Sports Outside the Beltway

NFL Draft 2007 – Round 5

NFL Draft Logo 2007 The 5th round of the 2007 NFL Draft is well underway. It gets much less exciting for the fans at this point, as the reaction to our team’s picks is generally “Who?!”

Still, some great players wind up being taken here. Picking well in the 5th and 6th rounds distinguishes great drafts from merely good ones.

ESPN DraftTracker:

1(138) Oakland Jay Richardson DE OHIO STATE
2(139) St. Louis (from Detroit) Dustin Fry OC CLEMSON
3(140) Cleveland Brandon McDonald CB MEMPHIS
4(141) Tampa Bay Greg Peterson DT NORTH CAROLINA CENTRAL
5(142) Arizona Steve Breaston WR MICHIGAN
6(143) Washington Dallas Sartz OLB USC
7(144) Houston Brandon Harrison S STANFORD
8(145) New Orleans (from Miami through Detroit) David Jones CB WINGATE
9(146) Minnesota Aundrae Allison WR EAST CAROLINA
10(147) San Francisco Tarell Brown CB TEXAS
11(148) Kansas City (from Buffalo through St. Louis) Kolby Smith RB LOUISVILLE
12(149) Jacksonville (from Atlanta) Uche Nwaneri OG PURDUE
13(150) Jacksonville Josh Gattis S WAKE FOREST
14(151) Cincinnati Jeff Rowe QB NEVADA
15(152) Tennessee Antonio Johnson DT MISSISSIPPI STATE
16(153) NY Giants Kevin Boss TE WESTERN OREGON
17(154) St. Louis Cliff Ryan DT MICHIGAN STATE
18(155) Carolina Dante Rosario TE OREGON
19(156) Pittsburgh Cameron Stephenson OG RUTGERS
20(157) Green Bay David Clowney WR VIRGINIA TECH
21(158) Detroit (from Denver) Johnny Baldwin ILB ALABAMA A&M
22(159) Philadelphia (from Dallas) C.J. Gaddis CB CLEMSON
23(160) Kansas City Justin Medlock PK UCLA
24(161) Seattle Will Herring OLB AUBURN
25(162) Philadelphia Brent Celek TE CINCINNATI
26(163) Houston (from New Orleans) Brandon Frye OT VIRGINIA TECH
27(164) Carolina (from NY Jets) Tim Shaw OLB PENN STATE
28(165) Oakland (from New England) Eric Frampton S WASHINGTON STATE
29(166) Jacksonville (from Baltimore) Derek Landri DT NOTRE DAME
30(167) Chicago (from San Diego) Kevin Payne S LOUISIANA MONROE
31(168) Chicago Corey Graham CB NEW HAMPSHIRE
32(169) Indianapolis Roy Hall WR OHIO STATE
33(170) Pittsburgh (Compensatory selection) William Gay CB LOUISVILLE
34(171) New England (Compensatory selection) Clint Oldenburg OT COLORADO STATE
35(172) San Diego (Compensatory selection) Legedu Naanee WR BOISE STATE
36(173) Indianapolis (Compensatory selection) Michael Coe CB ALABAMA STATE
37(174) Baltimore (Compensatory selection) Troy Smith QB OHIO STATE

UPDATE: Inside the 5th Round with Scouts, Inc.

• With Andy McCollum turning 37 this year, St. Louis needed to pick up a center, so taking Clemson’s Dustin Fry makes some sense. And Fry is a hard worker who plays with a mean streak and can drive defenders off the ball. The problem with this pick is it’s a reach, because Fry is an overachiever who doesn’t have great athletic ability. If the Rams wanted to fill this need here, Ohio State’s Doug Datish or West Virginia’s Dan Mozes would have been better choices.

• Arizona might have filled two needs by taking Michigan’s Steve Breaston with the fifth pick of the fifth round. First, Breaston is a dangerous punt returner and an efficient kickoff return man. He should replace unrestricted free agent Troy Walters in the Cardinals’ return game. Second, Breaston has the burst and quick feet to eventually develop into Arizona’s No. 3 receiver. He admittedly underachieved on offense at the collegiate level, but the natural talent is there if he can improve his route running and consistency catching the football.

• After reaching for a corner in the third round, New Orleans redeemed itself and helped bolster the position by getting David Jones out of Wingate. Jones obviously didn’t face the nation’s top receivers on a weekly basis, so there are questions about his ability to compete at the NFL level. But there is reason to be optimistic. Jones can change directions quickly, he rarely gets caught out of position and he plays the ball well.

• San Francisco obviously needs help at corner. The Niners could very well have found it in Tarell Brown out of Texas. Brown’s draft value dropped because of a disappointing senior season, a broken bone in his foot that hindered him last year and legitimate character concerns. But make no mistake — Brown is a player. Though he gets caught out of position at times, he is big, fast and athletic enough to develop into a starting man-to-man cover corner.

• The Texans did well to get Virginia Tech OT Brandon Frye. He is a developmental prospect who has had some problems staying healthy, but there’s a lot to like about his potential. He has the athletic ability and size to become an effective starter on the left side. Houston addressed another position of need by taking DS Brandon Harrison earlier in the round. Though they might have done better by taking Wyoming’s John Wendling, Harrison is not too much of a reach and is a big hitter who plays the ball well.

• Jacksonville has done an excellent job of addressing the safety position, which was its biggest need heading into the draft. In the first round, the Jaguars selected Florida’s Reggie Nelson, who represents a considerable upgrade over Gerald Sensabaugh. In the fifth round, they picked Wake Forest’s Josh Gattis, who instantly becomes the heir apparent to 31-year-old Donovin Darius, who has played in just 12 games the past two seasons because of injuries. He is a tough run stopper who can make plays in coverage and has the athletic ability to develop his cover skills. One area the Jaguars likely will work on with him is his tackling because he doesn’t always wrap up upon contact.

• Green Bay reached for San Jose State WR James Jones in the third round, but they did well to get Virginia Tech WR David Clowney here. Clowney flew under the radar because of erratic quarterback play and the Hokies’ commitment to the ground game. However, he has a good blend of speed, burst and hands. In fact, there’s a chance he could develop into a No. 2 receiver for QB Brett Favre.

• The loss of CB Roderick Hood to free agency made corner a need for Philadelphia, and the Eagles addressed that need by taking C.J. Gaddis out of Clemson. Gaddis is a little bit of a boom-or-bust prospect, because he is raw and inconsistent, but he has the natural ability of a starting corner. He has the upper-body strength to slow receivers down at the line of scrimmage, and he is fast enough to run with them downfield.

• Carolina’s strong draft continued in this round when it picked up Oregon TE Dante Rosario and Penn State OLB Tim Shaw. Both are good values and fill needs. Rosario doesn’t drive defenders off the ball or make many big plays down the seam, but he is a relentless blocker and has the athletic ability to develop into an effective possession receiver. Though Shaw isn’t explosive and takes too long to change directions in coverage, he makes the most of his ability. He never stops working, rarely gets caught out of position and tackles well.

• Ohio State QB Troy Smith finally came of the board when Baltimore took him with the last pick of the fifth round. While Smith undoubtedly would have liked to go earlier, he couldn’t be in a better situation. With the Ravens, he should benefit from playing behind Steve McNair, and the team’s commitment to the running game means he won’t have to shoulder the bulk of the offensive load.

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