2007 NFL Draft Review

Every year we see draft analysts review the draft just after it happens and give their insight on how the draft will turn out. In this article we will be taking a different way of reviewing the draft…by an in depth review of the 2007 draft three years afterwards (a good timetable for seeing whether a player will or won’t succeed in the long run) and give the first round a detailed pick-by-pick analysis of how the draft went based on performance and play since the draft.

Updated: August 2010

The 2007 NFL Draft is a tale of highs and lows. This draft class has seen its fair share of pro-bowlers and fantastic football players (Calvin Johnson, Patrick Willis, Darrelle Revis) but it also has seen multiple players that have been castoff in their 3 years in the league, including the #1 overall pick who may never play in another NFL Game. The headliners of this draft are great, and there are definitely some Hall-of-Famers in the group, but generally speaking, this draft has been a flop.

#1) Oakland Raiders- Jamarcus Russell QB L.S.U

Jamarcus Russell will go down as one of the top, if not the top draft bust of all time. Russell vaulted himself from being a projected late first round selection to putting himself in discussion for the #1 pick with an absolute thrashing of Notre Dame in the Sugar Bowl, capping off a very inconsistent career. Scouts and GM's alike drooled over his tremendous arm strength and athletic ability, including crazy Al Davis who despite Lane Kiffen's best efforts pulled the trigger on the boom or bust selection. Obviously it was a bust, but it would have been interesting too see how J-Rocs career would have turned out if he had actually given a crap about anything, and at least put an ounce of effort into anything he did while in Oakland. But he didn't, so he goes down as one of the top 3 biggest busts in NFL Draft history.

Grade: F

#2) Detroit Lions- Calvin Johnson WR Georgia Tech

After taking Wide Receivers 3 straight years from 03-05 (All busts) the Lions did not shy away from taking another one here in 07, but really the Lions had no choice, Calvin Johnson is the best wide receiver prospect, possibly ever to come out of college. Calvin Johnson's talents have been completely overshadowed by just how bad the Detroit Lions have been in his 3 year career, and despite the atrocity that has been the Detroit Lions, Calvin Johnson has still been able to standout, despite constant triple team coverage, and horrendous QB play. Calvin Johnson in my opinion is the most talented wide receiver in the game, and possibly ever, and look for him to finally show it in these next few years with the Lions finally surrounding him with some good young talent.

Grade: A

#3) Cleveland Browns- Joe Thomas OT Wisconsin

Cleveland passed up popular pick Brady Quinn here and made the safer, smarter selection taking the well-rounded tackle out of Wisconsin. Thomas came out of Wisconsin very decorated and with the reputation of being a road grader who can still pass block very effectively. Cleveland took Thomas and put him next to guard Eric Stienbach who they got the same year in free agency, and formed a good tandem that helped the Browns bust out in his rookie year with 10 wins. However because of poor play by the skill players and some holes on the right side of the line the Browns have struggled since then. However Thomas has continued his strong consistent play and established himself as one of the best left tackles in the game.

Grade: A+

#4) Tampa Bay Buccaneers- Gaines Adams DE Clemson

This pick looked great at the time, as Gaines Adams seemed to be a sure thing as an edge pass rusher, who would be able to bring pressure off the edge in the Tampa 2 defense. Adams had a great combo of size and athleticism, and showed a lot of promise as a rookie, but his play started to fall off and be inconsistent and he finally fell our of favor with the organization last season when he was traded to the Bears for a second round pick. Regrettably, Gaines Adams died last season due to a heart condition, and sadly, we will never see him reach his full potential.

#5) Arizona Cardinals- Levi Brown OT Penn State

After taking what seemed to be their franchise QB the year before in Matt Leinart, Arizona wanted to protect their new investment, add in losing starting tackle Leonard Davis to free agency, the Cardinals were desperate for help at tackle, and reached for Levi Brown at number 5. Arizona wanted desperately to trade down, but were not able to and were stuck with taking Levi Brown much higher than he should have gone. Levi Brown played right tackle in college, but was never able to successfully make the transfer to the left side in the pros. He has been the Cardinals starter at right tackle ever since drafted, and has been pretty reliable, but not worth a Top-5 selection.

Grade: C

#6) Washington Redskins- Laron Landry Safety L.S.U

Laron Landry was supposed to be the next hot thing at safety after a college career of bone jarring hits, and overall destruction of college players. This was clearly a luxury selection as Washington thought they were going to have a great young combo at the safety position, with Landry and Sean Taylor, but unfortunately Taylor was killed in a home invasion, and Landry was also unable to reach is potential. He has been solid in run support, but his coverage skills haven't translated to the NFL. His struggles have been very apparent and some thought the Redskins might go after Eric Berry to replace him.

Grade: D+

#7) Minnesota Vikings- Adrian Peterson RB Oklahoma

Peterson was a dominant rusher in college and clearly had #1 overall type talent. However, some teams feared that his upright running style, ankle injuries, and a broken collar bone could be an indication of future injuries. Peterson has beyond proven those doubters to be wrong. He has been the dominant every-down back that he was at Oklahoma. Peterson does have an issue with fumbling, but other than that he has been one of the best running backs in the NFL for the last three years.

Grade: A+

#8) Atlanta Falcons- Jamaal Anderson DE Arkansas

The Falcons needed some help rushing the passer with the lose of Patrick Kerney. Anderson came in to the draft as a complete defensive end, being able stop the run and put pressure on the quarterback. Well things haven't worked out and Anderson has been inconsistent and ineffective. They have even tried to move Anderson to a 3 technique defensive tackle to try and get some value out of him, and they have been trying to replace him for the past 2 years. They haven't yet, but look for Anderson to get one more shot or he could find himself a free agent.

Grade: F

#9) Miami Dolphins- Ted Ginn Jr. WR Ohio State

Many thought that the Dolphins would be targeting a quarterback and with Brady Quinn available it seemed like a lock. But Miami went in another direction and nabbed speedster Ted Ginn Jr. This also provided us with one of the best draft memories to date when new coach Cam Cameron announced the pick to the fans draft party and was booed excessively. This was a huge reach because Ginn was very raw and offered very little as a receiver. Not something you draft in the top ten. Over his first three years Ginn gave the Dolphins some spectacular kick-off returns for touchdowns, but didn't provide much for the worst passing attack in the NFL. The Dolphins have been trying to ship him off ever since Bill Parcells came aboard and finally found a suitor in the 49ers.

Grade: D-

#10) Houston Texans- Amobi Okoye DT Louisville

Okoye was drafted as the youngest player ever. He came in as a 3 technique disrupter and another potential building block for their emerging defense. However Okoye hasn't had the career that most thought he would have when he came out. Houston has had one of the worst rushing defense the league and were rumored to be targeting run stuffers this draft. He's been OK, but not nearly worth a Top-10 choice.

Grade: C-

#11) San Francisco 49ers- Patrick Willis ILB Mississippi State

This is possibly the best pick in the entire draft, as Patrick Willis is arguably the best defensive player in the N.F.L. A Mike Singletary clone, Willis's weaknesses are few and far between, he is a punishing tackler, can get sideline to sideline in an instant, is excellent in pass coverage, and plays with a very high level of passion and intensity. Willis looks to be a future Hall-of-famer, and getting him at pick #11 is great.

Grade: A+

#12) Buffalo Bills- Marshawn Lynch RB California

Marshawn Lynch looked to be a great choice, after a fantastic rookie year, rushing for 1,100 yards and 7 TD's. However, Lynch's attitude and off-field behavior have really derailed his career. Buffalo has been trying to trade him for a year now, and used their first round pick this year to take Running Back C.J Spiller. Lynch doesn't seem to have much of a future in Buffalo, but he has the potential to be a starting caliber running back in the N.F.L with somebody.

Grade: C-

#13) St Louis Rams- Adam Carriker DE Nebraska

Carriker was a complete defensive end at Nebraska. Manning the strongside end spot, Carriker held his own against the run and racked up some impressive sack numbers. Carriker even had some success lining up at the 3 technique DT spot on passing situations. St. Louis looked at Carriker as somebody that would make a good transition to a full time 3 technique defensive tackle, but Carriker hasn't made the transition very well. The sack numbers haven't been there and his body has taken a beating from dealing with big guards. He missed the entire 2009 season with a shoulder injury. Carriker was then shipped to the Washington Redskins in the off season where he will play the 5 technique defensive end in their 3-4 defense.

Grade: F

#14) New York Jets- Darrelle Revis CB Pittsburgh

Revis came out of Pittsburgh with a reputation for being a lock down corner with great ball skills. But Revis came into the draft process without an elite 40 time, which caused his fall here to #14. In Revis' first two years playing in Eric Mangini's conservative defense played alright, but wasn't anything special. In year three in Rex Ryan's aggressive defense, Revis' coverage skills flourished and he has developed into one of the best cornerback's in the league, garnering the nickname Revis Island for his side of the field.

Grade: A+

#15) Pittsburgh Steelers- Lawrence Timmons ILB Florida State

Timmons played the strongside linebacker spot in Florida State's 4-3 defense. He had good size and speed and even showed some ability to rush the passer, but with new head coach Mike Tomlin in Pittsburgh many thought that they might be moving to the 4-3 which Tomlin had so much success with in Minnesota. However Tomlin stuck with Dick LeBeau and the 3-4 defense and Timmons was to be groomed to be an eventual starter at one of the inside linebacker spots. In his first two years Timmons didn't get much playing time but the coaches were confident that he was ready and decided to not resign Larry Foote and run with Timmons. Timmons played alright in his first year but still made a lot of mistakes. In the off season the Steelers decided to bring back Foote and open up the competition with Timmons. This will be a important season for Timmons if he wants to continue with the team.

Grade: C-

#16) Green Bay Packers- Justin Harrell DT Tennessee

There were questions about Harrell due to the fact that he had a torn biceps muscle that ended is season and many thought that the Packers reached with this pick, but he was a stout run defender and the Packers needed help in that department. Harrell has made pretty much no impact on the team, he has been hurt and in trouble with the law. However, for some reason he is still on the team. With the recent suspension of Johnny Jolly look for the Packers to give him one last chance to see if he can have any impact.

Grade: F

#17) Denver Broncos- Jarvis Moss DE Florida

Coming off a dominating performance in the BCS Championship game, Jarvis Moss's stock was riding high and looked to be an ideal fit as an edge pass rusher in Denver's 3-4 defense. Unfortunately Jarvis Moss has had a terrible career to this point, even contemplating retirement, he has only amassed 3.5 sacks, and has been a complete non-factor. Denver has been begging anybody to take him off their hands, but they are still stuck with him, and this pre-season will likely be his last shot to make any impact at all in Denver.

Grade: F

#18) Cincinnati Bengals- Leon Hall CB Michigan

Hall is another cornerback that had all the tools to be a lock down corner except for elite speed. But much like Revis, Hall has proven the doubters wrong and teamed up with Jonathan Joseph have developed into arguably the best cornerback tandem in the league.

Grade: A-

#19) Tennessee Titans- Michael Griffen Safety Texas

This pick was criticized by many at the time, as Safety was not Tennessee's most pressing need. But Griffen has proved those critics wrong, turning himself into one of the best cover safeties in the league. He has been an impact player from his rookie season on, and with the departures of Albert Haynesworth, and Keith Bulluck, this may now be Michael Griffen's defense.

Grade: B+

#20) New York Giants- Aaron Ross CB Texas

This was one of many great picks for the Giants in this draft that helped them on their way to being Super Bowl Champions. Ross stepped in right away as a starting cornerback and played extremely well for the Giants. He has continued to be a reliable starter at cornerback, and should be that for many years.

Grade: A-

#21) Jacksonville Jaguars- Reggie Nelson Safety Florida

Nelson came out of Florida looking like a pure coverage safety that had the speed to cover sideline to sideline and make plays on the ball, and looked like a future star as a rookie. However, since then he has struggled mightily against the run and has had breakdowns in coverage. Nelson was benched towards the end of last season, and will have to win his job back this year.

Grade: D

#22) Cleveland Browns- Brady Quinn QB Notre Dame

Pretty much everybody thought Cleveland had the best draft. Adding a book-end left tackle, and trading back into the first round to grab free-falling, hometown hero Brady Quinn. Oddly enough, in Quinn's rookie season, journeyman QB Derek Anderson played at a Pro-Bowl level, stole the QB job, and led the Browns to a 10 win season. But after Anderson returned to his old self and played poorly in year two, Quinn finally got his chance, but because of a lack of weapons around him and some poor decision making Quinn didn't exactly win the job. Quinn struggled again in year 3, and when Mike Holmgren was brought in, Quinn was shipped off to Denver and is sitting behind Kyle Orton and Tim Tebow.

Grade: D-

#23) Kansas City Chiefs- Dwayne Bowe WR L.S.U

Bowe stepped right into Kansas City and has been their #1 receiver ever since. Unfortunately he has also been their only legitimate target and suffered by playing on a poor team with a bad offensive line. With the addition of Charlie Weis as the Offensive coordinator, Bowe has a chance to elevate himself into the elite class of wide receivers.

Grade: A-

#24) New England Patriots- Brandon Meriweather Safety Miami

New England needed help in the secondary and surprised people by taking the unproven, and embattled safety out of Miami. Infamous for his role in the Florida International Brawl, Meriweather was always in and out of trouble while at Miami. But New England went for his potential and athletic ability. While he hasn't been in trouble at the next level, he hasn't exactly been the player they expected. He has yet to step up and be an impact player, but at the same token he has not been bad at all.

Grade: C+

#25) Carolina Panthers- Jon Beason OLB Miami

Jon Beason has stepped in from day 1 and been a dominant linebacker for the Carolina Panthers. The unquestioned leader of that defense, he excels at every aspect of the game and is an all-around punishing linebacker. Excellent value at pick #25, Beason garnered himself some consideration for the best pick of the draft.

Grade: A+

#26) Dallas Cowboys- Anthony Spencer DE/OLB Purdue

This was thought to be the possible steal of the first round. Dallas getting a ferocious pass rusher to pair up with DeMarcus Ware and terrorize quarterbacks. Surprisingly for Dallas Spencer hasn't had the impact that they thought, he finally broke into the starting lineup in his third year and played pretty well, but hasn't been the terror everybody thought he would be.

Grade: C+

#27) New Orleans Saints- Robert Meachem WR Tennessee

The Saints had just made one of the biggest turn around in NFL history going from a perennial doormat to the conference championship game. They had an offense lead by Drew Brees that was the most explosive in the league. Their defense was clearly the only issue, and despite their depth at receiver they surprised everybody and took Meachem who had a breakout season over two injury prone disappointments. Meachem finally saw the field regularly in his third year, and player pretty well, but not well enough to justify passing on defensive help.

Grade: C+

#28) San Francisco 49ers- Joe Staley OT Central Michigan

This former tight end is continuing to develop into a quality left tackle, he has played at an above average level at both right, and left tackle, but hasn't taken that next step, partly due to the fact that the rest of the line around him has been a disaster. But San Francisco did a marvelous job this year upgrading their line, taking Anthony Davis and Mike Iupati, look for Staley to slide back to his natural position at right tackle, and don't be surprised to see the Niners take a huge leap this season.

Grade: C+

#29) Baltimore Ravens- Ben Grubbs Guard Auburn

Grubbs came to the Ravens as a physical mauler. He hasn't let up since joining the Ravens. Grubbs has started since day one helping the Ravens become one of the best rushing offenses in the league. Great value late in the first round.

Grade: A

#30) San Diego Chargers- Craig (Buster) Davis WR L.S.U

Not too many thought that Craig Davis was worth this high of a pick and Davis has proven those right. He hasn't done a whole heck of a lot in a Chargers jersey, but with Vincent Jackson threatening a holdout and being suspended the first three games it is important that Davis finally step up.

Grade: F

#31) Chicago Bears- Greg Olsen TE Miami

This was hailed as a steal for the Bears. Olsen was a great receiving tight end prospect that was going to help the Bears offense take the next step needed to become a more complete passing attack. Olsen has shown flashes, but never taken that next step. Olsen looked to be turning a corner during the 2009 season, but now with Mike Martz as offensive coordinator look for Olsen to get less opportunities as a receiver because Martz likes to have tight ends stay in and block.

Grade: C

#32) Indianapolis Colts- Anthony Gonzalez WR Ohio State

Much like the Saints the Colts have an elite offense and a defense with holes. But instead of looking to improve the defense they went after another weapon on offense. Gonzalez gives the Colts some help in the slot using his quickness and route running ability to gain separation. When Marvin Harrison's age caught up with him, Gonzalez stepped in as the starter and played well. Gonzalez tore his ACL in the first game last season, so he will be looking to regain his old form this year.

Grade: C+

Notable Later Round Picks

Sidney Rice (#44)
LaMarr Woodley (#46)
David Harris (#47)

Steve Smith(#51)
Mike Sims-Walker (#79)
Jermon Bushrod (#125)
Kevin Boss (#153)
Brent Celek (#162)

Best and Worst of the Draft

Best Pick: San Francisco 49ers get Patrick Willis with pick #11
Worst Pick: Jamarcus Russell at #1
Best draft class: New York Giants- (Aaron Ross, Steve Smith, Ahmad Bradshaw, Kevin Boss, and Zach DeOssie). All were big contributors to their Super Bowl season.

Worst Draft class: Denver Broncos- Had a pick in each of the first 4 rounds and ended up with DE Jarvis Moss, DE Tim Crowder, OT Ryan Harris, and DT Marcus Thomas

There you have it, we have closed the book on the 2007 NFL Draft. Hope you enjoyed it. See you next August for our 2008 draft review.

Nolan Vasan

Special Thanks to: Brian Johannes


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