Here are my top 25 prospects for the 2007 NFL Draft. All 40 times are estimated.
1. Calvin Johnson*, WR/Georgia Tech (6-5 230 4.50)
Positives: His physical talent is second to none. Makes some of the most amazing catches I’ve ever seen. Wins a ton of jump balls, excellent size and leaping ability. Great run-after-catch.
Negatives: Makes amazing catches, but occasionally drops easy ones. Disappeared in some big games this year (Georgia, Wake Forest), but that was mainly because of Reggie Ball’s erratic play.
NFL Comparison: Larry Fitzgerald
2. Adrian Peterson*, RB/Oklahoma (6-2 215 4.40)
Positives: Runs so hard and so fast, no one wants to get in his way. Has an excellent combination of size/speed/power. He was very productive at the college level. More of a North-South runner but shows great moves when he has to.
Negatives: Has had some pretty big injury problems. Only played one full, healthy season in college. May have to change up his running style to stay healthy in the NFL, and there’s no telling how that may impact his career.
NFL Comparison: The old Fred Taylor
3. Gaines Adams, DE/Clemson (6-5 260 4.70)
Positives: Very talented pass rusher, excellent quickness/explosiveness. Great athlete for his size, and has the frame to add weight. Fluid in space, solid cover skills make a move to OLB possible.
Negatives: Doesn’t hold up very well when ran at. Needs to add weight to play DE in the NFL. Should get in the weight room and add overall strength. Sometimes plays too high.
NFL Comparison: Jevon Kearse
4. Joe Thomas, OT/Wisconsin (6-8 315 4.90)
Positives: He has excellent feet and blocks downfield like a TE. (He is a former TE) Very polished pass blocker, prototype LT in the NFL. Has a big frame with room to grow and long arms.
Negatives: Some say he lacks a mean streak, but I think he’ll be fine. Had a major knee injury in ’05, but appears to be over it. Not a great drive blocker in the running game, average overall strength.
NFL Comparison: John Tait
5. Brady Quinn, QB/Notre Dame (6-4 230 4.70)
Positives: He’s the prototype pocket passer. Has great size and overall athleticism. Productive in college, has the arm to make all the throws. Improved tremendously when Charlie Weis came in with the pro-style offense.
Negatives: Wasn’t a very clutch player over his career. Accuracy comes and goes, a little inconsistent. Had a bit of a disappointing senior season.
NFL Comparison: David Carr at Fresno State
6. JaMarcus Russell*, QB/LSU (6-6 260 4.85)
Positives: Huge, has a huge arm (can throw it around 80 yards), and had a very good junior year. Has as much potential as anyone in this class, surprising athletic ability for someone his size.
Negatives: Decision-making is questionable at times and his accuracy is spotty. He’s a little bit of a streaky player, which is definitely not what you want in a QB. Leadership ability, intelligence have been scrutinized.
NFL Comparison: Daunte Culpepper
7. Marshawn Lynch*, RB/California (5-11 215 4.45)
Positives: Great moves, balance. Very rarely brought down by one guy. Runs low to the ground, has a good size/speed combination. Has been very productive, a playmaker.
Negatives: He’s somewhat inconsistent. Sometimes tries to do too much and ends up losing yardage while looking for the big play. Not a great pass blocker.
NFL Comparison: Clinton Portis
8. Dwayne Jarrett*, WR/USC (6-5 215 4.55)
Positives: He’s a tall, lanky red-zone threat and knows how to shield defenders with his body. Wins a ton of jump balls, has a knack for making spectacular plays in big games.
Negatives: Had some injury problems this past year, needs to add a little strength. Not real quick off the ball, and has some questions about his attitude and work ethic.
NFL Comparison: Plaxico Burress
9. Alan Branch*, DT/Michigan (6-6 330 5.30)
Positives: Commands double teams regularly, extremely hard to move. Surprising athleticism for someone his size, was an RB in high school. Prototype NFL nose tackle, takes up a ton of space.
Negatives: Not the quickest guy, average as a pass rusher. Sometimes gets worn down and plays lazy later in games. Technique could improve.
NFL Comparison: Albert Haynesworth
10. Ted Ginn Jr*, WR/KR/Ohio St (6-0 180 4.30)
Positives: Big time playmaking ability. Amazing speed, might even run under a 4.3. Excellent return man, still raw as a receiver but is improving.
Negatives: Has solid, but not great hands. Lacks overall size and strength and can be bumped at the line. Raw route runner, but his quickness often makes up for that.
NFL Comparison: Santana Moss
11. Patrick Willis, MLB/Ole Miss (6-2 235 4.65)
Positives: Very productive over his career. He’s probably the toughest player in college football. Has unbelievable instincts, surprising strength for his size, and very good athleticism.
Negatives: Might need to get a little bigger. Not real fluid in coverage, could improve in that area. Has had some injuries in college, but played through most of them.
NFL Comparison: The old Takeo Spikes
12. Jamaal Anderson*, DE/Arkansas (6-6 275 4.85)
Positives: He possesses ideal size, strength, and athleticism for the DE position. Productive pass rusher this past season, has excellent potential.
Negatives: He doesn’t play with great leverage or technique, inconsistent. Still raw, can be overpowered occasionally.
NFL Comparison: Poor man’s Mario Williams
13. Amobi Okoye, DT/Louisville (6-1 315 5.10)
Positives: Has amazing strength in the weight room. He’s very hard to move, stout vs. the run. Gets a good push into the pocket. Will be a 20-year-old rookie, so his potential is limitless.
Negatives: Lacks ideal height, stamina. Still a little rough around the edges, technique could improve. Inconsistent, sometimes wears down late in games.
NFL Comparison: Pat Williams
14. LaRon Landry, S/LSU (6-2 205 4.50)
Positives: A playmaker with very good size and instincts. A smart player and a 4-year starter. Big hitter, can cover most wide receivers.
Negatives: Not real fluid hips, lacks elite timed speed. Will miss some tackles while going for the big hit.
NFL Comparison: Greg Wesley
15. LaMarr Woodley, DE/LB/Michigan (6-2 270 4.70)
Positives: Good overall athleticism, very powerful for his size. He’s a tough team leader, and a talented pass rusher with good moves.
Negatives: Lacks ideal height and timed speed, not that freakish athlete that most teams look for in a 3-4 ‘backer. He’s not real fluid in coverage, a ‘tweener.
NFL Comparison: Adalius Thomas
16. Reggie Nelson*, S/Florida (6-0 195 4.45)
Positives: A playmaker with great range and closing speed. Good ball skills, a big hitter. His cover skills are so good, he might even make the move to CB.
Negatives: Occasionally misses tackles while going for the big hit. Looks very skinny for an NFL SS will probably need to put on some weight to play his style in the pros.
NFL Comparison: Mike Minter
17. Darrelle Revis*, CB/Pittsburgh (6-0 205 4.45)
Positives: Prototype size/speed combination. Could make an impact as a return man. Good ball skills, solid in run support. Great potential as shutdown corner.
Negatives: Still a little bit raw, technique needs improvement. Gets by on physical talent too often, but won’t be able to in the pros.
NFL Comparison: Nate Clements
18. Sidney Rice*, WR/South Carolina (6-4 190 4.55)
Positives: Excellent hands, long arms, great on jump balls. Knows how to shield defenders with his body, goes up and gets it well in traffic.
Negatives: He lacks ideal quickness. Timed speed is average at best. Needs to add strength to beat the jam in the pros.
NFL Comparison: Michael Clayton
19. Paul Posluszny, OLB/Penn State (6-2 230 4.65)
Positives: Very good college player, excellent instincts. He’s a tough and has all the intangibles. A team leader, he plays with aggression.
Negatives: Not a big time athlete, he lacks elite quickness. Cover skills could improve, struggles shedding blockers. Had a major knee injury in ’05.
NFL Comparison: Lance Briggs
20. Leon Hall, CB/Michigan (5-11 195 4.50)
Positives: Solid in run support and coverage. Very experienced, a smart player and team leader. Good instincts, awareness, and technique.
Negatives: Doesn’t have ideal speed, was burned repeatedly by Ginn and Jarrett this year, and may not be able to keep up with big time NFL WR’s. Cover 2?
NFL Comparison: Ronde Barber
21. Rufus Alexander, OLB/Oklahoma (6-1 230 4.60)
Positives: A playmaker, always around the ball. He’s great athlete with a powerful upper body, big hitter. Plays big in big games, fluid in coverage.
Negatives: Smallish for a LB, can be overpowered by bigger linemen. Struggles when locked on to.
NFL Comparison: Pisa Tinoisamoa
22. Robert Meachem*, WR/Tennessee (6-3 215 4.45)
Positives: An outstanding athlete, great combo of size/speed. Had a breakout junior year, can run after the catch. If he tests at the combine as expected, he could go even higher.
Negatives: Was a major disappointment until this year. Doesn't have real natural hands and occasionally drops passes. Could improve his routes.
NFL Comparison: Javon Walker
23. Lawrence Timmons*, OLB/Florida St (6-3 230 4.65)
Positives: Amazing athlete, will probably go even higher if he works out like expected. Has a good combination of aggression and instincts. Has a lot of potential.
Negatives: Needs to add weight, can be overpowered by bigger linemen. At times he plays out of control and overaggressive.
NFL Comparison: Marcus Washington
24. Zach Miller*, TE/Arizona St (6-5 260 4.70)
Positives: Big, soft hands, very rarely drops anything. Gives his all as a blocker, good size. He’s a pretty good athlete for a TE.
Negatives: Not the Vernon Davis/Kellen Winslow Jr-type of freak athlete that everyone wants, so he may not get a look until later in round 1. Has no shortage of talent, though.
NFL Comparison: Todd Heap
25. Michael Griffin, S/Texas (6-0 205 4.45)
Positives: Excellent speed, always around the ball. Great in run support, plays aggressive. Good closing speed, very productive over his career.
Negatives: Sometimes plays a little too aggressive. Gets burned often and can't be counted on in man coverage. Doesn't have ideal instincts, can be fooled easily.
NFL Comparison: Terrence Kiel
The Next 30
Troy Smith, QB/Ohio St
Drew Stanton, QB/Michigan St
Kenny Irons, RB/Auburn
Michael Bush, RB/Louisville
Brian Leonard, FB/Rutgers
Dwayne Bowe, WR/LSU
Anthony Gonzalez, WR/Ohio St
Greg Olsen, TE/Miami
Levi Brown, OT/Penn St
Joe Staley, OT/Central Michigan
Tony Ugoh, OT/Arkansas
Ryan Harris, OT/Notre Dame
Justin Blalock, OG/Texas
Arron Sears, OG/Tennessee
Ben Grubbs, OG/Auburn
Ryan Kalil, C/USC
Adam Carriker, DE/Nebraska
Quentin Moses, DE/Georgia
Victor Abiamiri, DE/Notre Dame
Charles Johnson, DE/Georgia
Jarvis Moss, DE/Florida
Ryan McBean, DT/Oklahoma St
Quinn Pitcock, DT/Ohio St
Jon Beason, OLB/Miami
H.B. Blades, MLB/Pitt
Buster Davis, MLB/Florida St
Marcus McCauley, CB/Fresno St
Chris Houston, CB/Arkansas
Daymeion Hughes, CB/Cal
Eric Weddle, S/Utah