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2005 Draft Review (1 Viewer)

Bob Magaw

non-premium content, so i will cite in full...


In The Huddle

by Frank Coyle - Publisher/ Head Scout


NFL Draft '05 Mini Review

AFC - complete NFL Mini '05 Review

AFC East


Despite attempting to trade back in the top half of the first round, the Dolphins stayed with the 2nd overall selection and chose runner Ronnie Brown. He is a big fast physical runner who will give them the critical workhorse feature back that was missing last season after the abrupt retirement of Ricky Williams. He has explosive speed to run outside and shows excellent hands as a receiver to be an every down back. They were fortunate to land Iowa DE Matt Roth in the 2nd round when he fell in a deep class at the position. Roth should see time immediately in certain situations. On the 3rd round, they were shocked to find Florida linebacker Channing Crowder still available early in the 3rd round and quickly selected the fast defender. He was a possible late first round talent who fell off some off the field issues plus a couple of bad knees. He could be the steal of the draft and a defender who will benefit from the tutelage of both veterans Junior Seau and Zach Thomas in Miami. On the 4th round, they chose DB Travis Daniels who probably gets a first look at cornerback in camp. On the 5th round, they chose OT Anthony Alabi who should compete for a roster spot and possibly start in time. Grade: B

New York Jets

The Jets traded their #1 pick prior to the draft to Oakland for their #2 pick and tight end Doug Jolley. They choose placekicker Mike Nugent with their first #2 pick and he has the ability to be among the top kickers in the league within a short time. They were fortunate to find CB Justin Miller available late in the 2nd round. He carried a 1st round grade prior to an arrest the week before the draft. Miller is a tough cover man with good ball instincts, in addition to fine return skills. They addressed their defense with the next three selections in DT Sione Pouha and safeties Kerry Rhodes and Andre Maddox in round 3 thru 5. Pouha is a mobile wide body who will provide help inside next to Dewayne Robinson at a position with little depth. Rhodes has fine ball instincts and has the range to develop into a good centerfield defender. Andre Maddox is a top special teams prospect who should be a factor on coverage teams immediately. Runner Cedric Houston and TE Joel Dreessen were two fine 6th round selections who will fill key backup roles early in their careers. Grade: C

New England

After winning their third Super Bowl title in four years, the Pats entered the draft with some clear needs on both sides of the ball. With the last selection in the first round, they chose tough OL Logan Mankins, a sound technician with extensive experience. He projects inside to guard, but he also could play tackle in the Pats system. He was a surprise selection this early, but a typical NE player - smart, tough and sound in all ways. They traded out of their #2 pick to the Ravens for a #3 and late picks and a #3 next year. With two #3 picks, they chose corner Ellis Hobbs and OL Nick Kaczur. Hobbs is very tough, quick cover man who has only marginal size. He was a reach this early but one the Pats felt they had to make with a run at the position. OL Nick Kaczur is a physical sound blocker who projects to right tackle and guard here. On the 4th round, they selected safety James Sanders, an instinctive defender who hits a ton and makes few mistakes. They chose LB Ryan Claridge in the 5th, the typical Patriot linebacker, tough and versatile. In the 6th round, they picked USC backup QB Matt Cassell on potential and one of the biggest surprises in the entire draft. They are loaded for next year’s NFL Draft ‘06 after acquiring three middle round picks. Grade: C-


Bills’ front office broke their arms patting themselves on the back for trading up last year for QB J.P. Losman. They believe he was the top pick in this class, but that is a stretch and one that must be proven on the field. They held only six picks and addressed their offense with their top three choices. They selected smurf wideout Roscoe Parrish who is an explosive weapon but strictly a role player as a pro. He should be a fine slot receiver and punt returner with some impact ability in those roles. With their 3rd round pick, they added TE Kevin Everett who fills a major need in their offense. His production was only marginal and he has yet to prove he can be a complete starter. They added two offensive linemen on the second day with the selection of center Duke Preston in the 4th round and strong guard OG Justin Geisinger in the 6th round. Grade: D

AFC North


The Ravens front office has been one of the smartest personnel staffs in the league over the past decade. With the 22nd overall pick, they selected wideout Mark Clayton, a well developed receiver with fine run after the catch ability. He may be the most developed receiver in this class and a player capable of providing immediate impact next fall. Ironically, he is similar to newly acquired veteran receiver Derrick Mason in many aspects of play. They were excited to find DE Dan Cody available on the 2nd round pick and quickly selected him at the 53rd overall pick. He will play early in their new 4-3 defensive set. They traded up with New England and chose huge Syracuse OT Adam Terry with the final pick of the 2nd round, sending three picks to land him. He should compete for a starting job immediately at right tackle or guard. Center Jason Brown was selected on the 4th round and he addresses another need area along the line. Oregon St. QB Derek Anderson was added in the 6th round and he figures to win the #3 job. Grade: B+


The Steelers’ watched at the end of the first round as the player they coveted most fell to them for the second year in a row. Last spring, they waited with the 11th pick overall where they were shocked to see QB Ben Roethlisberger available at their selection. With the 30th overall pick this spring, they sat hoping that junior TE Heath Miller was still on the board at their pick and he was available at that spot. Miller has the vertical speed to get deep and give the Steelers offense the receiving threat that they never have had at the position. He will help Roethlisberger develop further as a pro passer. On the 2nd round, they became part of the run on corners when they chose CB Bryant McFadden. He is a quick physical cover corner who has developed nicely over his late career. They addressed their offensive line twice with OT Trai Essex in the 3rd round and massive guard Chris Kemoeatu in the 6th round. Essex is an underachiever with talent while Kemoeatu is a rugged blocker who carried a higher grade, but fell on some off-field problems. They wanted to add a player at wideout and chose athletic WR Fred Gibson in the 4th round. Gibson has fine potential and the Steelers hope he can replace the departed Plaxico Burress. OLB Rian Wallace was a fine addition in the 5th round and good fit for their 3-4 scheme. Grade: B+


The Browns’ new GM Phil Savage is one of the best talent evaluators in the league and attempted to stay with value with his first draft class. With the 3rd overall pick, they selected WR Braylon Edwards, probably the most complete prospect in the NFL ‘05 Draft. He gives them a legitimate #1 receiver on a solid unit. They addressed their weak secondary with two Oklahoma defenders in FS Brodney Pool and corner Antonio Perkins in the 2nd and 4th rounds. Pool is a playmaker and should challenge for a starting job as a rookie. Perkins has interesting upside as a cover man and is an impact punt returner. They chose QB Charlie Frye quickly when he was still on the board early in the 3rd round and he is their future starter while sitting behind newly acquired veteran QB Trent Dilfer. They added tweener DE David McMillan in the 5th round and see him as a situational pass rusher early in his career. Grade: B


The Bengals addressed their young improving defense with their top two selections before focusing on offense thru most of the remainder of the draft. They choose two Georgia Bulldog defenders in DE/LB David Pollack and LB Odell Thurman. Pollack is a relentless defender with a quick first step and a burst to the ball to make big plays. He may be a hybrid defender in Marvin Lewis’s scheme and probably plays up half the time as a linebacker. They then drafted middle LB Odell Thurman who has the speed to be Bengal’s Ray Lewis in this defense. He carries a rookie starting grade. On the 3rd round, they selected West Virginia wideout Chris Henry where he fell to after some off the field problems. He is a playmaker though and could be one of the real bargains of the draft if he grows up soon. They addressed their offensive front when they selected two Central Michigan linemen, center Eric Ghiaciuc in the 4th round and OT Adam Kieft in the 5th round. WR Tab Perry was a fine late addition in the 6th round who was too good to pass on at that point of the draft. Grade: C

AFC South


The Titans have been one of the better drafting clubs in the league over the past decade and held 11 draft selections this year. After purging a number of veterans due to the salary cap problems, they had major needs in the secondary, wide receiver and along the offensive line. With their #1 pick, they chose cornerback Pac Man Jones and expect him to win a starting this summer. They passed on potential impact receivers Mike Williams and Troy Williamson as well as every other defensive player in this draft class. They surprised most fans in the 2nd round with the selection of OT Michael Roos from Division 1AA Eastern Washington. Roos has the package to become a top NFL left tackle in time and has a huge upside as a pro blocker. They two more tackles later in the draft with the selection of tough David Stewart in the 4th and Daniel Loper in the 5th rounds. Both project to right tackles as pros with Stewart carrying an early starting grade. They drafted three receivers with Courtney Roby and Brandon Jones in the 3rd and Roydell Williams in the 4th rounds. Roby is a fast athlete with run after the catch ability. Jones is a tough athlete who carries a starting grade. Williams had a surprisingly strong postseason and moved up significantly as a result. They addressed the secondary also with two addition picks with DB Vince Fuller in the 4th and CB Reynaldo Hill in the 7th rounds. Fuller is a solid prospect that must have his best pro position decided in camp and gets a first look at cornerback. Grade: B


The Jaguars had several clear needs entering the draft including receiver, cornerback and offensive tackle at the top of the process. They surprised fans when they chose blue chip athlete Arkansas QB/receiver Matt Jones. He will play wideout as a pro and was the fastest rising player in this entire draft class. He has freakish athleticism, but is still a raw prospect who needs some time adjusting to the new position. They passed on more developed wideout Mark Clayton here who is probably a better fit for their offense. Jones may be the biggest reach of the draft despite rare athleticism. They were fortunate to find OT Khalif Barnes available at the 52nd overall pick with their 2nd round selection. He is a fine athletic tackle who has all the components to man the left tackle spot and he was excellent value at this point. They addressed their secondary with corner Scott Starks in the 3rd round. He is a fast tough cover man who will compete for the nickel corner job this summer. They chose runner Alvin Pearman in the 4th round and he can be the third down back as a rookie. Safety Gerald Sensabaugh is a fine athlete and a solid addition in the 5th round. Wideout/return specialist Chad Owens was a solid 6th round selection. He is one of the best punt returners and may surprise as a slot receiver. Grade: B


The Texans made a few important trades that improved their defensive unit. They sent their #2 and #3 picks to Oakland for young veteran CB Philip Buchanon. They hope he steps in and couples with last year’s top pick, corner Dunta Robinson to give them one of the best pair of cover corners in the game. They moved back three spots in the first round with the Saints for a #3 pick and then selected DT Travis Johnson, the highest rated tackle in the draft. Johnson played the three technique tackle in the FSU 4-3 scheme, but he has the skills set to play the 5 technique position as an end in the 3-4 defense. He has some inconsistencies including his overall effort, but he has the talent to be a fine addition to their average front three. Running back Vernand Morency was a surprise pick when taken in the 3rd round. He will give starter Dominick Davis strong competition for the feature back role. He is similar runner to Davis, but is not very developed as a receiver. On the 4th round, they selected fast wideout Jerome Mathis, one of the best all purpose performers in this draft class. Grade: C


The Colts focused on defense once again in the draft and their secondary in particular in the early rounds. They selected two big, physical corners in Marlin Jackson and Kelvin Hayden with their 1st and 2nd round picks. Jackson is a tough physical defender who was excellent value at the end of the 1st round and carries a rookie starting grade. Hayden was part of the run on corners over the first day but was a definite reach this early in the draft. He was the talent to become a starter but he is still developing as a cover man. They selected DE Vincent Burns with their 3rd round pick and hope he can provide some pass rusher as a situational defender opposite Pro Bowl defender Dwight Freeney. He was a first day reach this early and a strange selection in general. They added a couple of athletic interior offensive linemen in OG/C Dylan Gandy and C Rob Hunt in the 4th and 5th rounds. Gandy was a late rising prospect while Hunt is a talented small college prospect with nice upside to start in the NFL. They also added safety Matt Giordano in the 4th round and his special teams ability should allow him to contribute early in his career. With their 7th round selection, they choose runner Anthony Davis who could be a late steal, if he proves healthy and develops as a receiver. Grade: C

AFC West

San Diego

The Chargers held two #1 picks and wanted to address their front seven with both selections if the value was available. Their selected OLB Shawne Merriman and DL Luis Castillo who both project to challenge for starting spots in their 3-4 scheme. Both were excellent additions for strong need areas. Merriman has impact ability as an edge pass rusher and can be a difference maker in this scheme. Castillo admitted using steroids for an elbow injury, but it did not hurt his draft status. He is a tough versatile defender who can play either scheme both inside or outside. He is capable of playing the five technique end spot in the 3-4 set or the nose tackle which should earn him extensive playing time as a rookie. On the 2nd round, they selected wideout Vincent Jackson who gives the Chargers’ a big play receiver with impact ability. On the 4th round, they chose runner Darren Sproles who will be a good situational role performer and backup for star runner LaDainian Tomlinson. He should win the punt returner role as a rookie. They addressed their offensive line with their final three picks in OT Wesley Britt, OG Wes Sims and C Scott Mruczkowski in the 5th thru 7th rounds. Britt struggled with injuries over his late career but he has the athletic ability to challenge for playing time if healthy. Mruczkowski is as tough veteran who carries a starting grade with development. Grade: A


The Raiders were very active again this offseason and pulled off a blockbuster trade that landed star wideout Randy Moss. They acquired him from Minnesota for the 7th overall pick plus other picks and a player. He allows the Raiders to play the vertical game that Al Davis desires fin his offense. The Raiders traded back into the first round with the Jets and selected the fastest player in the nation in corner Fabian Washington. He is a tough well developed cover man who has an early starting grade. They came right back and chose another corner Stanford Routt on the 2nd round. He has fine triangle numbers, but he is still a raw prospect in many respects and was a definite reach here. He will have to prove he has the instincts and toughness to challenge for a starting position. They added QB Andrew Walter on the 3rd round. He is a fine addition especially for the Raiders’ vertical passing game. He carries a starting grade in time and was a fine addition with excellent upside in time. On the 4th round, they choose LB Kirk Morrison who was a very productive mike man in college. He addresses a major need area and should see playing time in some situations. On the 6th round, they chose DT Anttaj Hawthorne who fell significantly after testing positive for marijuana at the NFL Combine. He was considered a mid first day selection prior to the testing. Grade: B


The Broncos were once again one of the most active clubs during the offseason. They traded out of the first round with the Redskins for a #3 pick this year and a #1 and #4 picks next year in a great move for the future. They used their first three draft selections on cornerbacks after addressing their defensive front four by picking up the Browns veteran starting unit. They want to add speed to their battered secondary and choose fast corner Darrent Williams in the 2nd round and came right back with corners Karl Paymah and Domonique Foxworth in the 3rd round. Williams has top speed and quickness and should help immediately in the nickel package if he doesn’t win a starting job. Foxworth is a well developed cover man who can win the nickel corner role as a rookie. The Broncos shocked draft fans when they made the selection of former Ohio St. runner RB Maurice Clarett with their compensation pick and the final choose of the first day. He has been the center of controversy for two years and the selection finally end his quest to enter the NFL. His selection at this point was a total surprise but one we hesitate to question with the Broncos success with running backs over the years. However, he was not a top 200 prospect on our board let alone a marginal top 100 pick. On the 6th round, they choose OL Chris Myers who can play several positions on the interior. He is a sound technique and a smart blocker who is a good fit of the Broncos’ offensive scheme. Grade: C

Kansas City

The Chiefs were surprised when Texas LB Derrick Johnson was still available when their turn came up with the 15th overall pick and they quickly selected the fast defender. He fell off some concerns about his ability to play the run at the point of attack. He is still one of the best defensive players in this draft class and one of the most developed. He gives them a defender who should start as a rookie at weakside linebacker. They traded their #2 pick to the Dolphins for veteran CB Patrick Surtain who gives their secondary a major addition. With their #3 pick, they selected punter Dustin Colquitt who has a powerful leg and should give their defense a boost by much improved field position. With their 4th round pick, they drafted wideout Craphonso Thorpe, a talented receiver who fell when he was slow to recover from a leg injury sustained as a junior. He could be a bargain at that point of the draft if he proves healthy. With two 5th round picks, they chose LB Boomer Grigsby and corner Alphonso Hodge. Grigsby was a fine value pick and a prospect with starting potential. He should be a fine special teams performer immediately. Hodge is a marginal prospect who had a nice college career but probably comes up short on speed as a pro. Grade: C-

NFC East


Cowboys head coach Bill Parcells was determined to improve their porous defense and he addressed that side of the ball with six of their eight draft selections. He used his first four picks on front seven defenders that will allow them to switch to the 3-4 defense used by Parcells over most of his career. He used their first of two #1 picks on pass rushing tweener LB/DE Demarcus Ware. He is an excellent upfield pass rusher and the type of player who can be an impact performer in the new scheme. He addressed the defensive end spot with the other #1 pick when he selected Marcus Spears who is an excellent fit for the 3-4 set at end. They were surprised to fine LB Kevin Burnett available on the 2nd round and he can play both inside and outside in this scheme. He was excellent value as the 42nd overall selection. With two #4 picks, they choose runner Marion Barber and prototype 3-4 defensive end Chris Canty. Barber is a fine addition and capable of pushing starter Julius Jones. Canty is a huge defender who played end in a 3-4 set, but fell in the draft off injury and off the field concerns. Late picks, safety Justin Beriault, OT Rob Petitti and DE Jay Ratliff were good value picks at need areas. Every draft selection could make this roster with as many as six winning starting jobs at some of their career. Grade: A

New York Giants

The Giants held only four overall picks in this year’s draft after the trade for Eli Manning last spring. They were limited to only three picks in the top 185 selections and needed to address a few key areas. They chose corner Corey Webster in the 2nd round after he had a strong late workout and checked out well medically. He is a big athletic corner with top ball skills and was considered a first round talent after his junior season. He was a steal in the middle of the 2nd round and carries an early NFL starting grade. DE Justin Tuck was considered at that selection and when he was available in the 3rd round they quickly selected him. He also was a blue chip prospect after his sophomore season before an injury hindered his production over his final season. He may be the biggest steal of the entire draft. They addressed their short yardage problem on the 4th round with the selection of 265 lb. Southern Illinois runner Brandon Jacobs. He is a huge runner with fullback/tight end size and fine inside running skills. He can fill a few key roles mainly goal line runner and possible H-back. DE Eric Moore was chosen on the 6th round and can fill a situational pass rushing role in his career. Grade: B


The Eagles held 13 picks but when all the deals were done they made 11 draft choices. They traded with Dallas using their 4th round pick in a detailed deal that involved an exchange of 2006 picks which allowed the Cowboys to move up and select Virginia DE Chris Canty. They choose DT Mike Paterson with their 1st round pick and look for him to play in their tackle rotation immediately. With their two #2 picks, they drafted wideout Reggie Brown and LB Matt McCoy. Brown was a solid pick who will make a fine #2 receiver opposite Terrell Owens and was a good value and need selection. McCoy is a fast weakside backer who was a reach this early, but was very productive over his career. They addressed the lack of depth at running back with the addition of RB Ryan Moats in the 3rd round. He is a well developed back who should be an excellent compliment for Brian Westbrook. They held the first pick on the second day and added instinctive safety Sean Considine. They also traded up and choose small college behemoth OT Todd Herremans in the 4th round. He was a late rising developmental prospect who combines good footwork and bulk. They added LBers Trent Cole and David Bergeron in the 5th and 7th rounds. Grade: C


The Redskins held two #1 picks after the trade up from their #3 pick with the Broncos with next years top pick and #4 selections part of the deal. They held the 9th overall selection and they drafted corner Carlos Rogers one of the fast rising prospects in this draft class. He should earn a starting job immediately. With the Broncos selection, they drafted QB Jason Campbell a big strong armed passer who needs further development. He has the talent to become a solid NFL starter, but he did not warrant this early a selection. The Skins paid a high price to move up and is another poor personnel decision for both the short and long term. They chose two fullbacks on the 2nd day in Manual White and Nehemiah Broughton. They also added LB Robert McCune a muscular athlete with speed, but suspect instincts. Grade: D

NFC South

Tampa Bay

The Bucs’ draft provided impact at the top in runner Carnell Williams and LB Barrett Ruud who fill major need areas. Williams should excel in the Jon Gruden offense and gives the Bucs a complete feature back. Ruud is a tough versatile backer who has an early starting grade at several positions. On the 3rd round, they were surprised to find TE Alex Smith available and quickly selected the talented pass catcher. They addressed the offensive line with OT Chris Colmer in the 3rd and guard Dan Buenning in the 4th rounds. Both are potential starters and could make this draft class a bonanza if right especially Colmer. Safety Donte Nicholson was a fine addition on the 4th round and carries an early starting grade. They landed fine late additions in receivers Larry Brackins in the 5th and J.R. Russell in the 7th rounds. Both are big receivers who carry boom or bust labels. DT Anthony Bryant was a steal in the 6th round and carries a potential starting grade in time. He should be effective as a run stuffer in their tackle rotation. Grade: A

New Orleans

The Saints traded up three spots in the first round for the offensive tackle they wanted and selected OT Jammal Brown. At the 13th spot, they passed on several highly regarded defenders still available at that point such especially safety Thomas Davis, linebacker Derrick Johnson and DT Travis Johnson. Brown is a well developed blocker who has a chance to win a starting job immediately off his athleticism and technique. They addressed their porous defense with FS Josh Bullocks and LB Adam Fincher on the 2nd and 3rd rounds. Both were productive defenders at the Division 1 level and will help immediately in some capacity. Bullocks is a playmaker that has been missing in the Saints secondary over the past decade. On the 4th round, they chose WR Chase Lyman who was injured early in his senior season. He was a definite reach at this point of the process. He has talent, but must prove over his prior knee injury. On the 5th round, they selected talented QB Adrian McPherson who entered the draft after a short troubled college career. He has as much talent as any passer in this quality group of pro prospects. He is an interesting pick and has enormous upside potential down the road with further development. They closed out their picks with two defensive linemen, DT Jason Jefferson on the 6th round and DE Jimmy Verdon on the 7th round. They figure to make the roster and possibly see time in their deep line rotation. Grade: C+


The Panthers addressed their secondary when they selected safety Thomas Davis of Georgia with the 14th overall pick. He is a strong safety/linebacker tweener who has mainly performed at safety. He will line up there with the Panthers and is a tough in the box defender. On the 2nd round, they selected huge tailback Eric Shelton who has fine speed. He will compete for playing time as a rookie. With two #3 picks, they chose guard Evan Mathis and DT Atiyyah Ellison. Mathis tested well in the postseason and moved up the charts quickly. Ellison is a big physical tackle who gives them insurance with vet Kris Jenkins coming off an injury. They surprised fans when they added Louisville QB Stefon Lefors in the 4th round. He was a very efficient college passer and will fill a backup role. He has only marginal size and arm strength and may be never be more than a pro backup. They addressed their defense late with linebacker Adam Seward, DE Jovan Haye and safety Bert Emmanuel in the 5th and 6th rounds. Grade: B


The Falcons focused primarily on their defense after the first round where they selected wideout Roddy White. He is a well developed receiver with speed, hands and fine body control to be a strong factor in their passing game. On the 2nd round, they chose DT Jonathan Babineaux, a very versatile and quick penetrator with a great motor and fine instincts. He should be an immediate factor in their line rotation. On the 3rd round, the Falcons selected linebacker Jordan Beck, a very productive small school sleeper from Cal-Poly. He has nice speed and size but will go through an adjustment period and possible position change. On the 4th round, they selected Florida St. DE Chauncey Davis, a surprise pick this early. They look to him to provide some pass rushing skills off the edge. On the 5th round, they were surprised to find OLB Michael Boley available and quickly chose the underrated defender. They also added DT Darrell Shropshire in the 7th round to their changing defense. Grade: C

NFC North


The Vikings made a major change this offseason when they traded star receiver Randy Moss to Oakland for a top ten selection and LB Napoleon Harris. They rebuilt their defense with the addition of several quality veteran free agents this winter. With the pick they received for Moss, they selected junior wideout Troy Williamson with the 7th overall selection, a playmaker with enormous upside as a pro. With their own #1 pick, they chose DE Erasmus James who gives their front four another talented pass rusher. On the 2nd round, they selected OL Marcus Johnson who can start at either guard or tackle and probably as a rookie. On the 3rd round, they chose CB Dustin Fox who is a versatile savvy defender who should help immediately in their nickel and dime packages. RB Ciatrick Fason was fine value in the 4th round and was another good Viking runner chosen on the 2nd day in recent years. DT C.J. Mosley was a solid addition in the 6th round and he has a big upside and starting potential in time. He should be a solid backup to veteran starters Pat Williams and Kevin Williams in their tackle rotation. Grade: A


The Lions looked to this draft to help them get over the .500 mark and into playoff contention. They shocked fans when they choose wideout Mike Williams with the 10th overall pick, the third year in a row they drafted a receiver with a top ten selections. The Lions now have three top young receivers with Williams added to Roy Williams and Charles Rogers, the club’s prior top picks. How this position shakes out in training camp will determine the direction of their struggling offense next fall. They were equally surprised to fine DL Shaun Cody on the board in the 2nd round. He is a versatile tweener lineman who probably is best suited for end in the 4-3 scheme. He should help immediately and possibly start at the strongside end spot. CB Stanley Wilson was part of a run on corners on the first day and was chosen in the 3rd round. They selected QB Dan Orlovksy in the 5th round and he has nice upside in this setting with the potential to be an NFL starter in time. They added pass rush specialists Bill Swancutt and Jonathan Goddard with two 6th round selections. Grade: B


The Bears had major needs on the offensive side of the ball and used every pick but one for that unit. They were particularly interested in playmakers and used their top two selections on runner Cedric Benson and wideout Mark Bradley. Benson came the fourth overall pick and gives them a power workhorse runner that is critical for their offense. He is a physical runner who is especially tough between the tackles and has enough speed to get outside and make a big play. On the 2nd round, they came right back and addressed the wide receiver spot with Mark Bradley and also took wideout Airese Currie on the second day in the 5th round. Bradley is a fast tough playmaker who is still raw as a receiver, but has a fine upside as a pro. He could win the #2 spot opposite new veteran free agent Mushin Muhammad. Currie should compete for the slot receiver role early in his career. On the 4th round, they selected QB Kyle Orton a talented passer who fell off an injury riddled final season. He was great value on the 4th round for a club with little depth and production from the position. Grade: C

Green Bay

The Packers were in the market for their future starting QB with star passer Brett Favre nearing the end of his great career. They were shocked to find Cal QB Aaron Rodgers available at the 24th spot and quickly selected the accurate talented passer. They were prepared to pick QB Jason Campbell at the spot, but chose Rodgers as the higher rated prospect. He is great value at this point and learns behind the master for at least one and maybe two seasons. With their pair of 2nd round picks, they shocked NFL fans with the selection of small school DB Nick Collins and receiver Terrence Murphy. Collins is a college safety who most clubs project as a pro corner, but the Packers expect him to play safety at a need position. He was the biggest reach of the draft and a player who must produce early in his career to warrant this high a selection. Murphy is a fast receiver with big play ability and a solid value pick at that point, but a surprise selection with so many defensive needs unaddressed. They added five defensive players over their remaining selections with safety Marviel Underwood, a solid addition on the 4th round. They also added DE/OLB Brady Poppinga on the 4th and expect him to provide pass pressure as a situational defender. With one of their 6th round picks, they choose wideout Craig Bragg, a fine value here, but another surprise addition at a deep position. Grade: C

NFC West


The Cardinals were drafting in the top ten selections again and were hoping to land one of the top three running backs with the 8th pick overall choice. They went in the top five picks that forced the Cards to go in another direction when they selected CB Antrel Rolle. He addresses a major need area on defense and was the first of two first day picks at cornerback. Rolle is a physical defender with well developed skills to start as a rookie in the Arizona secondary. They were fortunate to land a fine talent in the 3rd round when they picked up CB Eric Green. He also could see time as either a starter or nickel corner as a rookie. In the 2nd round, they chose Cal runner J.J. Arrington, who has a solid chance to win the starting job with a strong showing this summer. OLB Darryl Blackstock was an excellent addition on the 3rd round and one of the better values in the entire draft process. The Cards also think they got a super steal in the 4th round when they landed guard Elton Brown. His stock fell dramatically because of a bad attitude and a knee injury that kept him from working out during the postseason. On the 5th round, they chose LB Lance Mitchell who fell in the draft while returning to the field from a prior knee injury. Grade: B

St. Louis

The Rams held 11draft choices and focused on the secondary and offensive line primarily in the early rounds. They added three prospects at those areas with all chosen by the 4th round. With their top pick, they selected OT Alex Barron when he fell to the 19th overall spot. He has the athletic package to become a stud tackle with the versatility to play either side. He fell slightly off some inconsistencies related to his overall effort and drive blocking in particular. He will compete for the right tackle spot in camp with the solid chance of winning the starting job. They came right back in the 3rd round with the selection of former Nebraska OL Richie Incognito and guard Claude Terrell in the 4th round. Incognito is a mobile 300 lb. athlete with a definite starting grade inside if his problems are behind him. Terrell is a road grader who will push the starters as a rookie. They used three fairly high picks on defensive backs, using their #2 pick on CB Ronald Bartell and #3 and #4 picks on safeties O.J. Atogwe and Jerome Carter. Bartell is a versatile defender who will get a first look on the corner but he was a reach this early. O.J. is an instinctive athlete who will play in certain packages as a rookie. Carter has fine triangle numbers and appears to be a blue chip defender but his lack of production is a definite red flag. Grade: B

San Francisco

The new 49ers’ front office started their new regime with the top overall selection and after attempting to trade for additional picks retained the draft pick and choose QB Alex Smith. He is an athletic, smart and mobile passer with the frame to fill out as a prospect. The 49ers attempted to build a good supporting cast around him immediately along the line with the addition of OG/OC David Baas in the 2nd and OT Adam Snyder in the 3rd rounds. Baas has the development to be a fixture in the middle at either center or guard. Snyder is a physical blocker who could start at either right tackle or guard and should be another early NFL starter. They surprised fans with the selection of injury prone Miami runner Frank Gore with their first 3rd round pick. He may be the biggest reach of the draft after two major knee injuries. He is a talented runner whose speed has not yet returned from the prior injuries and he did not rate in the top 100 prospects. They choose nose tackle Ronald Fields for their 3-4 scheme and he was good selection. They drafted two cornerbacks in the 6th and the 7th rounds in Derrick Johnson and Daven Holly. Grade: C


The Seahawks addressed their biggest needs in this draft class, but most selections were a round earlier than where they should have been chosen. In the late first round, they selected center Chris Spencer, a big mobile lineman with experience also at guard. He will replace aging veteran starter Robby Tobeck within a short time and maybe this fall. He is a blue chip lineman but was selected about a round too early. On the 2nd round, they drafted MLB Lofa Tatupu, a quick mobile backer who was one of the biggest reaches of the draft. The Seahawks even traded up to draft Tatupu that makes this a highly questionable move. On the third, they chose QB David Greene, a productive college QB with questionable arm strength for the NFL. He was another reach on the first day. With their other #3 pick, they selected LB Leroy Hill, an instinctive quick defender with the skill sets to move to the weakside role as a pro. With their 4th round pick, they choose OT Ray Willis who was their best value of all their picks. He has a starting grade for right tackle. They added OT Doug Nienhuis in the 7th round. They added DE Jeb Huckeba and LB Cornelius Wortham in the 5th and 7th rounds and both figure to fill roles in their defense. Grade: D

Yeah, the writeups were nice enough, but the grades were kind of weird - it all seemed to follow this format: The Tigers needed help at OL and CB, and they filled those holes with steals in every round. Grade: Random letter.

Yeah, the writeups were nice enough, but the grades were kind of weird - it all seemed to follow this format:

The Tigers needed help at OL and CB, and they filled those holes with steals in every round. Grade: Random letter.
Agreed guys.Good writeups,but the grades left me :unsure: :confused: :confused:

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