Draft Report Card (cont.)
Posted: Monday April 30, 2007 9:57AM; Updated: Monday April 30, 2007 1:56PM
RAIDERS -- B+
If you believe JaMarcus Russell is that good, then your grade must reflect it. Or let's put it this way. This is a good conduct medal for Oakland for not getting exotic and going away from the QB pick, just to show everyone that they don't have to do what's expected. The rest of their board is saturation bombing, with 11 picks. Seven of the picks, including Russell, are for offense, which makes sense, and the most interesting is second round TE Zach Miller.
JETS -- B+
They only had four picks, and two of them don't really move me, but look what dedicated individuals can accomplish when they set their minds to it. They landed Darrelle Revis, the closest thing to a shutdown corner the draft had to offer ... a guy whose star was shooting up so fast that they had to trade up to get him. They drafted one of the toughest LBs, David Harris, from Michigan, one of the country's toughest defenses. And don't forget that the extra second-round pick they used for the Revis trade-up came from swapping choices with the Bears for Thomas Jones, who is now New York's premier runner.
49ers -- B+
Another trade-up, this one involving their No. 1 next year, but it brought them Joe Staley, an LT type. I assume this means that Jonas Jennings or somebody will move to the right side, currently manned by Kwame Harris, who is a WGSK (Will Get Somebody Killed) tackle. On the first pick they got Patrick Willis, a LB who can laser in on the ball carrier with 4.51 speed. The third round brought them their fastest player (Jason Hill -- 4.32) since Skeets Nehemiah, remember him? And I like their other third rounder, Ray McDonald, a defensive end-tackle tweener, relegated to this level in the draft because of two ACL operations, but a real battler. Don't forget that former Seahawks WR Darrell Jackson is part of the draft. Cost 'em a No. 4 he did.
CARDINALS -- B+
It all hinges on second round choice Alan Branch, a DT with rare talent that sometimes comes out of the kitchen medium rare. If he can play up to ... you know how the rest goes. No such rejoinder about No. 1 pick, T Levi Brown, who might finally be the tough, mauling type of O-lineman the Cards have searched for all these years. Undersized, explosive Buster Davis will be a fine NFL middle backer, and fifth rounder, WR Steve Breaston, could be a steal as a returner. And way down in the mines, where the sun never shines, we find TE Ben Patrick standing next to the marker that says Round No. 7. Hey, what's he doing down here? He was rated top three at the position.
FALCONS -- B+
DEs who go 6-5 1/2. 288 and can rush the passer, as top draft Jamaal Anderson can, are a rare breed. No. 2 pick, G Justin Blalock (40 reps on the bench press) is the kind of guy you want around if your car goes in a ditch. Pure, blazing speed mark their next two picks, CB Chris Houston, a first rounder who somehow dropped to round No. 2, and WR Laurent Robinson, one of the stars of the combine.
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