Monday, 15 January 2007

Early NFL Draft Entrants

For the complete list of NFL Early Entrants, you can look here, but for fun, I'll just take a look at the biggest names that I know a little something about, separated by position.

JaMarcus Russell, LSU - regular readers will know that I'm a fan of JaMarcus Russell... he's my #1 QB prospect heading into the draft. He's got a huge arm, was pretty accurate this year, and physically is the most gifted QB in the draft. Definitely made the right move coming out now for the Draft.

Colt Brennan, Hawaii - Brennan put up super numbers this year... 58 TD, lots of yards, etc. but now we'll see if NFL teams think he's just a system QB or a legitimate prospect. He'll probably be competing with Troy Smith and Drew Stanton to be the 3rd QB taken in the Draft. That spot would have gone to Brian Brohm, but of course he decided to stay in school.

Running Back
Adrian Peterson, Oklahoma - I think Peterson is a great NFL prospect and should be a great NFL RB as long as he can stay healthy. He's fast, he's a tough inside runner, and he can make people miss. In many ways I think he's every bit the RB prospect that Reggie Bush was last year, albeit a very different style.

Darius Walker, Notre Dame - this surprised me a bit when I saw Walker was coming out. I personally am not that high on him... I didn't think he was that good running the ball, but he is an excellent receiver out of the backfield. At best, I think he'll be a Kevin Faulk type without the Special Teams skills. Which isn't bad, but I'm just a little surprised he came out with another year left of eligibility.

Michael Bush, Lousville - he must have really not wanted to go back to school, entering the Draft even after the big injury. Even so, as long as he can show he's healthy, he'll probably be a late first round back. He's got good patience and vision in the backfield and should be a solid runner.

Marshawn Lynch, California - Lynch has big play ability and will probably be the second RB off the board. He averaged over 6 YPC each of his 3 years and greatly increased his receiving totals this year as well. He finished with almost 1700 all-purpose yards this year.

Wide Receiver
Calvin Johnson, Georgia Tech - I think Johnson is excellent and he will be the top WR off the board. If he fell to the Vikings at #7 I would possibly faint out of joy. He's fast, he's got great hands, great body control, great anticipation... basically, he rocks.

Ted Ginn, Ohio St. - Ginn's my #2 WR on the board. He's not a great route runner and he doesn't have the best hands ever, but he makes things happen. He's similar to Reggie Bush in that anytime he has the ball he is capable of scoring. Extra boost for being such a Special Teams threat as well. I'm a big fan.

Dwayne Jarrett, USC - Jarrett has very good hands and is a pretty good route runner. He may not be as explosive after the catch as Ginn or Johnson, but it's hard to argue with the production. 41 TD catches in 3 years.

Robert Meachem, Tennessee - not sure if this was a good year for a fringe underclassmen WR to come to the draft. Meachem is obviously talented (he put up BIG numbers for the Vols this year), but he'll be either the 5th or 6th WR off the board most likely. Still, should be an excellent 2nd round pick for some team.

Sidney Rice, South Carolina - See Meachem. Rice is very talented, but I'm not sure he'll go higher than any of the top 4. Should be a solid NFL player.

Jamaal Anderson, Alabama - I've heard a lot of talk about Anderson since he declared, and now he may even be the first DE taken in the draft. I'll admit I don't know much about him right now, though hopefully I'll learn, as he could be one of the Vikings top choices at #7.

Reggie Nelson, Florida - I was impressed everytime I watched Nelson play this year. He's a big hitter in the secondary, but more importantly he always seemed to have good instincts going to get the ball. Even if he wasn't going for the INT, he was in plays hitting WR as the ball got there, tipping balls, etc. and was one of the main reasons Florida's defense was as good as it was.

There's a lot of other good early entrant players defensively, most notably Jarvis Moss of Florida and Alan Branch of Michigan, but I really don't know much at all about them, so I won't bore you with bad generalizations.

So anyway, what guys are you most looking forward to watching?