Sports Outside the Beltway

NFL Draft 2008 – Round 4

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The 4th round of the 2008 NFL Draft is now underway. Some analysis from Scouts, Inc.:

1(100) Oakland (From Miami through Dallas) Tyvon Branch CB CONNECTICUT
Branch has good speed for the position and good short-area man skills. He can also contribute in the return game, but he isn’t very explosive. He will provide depth behind DeAngelo Hall and will also play on special teams.

2(101) St. Louis Justin King CB PENN STATE
King is the ultimate tease. He’s talented but just doesn’t finish plays. He doesn’t get his head turned around in time when running with receivers down the field and doesn’t time jumps very well either.

3(102) Green Bay (From NY Jets) Jeremy Thompson DE WAKE FOREST
Thompson is not a great run-stopper due to a lack of size. He has the frame to get bigger, though, and he is relentless. He will improve as he gets bigger. Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila is getting up there in years, and the Packers are obviously building depth along the defensive line.

4(103) Tennessee (From Atlanta through Washington) William Hayes DE WINSTON SALEM
At 6-foot-2, 258 pounds, Hayes is an undersized defensive end who may be a better fit at outside linebacker in a 3-4 scheme. This pick seems like a huge reach.

5(104) Cleveland (From Oakland through Dallas) Beau Bell ILB NEVADA LAS VEGAS
Bell is a big, instinctive tackling machine who fits best as a two-down inside linebacker in a 3-4. The Browns needed to move up to get a position of need, and with Andre Davis coming off a down year in 2007, Bell looks like his eventual replacement.

6(105) Kansas City William Franklin WR MISSOURI
Franklin has had some problems staying healthy and occasionally drops passes he should catch, but he does have a good combination of size and speed.

7(106) Baltimore Marcus Smith WR NEW MEXICO
Smith has good size and enough speed to stretch the field, but he isn’t a great route runner and drops some passes. Still, he will provide depth in the receiving corps, as the Ravens are trying to find playmakers and Derrick Mason is getting older.

8(107) San Francisco Cody Wallace OC TEXAS A&M
Wallace is a technician who gets into position well and sustains his blocks, but he isn’t an overpowering run-blocker and has problems redirecting in pass protection.

9(108) Denver Kory Lichtensteiger OC BOWLING GREEN
Lichtensteiger can play center or guard and plays with a mean streak, but he lacks athletic ability and struggles in pass protection. He will provide depth on the offensive line, however.

10(109) Philadelphia (From Carolina) Michael McGlynn OG PITTSBURGH
McGlynn could be the heir apparent to the Eagles’ aging tackles. He might be a better fit at guard, but he has experience at right tackle and is an excellent drive-blocker.

11(110) Miami (From Chicago) Shawn Murphy OG UTAH STATE
Murphy is a small-school prospect with good quickness for his size, but he needs to develop a mean streak. With this pick the Dolphins are continuing to build depth on the offensive line.

12(111) Cleveland (From Detroit through Dallas) Martin Rucker TE MISSOURI
Rucker shows good athletic ability for his size and is a fluid route-runner, but he isn’t a great drive-blocker and isn’t fast enough to stretch the field at the NFL level.

13(112) Cincinnati Anthony Collins OT KANSAS
Collins has good size with the frame to get bigger. He is a developmental prospect who will have to learn to play on the right side. The Bengals add depth to the offensive line with this pick, as there are concerns about Willie Andrews and Levi Brown, who didn’t play up to speed last year

14(113) NY Jets (From New Orleans through Green Bay) Dwight Lowery CB SAN JOSE STATE
Lowery is a playmaker who changes directions well and shows good burst out of his backpedal. He gets pushed around too much, though, and is going to struggle to run with pro wideouts.

15(114) Buffalo Reggie Corner CB AKRON
Corner has good athletic ability and top-end speed but can be pushed around by physical receivers. Buffalo continues to address its need in the secondary with this pick, adding depth to an area that was a weakness last year largely because of a lack of pressure on the quarterback.

16(115) Tampa Bay (From Philadelphia though Miami and Chicago) Dre Moore DT MARYLAND
Moore is a one-gap, athletic defensive tackle with great upside. But he’s one of the most consistent players in this year’s draft on film.

17(116) Arizona Kenny Iwebema DE IOWA
He’s athletic and has the frame to develop into an effective run stopper, but doesn’t have great closing speed off the edge. This is the second DE the Cardinals selected in the draft and Iwebema will provide depth at this position.

18(117) Philadelphia (From Minnesota) Quintin Demps S UTEP
Demps isn’t great in run support and his footwork is a little inconsistent. But he has great speed and can play a centerfielder-type role.

19(118) Houston Xavier Adibi OLB VIRGINIA TECH
Adibi will struggle in run support, but is a good value here. He has good sideline-to-sideline speed and can run with backs in coverage.

20(119) Denver (From Washington) Jack Williams CB KENT
Williams has the instincts and athletic ability to become an effective No. 2 corner. He’s also an excellent player on special teams. Still, he doesn’t have great size, so he’s going to have problems slowing receivers down at the line of scrimmage.

21(120) Chicago (From Tampa Bay) Craig Steltz S LSU
Does not have great speed, but he is a playmaker who jumps underneath routes. He is very good in run support and a good blitzer when called upon.

22(121) Seattle Red Bryant DT TEXAS A&M
Bryant has excellent size and is quick enough to disrupt running plays in the backfield. However, he’s a one-dimensional run-stopper; he doesn’t have great closing speed and isn’t an effective bull-rusher.

23(122) Dallas (From Cleveland) Tashard Choice RB GEORGIA TECH
He doesn’t have breakaway speed and can put the ball on the ground, but Choice reads his blocks well and is a north-south runner who falls forward. This is the second RB the Cowboys drafted and he will provide depth. Also, there may be concern about getting Marion Barber signed long term.

24(123) NY Giants (From Pittsburgh) Bryan Kehl OLB BYU
Kehl plays too high, so he has problems anchoring against the run and lacks ideal man-to-man cover skills. However, there’s a lot to like about his upside. He has good speed, is athletic and has the frame to get bigger.

25(124) Washington (From Tennessee) Justin Tryon CB ARIZONA STATE
He plays bigger than his size suggests and opens his hips well. Tryon is comfortable in press coverage, but bigger receivers can shield him from the ball and struggles tackling bigger ball carriers.

26(125) Oakland (From Jacksonville through Baltimore) Arman Shields WR RICHMOND
Shields sustained a season-ending knee injury early in the 2007 season. He doesn’t have great size, but played very well against Vanderbilt in the 2007 season-opener, quieting concerns about his ability to make the jump to the NFL. He’s fearless going over the middle and fast enough to stretch the field.

27(126) Tennessee (From Dallas) Lavelle Hawkins WR CALIFORNIA
He is another receiver who will get pushed around at times and doesn’t have great top-end speed. But he runs good routes. Even though this was the first WR the Titans drafted, this is a good value pick.

28(127) Indianapolis Jacob Tamme TE KENTUCKY
Tamme is a wideout trapped in a tight end’s body. Although he may never become an effective in-line blocker, he has excellent speed and catches the ball in stride.

29(128) St. Louis (From Green Bay) Keenan Burton WR KENTUCKY
He is quicker than fast and isn’t a great vertical threat. He does show excellent body control and flashes the ability to make spectacular catches. This is the second WR taken by the Rams. They had a need with the loss of Isaac Bruce and the underwhelming production of Drew Bennett. He fits better as a No. 2, rather than Donnie Avery, who was the first receiver taken off the board.

30(129) New England Jonathan Wilhite CB AUBURN
Although Wilhite is susceptible to getting flagged for pass interference and defensive holding, there’s a lot to like about his physical style of play. If he learns to play with better discipline, he could develop into an effective press corner for his size. In addition, he has very good speed.

31(130) Pittsburgh (From NY Giants) Tony Hills OT TEXAS
He is coming off a season-ending leg injury and needs to work on using his hands to control defenders. But he has the size and mobility to develop into an excellent right tackle or adequate left tackle.

32(131) Philadelphia Jack Ikegwuonu CB WISCONSIN
Unfortunately, Ikegwuonu sustained a serious knee injury while preparing for the combine. He’s not expected to play this season, making his selection by Philadelphia puzzling. Before the injury he was a physical corner who used his hands well and could slow down wideouts at the line of scrimmage. However, he’s never had great speed and the injury makes that more of a concern. In fact, he may have to move to safety.

33(132) Buffalo Derek Fine TE KANSAS
He lacks ideal size and isn’t ever going to be an in-line blocker. But he’s versatile enough to line up at fullback and is a smooth route runner who reads defenses well.

34(133) Baltimore David Hale OT WEBER STATE
Hale has adequate feet and uses his hands well. He also sustains his blocks and plays with a mean streak. At times will play too high and hasn’t shown good lower-body strength.

35(134) Tennessee Stanford Keglar OLB PURDUE
He is a sideline-to-sideline run defender with good size. But he has problems running with backs and tight ends in man-to-man coverage.

36(135) Green Bay Josh Sitton OT CENTRAL FLORIDA
Sitton has excellent size, but lacks ideal explosiveness and range. He might be a better fit at guard.


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