The Dallas Cowboys have selected Cal-Poly cornerback Courtney Brown with the second pick of the 7th round (212 overall) of the 2007 NFL Draft (a pick acquired in trade from Detroit through the N.Y. Jets).
He’s tall (6’1″), big (196 pounds), and extremely fast (4.39) but has poor technique and went to a school that competes well below the highest level. The gang at The Ticket note that he wasn’t even invited to the Combine and that the 4.39-40 was run in a campus workout.
Courtney Brown | CB | (6’1″, 196, 4.39) | CAL POLY
Scouts Grade: 59
Flags: (S: SPEED) Player lacks ideal speed at position
Strengths: Possesses excellent top-end speed, shows a second gear when tracking the ball downfield and can run with most receivers. Gets adequate knee bend in backpedal and shows good closing speed attacking the line of scrimmage. Flashes the ability to change directions quickly and has the burst to develop above-average man-to-man cover skills. Possesses good upper body strength and has the potential to develop into an effective press corner. Is tall, times jumps fairly well and can compete for jump balls. Reads routes fairly well, is aggressive and can jump routes. Lined up at receiver during freshman season, has the ball skills to make plays in coverage and is a dangerous open field runner that can produce after the catch. Fills hard when reads run and is an adequate open field tackles. Can get downfield quickly and has the potential to develop into a strong special teams’ player.
Weaknesses: Inconsistent footwork and can take too long to open hips when forced to turn and runs. Is vulnerable to play action and takes too long to recover when gets caught out of positions. Doesn’t have great bulk for frame and could get pushed around by bigger receivers. Lacks experience returning kicks and isn’t expected to contribute to the return game at this point. Played at a small school and there is some concern about ability to make the jump to the NFL. Sustained a season-ending knee injury in 2004 and durability is somewhat of a concern.
Overall: Brown lined up at receiver during his true freshman season in 2002 and he caught nine passes for 139 yards. He moved to corner in 2003 and he started six of the eight games he appeared in. Brown finished with 16 tackles, two interceptions and one pass break up. He played in game of the 2004 season before sustaining season-ending knee injury. Brown started 13 games of the 2005 season and he intercepted seven passes. He also broke up 12 passes and recorded 44 total tackles that year. Brown played in 11 games in 2006 and intercepted one pass. He also recorded 51 total tackles and broke up seven passes.
A knee injury in 2004 and small school competition caused Brown to fly under the radar throughout most of the draft process. However, he has drawn late attention due to a strong senior season. Brown clearly has the tools to develop into a contributing defensive back and special teams player in the NFL. He has a good frame for a corner, he’s fast enough to run with receivers downfield and he shows good quickness underneath. If he’s coached properly and continues to develop his skills with experience, Brown could emerge as a late-round steal a few years down the road.
The former wide receiver found a home in the Mustangs secondary in 2003, and then made a remarkable recovery from a left knee injury to establish himself as one of the elite players in the collegiate ranks. Brown proved time and again that he is a stellar shutdown cornerback, as he not only matched the school single-season record for interceptions (seven) in 2005, but he also did not allow any touchdown receptions in his last two years as a starter.
Brown was an All-League defensive back at St. Mary’s College High School, where he earned two letters in football as a receiver and defensive back. He also competed in track-and-field, qualifying for the state high school finals. In the classroom, he was a four-year Honor Roll member.
Brown enrolled at Cal Poly in 2002, where he played in eight games as a reserve receiver. He gained 139 yards on nine receptions (15.4 avg), with a long of 50. The following season, Brown shifted to the defensive backfield, starting six of eight games at left cornerback. He played behind Kenny Chicoine during the first two games and then went on to post 16 tackles (15 solos) with two interceptions. He would sit out the final three contests with an ankle sprain.
A left knee anterior cruciate tear in the 2004 season opener against Humboldt State put Brown on the shelf for the rest of the schedule. He returned to action in 2005, shifting to right cornerback, where he was credited with seven interceptions. He earned All-Great West Football Conference first-team honors while totaling 44 tackles (27 solos) and 12 pass deflections.
Brown earned All-Great West Football Conference first-team accolades again in 2006. He came up with 51 tackles (33 solos) and seven pass break-ups. He also had an interception and 1Â½ stops behind the line of scrimmage while allowing just 29 receptions with no touchdowns.
In 41 games at Cal Poly, Brown started 31 contests. He recorded 111 tackles (75 solos) with 1Â½ stops for minus-2 yards. He deflected 22 passes and intercepted 10 others for 63 yards in returns. He also gained 139 yards on nine receptions (15.4 avg).
Positives: Hard work during the 2006 offseason saw Brown increase his bulk and improve his overall muscle definition â€¦ Has a tight waist with tapered thighs and calves, long arms and adequate chest thickness â€¦ Generally lines up against the opponent’s best receiver and shows good confidence in his ability as a shutdown cornerback (did not allow any receptions in three games in 2006) â€¦ Builds to top speed in a hurry and shows good open-field acceleration to close on the ball â€¦ Has above average agility, balance and body control, along with adequate hip snap to stay tight on the receiver throughout the route â€¦ Best when utilized in man or press coverage, but needs to show better aggression in run support â€¦ Product of the weight room, demonstrating better force behind his hits in 2006 than he did in the past â€¦ Self-starter who prefers his own privacy, but is well-respected by the staff and liked by his teammates â€¦ Reads the pass quickly and does a good job of recognizing the routes â€¦ Instinctive open-field tackler who has the hand strength to press and re-route the receiver â€¦ Uses his speed well to lock on and mirror the receiver in one-one-one situations â€¦ Smooth and effortless runner who reads the quarterback’s release quickly and redirects to the ball in a flash â€¦ Shows good zone awareness, striking and jolting the receivers with force in press coverage â€¦ Has the catch-up speed and range to get to the ball immediately in pursuit â€¦ Adjusts to the receiver’s moves well and shows the burst to close on plays in front of him â€¦ Shows natural hand extension to catch the ball outside the frame and has the speed to recover and get back in the play when he over-runs the ball â€¦ Times his jumps and will compete for the ball at its high point â€¦ Not an explosive tackler, but is effective at wrapping and has the functional strength to bring down ball carriers in one-on-one situations â€¦ Takes good angles and plays tight in man coverage, using his hands effectively to strike in the bump-and-run.
Negatives: Needs to refine his footwork in his backpedal, as he appears to round his breaks and lacks crisp plant-and-drive agility â€¦ Plays too aggressive at times and will get caught out of position when he peeks into the backfield too long â€¦ Does not always recognize when his cushion is broken, but has the burst to recover â€¦ Needs to play vs. the run with more aggression, as he seems to hesitate to stick his head in the pile and gets blocked often by the bigger linemen â€¦ Shows some hesitation in his transition, mostly when he side pedals â€¦ Needs to do a better job of breaking down plays in the open (gets out of control at times).
Compares To: Chris McAlister, Baltimore — Brown has exceptional quickness and is a big cornerback with natural hands for the interception, but like McAlister he tends to like making open-field tackles or attacking the ball rather than play in run support. He has a developing frame with good strength, showing it well when jamming receivers, but is not an explosive tackler. He will bring good value in the nickel and dime packages, but needs to get more aggressive in run force.
2003: Missed the final three games vs. Cal-Davis, Idaho State and Humboldt State with a high ankle sprain.
2004: Suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee vs. Humboldt State in the season opener (Sept. 3), missing the rest of the schedule â€¦ Granted a medical hardship.
Combine: Did not receive an invitation.
Attended St. Mary’s College (Berkeley, Calif.) High School, playing football for head coach Jay Lawson â€¦ All-League defensive back, earning two letters in football as a receiver and defensive back â€¦ Also competed in track-and-field, qualifying for the state high school finals â€¦ In the classroom, he was a four-year Honor Roll member.
Civil Engineering major â€¦ Son of Billye and Terrence Brown â€¦ Born Feb. 10, 1984 in San Francisco, California.
1(211) New England (from Oakland) Oscar Lua ILB USC
2(212) Dallas (From Detroit through N.Y. Jets) Courtney Brown CB CAL POLY
3(213) Cleveland Chase Pittman DE LSU
4(214) Tampa Bay Chris Denman OT FRESNO STATE
5(215) Arizona Ben Patrick TE DELAWARE
6(216) Washington Tyler Ecker TE MICHIGAN
7(217) Minnesota Tyler Thigpen QB COAST CAROLINA
8(218) Houston Zach Diles ILB KANSAS STATE
9(219) Miami Kelvin Smith ILB SYRACUSE
10(220) New Orleans (From Atlanta) Marvin Mitchell ILB TENNESSEE
11(221) Chicago (From San Francisco through Cleveland ) Trumaine McBride CB MISSISSIPPI
12(222) Buffalo Derek Schouman TE BOISE STATE
13(223) Tennessee Mike Otto OT PURDUE
14(224) NY Giants Michael Johnson S ARIZONA
15(225) Miami (from St Louis) Brandon Fields PT MICHIGAN STATE
16(226) Carolina C.J. Wilson CB BAYLOR
17(227) Pittsburgh Dallas Baker WR FLORIDA
18(228) Green Bay Deshawn Wynn RB FLORIDA
19(229) Jacksonville John Broussard WR SAN JOSE STATE
20(230) Cincinnati Dan Santucci OG NOTRE DAME
21(231) Kansas City Michael Allan TE WHITWORTH
22(232) Seattle Steve Vallos OT WAKE FOREST
23(233) Minnesota Chandler Williams WR FLORIDA INTL
24(234) Cleveland (from Dallas) Syndric Steptoe RS ARIZONA
25(235) NY Jets (From Green Bay) Chansi Stuckey WR CLEMSON
26(236) Philadelphia Nate Ilaoa RB HAWAII
27(237) Dallas (From New Orleans) Alan Ball CB ILLINOIS
28(238) Miami (From New England) Abraham Wright DE COLORADO
29(239) Buffalo (From Baltimore) CJ Ah You DE OKLAHOMA
30(240) San Diego Brandon Siler ILB FLORIDA
31(241) Chicago Aaron Brant OT IOWA STATE
32(242) Indianapolis Keyunta Dawson DE TEXAS TECH
33(243) Green Bay (Compensatory selection)
34(244) Atlanta (Compensatory selection)
35(245) Tampa Bay (Compensatory selection)
36(246) Tampa Bay (Compensatory selection)
37(247) New England (Compensatory selection)
38(248) St. Louis (Compensatory selection)
39(249) St. Louis (Compensatory selection)
40(250) NY Giants (Compensatory selection)
41(251) Jacksonville (Compensatory selection)
42(252) Jacksonville (Compensatory selection)
43(253) Cincinnati (Compensatory selection)
44(254) Oakland (Compensatory selection)
45(255) Detroit (Compensatory selection)
The Dallas Cowboys have drafted Connecticut fullback Deon Anderson with the 21st pick in the 6th round (195 overall) of the 2007 NFL Draft. He’s an excellent blocking fullback with outstanding size and strength but generally considered undisciplined and a “character” problem.
Deon Anderson | FB | (5’10″, 243, 4.73) | CONNECTICUT
Scouts Grade: 31
Flags: (C: CHARACTER) Problems on and off the field
Strengths: Has good size, runs with adequate leverage and is a powerful short-yardage runner that rarely goes down with the first hit. Is physical and looks to run over defenders. Plays with a mean streak, possesses good upper body strength and is physical at the point of attack. Shows good focus while the ball is in the air and rarely drops passes that should catch. Keeps head up, shows good awareness and can pick up the blitz when asked to help out in pass protection. Plays with a good motor, has experience covering kicks and can contribute on special teams.
Weaknesses: Doesn’t show great balance as a blocker, fails to lock onto defenders at times and has some problems sustaining blocks. While is capable of knocking defenders back doesn’t always roll hips into blocks and isn’t fundamentally sound. Appears hesitant at times and has problems getting into position at the second level when isn’t aggressive. Doesn’t have the burst to turn the corner and lacks ideal top-end speed. Isn’t elusive and isn’t going to make many big plays. Missed the 2005 season for unspecified reasons and looked into transferring before returning to the team in as a walk-on in January of 2006, he has had some off-the-field problems and character is somewhat of a concern.
Overall: Anderson started six of the 12 games he appeared in during his true freshman season in 2002, rushing for 119 yards and one touchdown on 34 carries and catching five passes for 12 yards. He started five of the 12 games he appeared in during the 2003 season rushing for 124 yards on 35 carries and catching 15 passes for 148 yards and one touchdown. Anderson started three of the 12 games he appeared in during the 2004 season rushing for 99 yards on 22 carries and catching 14 passes for 133 yards. He missed the 2005 season and re-joined the team as a walk-on in 2006. In his return to action in 2006 he played in 11 games with nine starts, missing the season finale against Louisville with a neck stinger, and finished with 23 carries for 78 yards (3.4 average) and 14 catches for 101 yards and two touchdowns.
There are concerns about Anderson’s character and he needs to work on his technique as a blocker. On the positive side, he displays the toughness, size and versatility to develop into an every-down fullback for teams in search of his kind. Anderson might be too much of a risk to waste a draft pick on but he is worth bringing into training camp as a priority free agent.
POSITIVES: Hard-working blocker who flashes abilities handling the ball. Quick off the snap, has a burst of speed and accelerates into blocks. Jolts opponents at the point, sealing them from the action and opens holes for running backs. Fluid into pass routes.
NEGATIVES: Looks lean on the field and does not play like a 250-pound lead blocker. Not a natural pass-catcher.
ANALYSIS: A solid athlete who has displayed flashes of skill at Connecticut, Anderson has the ability to develop into a lead blocker for a West Coast offense. Must sort out his personal issues, which ultimately could keep him from having a career at the next level
Rick Gosselin, live on The Ticket, says he was the best kicker at the combine.
The Cowboys have already re-signed Martin Gramatica and they have former Dallas Desperados kicker Carlos Martinez on the roster as well.
More importantly, in a draft that was reportedly deep in wide receivers and cornerbacks — both positions where the Cowboys could have used some youth and depth — the Cowboys have picked zero of either. Yet they took a quarterback/wide receiver project on nobody’s top 100 list and the third rated kicker in the draft.
Another head scratcher. Granted, a 6th round pick is always a reach. But this is hardly a position of need nor was Folk a can’t-pass-up kicking prospect.
I’m pretty sure that a pick is a reach if the guy isn’t even included in NFL.com’s database of draft prospects. I don’t get a kicker, period, but I really don’t understand taking one not named Mason Crosby.
UPDATE AFTER GOOGLE SEARCH: Folk is 6-1, 215 pounds, so my guess is that Jerry is looking to upgrade the blocking at kicker after Martin Gramatica’s season-destroying whiff on Seattle’s Jordan Babaineaux.
He does provide this video of Folk kicking a longish game winner against BYU:
Mickey Spagnola notes on The Ticket that Folk was both a punter and kicker in school. Goose notes that he was by far the best kickoff guy at the combine. Still, the Cowboys have a Pro Bowl punter in Mat McBriar, who they’ve just re-signed to a long term deal in the offseason.
Strengths: Has a strong leg, can connect on long-range field goal attempts and gets good distance on kickoffs. Confident and shown the ability to come through in high-pressure situations. Has experience punting and is versatile.
Weaknesses: Though has improved in this area misses some field goal attempts inside 40 yards and accuracy is somewhat inconsistent. Kicks the ball too low at times and is vulnerable to getting blocked.
Overall: Folk arrived at Arizona in 2002 and was redshirted. In 2003, he played in 10 games, taking over as the fulltime place-kicker for the final four contests, made eight of eight extra point attempts, and missed all three field goal attempts. Folk won the starting job in 2004 for all 11 games, made 18 of 18 extra point attempts and eight of 13 field goal attempts (long; 53 yards). In 2005, he became an honorable mention All-Pac 10 performer after converting 31 of 33 extra point attempts and seven of 11 field goal attempts (long; 51 yards) in 11 contests. Folk made all 22 extra point attempts and 15 of 20 field goal attempts (long; 52 yards) in 2006 to earn first team All-Pac 10 accolades while playing in 12 games. For his career, Folk has also punted 96 times for 4,242 yards (44.2 average), with a long of 78 yards, and 36 punts downed inside the 20-yardline. Additionally, he kicked off 140 times with 83 touchbacks during the 2004, 2005, and 2006 seasons.
There is some concern about Folk’s accuracy but he missed just one field goal attempt inside 40 yards his senior year. He has excellent range and he is versatile. Folk projects as a late-round pick or rookie free agent.
Folk is on the phone with the gang on The Ticket. He says the Cowboys did express some interest in him and that he felt like he’d be drafted because he had so many good games late in his career. He was amused when confronted by the quote from an anonymous Cowboys official who had previously stated, “It’ll be a cold day in Hell before the Cowboys pick a kicker in the draft.”
He said he had several kicks blocked in college but it’s because his line really sucked. (He didn’t quite use those words and declined to throw any specific team mates under the bus. But that was the gist of it.)
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
â€¢ 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.
â€¢ 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.
â€¢ 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.
â€¢ 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.
â€¢ 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.
â€¢ 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.
â€¢ 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.
â€¢ 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.
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
â€¢ 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.
â€¢ 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.
â€¢ 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.
â€¢ 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.
â€¢ 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.
â€¢ 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.
â€¢ 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.
â€¢ 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.
â€¢ 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.
â€¢ 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.
The Dallas Cowboys selected North Illinois offensive tackle Doug Free with their 2nd pick in the fourth round of the 2007 NFL Draft (#122 overall). He’s the second offensive tackle taken by the team with their first four picks.
Strengths: A tall offensive tackle with adequate bulk and even more room on his frame to get bigger. He does a good job with his first step and blocking angles in the running game. He shows outstanding quickness and mobility for his size. Is an agile offensive lineman with the ability to consistently reach the second-level and hit the moving target in the running game. He gives a great effort on every play and will impress you with his motor. He shows good quickness in his set and rarely will get beat by speed off the edge. He also plays with good balance and body control, which allows him to shuffle laterally versus double moves. Displays good awareness in pass pro, as well. He has great experience and has been a durable player throughout his career. He also has dominated the mid-major DI-A level for the last two seasons.
Weaknesses: Lacks ideal bulk and will struggle to anchor versus bigger, more powerful bull rushers. Base is somewhat narrow and he must learn to play with more consistent leverage. He has adequate-to-good overall strength but lacks explosive upper body power. Has not played against top competition on a weekly basis at the collegiate level. Will have a little bit of a bigger transition to the NFL as a mid-major player than some of the other top OT prospects from powerhouse DI-A programs.
Overall: Free made 12 starts as a true freshman in 2003 at left tackle (including two at tight end). In 2004, Free played in and started all 12 games for the Huskies at tackle. Free became an All-MAC First Team performer after the 2005 season when he once again started all 12 games, giving him 36 consecutive starts over the past three seasons. In 2006 Free started all 13 games at left tackle, ending his career with 49 straight starts.
Free suffered a stress fracture in his foot in the season opener (Ohio State) that lingered throughout most of his senior year. As a result, he did not look as agile as he did on film from the previous season. Even when at full strength, Free has never been an overpowering blocker and he will need to improve his strength in order to sustain blocks longer in the NFL. With all that said, Free is still worthy of first-day consideration because of his impressive combination of size and mobility. He draws many comparisons to former Northern Illinois OT Ryan Diem, who currently starts at right tackle for the Colts, but Free is a significantly better prospect now than Diem was in 2001.
Tim MacMahon entitles his first post on this “The best things in life are Free.” He notes, “He’s 6-7, 318 pounds and agile, so he might be a better fit at left tackle than third-round pick James Marten, who played on both sides at Boston College.” He snarks, “Wonder how Pat McQuistan feels about the Cowboys’ draft so far.”
In his second post, he asks, “Will this be Flozell’s final season in Dallas?” He observes, “The Cowboys might not be running Adams out of town, but they sure are preparing in case he does leave. And they’re positioning themselves so that Adams won’t be able to hold them hostage in contract negotiations.” Quite right. And a good deal.
Free is on The Ticket, talking to Norm Hitzges, Goose Gosselin, and others. Hitzges asks Free why he thinks he fell so far, since he was considered a 2nd or 3rd round possibility. Hitzges notes that the Cowboys “took about 9 seconds” to make this pick and were high-fiving themselves that Free fell this far.
POSITIVES: Smart, alert lineman who stands out in pass protection. Displays a lot of quickness, recognizes blitzes and is an outstanding position blocker who makes effective use of angles. Stays square, keeps defenders in front of him and fights with his hands.
NEGATIVES: Not a dominant run blocker nor a true finisher. More of a finesse lineman than an outright mauler. Suffered a stress fracture in his foot early last season that hampered his play all year.
ANALYSIS: Formerly a tight end, Free has grown into a terrific offensive tackle. Offers a lot of upside for the next level yet may be incorrectly evaluated because of his injury last season. Possesses starting potential and is a bargain outside of the first round.
Cowboys fourth-round pick Doug Free is often compared to fellow former Northern Illinois tackle Ryan Diem, who starts at RT for the Colts.
Northern Illinois coach Joe Novak says Free has more potential than Diem. An excerpt of Novak’s quote from Free’s NFL.com scouting report: “Doug Free’s a lot better athlete than Ryan Diem. (Free) can run! You just don’t see many offensive linemen that can run at that size like he can. What’s impressive is he’ll sit back in pass protection and then we’ll throw the ball down the field and he’ll run down field and block a safety. I mean, get downfield! You just don’t see kids who can do that. He’s special. Our kids call him ‘Doug Freak’ because he runs so well.”
St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Josh Hancock has been killed in a car accident, the team says.
The Cardinals said they were told of the 29-year-old reliever’s death by the St. Louis Police Department. The team’s home game against the Chicago Cubs on Sunday night was postponed. The team said the accident happened in St. Louis, but no other details were disclosed. The Cardinals and police are expected to make a statement this afternoon at Busch Stadium.
Hancock has pitched for four major league clubs. He went 3-3 in 62 regular-season appearances for the Cardinals last season and pitched in three postseason games. He was 0-1 with a 3.55 ERA in eight games this season. Hancock joined the Cardinals before the 2006 season. He has pitched for Boston, Philadelphia and Cincinnati.
So, basically, the Cowboys taken yet another outside linebacker, a backup offensive lineman, and a fifth quarterback with their first three picks in the 2007 draft.
The strange thing is that Jerry Jones and gang keep saying that the team doesn’t have any real holes. Why, then, did they finish 9-7, collapse at the end of the season, and lose in the first round of the playoffs?
I hope we’re not back in the mid-90s business of drafting backups. That turned a perennial Super Bowl team into a mediocre one. Somehow, I don’t think it’ll turn a mediocre one into perennial Super Bowl contenders.
Strengths: Has good arm strength, puts good zip on downfield passes and can make all the throws. Possesses good size and it tall enough to see the entire field. Shows good patience when gets sound pass protection and has improved decision making. Possesses great mobility, throws fairly well on the run and is capable of making defenders miss. Has good lower body strength, shows great balance and flashes the ability to break tackles. Shows good ball skills and sells play action. Has good top-end speed, can change directions quickly and is capable of developing into a dangerous open field runner. Plays with confidence and is a leader on the field.
Weaknesses: Loses the strike zone too much, doesn’t have a great sense of timing and hasn’t shown the ability to lead receivers. Doesn’t put great touch on short-to-intermediate pass and puts too much zip on shorter passes. Throws off back foot at times, doesn’t always follow through and isn’t fundamentally sound. Lacks ideal awareness, doesn’t read defenses well and throws into coverage at times. Shows happy feet in the pocket and needs to show better poise. While has excellent athletic ability doesn’t have great pocket presence and isn’t as effective buying time in the pocket as natural ability would suggest. While has improved in this area, occasionally tries to do too much and gets into trouble when doesn’t take what defense gives him. Holds onto the ball too long and takes some big hits. Appears indecisive at times and isn’t as effective running the ball as someone with his natural ability should be. Suffered a season-ending broken foot injury vs. Oregon State (10/14) as a senior in 2006.
Overall: Stanback was redshirted in 2002. He appeared in 11 games during the 2003 season. While he primarily lined up at receiver, he connected on his only two passing attempts for 18 yards. Stanback also rushed for 27 yards on eight carries, caught ten passes for 143 yards, and returned eight kickoffs that year. He started one of the five games he played quarterback in during the 2004 season. Stanback threw for 389 yards, three interceptions, and three touchdowns while completing 33.8-percent of his passes. He also rushed for 66 yards and two touchdowns on 41 carries. Stanback started all 11 games in 2005 throwing for 2,136 yards, nine touchdowns, and six interceptions while completing 54.2-percent of his throws. He also rushed for 353 yards and five touchdowns on 100 carries. The Baltimore Orioles selected him in the 45th round of the 2006 MLB draft. In 2006, he started the first seven games before suffering a Lisfranc foot injury against Oregon State, which required surgery. In those seven games Stanback threw for 1,325 yards, 10 touchdowns, and three interceptions while completing 53.4-percent of his passes. He also rushed 85 times for 350 yards and four touchdowns.
Stanback’s marginal footwork has always led to poor accuracy as a passer. In order to compete for playing time as a quarterback his overall mechanics and decision-making skills must greatly improve. He also comes with durability baggage. However, he possesses good size, a powerful arm and outstanding mobility. If he doesn’t make it as a quarterback, Stanback is athletic enough to contribute at wide receiver, running back and/or in the return game. That potential versatility is the reason we grade him higher than many other more polished passers in this year’s class.
So, he’s a mediocre draft prospect. The Cowboys already have Tony Romo, Brad Johnson, Brock Berlin, and Matt Baker. Granted, Berlin and Baker are low-grade prospects. Then again, so is Stanback.
There wasn’t somebody available who might actually get some playing time?
UPDATE: Chuck Fairbacks, Norm Hitzges and the other guys on The Ticket say Stanback will likely be converted to wide receiver in the NFL. That makes a little more sense, although he 40 time is listed as 4.62. I don’t know when that was taken, though, so it might be slowed down by his injury.
Pro Football Weekly: Is a truly outstanding athlete. Very fast with the ball in his hands. Better than expected throwing mechanics. Studies the game. Was very inconsistent throwing the ball with many streaks of inaccuracy. Has a great deal of innate ability buy may not be a quarterback at the professional level. As a passer he is far from a lost cause but will require a great deal of individual coaching, refinement and patience.
Street and Smith’s: Instinctive. Strong arm; able to make all the throws, including the deep outs and go routes. Able to create if the play breaks down. Shows the ability to lead and manage an offense. Will need to improve footwork and mechanics. Needs to avoid locking on to a primary receiver. Is a special athlete. Improved in accuracy throughout his career.
PROBABLY GETTING DRAFTED …
Well, the template of on-again/off-again passer athletes has been the fourth round (Michael Robinson, Brad Smith). I’m gonna be bold and say he’s a fourth rounder.
GUY WHO WATCHED HIM FOR FOUR YEARS IS SAYING
I like Stanbeck’s NFL potential. He’s a productive athlete with good size and is a late bloomer as a quarterback. For whatever reason projects like Stanbeck keep making it in the NFL and I think he’ll work his way into a solid career.
The question will be whether it’s at quarterback or as a returnman/receiver/special teamer. Most teams will probably give him a shot at quarterback but if they’re impatient and/or lack many quality athletes by necessity he may end up doing other things. I’d like to think he can stick it as a quarterback after some third string, practice squad or NFL Europe work, but I’m not a coach with a job on the line so I hunch he won’t be a quarterback for long. Humbug.
UPDATE: Ill give Stanback this much: He’s got an arm on him. Take a look at this YouTube video of him chucking it 70 yards or so to Craig Chambers in 2005:
via Tim McMahon. Granted, Stanback will be used as a WR/special teams guy by the Cowboys. But there’s always the option pass…
Round 4 of the 2007 NFL Draft is underway. The Oakland Raiders started us off by taking Michael Bush, a running back who would likely have gone early in the first round were he healthy. He’ll likely sit out his first year, a la Willis McGehee a couple years back, but the Raiders are getting him for a high 4th, not a low 1st that the Buffalo Bills spent. Potentially, the steal of the draft.
1(100) Oakland Michael Bush RB LOUISVILLE
2(101) Jacksonville (from Detroit through Baltimore) Adam Podlesh PT MARYLAND
3(102) Minnesota (from Tampa Bay) Brian Robison DE TEXAS
4(103) Dallas (from Cleveland) Isaiah Stanback QB WASHINGTON
5(104) San Francisco (from Washington) Jay Moore DE NEBRASKA
6(105) Detroit (from Arizona through Oakland) AJ Davis CB NORTH CAROLINA ST
7(106) Tampa Bay (from Minnesota) Tanard Jackson CB SYRACUSE
8(107) New Orleans (from Houston) Antonio Pittman RB OHIO STATE
9(108) Miami Paul Soliai DT UTAH
10(109) Atlanta Stephen Nicholas OLB SOUTH FLORIDA
11(110) Oakland (from San Francisco through New England) John Bowie CB CINCINNATI
12(111) Buffalo Dwayne Wright RB FRESNO STATE
13(112) Pittsburgh (from Green Bay) Daniel Sepulveda PT BAYLOR
14(113) Jacksonville Brian Smith OLB MISSOURI
15(114) Cincinnati Marvin White S TCU
16(115) Tennessee Leroy Harris OC NORTH CAROLINA ST
17(116) NY Giants Zak Deossie OLB BROWN
18(117) Detroit (from St. Louis) Manuel Ramirez OG TEXAS TECH
19(118) Carolina Ryne Robinson WR MIAMI (OHIO)
20(119) Green Bay (from Pittsburgh) Allen Barbre OT MISSOURI SOUTHERN
21(120) Seattle Baraka Atkins DE MIAMI (FLA.)
22(121) Denver Marcus Thomas DT FLORIDA
23(122) Dallas Doug Free OT NORTHERN ILLINOIS
24(123) Houston (from Kansas City from New Orleans) Fred Bennett CB SOUTH CAROLINA
25(124) Seattle (from New York Jets through San Francisco) Mansfield Wrotto OG GEORGIA TECH
26(125) New Orleans (from Philadelphia) Jermon Bushrod OT TOWSON
27(126) San Francisco (from New Orleans through Indianapolis) Dashon Goldson S WASHINGTON
28(127) New England Kareem Brown DT MIAMI (FLA.)
29(128) Tennessee (from Baltimore) Chris Davis WR FLORIDA STATE
30(129) San Diego Scott Chandler TE IOWA
31(130) Chicago Josh Beekman OG BOSTON COLLEGE
32(131) Indianapolis Brannon Condren S TROY STATE
33(132) Pittsburgh (Compensatory selection) Ryan McBean DT OKLAHOMA STATE
34(133) Atlanta (Compensatory selection) Martrez Milner TE GEORGIA
35(134) Baltimore (Compensatory selection) Antwan Barnes OLB FLORIDA INTL
36(135) San Francisco (Compensatory selection) Joe Cohen DE FLORIDA
37(136) Indianapolis (Compensatory selection) Clint Sessions OLB PITTSBURGH
38(137) Baltimore (Compensatory selection) Le’Ron McClain FB ALABAMA
â€¢ A leg injury caused Louisville RB Michael Bush to drop into the fourth round, but he is an excellent second-day value for Oakland. With LaMont Jordan and free-agent signee Dominic Rhodes playing in front of Bush, the Raiders can ease him into the rotation and protect him while he gets back to full strength. And if he can get healthy and stay that way, he has the size and speed to develop into a franchise back.
â€¢ The only two punters expected to get drafted came off the board during the first half of the fourth round. Jacksonville got Maryland’s Adam Podlesh with the second pick of the round, and he could be a substantial upgrade over Chris Hanson, who is coming off a disappointing season. Podlesh has excellent power, is accurate enough to place the ball inside the opponent’s 20-yard line and he can kick off. Pittsburgh took Daniel Sepulveda later in the round. He, too, has good power, and he gets good hang time on his kicks, but he tore his ACL in the spring of 2006, so there are concerns about his durability.
â€¢ Washington QB Isaiah Stanback has the arm strength and mobility to develop into an effective backup for the Cowboys. If he stays at quarterback, he is an excellent No. 3 because of his upside. However, there are concerns about his accuracy, and he has some experience lining up at receiver, so Dallas could swith his position. If the plan is to play him at receiver, this is a questionable pick, because there were better values available at receiver. Taking East Carolina’s Aundrae Allison, Auburn’s Courtney Taylor or Virginia Tech’s David Clowney would have made more sense.
â€¢ Tampa Bay might be deep at corner, but there’s no doubt it needed to infuse some youth at the position, and it addressed that need by taking Syracuse DS/CB Tanard Jackson. While Jackson isn’t fast enough to line up at corner for a team that runs a lot of man coverage, he could excel in the Buccaneers’ Cover 2 scheme. He is quick, reads quarterbacks’ eyes and fills hard when he reads run. It couldn’t be a better situation for him, either. He gets to play behind three veterans, and as a hard worker, he should only get better.
â€¢ Miami’s best pick thus far might be Utah DT Paul Soliai. With Keith Traylor turning 38 this year and the Dolphins expected to part with Dan Wilkinson, they needed to get a tackle, and Soliai is a great pickup. Projected to go in the third round, he dropped likely because of minor character concerns, and he isn’t a great pass rusher. However, he has the size and lower-body strength to develop into a dominant nose tackle who can clog up the middle and keep blockers off the linebackers.
â€¢ Playing for the Giants is now a Deossie family tradition. New York took Brown OLB Zak Deossie, whose father once played for the Giants. Zak played at a small school and needs to work on his technique, but he has great upside.
â€¢ Denver took its second Florida defensive lineman in DT Marcus Thomas, who joins Jarvis Moss. Thomas has some character concerns stemming from multiple failed drug tests, but the Broncos can protect themselves by including a clause in his contract that requires him to stay clean. Keeping that in mind, this could prove to be one of the steals of this draft. Remember, many draft analysts projected Thomas as a first-round pick heading into the 2006 season.
â€¢ Last night we questioned Dallas taking Boston College OT James Marten over Northern Illinois’ Doug Free. Maybe the Cowboys were listening, because they came back Sunday and took Free. Free is a developmental prospect because he played at a small school and needs to get bigger, but he has the quick feet to emerge as a quality starting left tackle.
â€¢ Seattle filled its most pressing need by taking OG Mansfield Wrotto, and it’s not a bad pick. Wrotto shows great quickness for his size and excellent lower-body strength. However, Seattle really needs a guard who can play this year, and Wrotto is raw so he may not be ready to push for playing time this year. Keeping that in mind, the Seahawks could have considered Boston College’s Josh Beekman, whom Chicago took later in the round, because he is more polished.
â€¢ New England almost never reaches to fill need, and it didn’t here either. Though the Patriots could use some help at linebacker and corner, they took Miami DT Kareem Brown because he was the best value at No. 127 overall. Brown is inconsistent, but he is explosive and athletic for a player with his size. If Bill Belichick can keep him motivated, he should develop into a productive contributor.
â€¢ Baltimore drafted OLB Antwan Barnes out of Florida International, and he is a good fit for that scheme. Though he doesn’t have great size and doesn’t read his keys particularly well, Barnes is a speed demon, and the Ravens can unleash him on opposing passers.