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Erasmus James DE Wisconsin 64 266
By: Robert Davis

Erasmus James did not start playing football until his senior season, but that was good enough to get him a scholarship to Wisconsin. His first season on the field in 2001, he made an immediate impact. He had 36 tackles, 6 sacks, with 7 tackles for loss. The next season his sack numbers dropped to 4, but he ended up with 52 tackles with 7 of them for loss. He redshirted in 2003 because of a hip injury, but returned with vengeance as a senior in 2004. He was tearing up college football before an unfortunate ankle injury against Purdue. He still finished the year with 36 tackles, 11.5 for loss and 8 sacks. Despite the missed time and recovery period, he was still named an All American by various sources.

James has as much pass rush potential as any player in this draft. He has been a force off the edge every year he has played, and he can really get after the QB. He is very athletic off the edge, and has a great burst off the line. He still has untapped potential as he has only played football for 5 years.

Although he is a very good athlete, he does not have great closing speed. Hes quick out of the block, but has only average speed to finish the play. He has also had durability issues in college. In each of the past three seasons, he has been injured. From a sprained knee to a hip injury that caused him to miss the entire 2003 season to the severe ankle sprain he had this year, he has been dinged up quite a bit.

With the premium placed on pass rushers in the league, James will be in high demand come draft day. He should hear his name called in the first round because of his upside as a pass rusher. How high though will depend on how much a team falls in love with him. With his relative inexperience to football and his injury history, the top half of the first seems unlikely. Anywhere after that is where I would expect him to come off the board.

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