-like WR who will never threaten corners with a "go" route, but can use his big frame and long arms to dominate the intermediate routes. Attitude questions raise red flags, but he comes to play. Gets compared to former teammate Mike Williams, but Jarrett remained productive on a post-Leinart (and post-Bush/White) USC team, he wasn't just a product of the other USC stars on offense. A wildcard who could go anywhere from mid-1st round to low-2nd/high-3rd round.

9. Steve Smith (USC) - Phyiscally unimpressive - a smaller guy without elite speed. But he's a great route runner that has a future in the NFL. May best be suited for a slot role, would probably represent better value to a team that uses 3 WR sets on more than 3rd-and-long. Would be a guy to watch in a pass-heavy offense like Detroit's or Indy's.

TIGHT ENDS

1. Greg Olsen (Miami) - Has unreal speed for a 255 pound, 6'6" TE. A worthy follower in the line of Miami TEs behind Jeremy Shockey and Kellen Winslow Jr, with the same kind of talent but none of the baggage of those guys. Is a guy that can drive "cover 2" defense teams nuts.

2. Zach Miller (Arizona State) - Versatile player who can line up at TE, FB, and H-Back. A decent blocker and an excellent short-to-medium range receiver. Might not be the super-athletic, Cover 2 buster, but should be a Frank Wycheck-style player instead.

3. Ben Patrick (Delaware) - Unheralded player who spent 3 years in D-I football hell at Duke, then graduated and used his last year of eligibility at I-AA Delaware (which represented an increase in team level despite being a division lower). Big, athletic player who finally got some passes thrown his way at Delaware, and got to show off his talents. Not a speedy runner but will be one of those "basketball rebounder" types in the middle of the field. May be like an Antonio Gates in doing little in his first year, only to burst onto the scene in year 2 or 3 after some development.

OFFENSIVE TACKLES

1. Joe Thomas (Wisconsin) - Maybe not spectacular, but has very low downside. Has great footwork and technique, which helps him perform beyond his average athletic ability. Should be a career starter at LT, maybe never a Pro Bowl player but the team that drafts him should be able to stick him at LT and not worry about that position for years.

2. Levi Brown (Penn State) - A big body with the quickness to play LT at the NFL level. Not as polished as Joe Thomas but has some of the physical tools that could potentially make him the better player. Has the kind of size and beef of a mauling road grader, but his quickness makes pass protection his top gift. Can be dominant with some improvements to his technique.

3. Joe Staley (Central Michigan) - A TE turned LT with off-the-charts athleticism. Runs the 40 faster than many of the draft's pass-catching TEs. Has great height and could pack on some more weight without sacrificing his speed and agility. HIGHLY raw at his position at OT but could develop into a franchise OT with time. Could be a steal in the long run.

4. Tony Ugoh (Arkansas) - A poor showing in the Senior Bowl undid some of the good work he did in his senior year. Was a productive SEC player but struggled against NFL level players in postseason activities. Underachieves and will end up drafted lower than his physical skills should put him. Could end up being a good value if he slips way down in round 2 though.

5. Ryan Harris (Notre Dame) - Superb athlete who drives scouts nuts for not performing as well as he should. Has NFL left tackle written all over him, but needs a coach to ride him into living up to his potential.

OFFENSIVE GUARDS

1. Justin Blalock (Texas) - A college RT that will move in to guard at the NFL level. Looks like a slam-dunk starting G from day 1. Should be a great upgrade for someone's O-line.

2. Ben Grubbs (Auburn) - Will go higher than he might in other drafts due to the lack of day 1 level guards. Spent his first years in college at DT and TE. Became an NFL prospect after a strong senior year. Has high potential and will be drafted based on that.

3. Arron Sears (Tennessee, OG/OT) - Kind of a tough prospect to grade. A versatile player that can play both OT and OG, but doesn't have the agility of an excellent OT prospect nor the crushing power of a strong OG prospect. Has the kind of versatility you love in a backup lineman, but is a bit too good to be considered a backup prospect. A career at guard is most likely.

CENTERS

1. Ryan Kalil (USC) - Undersized but technically very sound. Needs to hit the weights and add some bulk, but has the brains to be a field general. Simply the best at his position in this draft.

2. Josh Beekman (Boston College, C/OG) - Could be drafted at either guard or center position. Scouts have him all over the board. Is not overly dominant but has long-term starter written all over him. Teams that value consistency and versatility over dominance will like Beekman.

DEFENSIVE TACKLES

1. Amobi Okoye (Louisville) - Excessively intelligent 19 year old. Mentally very mature, but physically he's still growing. He'll beef up in the NFL and it may take some time for him to peak (he'll be in the NFL for 4 years before he hits 24 years of age!). He's a highly unusual case for a draft prospect, and it's the assumption that he'll continue to grow and develop that makes him such a high prospect (as well as the lack of other top DTs).

2. Alan Branch (Michigan) - A massive 2-gap DT/NT that is a clogger, not a penetrator. Lack of effort at times makes him a player I personally would not be in a hurry to draft, but his talent level keeps him high on the board. Will undoubtedly go higher than I rank him.

3. Justin Harrell (Tennessee) - A senior year injury robbed him of his chance for a breakout season. A 2-gap player who explodes off the line but isn't a great pass rusher. Could go much higher than expected despite a lack of college production due to the dearth of similar players at the position.

4. DeMarcus "Tank" Tyler (NC State) - Stepped up as a senior, after spending his junior year on the same line as three of last year's 1st round picks (Mario Williams, Manny Lawson, John McCargo). Questions about his work ethic and intelligence hurt his draft stock.

DEFENSIVE ENDS

1. Gaines Adams (Clemson) - A pure pass rusher who might be too small for an every-down 4-3 DE but has the cover skills to play 3-4 OLB. Has plenty of speed though, and might be able to bulk up to be that every-down 4-3 DE. Easily the elite pass rusher of this year's class.

2. Jamaal Anderson (Arkansas) - Slightly overrated prospect with only one year of quality experience. Ranked highly because he physically fits the 4-3 DE mold. He is a high-motor player who hustles, and has all the moves you want from a pass rusher. His lack of speed and quickness make it hard for me to swallow him as a prospect to rank as highly as everyone else is.

3. Jarvis Moss (Florida) - Undersized pass-rushing DE who has to prove that he can overcome his lack of size and play on non-passing downs. May be a 3-4 OLB. Is an excellent pass rusher though, and should at least be a terror in a DE rotation.

4. Adam Carriker (Nebraska, DE/DT) - Ideally a 3-4 DE, is not an edge rusher. Will be a building block for one of the many teams building 3-4 defenses. Could also move inside to DT in a 4-3.

5. Charles Johnson (Georgia) - Productive college player with limited upside. Has the potential to be a good starter but not likely to become a stud edge rusher.

6. Victor Abiamiri (Notre Dame, DE/OLB) - DE/LB tweener with good pass rush skills and potential as either a 4-3 DE or 3-4 OLB, but must become more consistant and add some bulk.

INSIDE LINEBACKERS

1. Patrick Willis (Ole Miss) - Excellent player, was very productive, and impressed scouts with a stunning pro day workout. Has fantastic speed and should be able to cover a lot of ground quickly. Teams look at him and see a guy that they could put at any LB position and have his speed be a major asset (whether it's covering TEs from the strongside, blitzing from the weakside, or covering a lot of ground from the middle).

2. Justin Durant (Hampton) - Undersized player from a small school, but will probably be a good starter. Belongs in a 4-3 with some big bodies to keep offensive linemen off of him. Has great speed and range.

3. David Harris (Michigan) - Not an impressive athlete, but is excellent in read-and-react and does not get caught out of position. Not a fit for all schemes, but can be a longtime starter in the right situation.

OUTSIDE LINEBACKERS

1. Paul Posluszny (Penn State) - Not the best athlete but a pure football player. Will make some defensive coordinator very happy. Could carve out a role as a career overachiever, similar to a Zach Thomas. To put in perspective, he's the #1 OLB in this draft, but I would rank him the #6-7 OLB if he were in last year's draft.

2. Lawrence Timmons (Florida State) - One-year starter who sat behind some other Florida State studs like Ernie Sims. Still unpolished and would've done well to stay for his senior year. Versatile player that can fit in any scheme. Needs to be coached up but could easily outperform his draft slot if things go well.

3. Jon Beason (Miami) - Not in the same class as last year's LB group. Lacks the speed of Posluszny and Timmons. Undersized and needs to be in the right scheme to thrive.

4. Anthony Spencer (Purdue, OLB/DE) - A DE/LB tweener whose draft stock is very hard to pin down because of questions about how to use him. Could be a solid 1st round pick for the right team. Extremely productive in his final year in college. Everything depends on how teams project him as a LB.

CORNERBACKS

1. Darrelle Revis (Pitt) - Flew up the draft charts thanks to his 40 time and the lack of a stud prospect at this position. Can run with anyone in the NFL, has long arms that will help him knock passes away. Can contribute in punt returning. His draft stock probably couldn't have gone any higher a year from now thanks to the lack of proven CBs in this draft, but he would've done well to develop his skills further with another year in college.

2. Leon Hall (Michigan) - Solid player but not a dominant one. Possibly destined to a career #2 CB role. Would fit well as a cover 2 corner but nobody takes cover 2 corners in round 1. Most immediately NFL-ready CB prospect.

3. Aaron Ross (Texas) - A tall CB with wheels and long arms. Smart, disciplined player. Great in run support. A more complete CB than the guys above him, but doesn't quite have the same man-coverage skills, and only spent 1 year in college as a full-time starter.

4. Marcus McCauley (Fresno State) - Far and away the most talented CB in the draft, but a horrible senior season corresponded with a collapse year for Fresno State. Was a possible top-10 selection after his junior year. Has rare speed/height combo and will appeal to man-coverage teams. Could be one of the draft's top players if the lights come back on once he gets to the NFL.

5. Chris Houston (Arkansas) - Should have stayed for his senior season, but is a blazingly fast CB who is very accomplished in man coverage. Had a fantastic junior season in which he shut down some of the draft's top WR prospects.

6. Eric Wright (UNLV) - Was a USC player, but off-field issues caused him to transfer. Has only 2 years of experience, as he had to sit out his sophomore year from the transfer, and is skipping his senior year. Has great speed and immense upside, but past issues have everyone worried (perhaps unfairly) about him potentially being another Pac-Man Jones. Talent-wise, he belongs at #2 behind McCauley.

7. Tanard Jackson (Syracuse) - A good player who's just too slow for many teams. Aggressive run defender who would be ideal in a cover 2 scheme that doesn't require him to run downfield with speedy WRs.

8. Daymeion Hughes (Cal) - Was not originally very high on draft boards because of a poor 40 time, but drastically improved his stock by running a much better 40 at the Cal pro day. Not going to tackle anyone in run support, but he has great cover instincts which help compensate for his lack of speed and size.

SAFETIES

1. LaRon Landry (LSU) - Better at his position than any other prospect is at theirs (except maybe Calvin Johnson), but safety isn't a premium position. His brother Dawan was a 5th round pick who developed into a solid starter at safety. LaRon has the same good characteristics as Dawan but with physical skills way beyond Dawan's.

2. Reggie Nelson (Florida) - Safety is one of the top positions in the draft this year. Nelson has CB speed and reacts very well as a "centerfield" S. Probably too small to be a strong safety, but has excellent potential at free safety. Concerns about his intelligence raise question marks about his ability to be a field general like a good free safety is, but has good on-field smarts and rarely gets confused by offenses.

3. Brandon Meriweather (Miami) - Probably rates better than Nelson in terms of athleticism and skills. Would like to see more INTs in college but was a highly productive tackler. Has some character questions which hurt him in a draft where safeties aren't scarce. Could slide in the face of the NFL's crackdowns, needs to convince a team that he won't be a problem.

4. Michael Griffin (Texas) - A prospect that scouts disagree on highly. Some rate him right below Landry, others slide him below 5 other safeties. Has great speed and pure skills, can play cornerback as well as safety. But he needs a lot more polish, and someone will draft him a lot more highly than other teams would purely because of his great athletic abilities.

5. Eric Weddle (Utah) - Weddle is the anti-Griffin: an average athlete but an excellent football player. Will never impress you with his strength or speed, but should become a solid starting safety in the NFL. Will go lower than he probably deserves, and will make the team that takes him very happy.

6. Aaron Rouse (Virginia Tech) - A big-hitting thumper who might lack the agility to be a good NFL safety in pass coverage. Dominant in the box, could be like a Roy Williams who pounds running backs but is limited in coverage.

Thank you Legion, very nice guide. Will you be giving live commentary tomorrow during the draft?

Elliottx wrote:

Thank you Legion, very nice guide. Will you be giving live commentary tomorrow during the draft?

Probably, at least for a while.

All depends on the team's needs, I say.

*Bravo* Detroit another receiver? Hope he can throw the ball as well...