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KcKing
04-26-2008, 08:58 PM
Inside the second round
32. Miami Dolphins
The pick: Phillip Merling, DE, Clemson
What he brings: Merling's stock dropped because of a sports hernia injury. He's going to have a harder time turning the corner at the NFL level because he doesn't have great speed. However, he has good size and some experience lining up at defensive tackle. If he can improve his upper-body strength and learn to play lower, he could be an excellent run-stopper and effective bull-rusher.
How he fits: With Jason Taylor, 33, aging, this pick makes a lot of sense based on Meling's upside. He will come in and work in the rotation with Taylor and Matt Roth.

33. St. Louis Rams
The pick: Donnie Avery, WR, Houston
What he brings: This is a substantial reach in our opinion. There's a lot to like about Avery's speed and he's a big-play threat whether he's catching the ball down field, running after the catch or in the return game. However, he's an undersized receiver who's going to get pushed around and doesn't appear comfortable going over the middle. Finally, he has a lot of work to do to improve his route running.
How he fits: He will play the slot in the Rams' offense. He is quicker than fast and will work in the multi-receiver sets in passing situations. WR Torry Holt is a No. 1, but Drew Bennett has concerns. This is an Al Saunders pick based on how he fits in the offense.

34. Washington Redskins
The pick: Devin Thomas, WR, Michigan State
What he brings: Washington couldn't be happier about Thomas slipping, considering no one would have blinked had the Redskins selected him in the first round. Thomas isn't as good at stretching the field as his speed would suggest and he needs to improve his route running. But he has the quickness and athletic ability to continue to improve in those areas. He's also very good creating after catch for a player his size.
How he fits: Thomas provides them with a big receiver who had solid production at Michigan State. He is a good fit in Jim Zorn's West Coast offense. He is a two-level receiver and a perfect fit in Washington.

35. Kansas City Chiefs
The pick: Brandon Flowers, CB, Virginia Tech
What he brings: Flowers doesn't have elite size or top-end speed. Occasionally, he gets caught out of position trying to make a big play. However, he plays far bigger than his size indicates and faster than his 40 time suggest. He opens his hips very well and has the upper-body strength to deliver a violent punch. There's also a lot to like about his willingness to play the run.
How he fits: With the loss of Ty Law, the Chiefs had to address the left corner spot opposite Patrick Surtain. Flowers is a physical player who plays bigger than his size indicates, which is a good fit in the Chiefs' defensive coverage schemes.

36. Green Bay Packers
The pick: Jordy Nelson, WR, Kansas State
What he brings: Nelson isn't a very sexy pick; he doesn't have great speed and isn't elusive. However, this kid knows how to play the game. He is a very good route-runner, has a wide-frame that allows him to shield defenders from the ball and catches the ball very well. He is a high-character player who is going to have a positive influence in the locker room once he establishes himself.
How he fits: He is a big receiver who gives the Packers size and is a solid fit in their West Coast offense. This position wasn't a major need, but he was a highly-productive player in college. They have Donald Driver, Greg Jennings, Koren Robinson and James Jones, but Nelson gives QB Aaron Rodgers another threat in the passing game. He also has added value as a punt returner.

37. Atlanta Falcons
The pick: Curtis Lofton, ILB, Oklahoma
What he brings: Much like Nelson, Lofton isn't going to wow you with his natural ability; he doesn't have great speed and lacks the athletic ability to matchup with running backs in man coverage. But he's a throwback inside linebacker. He's tough, locates the ball and is a strong tackler who can deliver the big hit. Although he has limitations in coverage, Lofton gets adequate depth when in zone coverage and his ball skills are underrated.
How he fits: Atlanta could have gone a lot of ways with this pick, but with the concerns of aging MLB Keith Brooking, Lofton makes sense. He is an instinctive player who reacts well and should develop into a force on the interior against the run on first and second down. He has a knack for being around the football and the Falcons must continue to strengthen the interior of their defense.

38. Seattle Seahawks
The pick: John Carlson, TE, Notre Dame
What he brings: Carlson had a disappointing showing at the combine and his 4.88 40 time shows that he's going to have problems working the seam. There are also concerns about the number of passes he dropped last year. However, he has the frame to bulk up and develop into an effective in-line blocker. He also has the wide frame and body control to develop into an effective short-to-intermediate receiver and productive red zone target.
How he fits: One of the key ingredients in Mike Holmgren's West Coast offense has been the tight end, but the Seahawks have lacked at this position recently. Carlson is a smart and instinctive player who can be a factor in the short- and intermediate-passing game. This will open up other opportunities for WRs Deion Branch, Bobby Engram and Nate Burleson.

39. San Francisco 49ers
The pick: Chilo Rachal, G, USC
What he brings: The biggest knock on Rachal is his lack of athletic ability and has problems redirecting in pass protection. He struggles, at times, to reach blockers in the second level and athletically he has some limitations. However, he's quick off the ball, jars defenders with a strong punch and gets in position quickly. He also does a good job holding his ground against bull-rushers.
How he fits: It's obvious the 49ers feel they need to upgrade at guard with the loss of Larry Allen in the offseason. Rachal is a mauler who needs to be in a confined area due to his athletic limitations. However, he has the size and initial quickness to wall off and position while creating inside lanes. He should be able to come in and compete with David Baas at right guard.

40. New Orleans Saints
The pick: Tracy Porter, CB, Indiana
What he brings: Porter doesn't have elite bulk, so bigger wideouts are going to be able to push him around, and he's not going to be great in run support. On the flip side, he has good top-end speed and he's a playmaker who does a good job of getting his head turned while tracking the ball downfield. He also the instincts and quickness to mirror receivers underneath. It's also worth pointing out that Porter can contribute as a punt returner.
How he fits: Porter addresses a major need on the Saints. Even though they signed Randall Gay to cover up the mistake they made with Jason David, Porter will add even more help on the back end. Plus, the knee injury Mike McKenzie suffered last season is still a major question mark. This team has to find a way to get off the field on third down and force interceptions. He also has value as punt returner, which could take some pressure off RB Reggie Bush on special teams.

41. Buffalo Bills
The pick: James Hardy, WR, Indiana
What he brings: Hardy doesn't make crisp cuts and needs to work on his route-running. He's going to have a tough time separating from man coverage. On the other hand, you don't have to separate from coverage nearly as much when you have the wide frame to shield defenders from the ball and you can make catches in traffic like Hardy can. Also, he's fast enough to make teams pay when they try to jump the underneath route.
How he fits: This addresses the Bills' need for a big, athletic receiver the opposite Lee Evans, who is a legitimate No. 1 receiver. Hardy steps in as the No. 2 and allows Josh Reed to move back to the slot. Hardy also gives young QB Trent Edwards another big-play threat on the outside and a big target in the red zone.

42. Denver Broncos
The pick: Eddie Royal, WR, Virgina Tech
What he brings: Royal has had some problems staying healthy, and the fact that he doesn't have great size only accentuates concerns about his durability. He has to improve his route-running, but he has the quickness and athletic ability to separate from coverage once that happens. He's fast enough to stretch the field and make an impact as a punt returner.
How he fits: The Broncos aggressively addressed their receiving corps this offseason with the additions of Samie Parker and Keary Colbert to play opposite No. 1 WR Brandon Marshall. Royal gives Mike Shanahan a slot receiver who can be effective in their multiple-spread sets. He gives Cutler another explosive weapon who can play in the slot. He also adds value as a punt returner.

43. Minnesoata Vikings
The pick: Tyrell Johnson, S, Arkansas State
What he brings: Johnson doesn't have great man-to-man cover skills and is going to have trouble matching up with slot receivers. Additionally, you would have liked to see him make more big plays against inferior competition. However, he plays bigger than his size would suggest and is a sound tackler who can line up in the box. He has the range to cover the deep half of the field.
How he fits: The Vikings were active at safety in the offseason, adding Madieu Williams and Michael Boulware. Johnson gives them a physical safety who can play near the line of scrimmage or as a two-deep safety. This guy is the eventual replacement to Darren Sharper at strong safety.

44. Chicago Bears
The pick: Matt Forte, RB, Tulane
What he brings: This is a minor reach in our opinion. Forte is an instinctive runner who does a good job locating seams between the tackles and excels at picking up yards after contact. Also, he catches the ball well and is the best pass-blocker of all the running backs in this draft. However, he's faster than quick, so he'll have some problems turning the corner and won't break a lot of long runs in the NFL.
How he fits: With the obvious disappointment in Cedric Benson and Adrian Peterson not being an every-down back, Forte has a chance to play right away. He is a three-down back who can block very well. He is faster than quick, but he may struggle as a pass receiver. Depending on how Benson starts the season, Forte could take reps away from him. He will be on the heels of Benson all year.

45. Detroit Lions
The pick: Jordon Dizon, OLB, Colorado
What he brings: Looking at Dizon in street clothes or watching him run you wouldn't think that he'd be an NFL linebacker. He lacks ideal size, doesn't have great range and can be a liability in man coverage. But Dizon is a classic overachiever. He makes up for his lack of burst by reacting quickly. He takes sound pursuit angels and is an excellent open-field tackler. In addition, he rarely gets caught out of position when dropping into zone coverage.
How he fits: Dizon is a blue-collared athlete who plays hard on every down. He is going to play middle linebacker in this defense and that is an area the Lions wanted to address in the draft. He is a Cover 2 linebacker who is clearly a Rod Marinelli type of player.

46. Cincinnati Bengals
The pick: Jerome Simpson, WR, Coastal Carolina
What he brings: We are surprised Simpson came off the board earlier than Limas Sweed, DeSean Jackson and Malcolm Kelly. Simpson isn't a great route runner and played at a small school, so he faces a steeper learning curve. On the plus side, he has adequate size and the frame to get even bigger. He also has good speed, tracks the ball well and can make a spectacular catch.
How he fits: The Bengals obviously had Simpson rated higher than the other receivers on the board. This team was in a dire need of receiver due to the release of Chris Henry and the uncertainty of Chad Johnson. Depending on what Johnson does, Simpson could come in and play right away. What was once a strength in Cincy is now a serious question mark.

47. Philadelphia Eagles
The pick: Trevor Laws, DT, Notre Dame
What he brings: Laws lacks prototypical size for an interior run-stuffer and doesn't have the burst to consistently get to the quarterback at the professional level. But he reminds us of the Energize bunny. He works from the snap until the whistle on every play. Also, he plays with excellent leverage and is strong for his size -- he's much stouter than you would think looking at his measurables.
How he fits: Defensive coordinator Jim Johnson loves to stockpile defensive tackles and Laws will be part of the rotation with LaJuan Ramsey and Montae Reagor. The surprising thing is that DTs Mike Patterson and Brodrick Bunkley had good years last year, which allowed DE Trent Cole to dominate outside. This was not a serious need for Philadelphia, but it works within the Eagles' philosophy.

48. Washington Redskins
The pick: Fred Davis, TE, USC
What he brings: There were concerns about Davis' ability to stretch the field before the combine, and his slow 40 time backed up what we saw on film. He isn't an overwhelming in-line blocker, either, but does a good job getting in position and fights to sustain his blocks. In addition, he has the athletic ability, big hands and long arms to emerge as a reliable possession receiver.
How he fits: Based on the offensive scheme Jim Zorn will run, the two-tight end packages will be key. Davis will allow the Redskins to move TE Chris Cooley all over and create mismatches on offense. There were no other quality tight ends on the roster and Davis fills this need for Washington.

50. Arizona Cardinals
The pick: Calais Campbell, DE, Miami (Fla.)
What he brings: Campbell has great size for a defensive end and is a decent tackler, so he has the potential to develop into a run-stopper. He also has long arms to get his hands up and knock passes down when he doesn't get to the quarterback. That's important because we don't see him getting to the quarterback very often. Although he's an adequate bull-rusher, he doesn't have great lateral ability or closing speed.
How he fits: He is a true boom-or-bust player, but with the age and injury concerns of Bertrand Berry and Antonio Smith in the final year of his contract, Campbell will fit in nicely. He will be part of the rotation on the left side behind Smith because Travis LaBoy will bring pressure off the edge as a starting right defensive end. This pick gives the Cardinals valuable depth, but we see him as a better player versus the run.

51. Washington Redskins
The pick: Malcolm Kelly, WR, Oklahoma
What he brings: Campbell has great size for a defensive end and is a decent tackler, so he has the potential to develop into a run-stopper. He also has long arms to get his hands up and knock passes down when he doesn't get to the quarterback. That's important because we don't see him getting to the quarterback very often. Although he's an adequate bull-rusher, he doesn't have great lateral ability or closing speed.
How he fits: Obviously the Redskins have taken advantage of the receivers falling on draft day. This team has lacked big and physical receivers who will open up the West Coast attack even more and the addition of Kelly will help them open up Antwaan Randle El and Santana Moss. This pick, along with WR Devin Thomas, helps bolster a questionable receiving corps.

52. Jacksonville Jaguars
The pick: Quentin Groves, DE, Auburn
What he brings: Campbell has great size for a defensive end and is a decent tackler, so he has the potential to develop into a run-stopper. He also has long arms to get his hands up and knock passes down when he doesn't get to the quarterback. That's important because we don't see him getting to the quarterback very often. Although he's an adequate bull-rusher, he doesn't have great lateral ability or closing speed.
How he fits: Obviously the Redskins have taken advantage of the receivers falling on draft day. This team has lacked big and physical receivers who will open up the West Coast attack even more and the addition of Kelly will help them open up Antwaan Randle El and Santana Moss. This pick, along with WR Devin Thomas, helps bolster a questionable receiving corps.

53. Pittsburgh Steelers
The pick: Limas Sweed, WR, Texas
What he brings: Sweed is, at best, an average route-runner and can struggle when he gets slowed down at the line of scrimmage because he doesn't have great quickness. However, he has good size and is smooth changing directions. In addition, he has good speed and does a good job of tracking the ball downfield.
How he fits: He fulfills the need of a big, tall receiver, which QB Ben Roethlisberger so desperately wanted since WR Plaxico Burress went to New York. Offensive coordinator Bruce Arians loves to throw the football and Sweed gives them a receiver who can move around in the formation and create matchup problems with Santonio Holmes and Hines Ward.

54. Tennessee Titans
The pick: Jason Jones, DE, Eastern Michigan
What he brings: Jones is a classic 'tweener. He doesn't have great closing speed for a defensive end or the size to consistently hold up against the run and line up at defensive tackle. He has experience lining up at both spots, however. So he can line-up at end, at which he's big enough to hold his ground on run-heavy down and is athletic enough to rush the passer from the inside on obvious passing downs.
How he fits: Based on the losses of Antwan Odom and Travis LaBoy, the Titans had to address the DE position. He gives them a force against the run and will have to develop as a pass- rusher. He has some versatility to possibly play inside as a defensive tackle.

55. Baltimore Ravens
The pick: Ray Rice, RB, Rutgers
What he brings: Rice is undersized and runs like a power back, so teams are concerned at his ability to take a pounding at the professional level. Also, he needs to improve his route-running ability before making a substantial contribution on passing downs. On the plus side, he reads his blocks well and has excellent lower-body strength, so he's far more effective between the tackles than his size suggest. He also has the hands to develop into a reliable receiver, and he's a surprisingly effective pass-blocker.
How he fits: He brings another dimension to the Ravens' offense with Willis McGahee. They have a good, young offensive line and Rice adds another option in the offense as a playmaker. He will be a change-of-pace back who can take pressure off the quarterback. This was a good pick by Baltimore.

56. Green Bay Packers
The pick: Brian Brohm, QB, Louisville
What he brings: Brohm, like a lot of other young quarterbacks, can have a hard time beating pressure, doesn't have great mobility and takes some big hits. He also needs to improve his decision-making. On the flipside, he has excellent mechanics, put great touch on his throws and is good at hitting his receivers in stride. In addition, he has good football smarts and reads defenses well.
How he fits: This is a good value pick by the Packers. Brohm clearly fell because there was a strong possibility of him being a first-rounder. Brohm has already played in a pro-style offense at Louisville, which has some similarities to Green Bay. Aaron Rodgers is still a question mark as a starting quarterback. and this pick puts pressure on him.

noa
04-26-2008, 09:04 PM
Um, I seriously question their analysis when they say the Broncos aggressively addressed their WR corps by signing Samie Parker.

Anyong Bluth
04-26-2008, 09:10 PM
Um, I seriously question their analysis when they say the Broncos aggressively addressed their WR corps by signing Samie Parker.


Agreed, opinions are like @ssholes, everyone's got one and everyone thinks theirs doesn't stink but everyone else's does.

Silock
04-26-2008, 09:34 PM
They must have run out of things to say, because they repeated that he plays bigger than his size.