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Old 05-13-2010, 06:01 AM   #1
HEAV
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Default 2007 draft review: JaMarcus Russell flop seals Raiders' fate

A+

New England Patriots:

Of their nine choices, only Pro Bowl S Brandon Meriweather (1st) has done much. But … Meriweather was the only player taken in the first three rounds. The Patriots flipped a second first-round pick (No. 28) for the San Francisco 49ers' top pick in 2008 (which became promising LB Jerod Mayo); their second-rounder was spent to acquire WR Wes Welker and a fourth-rounder was all they needed to get WR Randy Moss from the Oakland Raiders. Just goes to show, you don't need to get rookies in the draft to drastically improve your team.

New York Jets:

They moved up in Round 1 for all-pro CB Darrelle Revis and in Round 2 for LB David Harris, who could be an all-pro soon. Not good enough? By swapping position in the second round with the Chicago Bears, they also netted workhorse RB Thomas Jones.

A

Minnesota Vikings:

RB Adrian Peterson (1st) was an instant star, while WR Sidney Rice (2nd) developed into one in 2009. Even QB Tyler Thigpen (7th) has performed reasonably well elsewhere, though CB Marcus McCauley (3rd) and WR Aundrae Allison (5th) have not.

A-

New York Giants:

All eight picks remain on the roster, and only OL Adam Koets (6th) didn't contribute as a rookie during the team's drive to the championship. Perhaps no superstars in the group, but WR Steve Smith (2nd) and RB Ahmad Bradshaw (7th) continue to get better, with Smith leading the NFC with 107 catches last year. CB Aaron Ross (1st) needs to stay healthy.

San Francisco 49ers:

They found two cornerstones in Round 1: ILB Patrick Willis and OT Joe Staley. They found two starting defensive backs later: S Dashon Goldson (4th) and CB Tarell Brown (5th). And though they dealt a 2008 first-rounder to the Patriots to get Staley, they recouped it later in a deal with the Indianapolis Colts.

B+

Houston Texans:

G Kasey Studdard (6th) and LB Zac Diles (7th) were late gems, but DT Amobi Okoye (1st) has yet to live up to the luster predicted. But general manager Rick Smith's definitive move was giving up two second-rounders (and a first-round swap) to get QB Matt Schaub, a blossoming star.

B

Baltimore Ravens:

Given the typical quality of GM Ozzie Newsome's drafts, this one doesn't rank as particularly memorable. He did import starting G Ben Grubbs (1st), and OL Marshal Yanda (3rd) has been a starter when healthy. Two-time Pro Bowl FB Le'Ron McClain (4th) came one round ahead of backup QB Troy Smith. On the negative side, WR-KR Yamon Figurs (3rd) didn't last long. Newsome also nabbed RB Willis McGahee in a predraft deal with the Buffalo Bills.

Carolina Panthers:

They moved down in a Round 1 trade with the Jets but still picked up Pro Bowl MLB Jon Beason. C Ryan Kalil (2nd) is entrenched as a starter and also came as a result of the Jets deal. DE Charles Johnson (3rd) needs to step it up with Julius Peppers gone, and Carolina is still waiting for WR Dwayne Jarrett (2nd) to show up.

B-

Cincinnati Bengals:

The good news? The Bengals found two starters for the secondary at the top and bottom of the draft in CB Leon Hall (1st) and SS Chinedum Ndukwe (7th). The bad news? Not much in between. RB Kenny Irons (2nd) got hurt and never played. LB Ahmad Brooks (taken in the 3rd round of the 2006 supplemental draft) didn't flourish until joining the 49ers. Despite starting 10 games in 2008, S Marvin White (4th) didn't stick.

C+

Arizona Cardinals:

OT Levi Brown (1st) has been solid. DL Alan Branch (2nd) has been anything but. Fifth-round find Steve Breaston is expected to take over for WR Anquan Boldin in 2010 and could be joined in the starting lineup by TE Ben Patrick (7th).

Dallas Cowboys:

The grade could kick up to a B this season. LB Anthony Spencer (1st) emerged in 2009 and might soon take off. OT Doug Free (4th) and S Alan Ball (7th) earned opportunities to start in 2010, allowing the team to cut former Pro Bowlers Flozell Adams and Ken Hamlin. But given that OT James Marten (3rd), WR Isaiah Stanback (4th) and former Pro Bowl K Nick Folk (6th) are trying to kick-start their careers in different uniforms, it's hard to see this group ultimately grading out better than a B.

C
Cleveland Browns:

They enlisted perhaps the game's best young offensive tackle in Joe Thomasat No. 3 overall and two starting CBs in Eric Wright (2nd) and Brandon McDonald (5th). Why the relatively low grade? McDonald has likely lost his job to 2010 first-rounder Joe Haden. But far worse was the Brady Quinn gamble. The Browns dealt a 2007 second-rounder and 2008 first-rounder to move up to No. 22 and grab the Notre Dame quarterback, who never lived up to the advance billing before being traded.

Indianapolis Colts:

WR Anthony Gonzalez (1st) had worked his way up to a starting job in 2009, but a knee injury cost him the season. Demoted OT Tony Ugoh (2nd) hasn't justified the 2008 first-round pick team President Bill Polian paid to get him. LB Clint Session (4th) and DT Keyunta Dawson (7th) have been steady contributors.

Tennessee Titans:

S Michael Griffin (1st) is Pro Bowl-caliber. RB Chris Henry (2nd) and WR Paul Williams (3rd) are UFL-caliber. DE Jacob Ford (6th) has become a valuable member of the D-line, while C Leroy Harris (4th) will likely supplant Kevin Mawae in 2010.

C-

Atlanta Falcons:

Good — G Justin Blalock (2nd). Bad — CB Chris Houston (2nd), who's now a Detroit Lion. Ugly — DE Jamaal Anderson (1st) and his 2½ career sacks.

Buffalo Bills:

They moved up to get ILB Paul Posluszny (2nd), who looks like he'll be productive if he can remain healthy. But former Pro Bowl RB Marshawn Lynch (1st) has seen his once-promising career spiral downward, and QB Trent Edwards (3rd) has failed to establish himself.

Detroit Lions:

This assessment feels a bit generous, but WR Calvin Johnson (No. 2 overall pick) might eventually be the NFL's premier wideout. But second-rounders Drew Stanton, Ikaika Alama-Francis and Gerald Alexander look like wasted picks, with backup quarterback Stanton the only one still in Detroit.

Jacksonville Jaguars:

G Uche Nwaneri (5th) has been the most consistent player, earning a starting role in 2008, though WR Mike Sims-Walker (3rd) had a breakout 2009. But S Reggie Nelson (1st) and LB Justin Durant (2nd) could be fighting for their jobs this summer.

New Orleans Saints:

LT Jermon Bushrod (4th) stepped in to start for injured Jammal Brown and performed well in 2009. WR Robert Meachem (1st) also showed more than potential during the run to the Super Bowl. But the Saints likely won't reap much more from this now depleted seven-man class.

Pittsburgh Steelers:

Excusing Pro Bowl OLB LaMarr Woodley (2nd), not many happy returns. ILB Lawrence Timmons (1st) seems miscast in the 3-4 defense, and CB William Gay (5th) flopped as a starter in 2009.

San Diego Chargers:

GM A.J. Smith found two players late, WR Legedu Naanee (5th) and LB Brandon Siler (7th), who should see the field a lot in 2010. However, Smith thought virtually invisible WR Craig "Buster" Davis (1st) would be the factor, not Naanee, and the four choices he spent to get S Eric Weddle (2nd) look like too big a payout for a player who hasn't made nearly enough plays.

D+

Chicago Bears:

TE Greg Olsen (1st) has been solid, though perhaps a bit underused. The other eight draftees have offered next to nothing, rendering the bountiful Weddle deal with the Chargers a failure. Chicago also seemed to get fleeced on the Jones deal with the Jets.

Kansas City Chiefs:

Two players remain. WR Dwayne Bowe (1st) has shown on-field ability but the off-field penchant to test his coaches' patience. RB Kolby Smith (4th) is injury-prone and will be hard-pressed to find carries behind newly signed Thomas Jones and Jamaal Charles in 2010.

D

Denver Broncos:

With 3½ sacks in three seasons, DE Jarvis Moss (1st) has been a bust. DE Tim Crowder (2nd) has already been shipped out, and DT Marcus Thomas (4th) is barely hanging on. Only RT Ryan Harris (3rd) has kept this crop from being an unqualified disaster.

Green Bay Packers:

K Mason Crosby (6th) is quite productive … but he might be the signature player of this haul. DL Justin Harrell (1st) can't stay on the field, and RB Brandon Jackson (2nd) has been a bit player. WR James Jones might be an impact player with more opportunities, though fellow third-rounder Aaron Rouse is already bouncing around the league.

Seattle Seahawks:

No offense to DT Brandon Mebane (3rd), but he shouldn't define a draft.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers:

DE Gaines Adams, the fourth overall pick, was traded last season before his untimely death. G Arron Sears (2nd) is no longer with the team. S Sabby Piscitelli (2nd) and LB Quincy Black (3rd) still have time to join S Tanard Jackson (4th) as productive players. This was also the year Tampa Bay dealt for QB Jake Plummer, who never reported.

Washington Redskins:

If S LaRon Landry— the sixth overall pick but the only player taken in the first four rounds in another thin Redskins draft — doesn't reach his potential soon, a D might prove kind.

D-

Oakland Raiders:

Given the JaMarcus Russell debacle (No. 1 overall pick), it's hard not to outright flunk the Raiders, whose third-rounder, DE Quentin Moses, didn't even make the team. And they traded away a great (though unmotivated) receiver in Moss for a fourth-rounder, and picked up a dud (Mike Williams) in another deal. But TE Zach Miller (2nd) is a budding star, RB Michael Bush (4th) was a good gamble despite his injury history and OT Mario Henderson (3rd) might become a serviceable player after starting 16 games in 2009.

St. Louis Rams:

The top four picks — DL Adam Carriker (1st), RB Brian Leonard (2nd), CB Jonathan Wade (3rd) and C Dustin Fry (5th) — all washed out with the Rams. DT Clifton Ryan (5th) provides the only measure of redemption for a team that's gone 6-42 since these players were picked.

F

Miami Dolphins:

Horrible. The top four picks — WR-KR Ted Ginn, Jr. (1st), QB John Beck (2nd), C Samson Satele (2nd) and RB Lorenzo Booker (3rd) — all play for different teams, though none has had a distinguished NFL career to date. The postscript? They picked Satele with the selection acquired from New England for Welker.

Incomplete

Philadelphia Eagles:

They traded out of the first round and made QB Kevin Kolb (2nd) their initial pick. His performance this season and beyond will define this draft. MLB Stewart Bradley (3rd) had a promising 2008 but lost 2009 to a preseason knee injury. TE Brent Celek (5th) was a steal; RB Tony Hunt (3rd) is looking for work.

http://www.usatoday.com/sports/footb...M_Exclude=Juno
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Old 05-13-2010, 06:29 AM   #2
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How in the world does Tennesee only get a C?!?

Tennessee Titans:

S Michael Griffin (1st) is Pro Bowl-caliber. RB Chris Henry (2nd) and WR Paul Williams (3rd) are UFL-caliber. DE Jacob Ford (6th) has become a valuable member of the D-line, while C Leroy Harris (4th) will likely supplant Kevin Mawae in 2010.
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Old 05-13-2010, 07:05 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LonghornBronco View Post
How in the world does Tennesee only get a C?!?

Tennessee Titans:

S Michael Griffin (1st) is Pro Bowl-caliber. RB Chris Henry (2nd) and WR Paul Williams (3rd) are UFL-caliber. DE Jacob Ford (6th) has become a valuable member of the D-line, while C Leroy Harris (4th) will likely supplant Kevin Mawae in 2010.
That. The list doesn't seem very consistent from team to team.
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Old 05-13-2010, 07:20 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LonghornBronco View Post
How in the world does Tennesee only get a C?!?

Tennessee Titans:

S Michael Griffin (1st) is Pro Bowl-caliber. RB Chris Henry (2nd) and WR Paul Williams (3rd) are UFL-caliber. DE Jacob Ford (6th) has become a valuable member of the D-line, while C Leroy Harris (4th) will likely supplant Kevin Mawae in 2010.
A Pro Bowler and two starting caliber players is more than a lot of teams manage to get out of a draft class.
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