The draft evaluations that follow are based on my own scouting reports from watching tape on these players and numerous interviews with coaches and personnel people in the NFL.
I did not put grades on these drafts because that is the most senseless exercise I have seen, because of two reasons:
1. Everyone who drafts players knows it is a couple of years before you know if these players are any good;
2. Without having the total package of information you have when you are with a team (live scouting reports, all the game tape, workouts, background information, physicals, etc.) you can't properly grade these players.
I did a 10-year study on the draft to judge the success rate of players selected in each round. I defined a successful player as one who is starting four years after being drafted. Four years gives him a chance to prove himself, and if you are not starting after four years you will probably be replaced on the roster. The results were as follows:
Round 1 -- 75 percent
Round 2 -- 50 percent
Round 3 -- 30 percent
Round 4 -- 25 percent
Round 5 -- 20 percent
Round 6 -- 9 percent
Round 7 -- 9 percent
Average -- 31 percent My observation on the drafting of players with questionable character is the same as I wrote last week after I interviewed a number of teams. They told me they would not do anything different on draft day, and judging where teams took players, I did not see any difference between where these players were drafted and where they would have been in the past.
|The Cardinals expect Levi Brown to fill a big need at tackle. (AP)|
There were better players there, but Russ Grimm was sold on Levi Brown's physicality and the toughness he brings to the Cards offensive line. If he can't play LT he could play RT, which is a blessing for the Cards because this would protect Matt Leinart's blind side. Look for them to go slow with Levi Brown and find out where he is the most comfortable and play him there, and Oliver Ross or Mike Gandy will play the other side.
In Alan Branch they got good value for the pick in the second round. They had him rated much higher than where they picked him and that is why they traded up to get him. What they see in him is a guy similar to the big Jacksonville DTs (Henderson and Stroud). They're guys who can disrupt blocking schemes. I love the pick of Buster Davis in the third round. In the tapes I watched he was always around the football. At 5-feet-9, he defies logic, but he is a "football player." Guys like him end up making it. In fact, in the tapes I watched he outplayed his teammate and first-round pick Lawrence Timmons. A late-rounder with good value was seventh-round pick Ben Patrick.
They worked on addressing their needs. When they let Patrick Kerney leave, they knew there would be options in the draft. Jamaal Anderson should step in and start at the left DE position. I do not believe he is a top 10 pick because he does not have the outside pass-rush speed you want. He does show a quick inside move that was successful in college, but might not be in the pros. I think he should have stayed in school.
That being said, I believe he will be a good starting player in the NFL and should be productive versus the run and in time, with better technique, improve his pass-rushing ability. Justin Blalock was a good pick in the second round and an important one because he gives the Falcons a better physical presence in the OL, which fits in with their new running game.
Chris Houston is an interesting pick. He has speed and athletic ability to play CB. The question is whether he can convert to an off-corner when necessary as opposed to just a press-corner. The Falcons believe he can, but there is some risk in projecting that transition. He also needs to make more plays on the ball. Their next two picks are viewed by scouts I talked with around the NFL as good picks at that point in the draft: WR Laurent Robinson (3rd round) -- good hands and combine workout; LB Stephen Nicholas (fourth round) -- pass-rush ability.
Some things never change. Baltimore always has a solid draft and I think they did it again. They got the highest-rated OG in the draft with the 29th pick in the first round. Last fall, I asked 16 teams to name their top-rated OG and all 16 said Ben Grubbs. He is a big, physical power-blocker who will help the run game. This will also let them move Chris Chester back to center which I believe is his best position.
As an aside to this pick, when I asked Ozzie Newsome why they traded for Willis McGahee, he said there were two ways to upgrade the running attack -- get a better back or improve the offensive line. Since he did not like the prices of O-linemen in free agency, he went for the back (McGahee). Now, by being disciplined in free-agency he improves the OL with best guard in the draft. I liked many of their other picks for the value they paid for them. Troy Smith with a late fifth-round pick. I did not like him in the third or higher, which is where many people were talking about him in December after the Michigan game, but he does have enough talent to make it and sometimes being passed can be a good motivating factor for a player.
By trading back into the third round, they got better value when they took WR/RS Yamon Figures. When they lost B.J. Sams last year, it really hurt their return game. Sams has some off-the-field issues which could affect his status with NFL's conduct policies. Figures reminds some people of former Pro Bowl return man Jermaine Lewis. I also liked OT Marshal Yanda in the late third round. He is a better player than Tony Pashos, who they lost to Jacksonville in free agency.
Finally, I liked both of their fourth-round picks. Le'Ron McClain was probably the best blocking fullback in the draft and that fills a need for them. Their other fourth-round pick Antwan Barnes has a chance to help them as a situational pass rusher. Remember, Baltimore has had a lot of success developing guys who are not finished products coming out of college and finding a place for them in their defense to succeed. Some examples are Bart Scott, Adalius Thomas and Marques Douglas. This is what could happen with Barnes.
|Owner Ralph Wilson hopes top pick Marshawn Lynch is the feature back the Bills need. (AP)|
Trent Edwards gives them a young QB to go along with J.P. Losman. Scouts I talked to last fall thought he had a chance to go late in the first round, but he did not have good workouts this spring and has some injury concerns. But he's still a good value in the third round. Dwayne Wright will help them at RB. He does not have great speed but he has good instincts and quickness. I like what the Bills did in this draft.
The Panthers made what turned out to be a good move in trading back in the first round and taking linebacker Jon Beason. They were able to move back to get a good player and pick up an additional draft choice. I liked Beason and thought he was the second-best linebacker, next to Patrick Willis. I like center Ryan Kalil where they got him the second round. I know one team almost took him in the first. He is a good technician who fits best in a zone-blocking scheme, which is what Carolina runs.
I am not as high on Dwayne Jarrett as others, because he has limited speed. He does give you size and will replace Keyshawn Johnson as a size receiver in the lineup, but I do not know if that is a positive because he still lacks speed. But if he can block and make plays in the red zone, that would complement Steve Smith. I liked their next two picks for the value they paid: DE Charles Johnson (third round) for his pass-rushing ability and Ryne Robinson (4th round) for punt returns.
The Bears picked up a good player in first-round pick Greg Olsen, as he was the best TE in this draft and can help right away in the passing game. Good move by the Bears to take the best player on their board.
Their next four picks are players who won't have much of an impact this year, but they will add good depth and are prospects for the future, which is what a Super Bowl team usually gets when they are picking in the draft. RB Garrett Wolfe will be a change-of-pace back. LB Michael Okwo fits their scheme because he can run. DE Dan Bazuin gives them potentially another pass rusher. John Beekman is a good value in the fourth round as a developmental OL.
The Bengals sat there in the first round and got a starting corner. Many teams had Leon Hall as their top-rated corner. Some people had trouble with his speed, but the Bengals feel his problem was more in his transition technique coming out of his back pedal to turn and run with receivers. This will be something to watch in training camp. He can be a very effective Cover 2 corner right away. I like this pick in this spot. RB Kenny Irons in the second round is a good pick also. It gives them a good change-of-pace back to go along with Rudi Johnson. They really missed Chris Perry last year. The drafting of Irons may tell us they are not certain of Perry's future.
Do not forget -- they used this year's third-round pick to take LB Ahmad Brooks in the 2006 Supplemental Draft. Brooks, who had numerous character issues coming out of Virginia, has first-round ability. He will have a chance to start this year. The pick looks good so far.
The Browns resisted the pressure to take the sexy pick in Brady Quinn and took the better player in Joe Thomas. Thomas is a solid pick, and I agree with it. Thomas is not to be placed in the class of Tony Boselli, Jonathan Ogden or Walter Jones, but he should be able to play left tackle more than adequately. The one issue he has that does concern me some is that he has an arm length under 34 inches, which is less than desirable for a LT.
The next pick was Brady Quinn. It cost a lot (next year's first pick and a second-round pick from this year's draft), but it was a trade they needed to make. Obtaining Quinn does a few things for the Browns. It gives them a potential solution to their QB problems, it gives them a face to the franchise and maybe most importantly it should buy time for the current regime with the media and fans.
The next pick will be closely watched by everyone. Cornerback Eric Wright had some legal issues in college and because of them he was removed from some draft boards. He is a good prospect at a position the Browns really needed help.
Overall I like what the Browns did
The Cowboys wheeled and dealed themselves into a first-round pick for next year, which gives them two in '08.
In the first round they took OLB Anthony Spencer. This might have been a reach value-wise, but if you are a 3-4 defense, you have to have these types of players and they are hard to find. I do not believe Bobby Carpenter is a good enough pass rusher to fit the bill. Greg Ellis was a big loss last year when he got injured and that was the biggest reason the Cowboys defense suffered the second half of last season. Spencer gives them an alternate if Ellis is not ready. Spencer reminds me of Shaun Phillips of the Chargers who has played very well for them. Their next two picks have value too. OT James Marten is someone to develop and Isaiah Stanback, who played QB in college, is a very good athlete who should be tried at DB or WR.
I believe the Broncos helped themselves more this offseason than any team in the NFL -- even New England. But the one area they did not improve in free-agency was their defensive line. So it was no surprise they were aggressive in trading up in the draft to improve it. DE Jarvis Moss is a good pass rusher who is not ready to play the run right now, but should be a factor in pass-rushing situations. DE Tim Crowder, taken in the second, is more of a third-round value because he is a tweener, meaning he lacks the speed to be a threat as a pass rusher, though he can make a quick move at the line-of-scrimmage. He also lacks the bulk to be a DT, but he can help in a rotation and possibly develop into a starter at left DE.
DT Marcus Thomas was kicked off the team at Florida for off-field issues. In fact, Moss was suspended from the team for a time, too. Thomas has high-round ability, according to the scouts I talked to, but he was also off many draft boards because of character questions. Denver has clearly gambled on two very talented players. One of the things the NFL office has stressed to teams this offseason is upgrading support programs for players coming into the league with issues like these two young men have had in college. Look for the NFL to ask Denver what programs it has in place to aid these players.
If Moss and Thomas come through, Denver will have completed the best offseason in the NFL.
They took the best player in the draft despite their past failures drafting wide receivers and having bigger needs at other positions. They did the right thing! They now give themselves a set of wide receivers that can rival any in the league and I believe this will turn the team around. They now cause matchup problems for every team they play. Great move by the Lions! The rest of there picks are more wait-and-see types, but the pick of Calvin Johnson takes the pressure off the rest of the draft for now.
QB Drew Stanton played better as a junior than a senior. But Mike Martz can develop QBs if they are willing to work and listen, so this one's up to you, Drew. S Gerald Alexander has played corner and safety, but he's more of a safety with athletic ability and range. DE Ikaika Alma-Francis has some pass-rush ability but will need development.
Green Bay Packers
Justin Harrell is a player who did not get a lot of pre-draft publicity, but when I talked to teams about defensive linemen, his name always came up as a first-round talent, despite the fact he was injured most of his senior year. So from an ability point-of-view, he is a first-rounder. Obviously the Packers believed this was a bigger need than their age at CB (Leon Hall) and WR (Robert Meachem).
The Packers already have Ryan Pickett at DT appear to want to extend Cullen Jenkins' contract, who was their other starting DT. Harrell does give them better bulk then have right now, so this makes you think this draft choice may affect how they view Jenkins going forward.
RB Brandon Jackson appears to be a need pick. There were other backs on the board who seemed to be more popular with teams around the NFL (Antonio Pittman and Tony Hunt). WR James Jones has size and hands, but not top-end speed. One thing to remember with receivers is teams have different characteristics they want, so what might fit for one team does not fit another team.
For the second straight year they will have the youngest starting player in the NFL. Last year it was Mario Williams. They chose Okoye over the cornerbacks because he was the higher-rated player on their board. Okoye at 19 should still have some growth potential. Okoye came into his own this year as a player and had a good week at the Senior Bowl, which seemed to move him up draft boards from his fall grades. I liked Okoye and he should help the Texans. He will play best in an upfield style of play and that is how they will use him.
They used their second-round pick as part of a package of draft choices to get QB Matt Schaub, so that must figure into their draft evaluation in years to come. In the third round they took an interesting wide receiver prospect in Jacoby Jones. He excelled at Lane College, but wasn't intimidated by the better competition when he played in the postseason all-star-games. He might take some time, but he has some talent.
Once again the Colts get a player at the end of the first round who can help them right away. WR Anthony Gonzalez will help them immediately in their three-wide receiver package. I thought he would be an excellent slot receiver in the pros and that is what the Colts will use him as. Their next pick came via a trade, where they traded away next year's first-round pick to get a player in this year's second round.
This is a good technique because the Colts get a player a year earlier for second-round money and they will probably pick late in the first round next year anyway. Tony Ugoh will play guard this year with the idea he could move to OT as the eventual replacement for Tarik Glenn. I like both of these moves. In the third round, they took CB Daymeion Hughes who lacks some speed, but is a good, instinctive zone-cover corner and this is what fits the Colts. DT Quinn Pitcock seems to be a need pick. He is a tough, high-motor inside guy.
The Jags traded back in the first round and filled their first need with the player many believed was the second-best safety in Reggie Nelson. He's a guy with a lot of range and playmaking ability. There was some concern by some scouts about his ability to handle the mental side of the game, but I talked to some defensive coaches who worked him out and they felt Nelson would be fine. I like this pick.
The next couple of picks are all interesting. LB Justin Durant ran 4.54 and should help on special teams as he learns to play LB. WR Mike Walker has size, speed (4.38) and played his senior year while recovering from a knee injury. A lot of teams liked him in this spot. DE-LB Brian Smith ran in the 4.70's and has some pass rush and special teams potential.
Kansas City Chiefs
The Chiefs addressed needs at the top of the draft.
WR Dwayne Bowe is a big and physical player. What the Chiefs wanted the type of receiver who can also block. In their offense, which revolves around the run, this type player will help them more than a player like Robert Meachem. Bowe is not a deep threat and can show some inconsistency in catching the ball. That being said, he was the consensus top-rated senior receiver when I polled NFL teams and was the second- or third-rated receiver on most draft boards of the teams I spoke with, because of his size and playmaking ability.
They got help on the defensive line with their next two picks. DT Turk McBride and DT Tank Tyler. I did not see McBride, but people I asked believe he was in the second tier of DTs and this is the spot where guys like him were going to get drafted. Tyler is a run stuffer and a good value in the third round. Some people questioned his desire at times. Dropping in the draft can be a good motivating tool for a player.
|Ted Ginn Jr. starred against top competition like fellow first-rounder Leon Hall. (AP)|
I remember going to Ohio State to scout Santonio Holmes -- who can run pretty fast -- and just watch Ginn run right by him. Some people feel Ginn will have trouble getting off the press and running routes. I don't believe that. He has foot quickness and the change-of-direction ability to do that. In fact, if you want to press him, good luck -- because if you miss him at the line of scrimmage, you might as well send the PAT defense on because you will not catch him. There are a couple of things that bother me about him -- his pure hands and size. As for size, there are guys like Ginn who have been great pros: Marvin Harrison and Steve Smith. Neither of these guys made a living in college going over the middle. This is a pick that is getting criticized by many, but you won't hear defensive coordinators who have to defense Ginn criticize him. He is also can impact the game as a return man.
John Beck is an accurate QB who is smart and has great intangibles. Who does that sound like? Drew Brees, except Beck has better work habits coming out of college. This is a guy a lot of teams liked and wanted. The next couple of picks should add some much-needed characteristics to the team: RB Lorenzo Booker for his speed; G Samson Satele for toughness and Paul Solicit for size at the NT position. This team needed to add speed to their offense and they did with Ginn and Booker. They also needed a QB to develop and they got him in John Beck. I will bet Randy Mueller is a lot smarter at this football thing than the people booing him.
They took the player I called the most fascinating in the top 10 -- Adrian Peterson (RB). If he did not have the durability questions, he would have been the first pick in this and many other drafts. I still think Minnesota has a need at QB, but I would have taken Peterson over Quinn here, too.
WR Sidney Rice is a good player, but not necessarily a big speed receiver, according to the scouts I talked to; I did not see him myself. CB Marcus McCauley did not play well this year. He does have athletic skill but seems to lack instincts to play the position. DE Brian Robison has size and speed.
New England Patriots
You have to factor New England's trades into their draft evaluation. They used three draft picks to add WR/RS Wes Welker and WR Randy Moss. Both players can help the Patriots, assuming Moss brings the right attitude -- which I believe he will. Also, adding a No. 1 draft choice for next year was smart. I suppose the Pats looked at this draft board and decided there were not many players who could make their team, so that is why they traded to get Moss for a fourth-round pick and secured a first rounder. I believe they were smart moves.
So if this ends up being only a one-player draft, you can't forget these other moves. The one they drafted, S Brandon Meriweather should help them this year. He is a safety who gives them flexibility in coverage as he played corner, safety and nickel back in college. I like his cover ability from the safety position. He had some off-the-field problems as well as being suspended one game last year. This obviously did not bother New England.
New Orleans Saints
The Saints sat where they were and got Robert Meachem -- the second best receiver in the draft, in the opinion of most scouts and coaches I talked with this spring. He has good size and timed speed and has some playmaking ability. They also picked up Antonio Pittman, who is a big-play back. I do not know how he gets the ball with McAllister and Bush there, but he is good value in the fourth round. In between these two picks they took two small-school players.
The Saints had success in last year's draft with small-school guys like Jahri Evans and Marques Colston. In this year's third round they took CB Usama Young, who is a good athlete with speed but is raw. At the end of the round they took G Andy Alloman, who a number of teams liked. He's a tough guy and good technician but lacks some bulk. When a team has success like New Orleans did last year with small-school players, you tend to give them the benefit of the doubt on your evaluations of these players. Another good move was picking up corner Jason David from the Colts. This helped them not force a pick for a corner in the first round.
New York Giants
The Giants' two primary needs in the draft were CB and OT. Hopefully, they addressed one of those needs with Aaron Ross. I say hopefully, because there are some things Ross can do well and others he does not. What I mean by that is this: He can press and play zone. He does have the unique ability to make a play on the ball. His weakness is in off-man coverage because of poor technique, which should be correctable, but sometimes is not. It appears Ross' strengths will fit the new Giants scheme, so he should help them.
WR Steve Smith is more of a slot receiver than an outside receiver. DT Jay Alford is a high-effort guy. LB Zak DeOssie is a size-and-speed prospect who should play on special teams.
New York Jets
They did a great job of being aggressive by trading up to get the players they wanted. They made a smart trade with Carolina to get the cornerback Darrelle Revis, who they viewed as the best CB in the draft (so did I) and an obvious need for the team. They also traded up to get ILB David Harris, who is a perfect fit in the 3-4 defense. Both players should start for the Jets.
Do not forget the addition of running back Thomas Jones to their draft evaluation. They got him by swapping second-round draft choices in the offseason. I like what the Jets did.
In JaMarcus Russell, they took a terrific QB talent who -- with the addition of Josh McCown -- will be able to sit for a while. Russell has all the talent you want, so it will be fun to watch him develop. Trading Randy Moss was addition by subtraction. He may go on and help New England, but there comes a time when you need to move on and that time had come in Oakland. Zach Miller has good hands but limited speed, but was the next best TE in the draft. In a bad year for TEs the Raiders made a need pick with him. He does have some blocking ability.
I thought the next couple of picks were pretty interesting. OT Mario Henderson played well against first-round picks Gaines Adams and Jarvis Moss in college. I liked this pick in the third round. DE Quentin Moses played better as a junior and has some pass rush skills, another good value in the third round. WR/PR Johnnie Lee Higgins can help them as a punt returner. RB Michael Bush gives them a big back, though it might be a while before he is well. I don't believe he would have been a first-round pick even if he had not got hurt. Based on his '05 tape he would have been a second- to-third-round player in my opinion I like what the Raiders did in the draft.
They surprised everyone by taking a QB in the second round. Not necessarily Kevin Kolb, who was ranked second behind Brady Quinn by at least one team and a number of teams I talked with, liked him. Kolb has been a very productive QB who has operated out of a spread offense from the shotgun formation. He has the physical skills and the smarts to play in the NFL.
The big issue is whether he can convert to a normal timing offense in the NFL. Philadelphia thinks he can, others I talked with said they were concerned about this. The Eagles did a great job getting QBs to play well during Andy Reid's regime, so do not bet against him.
The next few picks were less controversial and they were all solid picks. I especially like RB Tony Hunt in the late-third round. He is a big, physical back who has good instincts but lacks some speed. The Eagles needed a bigger back to go along with Westbrook and Hunt is that back. Victor Abiamiri gives them a good DE to develop, as both Kearse and Howard are older and have injury problems. Interestingly, in '05 he outplayed Winston Justice -- their '06 second-round pick when Justice was at USC. OLB Stewart Bradley, who they got in the third round is a physical linebacker who has a chance to develop into a SAM LB.
The Steelers filled a critical need with their first two picks by taking linebacker Lawrence Timmons and DE LaMarr Woodley. In the 3-4 defense it is hard to fill the OLB position because very few teams play the 3-4 in college. So, teams are always projecting defensive ends to OLB in the pros and there are more misses than hits at these projections.
In regards to these two players, I liked Timmons as a LB but had some concerns about his size for the 3-4. The Steelers reminded me that Greg Lloyd was the same size as Timmons, so that convinced me he will fit their scheme. In college, Timmons had a knack to get to the QB. Woodley is a bigger man who has not played LB and I did not think he was as good a pass rusher as you might like, so this is more a wait-and-see pick to me. These two picks will make or break this draft. Also, these two should put to rest any question what defense they are going to play. It is the 3-4!
San Diego Chargers
The Chargers did not have many picks, but still helped their team.
In the late first round they drafted WR Craig Davis. I like him primarily as a slot receiver and especially where they got him. Many people I talked to last fall had him rated as the No. 1 senior receiver. He has good speed and run-after-catch ability.
Their controversial pick was S Eric Weddle, but most people I talked to said he was the next-best safety and he would not have been around when the Chargers picked at the end of the second round. I never saw tape on him so my thoughts are those of scouts in the league. He is a versatile guy who played corner and safety as well as offense in college. He ran 4.52. The thought is to move him to safety where he can cover well enough. If has to cover a slot in a three-wide formation, he can do that without substituting a cornerback.
Their most interesting pick is in the third round where they picked LB Anthony Waters. He was rated as a late first-round pick coming into last fall before he got hurt. He is still recovering from a knee injury, but if he comes back, which he should, San Diego got a real bargain.
San Francisco 49ers
|Joe Staley and Patrick Willis part of a nice haul for the Niners. (AP)|
Patrick Willis was the top-rated LB and the Niners got him. They made a trade to get OT Joe Staley, a guy a lot of people liked and many thought was the second-best LT in this draft. They also got him for his value -- which was late first round.
Ray McDonald is a very good football player who may need knee surgery, but is worth the value of a late third-round pick in this draft. Jay Moore is a projection to OLB, who has some pass rush ability. WR Jason Hill was productive in college, had a good Senior Bowl showing and times fast, even though he may not play in the 4.30's.
Give San Francisco credit for being able to get a first-round pick back after they traded their first rounder to get Joe Staley. I believe that is the first time I ever saw that done in the same draft
Don't forget the Seahawks traded their No. 1 draft pick for Deion Branch. Would you rather have Branch or Craig Davis? I would take Branch. Some might argue Davis is a better deal because he would cost less money. I would argue that you know what you're getting in Branch, while Davis is a mystery. The salary cap is not that big of an issue when you are just making one of these types of trades. CB Josh Wilson is a backup-type player and DT Brandon McBane is a two-down nose tackle.
St. Louis Rams
The Rams addressed an immediate need with the top-rated DT in Adam Carriker. This was a good pick -- Carriker is a high-motor guy who will play the run well and possibly give you some inside pass rush.
FB Brian Leonard is a versatile player that can run and catch well along with some blocking ability. CB Jon Wade has 4.47 speed at corner and has a chance to help them at a position of need. Don't forget the addition of Dante' Hall as a returner. This is a solid group of four players for the value they paid
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The Bucs decided to stay in the No. 4 position, realizing they would get a good player. In taking defensive end Gaines Adams they get an explosive pass rusher at a position they have some age. Both Simeon Rice and Greg Spires will be 33 by the time the season starts. This pick gives their defense a start to getting back to the championship level it was at a few years ago.
The next pick was guard Aaron Sears. He played tackle in college but lacks the quickness to play that position at the pro level. This pick gives them a physical player at guard. It also enables them to move Dan Buenning to center if they want to.
The next couple of picks were players who should add to the depth of the defense. Safety Sabby Piscitelli is fast, but I get different opinions on his coverage ability. LB Quincy Black has speed and that fits what Tampa looks for in its linebackers. Defensive back Tanard Jackson has a chance to be a Cover 2 corner in some people's eyes, but most people I talked to felt he was a better prospect at safety.
The first two picks should start and contribute immediately as good players.
In the first round the Titans made an interesting selection. They selected DB Michael Griffin. What makes him intriguing is they are going to move him to corner. Since I only saw him play safety, I talked to some people I trust in the NFL and they thought he had a chance athletically to be a corner. Playing corner is not about straight-line speed, it's about hip transition and change of direction. By the way, Griffin had the third-best short shuttle among DBs at the combine. I had some concerns at safety in the areas of instincts and open-field tackling.
In the second round they took RB Chris Henry, who has great speed but limited production in college. One reason was because he got in the coach's doghouse. If they hit on him, they might really have something. I haven't seen this player, but two Pro Bowl players who had similar college careers were Terrell Davis and Willie Parker and both of them blossomed in the NFL. Of course, neither was taken this high in the draft. In talking to scouts about him they say he has talent, but is immature and inconsistent as a player with some of that caused by a lack of instincts or experience.
In the third round they selected WR Paul Williams. He didn't have the production in his senior season that he had in the past. He played hurt all year. He showed some good things in the Senior Bowl. He has size and speed. At times he was not very creative in his play and had some instinctive issues, but is a good value in the third round.
The Redskins knew going in, it was going to be a one-player draft and they picked a good one in S LaRon Landry, who has Pro Bowl ability and many people felt he was the safest defensive player at the top of the draft. He is more athletic than Sean Taylor, but Taylor made more impact plays in college.
I like this pick. My only question, which I cannot answer by watching tape, is who will be the defensive signal caller between Landry and Taylor?