NFL Draft: First-round pick profiles Print
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Saturday, 28 April 2007 13:13
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 Profiles of the first-round picks in Saturday's NFL draft:
1. Oakland Raiders.
- JAMARCUS RUSSELL, junior, QB, 6-foot-6, 263 pounds, LSU: The mammoth Russell has incredible arm strength and above-average accuracy, especially on long throws. Makes good decisions, both pre- and post-snap, but occasionally will force balls into coverage. He's not a running quarterback by any means, but his speed is good and his size and strength make him a tough QB to bring down. Throws well on the run. Occasionally puts too much zip on short passes. Has everything he needs to become a star.
2. Detroit Lions.
but slow to adapt when the QB scrambles. Put up ridiculous college numbers despite a sub-par QB. Excellent work ethic.
3. Cleveland Browns.
- JOE THOMAS, OT, 6-6, 313, Wisconsin: A near-prototypical NFL left tackle, Thomas is big, but light on his feet. He's quick enough to slide with fast end rushers, but strong enough to wall them off, too. Has greatly improved his technique with his hands, although they could be a touch quicker. Has some injury history. Although left tackles are all about protecting the blind side, Thomas showed plenty of ability in the rushing game. Excelled in the classroom.
4. Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
- GAINES ADAMS, DE, 6-5, 260, Clemson: Quick and dangerous as an end rusher, he also has shown a knack for batting down passes with his agility and leaping ability. Has good escape moves if he doesn't beat his man with speed or explosiveness. Could fill out some. He's agile and can change directions quickly, though he doesn't shed blocks as often as he should. He can be stood up by blockers, and sometimes gets out of control emotionally. Could be a better tackler.
5. Arizona Cardinals.
- LEVI BROWN, OT, 6-4, 328,Penn State: Has all the physical skills to hold down a job as a left tackle, but his aggressiveness and technique are wanting. He beats himself on speed rushes with his poor footwork, but is excellent in the running game.
6. Washington Redskins.
- LARON LANDRY, S, 6-0, 213, LSU: Landry could be used as a kind of hybrid player. He's a free safety prospect who could thrive in man coverage, particularly over slot receivers and elite TEs. Against the run, he's quick and loves contact. Doesn't often get caught out of place by misdirection. Should be an immediate contributor on special teams.
7. Minnesota Vikings.
- ADRIAN PETERSON, RB, junior, 6-2, 218, Oklahoma: A scintillating runner for most of his college career before he broke his collarbone. Peterson has excellent speed, strength and field vision. He has good acceleration, but is happier to run over defenders rather than juke them. Most of his yards come after contact. Runs a bit more upright than is ideal, but the biggest negative is durability. In addition to the collarbone, he had a dislocated shoulder and an ankle sprain in earlier seasons. Not much experience as a receiver, but he's shown soft hands and seems able to pick it up.
8. Atlanta Falcons (from Houston).
- JAMAAL ANDERSON, DE, junior, 6-6, 279, Arkansas: An excellent prospect when he plays with the proper amount of aggression. He reads plays well and can run down ballcarriers on running plays. His Achilles' heel is his speed off the snap, which is not that good.
9. Miami Dolphins.
- TED GINN JR., WR, junior, Ohio State: Explosive and speedy, he is a major threat on long balls as well as after the catch on shorter passes. Compensates for slight build by being able to dodge a jam and take off. Needs to improve his hands and route-running. Also a serious return threat.
10. Houston Texans (from Atlanta).
- AMOBI OKOYE, DT, 6-foot-1, 300, Louisville: A rare teenager in the NFL draft, Okoye moved from Nigeria to Alabama at age 12. He has his degree and would be the youngest player ever drafted. Like Branch, shows ability to overwhelm blockers. Very athletic and quick off the snap, but how much will that be affected if (and when) he adds size. His eight sacks were outstanding for a DT. Not likely to dominate right away, but shows the potential to become the eventual top DT from this draft.
11. San Francisco 49ers.
- PATRICK WILLIS, LB, 6-1, 240, Mississippi: Instinctive defender who often reads plays and schemes like a book. Willis is strong (he won his team's top-lifter award) and tough, playing through injuries. He's an able block-shedder, and changes direction fluidly without losing speed. Excellent sideline-to-sideline player, but he also is quick and agile in pass coverage, though his technique needs work and his ball skills aren't great. Despite toughness, injuries have been a concern. Great intangibles.
12. Buffalo Bills.
- MARSHAWN LYNCH, RB, junior, 5-11, 217, California: An elusive, nimble runner who sees the field well, especially cutback lanes. Occasionally will get too high in his runs, but can be devastating with the correct pad level. Occasionally trusts his moves a bit too much, but is excellent at avoiding the initial tackler. Has soft hands and is a good receiver.
13. St. Louis Rams.
- ADAM CARRIKER, DE, 6-6, 292, Nebraska: Kind of an in-between player whose bulk could serve him well as an interior tackle or a power end in a 3-4 system. Has good habits, using his arms and hands well, but his lack of speed and agility are liabilities against the pass rush. Can get drawn in by play-action.
14. New York Jets (from Carolina).
- DARELLE REVIS, CB, junior, 6-0, 197, Pittsburgh: Late-riser who moved to the top of the cornerbacks' list by flashing blazing speed in his workouts. Very good size. Talented, quick, hard-hitting corner whose footwork needs work, but not his athleticism or instincts. Punt-return threat.
15. Pittsburgh Steelers.
- LAWRENCE TIMMONS, LB, junior, 6-3, 232, Florida State: Great natural talent who reads plays well and executes against the run and pass. Should be able to cover TEs well. His main negatives are his inconsistent technique and his less-than-quick burst off the snap, but his savvy and athleticism usually make up for these.
16. Green Bay Packers.
- JUSTIN HARRELL, DT, senior, 6-4, 305, Tennessee: A top-10 talent who lost most of his senior season to a ruptured left biceps tendon. Put off his surgery for a week to get some playing time in the Florida game, which speaks well for his toughness and leadership. Needs to improve his pass rushing technique, but is the type of powerful player who commanded double teams.
17. Denver Broncos (from Jacksonville).
- JARVIS MOSS, DE, junior, 6-6, 251, Florida: A talented, nimble athlete who needs to add some bulk and learn to use his hands better to keep linemen at bay. More of a finesse rusher than a power one. His height and quickness help him tip passes.
18. Cincinnati Bengals.
- LEON HALL, CB, 5-11, 193, Michigan: A hardworking and instinctive defender who might eventually wind up at free safety. He's got a great work ethic and is fluid in coverage, both backpedaling and turning to follow. He also has good reaction and ball skills, setting a school record for pass deflections. Needs to improve in press coverage. He's savvy on the field, but sometimes gives receivers a bit too much of a cushion. Can contribute against the run.
19. Tennessee Titans.
- MICHAEL GRIFFIN, S, 6-0, 195, Texas: Lots of athletic ability here, but he is a step behind on field smarts. Struggles in coverage and, occasionally, with wrapping up. Aggressive and willing, especially against the run. Excellent special teams player, who blocked six punts in his career.
20. New York Giants.
AARON ROSS, CB, 6-1, 192, Texas: Savvy corner who reads plays well and can come from almost out of nowhere to make a play on the ball. Great hands, too. He doesn't attack the run with great relish, which is probably his only weakness, and a correctable one at that.
21. Jacksonville Jaguars (from Denver).
- REGGIE NELSON, S, junior, 6-0, 193, Florida: Violent, aggressive player who loves to hit, Nelson often finds himself around the ball. Very instinctive on the field, he's also got the speed and burst to play center field as a free safety, especially in a cover-2 or cover-3 scheme. Needs work on wrapping up rather than trying to knock down ballcarriers. Will sometimes play the ball when playing the man is called for. Not great against the run. Could stand to add some bulk, but his speed and athleticism serve him well.
22. Cleveland Browns (from Dallas).
- BRADY QUINN, QB, 6-3, 226, Notre Dame: Having thrived the past two seasons in a pro-style offense, Quinn's draft stock solidified. He's put up good numbers, except in games when his offensive line left him scrambling for cover. Good arm strength and accuracy. He's shown excellent touch, especially on seam routes. Needs to lead receivers better on crossing routes. Will occasionally get too anxious in the pocket, and either get happy feet or take off and run. Does not throw well on the run, but shows some ability to elude tacklers when running.
23. Kansas City Chiefs.
- DWAYNE BOWE, WR, 6-2, 217, LSU: A tough, long-legged receiver who overcomes his relatively slow acceleration by overpowering his defender. Needs to improve his technique and ability after the catch. Tough player who isn't afraid to go over the middle.
24. New England Patriots (from Seattle).
- BRANDON MERIWEATHER, S, 5-11, 192, Miami: Smart, heads-up player who is tough to fool with misdirection and tough for TEs to shake in coverage. Has the grace of a cornerback when playing the deep ball. Was a central figure in the brawl between Miami and Florida International, but also issued an apology without university prompting. Can play both positions as well as nickel.
25. Carolina Panthers (from New York Jets).
- JON BEASON, LB, junior, 6-0, 236, Miami: Motivated, hard-working player whose aggressiveness can get him into trouble. His speed and athleticism serve him well, but he needs to improve his coverage awareness and stop biting on play-fakes so often. Better at avoiding blockers than shedding them.
26. Dallas Cowboys (from Philadelphia).
- ANTHONY SPENCER, DE, 6-3, 266, Purdue: The Ted Hendricks Award winner as the nation's best defensive end as a senior. He led the nation in tackles behind the line of scrimmage with 26 1/2, including 10 1/2 sacks. A speed rusher who has to prove he can hold up against the run and be an everydown player, but his strength and quickness are top-notch.
27. New Orleans Saints.
- ROBERT MEACHEM, WR, 6-3, 211, junior, Tennessee: Big and fast playmaker, but needs to get better at going over the middle and blocking. Does well on jump balls. Set a school record with 1,2981 yards receiving last year.
28. San Francisco 49ers (from New England).
- JOE STALEY, OT, 6-5, 302, Central Michigan: A former tight end who is seriously explosive and quick off the line. Shows good footwork, though he sometimes stands up tall and loses his base of stability. An upside pick.
29. Baltimore Ravens.
- BEN GRUBBS, OG, 6-3, 314, Auburn: Quick, considering he's more than 300 pounds, he's a sturdy and well-built guard who can ward off athletic pass rushers. In the running game, he shows good pop at contact and a consistent ability to get to the second level. Will occasionally get too high and be walked back by defenders. Could stand to improve his technique with hands and feet.
30. San Diego Chargers.
- CRAIG DAVIS, WR, 6-1, 207, LSU: Runs precise routes and has excellent hands. Not as athletically gifted as his teammate, Dwayne Bowe, but drops fewer passes and shows a willingness to block aggressively. Needs to be better in crowds and to fill out some in the upper body.
31. Chicago Bears.
- GREG OLSEN, TE, junior, 6-4, 252, Miami: Athletic player who can catch the ball if it's near him. He's fast and explosive enough to force safeties to cover him. Not great at breaking tackles, but tough enough. His blocking is a liability, both in the running game and especially against the pass rush.
32. Indianapolis Colts.
- ANTHONY GONZALEZ, WR, 6-0, 195, Ohio State: Speedster with good hands who occasionally looks upfield before securing the ball. Struggles against physical coverage, though. Hard worker.
 

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