2007 NFL Draft Wrap

2007 NFL Draft Wrap

2007 NFL Draft Wrap    
       
Another NFL Draft is in the books and the 2007 season is just around the corner. For all the draftniks in the football world, it’s a long ways to the 2008 NFL Draft, but minicamps and preseason games are just a few months away. Without a doubt, this weekend’s biggest surprise was the fall of Notre Dame quarterback Brady Quinn (and the early -- comparatively speaking -- selection of BYU’s John Beck) and the Dolphins’ selection of Ted Ginn in the first round. Although Quinn fell, he ends up in Cleveland and the Browns have to be thrilled they have a potential franchise quarterback. Outside of the Browns, one of this weekend’s biggest winners was the Oakland Raiders. Yes, the Raiders have been the laughingstock of the league, but things are on the way up for the silver and black.

-- Winners --

Arizona Cardinals – In what is fast becoming Pittsburgh West, the Cardinals are finally close to shedding their losing label. New coach Ken Whisenhunt has made all the right calls so far and adding tackle Levi Brown will help bolster the passing game and help Edgerrin James find running lanes. Defensive tackle Alan Branch has potential to be a rock solid player, while Buster Davis and Steve Breaston were nice value picks.

Atlanta Falcons
– Bobby Petrino’s first draft in the NFL was solid. Without question, defensive end Jamaal Anderson could start this year and guard Justin Blalock fills the need for bigger linemen in Petrino’s scheme. Cornerback Chris Houston is fast and will immediately contribute, at least in nickel situations. Wide receiver Laurent Robinson is a sleeper, but linebacker Stephen Nicholas was a good value pick in the fourth round.

Buffalo Bills – Selecting Trent Edwards in the third round could prove to be the best pick the Bills made in 2007. Edwards will compete for the backup job; if J.P. Losman struggles, he could be the starter. Although I don’t like the Bills dropping free agents and filling those needs with rookies, Marv Levy has done a nice job of drafting in his first two years. Running backs Dwayne Wright and Marshawn Lynch will be a nice pair in the tough AFC East. Linebacker Paul Posluszny is a tough Buffalo type of player and with the loss of Takeo Spikes, he will contribute to the defense immediately.

Cleveland Browns – As we’ve already mentioned, getting a franchise left tackle and a potential ten-year starter at quarterback is well worth a winner label in this draft.

Minnesota Vikings – Although the Vikings will start the year with an inexperienced quarterback, they have to feel pretty good about the direction of the team. Selecting Adrian Peterson will help take the pressure off of Tarvaris Jackson, but will also take a few carries from Chester Taylor. Peterson and Taylor is going to be a heck of a combination to deal with in 2007, in what is still a very weak NFC North.

Oakland Raiders – Lane Kiffin’s first draft was a big success for the Raider nation. Selecting JaMarcus Russell with the top pick was the best move for a team starving for a quarterback, but adding weapons Zach Miller and Michael Bush will give the team an infusion of youth and talent. Additionally, trading for Mike Williams is a good risk, especially since quarterback Josh McCown came along in the trade. If McCown is a nice stopgap until Russell is ready, this trade will look even better. Although the trade of Randy Moss is a blow to the receiving corps, this may be an addition by subtraction.

Pittsburgh Steelers – Another first year head coach, another successful draft. Mike Tomlin wasn’t calling the shots in Pittsburgh, but the Steeler faithful have to feel the team is in good hands with him as their head coach. The Steelers don’t have many needs, but linebacker Lawrence Timmons was underrated and will make an immediate impact. Second round pick LaMarr Woodley is a perfect fit in the 3-4, as he can be a rush end or a linebacker. Selecting Woodley and Timmons should ease any doubts the Steelers are switching away from the 3-4. Selecting tight end Matt Spaeth at tight end was solid and day two pick Daniel Sepulveda fills a big need at punter.

-- Losers --

Green Bay Packers
– Don’t get me wrong. General manager Ted Thompson has done a nice job of stocking the Packer roster with talent, but Brett Favre isn’t getting any younger. If the Packers are going to win now with Favre, they should’ve made a bigger effort to acquire Randy Moss or add potential instant impact players. Running back Brandon Jackson is nice, but he came out a year early and may not be ready to shoulder the load. Also, defensive tackle Justin Harrell could surprise, but I thought he was taken a little too early – especially given the fact that he’s coming off of a significant arm injury. On day two, the Packers did do a nice job of picking up a few gems, especially kicker Mason Crosby.

Houston Texans – The Texans biggest offseason move was getting Matt Schaub, but the Texans did very little in the draft. First round pick Amobi Okoye is solid, but selecting him at ten may have been too high. After Okoye, the Texans drafted potential sleeper in receiver Jacoby Jones, but really failed to address any needs along the offensive line.

Indianapolis/New Orleans – Simply put, both teams had defensive needs and didn’t fill any of those needs.

Miami Dolphins – Although John Beck is a potentially solid quarterback in the NFL, passing up Brady Quinn was a huge mistake. Quinn may not be an elite quarterback, but he’s the type of quarterback you build your team around for a Super Bowl run. Passing up Quinn is something you could understand, but taking Ted Ginn at number nine is simply too high. I already had my doubts about Cam Cameron as head coach and his first draft did nothing to show me anything different. Were the Dolphin fans any happier on Sunday after passing up on Quinn? Definitely not.

Philadelphia Eagles – Taking Kevin Kolb with a second-round pick? I think the Eagles are seriously concerned about Donovan McNabb – regardless of what Andy Reid says. I was a little surprised the Eagles didn’t look at adding more impact defensive players. Cornerback C.J. Gaddis could be a sleeper.

Tennessee Titans – I usually consider the Titans one of the best draft teams, but 2007 was a bad year. The Titans failed to land an impact receiver for Vince Young and the jury is still out on running back Chris Henry. Henry really came on at the end of the 2006 season in Arizona, but is he more of a physical specimen than actual impact player?

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