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4/18/2007 03:59:00 PM
Ranking NFL-producing colleges for '07 draft
LSU wide receiver Dwayne Bowe will likely be a first-round selection on April 28.
Throughout most of the past decade, the University of Miami has produced the best NFL players, but the U has taken a step back since all the great Butch Davis recruits have moved on. Now the SEC has become the most important conference for pro scouts, and that conference dominates my rankings for the top 10 pro-producing colleges in this year's draft.
1. LSU -- Likely the only school with two top-10 picks -- QB JaMarcus Russell and S LaRon Landry -- and the Tigers' two top receivers, DwayneBowe and Craig Davis, will be gone before the end of the second round.
2. Florida -- Two first rounders -- DE Jarvis Moss and S Reggie Nelson -- and two more first-day picks: WR Dallas Baker and DL Ray McDonald (assuming teams aren't scared by his knee problems).
3. Michigan -- Two defensive players could go in the top 12 picks, DT Alan Branch and CB Leon Hall, although I believe they’re both overrated. DE LaMarr Woodley should go in the second round.
4. Arkansas -- Two prospects will likely go in the first round, DE Jamaal Anderson and CB Chris Houston. Offensive tackle Tony Ugoh could go in the first round or in the first part of the second round.
5. Ohio State -- Receiver/returner Tedd Ginn Jr. could be selected in the top 15 picks and fellow WR Anthony Gonzalez could sneak into the first round. RB Antonio Pittman will likely go in the second round.
6. Miami -- TE Greg Olsen has shot up on draft charts and could go in the first half of the first round. LB John Beason will be a steal if he lasts into the second round, and safety Brandon Meriweather is a first-round talent who has fallen because of character questions.
7. USC -- The Trojans are having an off-year as far as top-10 picks, but three players could go in the first round or the early part of the second round -- WRs Dwayne Jarrett, WR Steve Smith and C Ryan Kalil.
8. Penn State -- Two potential first-rounders, OT Levi Brown and LB Paul Posluszny, and intriguing running back Tony Hunt, whose draft status has fluctuated throughout the offseason, but he could still be a first-day pick.
9. Texas -- Two DBs, Aaron Ross and Michael Griffin, should be first-rounders, while DEs Tim Crowder and Brian Robinson and OL Justin Blalock will likely be first-day picks.
10. Tennessee -- Two potential first-rounders - WR Robert Meachem and DT Justin Harrell -- and OL Arron Sears and DT Turk McBride could go in Round 2.
Chris Houston shot up draft boards after an impressive performance at the NFL Scouting Combine.
SI.com's Peter King says teams are very nervous about paying overrated first-round prospects this year. Here are five players I think have a high probability of being busts:
JaMarcus Russell, QB, LSU (FILM ROOM): If Russell goes No. 1 overall to the Raiders, No. 2 to the Lions or No. 3 to the Browns, he'll be placed in a position to lose that might be hard to climb out of. And there are still lingering questions about his passion for the game.
Jamaal Anderson, DE, Arkansas (FILM ROOM): Anderson appears to be on his way up on draft boards around the NFL, but he may be benefiting from the lack of can't-miss defensive prospects in the first round. Anderson had one good year at Arkansas and is still raw.
Chris Houston, CB, Arkansas (FILM ROOM): Houston has shot up draft boards since running a 4.32 40 at the combine, but there are several scouts who doubt his college production warrants a first-round selection.
Greg Olsen, TE, Miami (FILM ROOM): Another possible workout wonder whose impressive physical skills didn't translate into consistent production at Miami. Olsen could go in the first half of the first round.
Joe Thomas, OT, Wisconsin (FILM ROOM): This isn't a judgment on Thomas per se, but teams have had trouble evaluating elite left tackles the last few years. Robert Gallery was the No. 2 overall pick in 2004 and no one could have imagined he wouldn't pan out. Meanwhile, Marcus McNeill, who looks like a perennial All-Pro, fell to No. 50 overall last year. I think there's a lot of intangibles at this position and even though I'm probably alone on this one, I don't buy Thomas' "can't-miss" label.