Ranking NFL position factories (cont.)
Posted: Wednesday April 18, 2007 2:04PM; Updated: Thursday April 19, 2007 9:47AM
Tight Ends: Miami
Top recruits know if they go to Miami they'll be featured in the offense and instantly respected by pro teams. The recent lineage is incredible and there will likely be more to come.
Recent Pros: Bubba Franks, Jeremy Shockey, Kellen Winslow II and Kevin Everett
Next in Line: Greg Olsen (likely first-round pick in this year's draft)
Offensive Linemen: Boston College
This program has earned a reputation for producing hard-nosed players. Damien Woody, Pete Kendall, Tom Nalen and Ron Stone are former Eagles. Inspired by former head coach and Marine Tom O'Brien's tough and disciplined approach, the Eagles continue to churn out solid offensive line prospects.
Recent Pros: Marc Colombo, Dan Koppen, Chris Snee and Jeremy Trueblood
Next in Line: Josh Beekman and James Marten (both likely first-day picks in this year's draft)
Defensive Lineman: Georgia
The Bulldogs have had five defensive linemen selected in the first round in recent years and two of those players, Richard Seymour and Marcus Stroud, have earned Pro Bowl recognition. Georgia seems to always recruit huge linemen who run like much smaller players.
Recent Pros: Seymour, Charles Grant, Robert Geathers, David Pollack, Stroud and Jonathan Sullivan
Next in Line: Charles Johnson and Quentin Moses (both potential first-day picks in this year's draft)
In the 1980s and '90s, coach Jimmy Johnson was noted for using faster players at linebacker, even if he had to move them up from the defensive backfield -- a philosophy he took to the NFL. Then Mike Barrow, Darrin Smith, Jesse Armstead and Ray Lewis helped Miami become the new "Linebacker U." Dan Morgan, Jonathan Vilma and D.J. Williams continued the standard of excellence and that tradition figures to continue under new head coach and former linebacker Randy Shannon.
Recent Pros: Nate Webster, Morgan, Williams, Vilma, Rocky McIntosh and Leon Williams
Next in Line: Jon Beason (likely first- or second-round pick in this year's draft)
Defensive Backs: Miami
Starting with the Bennie Blades and Bubba McDowell era, the Hurricanes have produced numerous stars at safety, as well as some solid cornerbacks. Pro Bowlers Ed Reed and Sean Taylor are the prototypical Miami safeties -- big-hitters who can do a bit of everything and have a nose for the ball.
Recent Pros: Reed, Taylor, Antrel Rolle, Phillip Buchanon, Michael Rumph, Kelly Jennings and Devin Hester (KR)
Next in Line: Brandon Meriweather (likely first-day pick in this year's draft)