Len Pasquarelli reports that “The New England Patriots have reached a trade agreement in principle to acquire wide receiver Randy Moss from the Oakland Raiders for a fourth-round round choice in Sunday’s second day of the NFL draft.”
Again, the Pats get a steal.
Granted, the Raiders don’t have much use for a disgruntled veteran on a rebuilding team. But the Pats get an instant-impact wide receiver that will again make them the favorite to represent the AFC in the Super Bowl. For only a 4th round pick, to boot.
The guys at ESPN.com analyze all the trades from Day 1 of the 2007 NFL Draft. While I tend to look at these trades in terms of the numerical value of the picks, they simply look at the players each team winds up picking with the selections.
Analysis: First round
Lions trade up with Ravens
Detroit Lions: Acquire pick No. 61 (selected S Gerald Alexander).
Baltimore Ravens: Acquire picks No. 74 (third round) and No. 101 (fourth round).
Lions trade up with Saints
Detroit Lions: Acquire pick No. 53 (selected DE Ikaika Alama-Francis).
New Orleans Saints: Acquire picks No. 66 (third round) and No. 145 (fifth round).
Browns trade up with Cowboys
Cleveland Browns: Acquire picks No. 53 (selected DB Eric Wright) and No. 195 (sixth round).
Dallas Cowboys: Acquire picks No. 67 (third round), No. 103 (fourth round) and No. 178 (sixth round).
Raiders trade for Williams, McCown
Oakland Raiders: Acquire WR Mike Williams and QB Josh McCown.
Detroit Lions: Acquire pick No. 105 (fourth round).
Jets, Packers swap second-rounders and more
New York Jets: Acquire picks No. 47 (selected LB David Harris) and No. 235 (seventh round).
Green Bay Packers: Acquire picks No. 63 (second round), No. 89 (third round) and No. 191 (sixth round).
Colts trade up with 49ers
Indianapolis Colts: Acquire pick No. 42 (selected OT Tony Ugoh).
San Francisco 49ers: Acquire pick No. 126 (fourth round) and Colts’ first-round pick in 2008.
Falcons, Vikings swap second-rounders
Atlanta Falcons: Acquire pick No. 41 (selected CB Chris Houston)
Minnesota Vikings: Acquire No. 44 (selected WR Sidney Rice) and No. 121 (fourth round).
Browns trade up for Quinn
Cleveland Browns: Acquire pick No. 22 (select QB Brady Quinn).
Dallas Cowboys: Acquire pick No. 36 and Browns’ first-round pick in 2008.
Scouts take: GM Phil Savage made an aggressive move by trading up and acquiring their franchise quarterback of the future in Brady Quinn. The Browns gave up a second-round pick this year, along with their first-round pick next year. The Browns are definitely the winners on the first day of the draft by acquiring two players that they had targeted at No. 3 in Joe Thomas and Quinn. Quinn possesses a fine blend of arm strength, size and intelligence. QB Charlie Frye will start the season as the No. 1 quarterback, but he hasn’t solidified the starting spot and Quinn will get every chance to be the starter in 2007.
The Cowboys made a great move by moving back, while acquiring a first-round pick next year that could easily be in the top 10. Then owner Jerry Jones moved back into the first round by trading with the Eagles at No. 26 and selecting OLB Anthony Spencer. The Cowboys did not address a major need with this pick (DC, WR). Although, Spencer is a perfect fit in new head coach Wade Phillips’ 3-4 system. However, the Cowboys continue to not address the offensive side ball in the first round.
Jets, Panthers swap first-rounders
New York Jets: Acquire picks No. 14 (selected CB Darrelle Revis) and No. 191 (sixth round).
Carolina Panthers: Acquire picks No. 25 (selected LB Jon Beason), No. 59 (second round) and No. 164 (fifth round).
Scouts take: The Jets made the first major trade of the NFL draft with the Carolina Panthers. GM Mike Tannenbaum was very aggressive in moving up and addressing a major need on their football team by selecting cornerback Darrelle Revis. Revis is best-suited to play in a zone-heavy defensive scheme, which fit Mangini’s defensive style. The Jets are very thin at corner and the addition of Revis gives the Jets a possible future No. 1 corner. Revis has additional value as a return specialist. However, the Jets gave up a lot by moving up 11 spots in the first round.
The Panthers had targeted linebacker as a primary need and they filled it by trading back and taking OLB Jon Beason. With the health concerns of MLB Dan Morgan, the Panthers’ needed to address the linebacker position at some point in the draft. Beason lacks elite size, but he is a powerful, aggressive, fast linebacker with good instincts. Beason projects as a WLB but has the versatility to play inside as the MLB in the Panthers’ 4-3 schemes.
Broncos, Jaguars swap first-rounders
Denver Broncos: Acquire pick No. 17 (selected DE Jarvis Moss).
Jacksonville Jaguars: Acquire picks No. 21 (selected S Reggie Nelson), No. 86 (second round) and No. 198 (fifth round).
Scouts take: Simply put, head coach Mike Shanahan was not happy with his defense in 2006. With that said, the Broncos moved up to select DE Jarvis Moss. Moss is an impact pass-rusher who will improve the pass rush that this team lacked in 2006. He should contribute immediately as a nickel rusher in passing situations, which should help the back end in coverage. However, the Broncos probably could have stayed put at No. 21.
The Jaguars did a good job here of moving back four spots and acquiring two draft picks. They ended up with FS Reggie Nelson, the player they had rated as the top defensive player on their board. Nelson is a versatile player who has the best range of any safety prospect in the NFL draft. He should be an immediate impact player in the Jaguars’ secondary. Nelson has very good range, while SS Donovin Darius is best suited to play up near the line of scrimmage.
Cowboys trade up with Eagles
Dallas Cowboys: Acquire pick No. 26 (selected DE Anthony Spencer).
Philadelphia: Acquire picks No. 36, No. 87, No. 159.
Scouts take: Once SS Brandon Meriweather was selected by the Patriots at No. 24, the Eagles moved back in the draft in a trade that netted them QB Kevin Kolb. Kolb possess a combination of size, arm strength and mobility. Even though we think he is a perfect fit in Andy Reid’s West Coast offense, he is a reach in our opinion as the fifth-ranked quarterback on our board.
49ers trade up with Patriots
San Francisco 49ers: Acquire pick No. 28 (selected OT Joe Staley).
New England Patriots: Acquire pick No. 110 and a first-round pick in 2008.
Scouts take: The 49ers aggressively moved up in the backend of the first round to acquire LT Joe Staley. By selecting Staley the 49ers can move LT Jonas Jennings to the right side and drastically improve their offensive line. The 49ers have been shopping both RG Justin Smiley and the underachieving RT Kwame Harris throughout the offseason. Staley was a former TE who was converted to RT in 2004. He is a very good athlete with outstanding feet, balance and control but needs to improve his total body strength.
The Patriots got great value acquiring the 49ers’ first-round pick in 2008 and a fourth this season. The Patriots like to acquire future No. 1 picks.
Cardinals trade up for DT
Oakland Raiders: Acquire picks No. 38 (selected TE Zach Miller) and No. 105.
Arizona Cardinals: Acquire pick No. 33 (selected DT Alan Branch).
Scouts take: The Raiders moved back in the second round to select TE Zach Miller. Even though the Raiders signed two tight ends in Tony Stewart and Fred Wakefield in the free agency, the Raiders still had a need for a tight end. Miller is a solid all-around player who lacks the top-end speed to stretch the vertical seam. However, he could emerge as a reliable target in Lane Kiffin’s West Coast offense.
The Cardinals traded up at the start of the second round with the Oakland Raiders to select DT Alan Branch. Branch was highly rated as the second-best defensive tackle in the draft behind Amobi Okoye. With the selection of Branch the Cardinals are definitely moving in the direction of implementing more multiple 3-4 fronts under head coach Ken Whisenhunt.
Bills trade up for Posluzny
Buffalo Bills: Acquire pick No. 34 (selected LB Paul Posluszny).
Detroit Lions: Acquire picks No. 43 (selected QB Drew Stanton) and No. 74.
Scouts take: After moving back in the second round, the Lions selected their possible quarterback of the future in Drew Stanton. Stanton has all the physical tools to eventually emerge as a frontline starter in the NFL. However, he will need a lot of development and refinement under the guidance Mike Martz. Stanton will also have the ability to sit and learn under starting QB Jon Kitna.
The Bills addressed a major need by moving up in the second round and selecting OLB Paul Posluszny. Posluszny is a throwback linebacker who reminds GM Marv Levy of former Bills linebacker Shane Conlan. Posluszny is a versatile player who could play either OLB or MLB in the Bills’ 4-3 defense. He possesses some size and speed with outstanding instincts. The Bills suffered some major losses on defense in the offseason with the loss of MLB London Fletcher and WLB Takeo Spikes.
Chargers trade up with Bears
San Diego Chargers: Acquire pick No. 37 (selected S Eric Weddle).
Chicago Bears: Acquire picks No. 62, No. 93, No. 167 and a third-round pick in the 2008 draft.
Scouts take: The Chargers gave up a lot to move up in the second round and select Eric Weddle. Weddle was the most versatile player on the board left in the draft. He is the type of player that coaches love and should be core special teams player, while contributing in the Chargers’ sub defensive packages. The Chargers are thin on the backend at safety and he has the ability to develop into a frontline starter in future years.
After moving back in the second round, the Bears reached and selected DE Dan Bazuin. Bazuin is an undersized defensive end with the ability to create speed off the edge in Lovie Smith’s defensive system. He is a great fit in their scheme, but there are concerns about his ability to produce at the NFL level. However, he is raw and will need time to develop his skills as a pass rusher. The Bears have been shopping DE Alex Brown and Bazuin should work well in the rotation of the Bears’ defensive line.
Chiefs send Hall to St. Louis
Kansas City Chiefs: Acquire picks No. 82 (third round) and No. 148 (fifth round).
St. Louis Rams: Acquire WR/RS Dante Hall and pick No. 84 (third round).
Scouts take: The Rams addressed a critical need when acquiring Hall. Although his production declined last season, he still possesses the ability to make explosive plays in the return game. The trade also allows the Rams to shift their focus to the defensive side of the ball in the first round after previously expressing a strong interest in Ohio State WR Ted Ginn Jr.
In the swap, the Chiefs switched places with the Rams in the third round, while also acquiring a fifth-round pick. Kansas City now has seven picks in the draft and potentially can position itself to move up on the first day with another deal.
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The Dallas Cowboys selected Boston College offensive tackle James Marten with the 3rd pick in the 3rd round (#67 overall) that they acquired in their trade with Cleveland.
Rick Gosselin rated him the 85th best player in the draft, so this would seem a pour value at this stage of the draft, especially considering he’s only the second player the Cowboys have taken.
Ed Thompson of Scouts.com profiles Marten.
He’s been called tough, well-schooled in technique and very intelligent at his position. He’s James Marten, one of the top offensive tackles in this year’s draft, and he talked to Scout.com’s Ed Thompson in this exclusive interview about the skills he’ll be providing to an NFL team very soon.
Ed Thompson: I think one of the things that jumped out at me about you was the fact that you spent a little bit of time during your first year at right tackle, shifted to guard for two years and then finished up at left tackle your senior year. In a four year span, thatâ€™s a pretty diverse set of perspectives and skill sets on the line.
James Marten: I think Iâ€™m a natural tackle. I think I move better in space. Playing guard is like playing in a phone booth. I like playing out in space and being athletic and moving and countering spin moves and all of that type of thing. I think that type of game is my game. Guard is fine, I just think I naturally fit at tackle better. I feel more comfortable there.
ET: Do you feel you were any better or less effective at right tackle versus left tackle?
JM: No, not at all. I feel equally comfortable with it. Iâ€™ve played left tackle this year, but I played right tackle in the Senior Bowl. The footworkâ€™s different, but I felt fine. Iâ€™ve just been working on that since then, wherever the team wants me to play.
ET: Cleveland Browns assistant offensive line coach, Mike Sullivan, was quoted while talking about you and a teammate, offensive guard Josh Beekman. He said youâ€™re both well-schooled in technique–and youâ€™re tough. Is that a good description of you?
JM: Yeah, I think so. At Boston College we take a lot of pride in our offensive line and thatâ€™s one of the things that you can change yourself–your toughness and your technique. You could work on that all day. Youâ€™re only born with a certain amount of athleticism inside, so technique is something you have to take pride in, and your toughness.
ET: Letâ€™s talk about that toughness because you had 38 consecutive starts during your college career, right?
JM: Right. I was fortunate not to get injured. I take care of my body pretty religiously. Not sitting out, being tough, showing up to practice everyday, thatâ€™s what makes you a good player–consistency and being able to work on something new everyday.
ET: From a technique standpoint, what is it that you think you do particularly well in the running game?
JM: I think Iâ€™m able to lock onto guys really well and stick with them until the end of the play.
ET: How about as a pass protector?
JM: I think Iâ€™m able to get a good position on guys and I always extend on them real well.
ET: I found it interesting, especially as you were talking about feeling that tackle is a better fit for you, at least the stats I saw, both your junior year when you were at guard and your senior year when you were at left tackle, you only allowed one and a half sacks both seasons. Obviously, from technique standpoint, you can be successful at either position.
JM: I liked playing guard, I just feel like Iâ€™m a natural fit at tackle. Guardâ€™s fun because you have a big, fat D-tackle tackle in front of you. You can just load up and knock â€˜em back. Itâ€™s fun. I like to do that, I like to hit. I had a lot of fun at guard, I just feel that Iâ€™m a natural fit at tackle.
Certainly, tackle is the premier offensive line position, especially if he can play the left side in the pros. Flozell Adams has that job locked down but his production has dropped and it’s unlikely the Cowboys will pay what it’ll take to keep him if they have an alternative.
UPDATE: Gosselin is on The Ticket now and he says he likes to “give BC offensive linemen the benefit of the doubt.” He thinks there’s still value to be had in the 4th and 5th round, especially offensive guards and safeties.
ESPN’s “experts” had Marten graded as the 66th best player available, which is almost exactly where Dallas picked him. Their evaluation:
Scouts’ Grade: 79
Strengths: Plays with a mean streak, works to the whistle and flashes the ability to sustain blocks. Gets adequate hand placement, has decent upper body strength and can lock onto defender’s frame. Plays with a wide base and shows good balance as a run blocker. Takes sound angles to blocks, shows good range for size and can get into position at the second level. Has long arms, moves feet well and can ride defenders past the pocket. Possesses good lateral mobility, can change directions quickly and flashes the ability to counter double moves. Shows good awareness, keeps head on a swivel and can adjust to line stunts as well as blitzes. Possesses good size and has the frame to comfortably get bigger. Has experience lining up at guard and is somewhat versatile.
Weaknesses: Lacks ideal explosiveness and has some problems beating defenders to the point of attack. Doesn’t deliver a violent initial punch, doesn’t roll hips into blocks and isn’t going to knock many defenders back. While flashes good lower body strength doesn’t play with great leverage and isn’t a great drive-blocker at this point. Takes too long to get into pass set and is going to have problems preventing explosive edge rushers from turning the corner. Though flashes ability to anchor against bull rushers doesn’t get great knee bend in pass set and can get pushed back into the pocket.
Overall: Marten arrived at Boston College in 2002 and was redshirted. As a redshirt freshman in 2003, he appeared in all 13 games while backing up Jeremy Trueblood, and started the Diamond Walnut San Francisco Bowl at right tackle. Marten became a fulltime starter in 2004 at left guard for all 12 games that season. In 2005, he once again started all 12 contests at left guard. Marten then moved to left tackle for the 2006 season, where he started all 13 games, earning second-team All-ACC honors.
Marten doesn’t dominate the point of attack and one-gap defenders will give him some problems. On the positive side, Marten has enough physical tools to develop into a starter, including an excellent frame and above-average athletic ability for his height. That’s why we believe Marten is underrated and warrants consideration on Day 1.
DC.com’s Rob Phillips:
Marc Colombo secured the Cowboys’ starting right tackle spot with a hard-nosed, gritty style of play. Third-round pick James Marten shares a similar mauling method at offensive tackle. Maybe it’s their Boston College roots. “It’s just a blue-collar mentality,” said Marten, the Cowboys’ second and final pick Saturday (67th overall) following three previous trades. “We’re just going to go out there and hit you and run you over, basically.”
Marten’s size (6-7, 303) resembles that of the Cowboys’ incumbent left tackles, Flozell Adams and Pat McQuistan, who each stand taller than 6-5 and weigh more than 300 pounds. Marten played mostly left tackle but can switch to the right side and also was versatile enough to move inside at guard in college.
The Cowboys drafted Marten as a tackle, but team owner and general manager Jerry Jones said their third-round pick doesn’t merely serve as insurance with Adams entering the final year of his contract. “My speculation is that we’re going to have a really top year from Flozell and hopefully that’ll mean we can look into the future,” Jones said of his Pro Bowl tackle, who made a successful return from a season-ending knee injury in 2005. “What this does is add to at least two and possibly three young players that we’ve got backing up our first five right now.”
Marten is a prime example of Jones’ belief that the Cowboys had their “bases covered” heading into Saturday. The club believes he can provide depth at multiple positions next season. The Cowboys had little stability at offensive line when the off-season began, but they re-signed Colombo and starting center Andre Gurode and handed free-agent Leonard Davis nearly $18.75 million in guaranteed money. Veteran Marco Rivera’s off-season back surgery could ultimately jeopardize his career, but he and the Cowboys don’t appear in any rush to make a decision on his future. Davis could start at right guard next season if Rivera doesn’t return. “We have come a long way from where we were the early part of the spring to where we are today with our offensive line,” Jones said.
Marten just might be the final piece.
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The draft has been ongoing over nine and a half hours and Round 3 is just now getting under way, with the Oakland Raiders taking Georgia DE Quentin Moses. Thankfully, as Norm Hitzges points out, teams only get 5 minutes a pick from here on out.
1(65) Oakland Quentin Moses DE GEORGIA
2(66) New Orleans (from Detroit) Usama Young CB KENT
3(67) Dallas (from Cleveland) James Marten OT BOSTON COLLEGE
4(68) Tampa Bay Quincy Black OLB NEW MEXICO
5(69) Arizona Buster Davis ILB FLORIDA STATE
6(70) Denver (From Washington) Ryan Harris OT NOTRE DAME
7(71) Miami Lorenzo Booker RB FLORIDA STATE
8(72) Minnesota Marcus McCauley CB FRESNO STATE
9(73) Houston Jacoby Jones WR LANE
10(74) Baltimore (from Buffalo through Detroit) Yamon Figurs RS KANSAS STATE
11(75) Atlanta Laurent Robinson WR ILLINOIS STATE
12(76) San Francisco Jason Hill WR WASHINGTON STATE
13(77) Pittsburgh Matt Spaeth TE MINNESOTA
14(78) Green Bay James Jones WR SAN JOSE STATE
15(79) Jacksonville Mike Walker WR CENTRAL FLORIDA
17(80) Tennessee Paul Williams WR FRESNO STATE
18(81) NY Giants Jay Alford DT PENN STATE
19(82) Kansas City (From St. Louis) Tank Tyler DT NORTH CAROLINA ST
20(83) Carolina Charles Johnson DE GEORGIA
21(84) St. Louis (From Kansas City) Jonathan Wade CB TENNESSEE
22(85) Seattle Brandon Mebane DT CALIFORNIA
23(86) Baltimore (from Denver through Jacksonville) Marshal Yanda OT IOWA
24(87) Philadelphia (from Dallas) Stewart Bradley OLB NEBRASKA
25(88) New Orleans Andy Alleman OG AKRON
26(89) Green Bay (from NY Jets) Aaron Rouse S VIRGINIA TECH
27(90) Philadelphia Tony Hunt RB PENN STATE
28(91) Oakland (from New England) Mario Henderson OT FLORIDA STATE
29(92) Buffalo (From Baltimore) Trent Edwards QB STANFORD
30(93) Chicago (from San Diego) Garrett Wolfe RB NORTHERN ILLINOIS
31(94) Chicago Michael Okwo OLB STANFORD
32(95) Indianapolis Daymeion Hughes CB CALIFORNIA
33(96) San Diego (Compensatory selection) Anthony Waters ILB CLEMSON
34(97) San Francisco (Compensatory selection) Ray McDonald DE FLORIDA
35(98) Indianapolis (Compensatory selection) Quinn Pitcock DT OHIO STATE
36(99) Oakland (Compensatory selection) Johnnie Lee Higgins WR UTEP
UPDATE: Here’s what Scouts, Inc. has to say:
â€¢ All the red flags are there for Georgia DE Quentin Moses. He had a disappointing season, didn’t have a strong Senior Bowl week and showed up overweight at the combine. But don’t forget Moses once projected as a first-round pick and Oakland needed to get a defensive end. If Moses commits himself to improving and adds some bulk to his frame, he could prove to be one of the steals in this draft because of his natural ability.
â€¢ Infusing youth into the cornerback position had to be one of New Orleans’ top priorities. Unfortunately for Saints’ fans, the front office may have gotten caught up in the hype surrounding Usama Young who turned in an impressive 40-time. Young may be fast but he doesn’t change directions particularly well and he isn’t a great playmaker. Add in concerns about his ability to make the jump to the NFL after playing at Kent State and it becomes clear New Orleans reached here.
â€¢ Dallas took Boston College OT James Marten to fill its need at defensive tackle and he is a good value in the third round. He is a feisty drive blocker who plays with a wide base and masks his lack of ideal lateral mobility by using his long arms to ride edge rushers past the pocket. However, Doug Free out of Northern Illinois could be the better pick here because he is a much better pass blocker and they need a left tackle more than a right tackle. Free gets set quickly and he shows excellent lateral mobility for his size. One reason the Cowboys may have taken Marten is a foot injury slowed him during his senior season.
â€¢ Arizona has greater needs than inside linebacker. However, Florida State ILB Buster Davis represents an upgrade over Gerald Hayes and he should benefit from the Cardinals taking Michigan DT Alan Branch. With Branch eating up space and occupying blockers, Davis’s size won’t be as much of an issue. He has excellent instincts and takes the shortest path to the ball so he should be very effective.
â€¢ Notre Dame OT Ryan Harris should be happy he ended up in Denver because it is arguably the best fit for him. Harris’ biggest weakness is his inability to drive defenders off the ball but the Broncos won’t ask him to do that too much. Instead, the zone blocking scheme will take advantage of his above-average lateral mobility and initial quickness.
â€¢ Florida State RB Lorenzo Booker has the burst, elusiveness to emerge as an excellent third down back so Miami did well to get him. However, Booker is undersized and can’t carry a heavy workload. As result, the Dolphins need to take a big back that can step in should Ronnie Brown sustain an injury if they don’t think the league will reinstate Ricky Williams.
â€¢ Fresno State DC Marcus McCauley dropped to the third round because he makes too many mistakes and gives up too many big plays for a prospect with his talent. However, the Vikings needed help at corner and he has the tools to develop into a starter if the light comes on for him. He has excellent size, the speed to run with receivers and the quick feet to stay with receivers in man coverage.
â€¢ Two small school receivers came of the board in the third. Houston took Jacoby Jones out of Lane and Atlanta took Laurent Robinson out of Illinois State. Jones is the stronger prospect, as he’s fast and athletic to develop into a quality No. 2 if the can adjust to the speed of the NFL game. He should move into the No. 3 role and eventually replace Kevin Walter as the start opposite of Andre Johnson. Robinson is more of a reach because he doesn’t catch the ball as consistently and he needs to improve his ability to beat press coverage. However, there’s a lot to like about his big-play ability and he’s capable of turning the limited touches he’ll likely see with the Falcons during his rookie season into decent production.
â€¢ The Devin Hester effect continues to linger. After Miami reached for Ted Ginn Jr. in the first round, Baltimore took Kansas State WR/RS Yamon Figurs in the third. Figurs has everything you want in a return man. He is fearless, quick, and fast enough to go the distance when he gets a seam. The problem is he hasn’t been a productive receiver and he will have to make substantial progress to push for playing time for offense so he is one-dimensional. Chances are the Ravens could have waited and filled this need on the second day of the draft.
â€¢ San Francisco’s strong draft continued with the selection of Washington State WR Jason Hill. Hill is a raw route runner and is faster than he is quick but he has the jets to get behind defensive backs and he has the big hands to make spectacular catches. Getting him gives the 49ers a much needed playmaker at the receiver position.
â€¢ Philadelphia did well to add Penn State RB Tony Hunt. While they already have a big back in Correll Buckhalter, he has had problems staying healthy so adding another one to back up Brian Westbrook is wise.
â€¢ Cal CB Daymeion Hughes’ stock plummeted after he turned in an abysmal 40-time at the combine but he has the tools to develop into an excellent Cover 2 corner. He is physical, reads routes well and is a playmaker so Indianapolis should be happy to land him in the third.
â€¢ Stanford QB Trent Edwards finally came off the board in the fourth round. Though he slipped, it’s important to remember that he missed most of his senior season with a foot injury. If he can stay healthy, his arm strength and quick release should make him an excellent insurance policy should JP Losman sustain an injury or struggle.
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For the second time today, the Cleveland Browns have traded with the Dallas Cowboys to move up in the draft. Earlier, they made a big splash by trading up to the 22nd spot to grab Notre Dame QB Brady Quinn. Now, they’ve traded into Dallas’ second round spot (53th overall) to take cornerback Eric Wright out of UNLV.
They gave up their 3rd (67th) and 4th (103rd) and 6th (168th) round picks and also picked up Dallas’ 6th (195th).
I agree with Jean Jacques Taylor that this was a good move for the Cowboys “because there was no one in the second they just had to have and the turned it into early picks in the third and fourth round.” Indeed, the Giants took USC WR Steve Smith two spots before Dallas was on the clock; I suspect they’d have taken him had he still been available.
Ah, well. I’d like to see the Cowboys wind up with a help at offensive line, wideout, and corner. We’ll see what develops.
To the surprise of everyone not in their front office, the Philadelphia Eagles took Houston quarterback Kevin Kolb with the 36th pick in the draft, which was their first, having traded out of the first round to pick up a 3rd and 5th from the Dallas Cowboys.
Here is what Scouts, Inc. reports that he’s 6’3-1/8″, 218 pounds, and runs a 4.85 40. Their evaluation:
Strengths: Possesses a very good combination of size, arm strength and mobility. He has adequate height and is well-built. He shows above average arm strength with good zip on the deep out and on vertical throws. Shows good overall touch and knows how to lead his receivers on quick slants and crossing routes. Shows better accuracy in short-to-intermediate passing game than he does in the vertical passing game. He is an effective passer on the run. When on time with his delivery, he can fit the ball into tight spots that many other prospects in this class simply can’t hit. He shows good initial quickness and vision as a runner. He lacks explosive speed but is very much a threat to run. He is a tough, competitive and instinctive runner, who will break some tackles and find the first-down marker. He is intelligent and picks things up quickly. Coaches speak highly of his work ethic, leadership and dedication. He also has been extremely durable and has great experience.
Weaknesses: Comes from a passer-friendly spread offensive scheme in college. He’s intelligent but his NFL learning curve could be steep — he has almost no experience in a pro-style scheme and he’s coming from the mid-major collegiate level. His decision making can be erratic and he must learn to do a better job of protecting the football. He has a bit of a wind-up delivery and will need some mechanical work in order to speed up his release. He also has a bit of a three-quarter delivery and will have too many passes batted down at the line of scrimmage, as a result. He is a streaky passer that will lose the “strike zone” at times. His deep ball sails too often. He still has room to improve in terms of finding “hot reads” and beating the blitz with his arm.
Overall: Kolb started all 13 games as a true freshman and was named Conference USA Freshman of the Year and selected to the All-Conference USA Third Team. He finished the season completing 61-percent of his attempts for 3,131 yards, 25 touchdowns and just six interceptions. In 2004, Kolb again started every game (11) and tallied 2,766 passing yards with a 56-percent completion percentage, threw 11 touchdown passes, and six interceptions. He returned for his third-consecutive year as Houston’s starter in 2005 (12 contests) and was named to the C-USA third team, when he completed 60.5-percent of his passes for 3,258 yards and 19 touchdowns, and 15 interceptions. In 2006, Kolb was named the C-USA Player of the Year after he completed 67.6-percent of his attempts for 3,809 yards, 30 touchdowns, and just four interceptions during the 14-game season. Over the course of his career, he also rushed for 751 yards and 21 touchdowns.
Kolb hasn’t consistently played against top competition in college (C-USA) and he also comes from a passer-friendly spread-offense, which generates some legitimate concerns regarding his transition to the NFL game. Even with that in mind, we believe Kolb is one of the more underrated prospects in the 2007 NFL draft class. He possesses a fine combination of size, arm strength and mobility, and he has great experience as a four-year starter. Kolb has enough upside to warrant consideration late on Day 1 or early on Day 2.
So, he’s a four year starter — which Rick Gooselin points out is a huge advantage — but from a third-rate conference. Who was expected to go late on Day 1 or early Day 2 but went at the top of the 2nd round. Hmm.
Obviously, if Kolb turns out to be the second coming of Tom Brady, the Eagles brain trust will look like geniuses. Otherwise….
Round 2 is underway and I’ll update as it goes along. The trades are fast and furious and there’s much less information available as we get deeper in the draft and I won’t do player-by-player analyses other than perhaps for the picks made by the Dallas Cowboys and really oddball news (like Philly taking Houston QB Kevin Kolb with their first pick).
33. Arizona Cardinals
Pick acquired from Oakland
The pick: Alan Branch, DT, Michigan
Scouts take: The saying it all starts up front is a football clichÃ© that rings true more times than not and Arizona is having an excellent draft if you take that into account. In the first, the Cardinals got OT Levi Brown and trade up to get DT Alan Branch. Branch’s stock plummeted because of concerns about his work ethic and durability but he is an outstanding value here. He has the size, power and quickness to control the middle of the line of scrimmage and keep blockers off the linebackers.
34. Buffalo Bills
Pick acquired from Detroit
The pick: Paul Posluszny, LB, Penn State
Scouts take: The exodus of Takeo Spikes and London Fletcher makes linebacker a substantial need and the Bills helped fill it by getting a first-round talent in the second round. Posluszny possesses rare instincts, he is relentless in pursuit and he knows how to bring ball carriers down in the open field. Even more impressive, he’s versatile enough to line up on the outside or the inside so the Bills can plug him in wherever they think he is most needed.
35. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The pick: Arron Sears, G, Tennessee
Scouts take: USC head coach Pete Carroll might feel a little slighted because either Steve Smith or Dwayne Jarrett, both USC receivers, would have arguably been better picks here. Where Arron Sears lines up will also have an impact on how strong of a pick this ends up being. If he lines up guard, he would be a valuable addition because he is quick and strong enough to eventually excel there. If they drafted him as an insurance policy for injury-prone Luke Pettigout, it’s a poor pick because he isn’t explosive or long enough to consistently hold up in pass protection on the edge.
36. Philadelphia Eagles
Pick acquired from Cleveland through Houston
The pick: Kevin Kolb, QB, Houston
Scouts take: This is too much of a reach to consider it a quality pick and considering this is the Eagles’ first pick of the day makes this even worse but it’s understandable. The reason is Kolb is an excellent fit for the West Coast offense and the future if the quarterback situation needs to be addressed since Donovan McNabb and Kelly Holcomb aren’t getting any younger.
37. San Diego Chargers
Pick acquired from Washington through Chicago and New York Jets
The pick: Eric Weddle, S, Utah
Scouts take: The Chargers are efficient if nothing else, as they have used their first two picks to fill their most pressing needs. Weddle’s lack of ideal speed, athletic ability and size separated him from the top three safeties in the draft but he is a football player who makes the most of his natural ability. That’s good news for a Chargers’ team that needs him to make an immediate impact.
38. Oakland Raiders
Pick acquired from Arizona
The pick: Zach Miller, TE, Arizona State
Scouts take: While the Raiders signed two tight ends during the offseason, neither can be considered a quality starter and there is a big drop off in talent at the tight end position after Miller. He isn’t quite as fast as Olsen but he has excellent body control and he tracks the ball well so he can make the occasional play downfield. Miller also has strong hands to develop into a productive red zone target and hang onto the bullets QB Jamarcus Russell is certain to be firing next year.
39. Atlanta Falcons
Pick acquired from Houston
The pick: Justin Blalock, G, Texas
Scouts take: Head coach Bobby Petrino wants a bigger, tougher offensive line and general manager Rich McKay appears to be listening. Blalock is a mauler who has the upper body strength to lock onto defender’s frame and the meanness to finish the block once in position. He should step into the starting lineup and give the Falcons a much-needed upgrade at offensive guard.
40. Miami Dolphins
The pick:John Beck, QB, BYU
Scouts take: Miami needed a quarterback and Beck, whose stock gained some steam heading into the weekend, has the tools to develop into an effective starter. He is smart, mechanically sound and accurate. However, Drew Stanton is still on the board and he would have been a better pick in our opinion.
41. Atlanta Falcons
Pick acquired from Minnesota
The pick: Chris Houston, CB, Arkansas
Scouts take: Safety is Atlanta’s biggest weakness and getting Houston likely fills the hole there. The reason is Jimmy Williams can move from corner to safety and Houston can move into the starting slot opposite DeAngelo Hall. And the Falcons should be confident in his ability to start because he faced some of the best receivers in the nation at the collegiate and never backed down. Of course, his speed and ability to change directions quickly are reason to be hopeful.
42. Indianapolis Colts
Pick acquired from San Francisco
The pick: Tony Ugoh, OT, Arkansas
Scouts take: Again, Indianapolis needs help on the defensive side of the ball so this is puzzling. In fact, the only logical reason for taking tackle is to start grooming a possible replacement for Tarik Glenn. Ugoh played in a run-heavy scheme at the collegiate level and he doesn’t project as a starting left tackle. The only other possibility is moving him inside but he doesn’t have ideal lower body strength for a guard.
43. Detroit Lions
Pick acquired from Buffalo
The pick: Drew Stanton, QB, Michigan State
Scouts take:The Lions did well to get Stanton considering two quarterbacks had already gone in the round. Stanton doesn’t have elite arm strength or size but he is tough, moves well and can pick a defense part when he gets on a roll. He should play behind John Kitna for a year while he gets comfortable with the offense and develop a strong bond with first-round pick Calvin Johnson.
44. Minnesota Vikings
Pick acquired from Atlanta
The pick: Sidney Rice, WR, South Carolina
Scouts take: The Vikings needed a receiver and Rice has the potential to develop into a playmaker. He is fast enough to stretch the field and he does a nice job of adjusting to the ball while it’s in the air. With that in mind, this can’t be called a bad pick but there are concerns about Rice’s ability to excel at the NFL level. He doesn’t have great bulk and he is a little soft so he will get pushed around at times. That’s why USC WR Steve Smith may have been the better pick here.
45. Carolina Panthers
The pick: Dwayne Jarrett, WR, USC
Scouts take: Mentor finally gets to play with protÃ©gÃ©, as Dwayne Jarrett joins Keyshawn Johnson in Carolina. The truth is receiver isn’t a great need for the Panthers but Jarrett is a great value here and, oddly enough, he could eventually replace Johnson when the times comes for him to step down. It makes because both make up for their lack of ideal speed with fluid route running and by using their wide frame to shield defenders from the ball.
46. Pittsburgh Steelers
The pick: LaMarrr Woodley, DE, Michigan
Scouts take: Getting an outside linebacker that can get to the passer appears to be so important to the Steelers that they picked up two with their first two selections. Woodley’s stock dropped during the offseason, but he projected as a first-round pick at the end of the season and for good reason. He has good initial quickness, can shed blocks quickly and shows good closing speed once he turns the corner. The only concern is he has to work on his cover skills so he isn’t going to play an every-down role at outside linebacker in the 3-4 scheme any time soon.
47.New York Jets
Pick acquired from Green Bay
The pick: David Harris, LB, Michigan
Scouts take: The Jets seem to be a completely different team in terms of the draft since Eric Mangini took over as the head coach. After jumping up to get Darrelle Revis in the first round, they jumped again to draft Harris. Harris doesn’t cover as well as Patrick Willis and he will need to be protected at times, but he is a stout run defender who rarely gets caught out of position and delivers some big hits. Just the idea of him lining up opposite Jonathan Vilma should keep opposing ball carriers up at night.
48. Jacksonville Jaguars
The pick: Justin Durant, LB, Hampton
Scouts take: The Jaguars reached for Durant because there are a number of higher rated prospects at outside linebacker, but they have addressed two of their top three needs. Though Durant has the athletic ability and explosiveness to develop into a quality starter, he is a small-school prospect so his ability to adjust to the speed of the game at the NFL level remains to be seen.
49. Cincinnati Bengals
The pick:Kenny Irons, RB, Auburn
Scouts take: Irons is a good value here because he runs hard between the tackles and he’s fast enough to break some long runs. His lack of size won’t be as much of a concern in Cincinnati because he will share caries with Rudi Johnson and Chris Perry. However, it’s important to note that the Bengals need an outside linebacker and a receiver so they didn’t fill any kind of a hole here.
50. Tennessee Titans
The pick: Chris Henry, RB, Arizona
Scouts take: With LenDale White having problems keeping his weight down and former Titan Travis Henry now wit Denver, the Titans needed a running back and Chris Henry has great upside. He possesses a rare bend of size and speed. With that said, Tennessee has yet to pick up a cornerback or a receiver and they are hurting at both positions. In addition, Henry’s lack of experience at the collegiate level should raise some red flags and Michael Bush is still on the board.
51. New York Giants
The pick: Steve Smith, WR, USC
Scouts take: The Giants couldn’t have done much better than getting Smith here. He is an excellent route runner for such a young player, catches the ball and can produce after the catch. Smith should replace aging Amani Toomer and complement Plaxico Burress well. Perhaps more importantly, he gives Eli Manning another legitimate target.
52. St. Louis Rams
The pick: Brian Leonard, FB, Rutgers
Scouts take: The Rams could have been better served taking a linebacker here because it’s a more pressing need. On the other hand, Leonard is a good choice here and they also need a back that can back Jackson up because undersized free agent signing Travis Minor is strictly a situational back. Leonard can pick up the tough yards between the tackles, catch the ball out of the backfield and line up at fullback at times.
53. Cleveland Browns
Pick acquired from Dallas
The pick: Eric Wright, CB, UNLV
Scouts take: From a talent standpoint, the Browns continue to have one of the strongest drafts. They have also addressed up some of the biggest weaknesses on the roster. Wright has the confidence, speed and quick feet to quickly emerge as a quality starting corner as a rookie. So why has he lasted so long? No player has more baggage in terms of character concerns than Wright so teams have been hesitant to pull the trigger. As a result, this looks like a boom or bust pick at this point.
54. Kansas City Chiefs
The pick: Turk McBride, DT, Tennessee
Scouts take: The Chiefs needed a defensive tackle and Turk McBride projected as a second round pick heading into today because he has the quickness to regularly disrupt plays in the backfield. However, it’s not a great fit. Kansas City’s priority should have been improving a mediocre run defense and McBride lacks the size to clog up the middle.
55. Seattle Seahawks
The pick: Josh Wilson, CB, Maryland
Scouts take: Kelly Herndon is a marginal No.2 cornerback who isn’t getting any younger so the Seahawks were wise to bring in Wilson. Wilson is a bit or a reach because he doesn’t have great size and he is inconsistent but he is still one of the best corners available. He’s fast enough to run with most any receiver and he is tough against the run for player his size.
56. Denver Broncos
The pick: Tim Crowder, DE, Texas
Scouts take: After taking Moss in the first round, Denver could have filled this need by taking a receiver or a linebacker. On the other hand, Crowder is a sound second round selection. He is a high-motor player with great speed for his size and sound instincts. Though he isn’t as explosive as Moss, he is bigger so he has a better chance of developing into an every-down player.
57. Philadelphia Eagles
The pick: Victor Abiamiri, DE, Notre Dame
Scouts take: While the Eagles still needing help at safety and corner, getting a defensive end was also on the to-do list this weekend because Javon Kearse and Darren Howard are aging and have underachieved. Abiamari lacks ideal top-end speed and has some problems holding his ground when teams run at him, but he has the strong upper body to keep blockers off him and the quick feet to develop a wide variety of pass rush moves.
58. Detroit Lions
Pick acquired from New Orleans
The pick: Ikaika Alma-Francis, DE, Hawaii
Scouts take:Alma-Francis is coming off a season-ending pectoral injury and he is raw so he will have to work on his technique. While he has the size and quickness to develop into an effective starter in time, the Lions have more pressing needs than end and adding a linebacker or possibly a cornerback makes a little more sense here.
59. Carolina Panthers
Pick acquired from New York Jets
The pick: Ryan Kalil, OC, USC
Scouts take:The bottom line is a team can’t go wrong by taking Kalil at this point. While Justin Hartwig is an adequate starter, Kalil represents an upgrade and could emerge as one of the best centers in the league. He is a technician who gets into good position and he’s strong enough to drive defenders off the ball when he gets under their pads. His pass blocking is just as strong if not better because he has excellent quickness and he has the quick feet to counter when defenders throw double moves at him.
60. Miami Dolphins
Pick acquired from New England
The pick: Samson Satele, OC, Hawaii
Scouts take: Satele is versatile enough to line up anywhere along the offensive line but he fits best at center and the Dolphins’ greatest need at offensive tackle. If they do indeed move him to tackle, defensive ends should have success exposing his lack of ideal lower body strength. In addition, he doesn’t have very long arms so he is going to have problems riding edge rushers past the pocket. In other words, this is a questionable pick.
61. Detroit Lions
Pick acquired from Baltimore
The pick: Gerald Alexander, S, Boise State
Scouts take: Although Alexander rarely makes mistakes when dropping into coverage, fills hard when he reads run and is versatile enough to line up at safety or corner, he doesn’t have great size or speed. In fact, he projects as a sub-package defensive back who makes his biggest contributions on special teams. Why not take DS Josh Gattis or DC/DS Tenard Jackson here? Both would have been better values.
62. Chicago Bears
Pick acquired from San Diego
The pick: Dan Bazuin, DE, Central Michigan
Scouts take: Bazuin is a good pick for the Bears’ Cover-2 schemes because he has the burst to turn the corner and can deliver the big hit when he gets to the quarterback but this is too much of a reach. First off, he doesn’t have great size and he will struggle when teams run at him. Secondly, he had a disappointing senior season and didn’t play in one of the premiere conferences. As a result, there are some concerns about ability to produce working against a considerably higher level of competition.
63. Green Bay Packers
Pick acquired from Chicago through New York Jets
The pick: Brandon Jackson, RB, Nebraska
Scouts take: The Packers lost out on the Marshawn Lynch sweepstakes so they were wise to take a back here. Only problem is they took the wrong back. On the positive side, Jackson is a balanced runner who bounces of arm tackles and can make defenders miss. On the negative side, he doesn’t have ideal size or speed for a primary back. With Michael Bush and Tony Hunt still waiting for calls, Green Bay probably should have taken one of them.
64. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Pick acquired from Indianapolis
The pick: Sabby Piscitelli, S, Oregon State
Scouts take: DC Daymeion Hughes is a perfect fit for the Cover-2 and would have been a strong pick here Piscatelli, on the other hand, doesn’t have the range to cover the deep half of the field. He’s tough against the run and can make plays in coverage but he just isn’t fast enough to excel in this scheme. In fact, some draft experts thought Piscatelli would have to move to outside linebacker to make it in the NFL.
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The Indianapolis Colts, last year’s Super Bowl champions, have selected Ohio State wide receiver Anthony Gonzales with the 32nd and final pick in the 2007 NFL Draft.
At 6 hours, 20 minutes, this was the longest 1st round in history.
What the Experts Say:
It’s odd that Gonzalez didn’t make Kiper’s board, let alone the Scout.com top 50, given how much I’ve heard about him this offseason.
Taking a defensive player like Penn State OLB Paul Posluszny makes a little more sense here. However, the departure of Brandon Stokley means Indianapolis needed a No. 3 receiver and Gonzalez should slide right into that role. Though Gonzalez isn’t as explosive as Ohio State teammate Ted Ginn Jr. and he doesn’t return kicks either he is the more complete receiver. He runs crisp routes, he isn’t afraid to go over the middle and he doesn’t drop passes he should catch. It doesn’t hurt that he is a hard worker who will learn the pro game from Peyton Manning, Marvin Harrison and Reggie Wayne either.
Last year’s NFC Champion, the Chicago Bears, drafted Miami TE Greg Olsen.
What the Experts Say:
The ratings are all over the place but it would appear to be an excellent value at the 31 spot.
Scout.com Profile: One of the better blocking tight ends in the nation, Nordin [ed.?] may slip through the cracks because of his broken ankle. Possesses the tools to make it as a third tight end brought onto the field during short-yardage situations.
STRENGTHS: Quickness off Line, Running Ability, Speed
AREAS FOR IMPROVEMENT: Blocking Ability
Biography: Two-year starter awarded varying degrees of All-Conference honors since his junior campaign. Led the Hurricanes in receptions last season posting 40/489/1, after 31/451/4 as a sophomore.
Pos: Athletic prospect who flashes brilliance yet does not show much consistency. Quick releasing off the line, fluid into routes and immediately gets to top speed. Finds the clearing in the defense, makes himself an available target and extends to catch the ball away from his frame. Smooth moving about the field, adjusts to the errant throw and makes a lot of difficult receptions. Comes away with the ball when defenders are draped on him. Uses his frame to protect the pass and displays top eye/hand coordination.
Neg: Not physical as a blocker and leans on opponents. Easily brought down at the point of attack running after the reception. Does not show a lot of playing strength.
The best available tight end is if off board and the Bears filled one of their more important needs but be weary of calling this is a great pick. Chicago should be excited about Olsen’s ability to stretch the field and giving their young quarterback a legitimate threat over the middle. Though he should also take advantage of the Bears’ commitment to the run setting up the play action Olsen is a mediocre blocker at best. If he is to play an every-down role, he’ll have to get a lot stronger at the point of attack and a lot tougher. Until he does, he should strictly be a situational receiving tight end.
The San Diego Chargers selected LSU WR Craig Davis with the 30th pick in the 2007 NFL Draft. He joins his backfield mates WR Dwayne Bowe (KC #23) and QB JaMarcus Russell (Raiders #1).
What the Experts Say:
Either the Chargers know something the experts don’t–and that’s a possibility, they’ve drafted well in recent years–this is a heck of a reach.
Davis projected as an early second-round pick so this is a bit of a reach but all-and-all a good pick. Though he is a raw route-runner, Davis made great strides at the collegiate level and there’s no questioning his natural ability. He reaches his top speed quickly and he has the second gear to run best defensive backs. A playmaker with the ball in his hands, he can create after the catch and return punts as well. And oh yeah, he fills the Chargers greatest need. While Davis really isn’t a ready made No. 2 receiver, he could be San Diego’s best receiver by the opening game of the season.