Sports Outside the Beltway

NFL Draft 2008 – Round 7

NFL Draft 2008 Logo The 7th and final round of the 2008 NFL Draft is underway. The picks via ESPN and Scouts, Inc.

1(208) Chicago (From Miami) Ervin Baldwin DE MICHIGAN STATE
Baldwin is coming off a breakout season and he is at his best making plays in the backfield, whether it’s against the run or rushing the passer. On the flip side, he needs to improve his ability to hold his ground when teams run at him.

2(209) Green Bay (From St. Louis through Minnesota) Matt Flynn QB LSU
He has smooth feet and has a relatively quick delivery. He shows excellent touch on intermediate throws, good poise and has adequate speed to create if nothing is open. But he lacks elite arm strength, will struggle making some NFL throws and tends to hold onto the ball too long.

3(210) Kansas City Brian Johnston DE GARDNER WEBB
Johnston has good size and the frame to get even bigger. He’s more comfortable making plays on the move than he is anchoring. There’s also a lot to like about the way he uses his hands as a pass-rusher as he’s going to have a hard time turning the corner at the NFL level.

4(211) NY Jets Nate Garner OT ARKANSAS
Garner is big enough to engulf defensive ends and he can drive defenders off the ball. He is a far better run-blocker than pass-blocker.

5(212) Atlanta Wilrey Fontenot CB ARIZONA
He displays natural knee bend in his backpedal, and fluid hips that allow him to change directions smoothly. He reads the quarterback’s eyes and breaks on the ball very well, but he lacks overall size and will struggle to shed blocks in run support.

6(213) Jacksonville (From Oakland through Dallas) Chauncey Washington RB USC
Washington is a raw receiver out of the backfield. More importantly, there are questions about his ability to retain information as he missed two seasons at USC because he was academically ineligible. On the flip side, he has good size, is quick through the hole and make the first defender miss. He also runs very hard and can pick up yards after contact.

7(214) San Francisco Larry Grant OLB OHIO STATE
He possesses an adequate frame with room to add bulk. He plays with good leverage and plays hard from snap to whistle. He times blitzes really well with the ability to beat blockers in the backfield, but and needs to improve instincts and hand use when shedding blocks.

8(215) Baltimore Justin Harper WR VIRGINIA TECH
He doesn’t have the burst to consistently separate from man coverage and he drops some passes that should be routine catches. However, he has the wide frame to shield defenders from the ball. He also has excellent leaping ability, making him a candidate to develop into a productive red zone target.

9(216) Detroit Landon Cohen DT OHIO
Cohen is a one-gap defensive tackle who is at his best disrupting running plays, making plays in the backfield and rushing the passer. The biggest knock on him is that he?s vastly undersized for the interior defensive line, which could mean that teams will have success running at him.

10(217) Green Bay (From Cincinnati through St Louis) Brett Swain WR SAN DIEGO STATE
Swain is an experienced receiver with adequate size. He was a big-play threat in college but is not fast enough to be a home run threat in the NFL. At best, he’s a No. 4 possession receiver.

11(218) Detroit (From New Orleans) Caleb Campbell S ARMY
Campbell shows good range in zone coverage but is limited in man. He is a physical player who does a good job in the box in run support. Takes very good pursuit angles and plays hard. Shows vocal leadership on the field. There are some durablility concerns, though, due to a knee injury. Does not change direction adequately.

12(219) Buffalo Demetrius Bell OT NORTHWESTERN ST
Bell’s a small school prospect who has the frame, quickness and lateral mobility to develop into an effective reserve or possibly a starting right tackle. However, he has to improve his overall strength and play with better leverage before that happens.

13(220) Denver Joshua Barrett S ARIZONA STATE
He is a physical safety who possesses great size and has the ability to re-route receivers at the line of scrimmage. He is aggressive in run support and sheds blocks very well. He plays with a high motor and takes good angles to the ball and has sound ability to make the solid open-field tackle. His knee injury may have been more severe than we thought and is perhaps the reason he slid in the draft.

14(221) Carolina Hilee Taylor OLB NORTH CAROLINA
Taylor has experience lining up at defensive end and outside linebacker. Considering his lack of size he projects as a linebacker at the NFL level. He projects as an outside linebacker, but he could play a situational pass-rusher role. He has good athletic ability and quickness, but he doesn’t have great speed or size.

15(222) Chicago Chester Adams OG GEORGIA
Adams doesn’t play as big as his size suggests; he doesn’t show a powerful punch or great lower-body strength. However, he moves well for his size so he can get into position and he flashes the ability to sustain.

16(223) Houston Alex Brink QB WASHINGTON STATE
He has adequate feet, good pocket awareness and has shown solid ability to buy time in the pocket. He shows excellent ball skills and can freeze linebackers with fakes. He has questionable arm strength, though, and it remains to be seen of he can put enough zip on the ball at the next level. He also holds on to the ball too long and takes too many steps.

17(224) Buffalo (From Philadelphia) Steve Johnson WR KENTUCKY
Johnson’s hands are inconsistent and he has problems catching the ball in stride. But he’s tough for his size and does not hesitate going over the middle. He’s also a willing blocker.

18(225) Arizona Brandon Keith OT NORTHERN IOWA
Keith played at three different colleges and it shows. His technique is still very raw; he never got comfortable with one coach or in one scheme. In addition, he had two stints with Oklahoma, and there are concerns about his commitment to the game. He has rare size and good lateral mobility.

19(226) Oakland (From Minnesota (through N.Y. Jets) Chaz Schilens WR SAN DIEGO STATE
He’s a 6-foot-4, 225-pound wideout who might need to play an H-back role in order to make it in the NFL. He missed time due to injuries as a senior, but he has good straight-line speed for his size. He has to become a better intermediate route-runner and a much better blocker to make the transition.

20(227) Denver (From Tampa Bay) Peyton Hillis FB ARKANSAS
He is a versatile athlete who is a technician and gives good effort as a blocker. He does a solid job of adjusting on the move and sustaining blocks. Hilis is an excellent route-runner and can find the open area when the quarterback scrambles, but he lacks ideal strength and base of a traditional iso-blocker. He also needs to improve his hands.

21(228) St. Louis (From Washington) Chris Chamberlain ILB TULSA
He’s played inside and outside linebacker but is undersized for either position, to the point where he could take off some weight and move back to strong safety. He has good tackling skills, which could be an asset on special teams.

22(229) Tennessee Cary Williams CB WASHBURN
He shows loose hips and does a nice job of turning and running with receivers. He has a good closing burst and natural hands to make a play. However, he has a lean frame that makes him a liability in the run game.

23(230) Philadelphia (From Seattle) King Dunlap OT AUBURN
Big offensive tackle who is going to have to play the right side. To contribute in the NFL he must improve his feet. He’s slow to get set in pass protection, gets caught off balance too frequently and lunges too often. The upside with him is that he’s strong enough to finish once he locks on.

24(231) Cleveland Alex Hall DE ST. AUGUSTINE’S
Hall played defensive end at the small-school level. He’s tall, lean and still needs to add bulk to his frame and get a lot stronger. He projects best as a 3-4 outside linebacker and is at his best rushing the passer.

25(232) Atlanta (From Pittsburgh) Keith Zinger TE LSU
He is a reliable receiver who will be used more often as a blocker. He is a hard worker who plays form snap to whistle. He was not used mush in college due to LSU’s system and he lacks elite speed. He needs to improve his quickness out of breaks.

26(233) Seattle (From Jacksonville) Justin Forsett RB CALIFORNIA
He’s undersized and lacks top-end speed and a second gear as a runner. His versatility and quickness make him worth the value this late in the draft, though. The best-case scenario with him is that he finds a place to become a change-of-pace runner as a third-down back; he catches the ball well, is good in the return game and is a tough, shifty runner for his size.

27(234) San Diego Corey Clark OT TEXAS A&M
He possesses a good blend of size and initial quickness but hasn’t come close to realizing his potential. However, he doesn’t play with enough of a mean streak and takes too many false steps.

28(235) Seattle (From Dallas) Brandon Coutu PK GEORGIA
He has the strongest leg of any kicker in the draft and is also the best overall kicker in this class. He has the best chance of any kicker this year of handling field goals and kickoffs at the next level.

29(236) Indianapolis Jamey Richard OC BUFFALO
He’s a fundamentally sound drive-blocker who plays with a mean streak and shows good awareness in pass protection. However, he’s undersized so he has problems anchoring against bull-rushers and will struggle when nose tackles line up over his head.

30(237) New Orleans (From Green Bay) Adrian Arrington WR MICHIGAN
Arrington was a very productive receiver at Michigan and declared early because the Wolverines? new scheme was going to be detrimental to his numbers. He was never the No. 1 wideout in college and lacks explosiveness, and he will struggle to get separation at the next level. He is tough, though, and not afraid to do the dirty work or catch the ball in traffic.

31(238) Tampa Bay (From New England) Cory Boyd RB SOUTH CAROLINA
He is a versatile, tough runner but doesn’t have breakaway speed or elusiveness. After earlier character concerns he’s been a model teammate.

32(239) Kansas City (From N.Y. Giants) Mike Merritt TE CENTRAL FLORIDA
He is a big, run-blocking specialist who is very slow and lacks athleticism. It wouldn’t surprise us if the Chiefs move him to guard, but he will predominantly play as a jumbo blocking tight end in two-TE sets.

33(240) Baltimore Allen Patrick RB OKLAHOMA
Runs hard between the tackles and can pick up yardage after contact. The concern with him is how his slight frame will hold up given his physical running style and the big hits NFL running backs take.

34(241) Carolina Geoff Schwartz OT OREGON
Schwartz’s footwork is sloppy and he has problems getting into position. As a result, he doesn’t have great lateral quickness. The reason he has some value in the seventh round, however, is his excellent size and relentlessness as a drive-blocker.

35(242) Washington Rob Jackson DE KANSAS STATE
He’s an undersized prospect who struggles to hold his own against the run, but Jackson is tall enough to add some weight to his frame. In addition, though he doesn’t have great top-end speed he’s quick enough to make plays.

36(243) Chicago Joey LaRocque OLB OREGON STATE
He’s a tough, instinctive outside linebacker who was very productive late in his career. He struggled with a hamstring injury during the predraft process, but he probably wouldn’t have run much better than he did at the combine anyway. He lacks functional speed and is a marginal athlete.

37(244) Cincinnati Angelo Craig OLB CINCINNATI
He shows adequate upper-body strength, times snaps extremely well and gets a quick jump off the edge. He moves well laterally and takes sound pursuit angles to the ball. He plays with a mean streak and competes from snap to whistle. He is primarily used as a pass rusher and is going to struggle initially adjusting to the speed of the NFL level.

38(245) Miami Lionel Dotson DT ARIZONA
He has a strong upper body and active hands, so he can shed blocks. The problem is that he doesn’t have great size and he plays too high, so he’s frequently shedding blocks three yards downfield.

39(246) Cincinnati Mario Urrutia WR LOUISVILLE
He was injured as junior but still elected to come out early. He catches the ball very well and is a red zone threat. He has strong hands and surprisingly good feet for a big wideout. He has marginal top-end speed, though, and like most big receivers he struggles to separate from coverage.

40(247) Chicago Kirk Barton OT OHIO STATE
Barton is very tough and experienced. He almost always finds a way to get the job done. The problem is that his athletic deficiencies are going to show up at the NFL level.

41(248) Chicago Marcus Monk WR ARKANSAS
He has great size and ran better than expected at the combine. Monk is a high-character guy who works hard. He’s not shifty or explosive so he’s going to have some problem getting separation.

42(249) Washington Christopher Horton S UCLA
Experienced, tough, in-the-box safety who fills hard. The biggest knock on him is that he’s one dimensional because he has too many limitations in coverage.

43(250) Carolina Mackenzy Bernadeau OG BENTLEY
Bernadeau is coming off a knee injury and he obviously played at a very small school, all of which makes him a very risky pick. However, the risk may be worth the reward this late in the draft. He’s an athletic guard who gets into position and plays with good intensity.

44(251) Buffalo Kennard Cox CB PITTSBURGH
Cox plays with a mean streak and fills hard in run support, but he doesn?t have great speed and he isn’t going to make many plays in coverage.

45(252) St. Louis David Vobora OLB IDAHO
He is a physical linebacker who plays with a mean streak. He does a good job of breaking down in space and is a reliable tackler. He gets good depth and reads the quarterback’s eyes. He plays too upright, however, and will have problems holding ground when teams run at him. He is also slightly stiff in the hips.

Which, of course, makes Vobora “Mr. Irrelevant.”

What’s amusing is how dismal the scouting is on almost all these guys. Yet, not so long ago, the NFL draft lasted several more rounds. Hall of Fame caliber players have been picked in the 12th round and later. And yet these guys are all bums?

Indeed, the “Mr. Irrelevant” title, indicating that the guy has virtually no shot at making the team, had been outmoded by the shortened draft.

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