Sports Outside the Beltway

NFL Draft 2007 – Round 6

NFL Draft Logo 2007 The 6th Round of the 2007 NFL Draft is now underway.

ESPN’s NFL DraftTicker:

1(175) Oakland Orenthal O’Neal FB ARKANSAS STATE
2(176) Denver (from Detroit) Rufus Alexander OLB OKLAHOMA
3(177) NY Jets (from Tampa Bay) Jacob Bender OT NICHOLLS STATE
4(178) Dallas (from Cleveland) Nick Folk PK ARIZONA
5(179) Washington HB Blades ILB PITTSBURGH
6(180) New England (from Arizona) Justin Rogers ILB SMU
7(181) Miami Reagan Mauia FB HAWAII
8(182) Tampa Bay (from Minnesota) Adam Hayward ILB PORTLAND STATE
9(183) Houston Kasey Studdard OG TEXAS
10(184) Buffalo John Wendling S WYOMING
11(185) Atlanta Trey Lewis DT WASHBURN
12(186) San Francisco Thomas Clayton RB KANSAS STATE
13(187) Cincinnati Matt Toeaina DT OREGON
14(188) Tennessee Joel Filani WR TEXAS TECH
15(189) NY Giants Adam Koets OT OREGON STATE
16(190) St. Louis Kendrick Shackleford OT GEORGIA
17(191) Green Bay (from Carolina through NY Jets) Korey Hall ILB BOISE STATE
18(192) Green Bay (from Pittsburgh) Desmond Bishop ILB CALIFORNIA
19(193) Green Bay Mason Crosby PK COLORADO
20(194) Atlanta (from Jacksonville) David Irons CB AUBURN
21(195) Dallas Deon Anderson FB CONNECTICUT
22(196) Kansas City Herbert Taylor OT TCU
23(197) Seattle Courtney Taylor WR AUBURN
24(198) Atlanta (from Denver through Atlanta) Doug Datish OC OHIO STATE
25(199) Miami (from New Orleans) Drew Mormino OC CENTRAL MICHIGAN
26(200) Cleveland (from New York Jets through Dallas) Melila Purcell DE HAWAII
27(201) Philadelphia Rashad Barksdale CB ALBANY
28(202) New England Mike Richardson CB NOTRE DAME
29(203) Atlanta (from Baltimore through Atlanta) Daren Stone S MAINE
30(204) Tennessee (from San Diego) Jacob Ford DE CENTRAL ARKANSAS
31(205) Washington (from Chicago) Jordan Palmer QB UTEP
32(206) Tennessee (from Indianapolis) Ryan Smith CB FLORIDA
33(207) Baltimore (Compensatory selection) Prescott Burgess OLB MICHIGAN
34(208) New England (Compensatory selection) Justin Hairston RB CENTRAL CONNECTICUT
35(209) New England (Compensatory selection) Corey Hilliard OT OKLAHOMA STATE
36(210) Seattle (Compensatory selection) Jordan Kent WR OREGON

UPDATE: Scouts, Inc. takes us “Inside the sixth round.”

• The Mike Vanderjagt experiment in Dallas clearly didn’t work out last year, and the inconsistent Martin Gramatica isn’t getting any younger, so Dallas picked up PK Nick Folk out of Arizona. Folk has the power to connect on long-distance field goal attempts and to kick off, but there are some concerns about his accuracy. Given the recent kicking history in Dallas, it’s important he gets off to a strong start.

• Pittsburgh ILB HB Blades is a great value in the sixth round, but the Redskins selecting him comes as a surprise. Though Blades reads his keys quickly, takes the shortest path to the ball and tackles well, he is undersized and is going to get engulfed at times. More importantly, Washington has so many needs and so few picks that it can’t afford to just take the best value at this point. This team still needs a defensive end who can get after the passer like Central Arkansas’ Jacob Ford, who was drafted by Tennessee later in the round.

• Houston had filled its most pressing needs by this point, so it could afford to take the best available player. On their board, that was Texas OG Kasey Studdard, a tough drive blocker who plays with a mean streak. The only problem is Studdard doesn’t have great strength or athletic ability, so he is a reach here. Notre Dame’s Dan Santucci is a better prospect at guard and was still available.

• Buffalo took Wyoming DS John Wendling, who has the range to cover the deep half of the field and fills hard when he reads run. He could emerge as a playmaker, but he hasn’t made the most of his natural ability at this point, and the Bills should be concerned about his tackling as well as the level of competition he faced at Wyoming.

• Tennessee already has drafted two receivers at this point, but it needed plenty of help at that position coming into the draft. This is exactly where Texas Tech’s Joel Filani was projected, making this a decent pick. Filani could have problems separating from man coverage in a pro-style offense, though, because he played in a spread, pass-heavy scheme and isn’t very explosive. However, he’s big enough to shield defenders from the ball, and he catches the ball well, which means he could become a productive red zone target. Perhaps more importantly, he is expected to make an impact on special teams.

• It was the Green Bay show during picks 17 though 19 of the sixth round. With the first of their three picks in a row, the Packers took Boise State ILB Korey Hall. Hall is tough and quick, but he doesn’t have great size or speed, so it’s unlikely he ever will develop into an every-down player. Cal’s ILB Desmond Bishop went next to Green Bay. While Bishop doesn’t have great range either, he is bigger and is a stronger hitter. Finally, the Packers took Colorado PK Mason Crosby, who has rare range and can connect from long-distance, so he should be an upgrade over Dave Rayner. However, he isn’t fundamentally solid and has to get rid of the ball more quickly or he might have some field goal attempts blocked.

• Atlanta had four sixth-round picks and appears to have made the most of them. First, the Falcons drafted DT Trey Lewis out of Washburn, who has the quickness to work himself into the defensive tackle rotation. They then added Auburn DC David Irons, who doesn’t always play with sound technique but is a tough player with enough speed and athletic ability to become an excellent sub-package corner. After Irons came Ohio State OC Doug Datish. Though he doesn’t have great mobility, Datish plays with a mean streak, and head coach Bobby Petrino wants to toughen up that offensive line. Finally, Atlanta took a small-school prospect in Maine DS Daren Stone, who doesn’t have great speed but masks that weakness by staying in good position and is a sound open-field tackler.

• Seattle has good depth at receiver, even after shipping Darrell Jackson to San Francisco, but Courtney Taylor out of Auburn is still a good pickup. Taylor doesn’t have elite size or speed, but he has the body control, strong hands and footwork to develop into a productive possession receiver in time.

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