2007 NFC Draft Grades
By: Robert Davis
Click here for 2007 AFC Draft Grades
Best Pick: Alan Branch, DT, Michigan 2(33)
There is no reason for Branch to have fallen this far. This is fantastic value for the Cardinals.
Worst Pick: Levi Brown, OT, Penn St. 1(5)
This is nitpicking as he was the obvious choice the way the draft played out. I think it was a bit high, but they were not going to land him if they moved down, as Atlanta would have taken him in a heartbeat at 8.
Second Day Steal: Ben Patrick, TE, Delaware 7(215).
Patrick is a talented all around TE, and had no business being around that late.
Overall: A. The Cards have done it again. Two years in a row they have a fantastic draft, and really upgrade the team. They got Matt Leinart some protection, and really upgraded the middle of the defense with Branch and Buster Davis. The Cardinals are a team on the rise.
Best Pick: Chris Houston, CB, Arkansas 2(41)
The Falcons are putting together quite the young secondary, adding Houston to DeAngelo Hall and Jimmy Williams.
Worst Pick: Laurent Robinson, WR, Southern Illinois 3(75)
Simply too early for Robinson in my opinion, although not a terrible selection.
Second Day Steal: David Irons, CB, Auburn
Could really surprise as he fell further than expected. 6(194)
Overall: B. The Falcons did a nice job landing talent throughout the draft. They upgraded the interior line with Justin Blalock and Doug Datish. They upgraded the secondary with Houston and Irons. Jamaal Anderson gives them a major pass rush threat to replace Patrick Kearney.
Best Pick: Dwayne Jarrett, WR, USC 2(45)
Dwayne Jarrett simply had no business being around this late.
Worst Pick: None. Not one of their Day One picks were questionable at all.
Second Day Steal: Ryne Robinson, WR, Miami(OH) 4(118)
Robinson was really underrated in this draft. He is an excellent return man, and could provide depth in the slot.
Overall: A. The Panthers had the best draft this year. Trading down and landing Jon Beason, who they considered at 14, was a good move. Dwayne Jarrett at 45 was a great pick, and a great situation for Jarrett to learn from Keyshawn Johnson. Ryan Kalil was another great pick. Charles Johnson in the third was excellent value, and Ryne Robinson in the fourth is another pick I am high on.
Best Pick: Greg Olsen, TE, Miami 1(31)
Olsen should be a great target for Rex Grossman, however long he remains the quarterback.
Worst Pick: Dan Bazuin, DE, Central Michigan 2(62)
Bazuin was a reach this high, especially with other guys on the board at the same position.
Second Day Steal: Josh Beekman, OL, Boston College 4(130)
Beekman was projected as high as the second round, and could help out at guard and center immediately.
Overall: C-. Olsen was a solid pick, but after that it sort of went downhill. Bazuin and third rounder Michael Okwo were reaches. Garrett Wolfe is a solid change of pace guy for Cedric Benson though.
Best Pick: Anthony Spencer, DE/OLB, Purdue 1(22)
Spencer could form a devastating pass rush duo with DeMarcus Ware.
Worst Pick: None. The only other Day One pick was James Marten and he was solid value.
Second Day Steal: Doug Free, OT, N. Illinois 4(122)
Free is a player that could earn a starting job in the NFL shortly, so he was a great pick in the fourth.
Overall: C. Anthony Spencer was a nice pickup, but nobody else can reasonably be expected to provide an immediate impact.
Best Pick: Calvin Johnson, WR, Georgia Tech 1(2)
The best player in the draft is always a nice player to add to your team.
Worst Pick: Gerald Alexander, S, Boise st. 2(61)
Alexander was a reach at this point. Way too early for him to be taken.
Second Day Steal: Manuel Ramirez, G, Texas Tech
Ramirez is a beast in the running game and could become a nice guard down the road.
Overall: B-. Johnson and Roy Williams should form an exciting WR combo, and they landed their QB of the future on Drew Stanton. Other than that though, there isnít much to get excited about.
Green Bay Packers
Best Pick: Justin Harrell, DT, Tennessee 1(16)
This is the pick by default. None of the other picks are anything to get excited about. Harrell is a nice player, but 16 was a little too early.
Worst Pick: James Jones, WR, San Jose St. 3(78)
The Pack reached for this kid in the third round.
Second Day Steal: Desmond Bishop, LB, Cal 6(192)
Bishop is a very good run stopper and could provide an immediate role on special teams.
Overall: D+. This draft just does not excite me. Harrell is a solid player, but went a little early. Marshawn Lynch coming off the board forced them to reach for Brandon Jackson in the second round. James Jones was another reach in the third round.
Best Pick: Adrian Peterson, RB, Oklahoma 1(7)
Peterson could be something special in the NFL. Being paired with Chester Taylor limits the pressure on him immediately.
Worst Pick: None.
Second Day Steal: Rufus Alexander, LB, Oklahoma 6(176)
He slid after a subpar senior season, but Alexander has the talent and tenacity to contribute in the NFL.
Overall: A. The Vikings had a great draft thoughout. Getting Peterson at seven could be a steal, and gives them a truly special talent, despite potential durability issues. Sidney Rice could give them what theyíve lacked since Randy Moss left town, and Marcus McCauley was excellent value in the third. On Day Two, Alexander, Brian Robison, and Aundra Allison could all make impacts for the team.
New Orleans Saints
Best Pick: Robert Meachem, WR, Tennessee 1(27)
The Saints are putting together a frightening offense.
Worst Pick: Usama Young, CB, Kent St. 2(66)
Nice triangle numbers but was a reach in the second round.
Second Day Steal: Antonio Pittman, RB, Ohio St. 4(101)
Probably wonít provide an immediate impact, but could be the guy that makes Deuce McAllister expendable as the compliment to Reggie Bush.
Overall: C+. Meachem is the only guy on Day One that should get the fans excited.
Best Pick: Steve Smith, WR, USC 2(51)
Smith is a talented all around WR who could thrive out of the slot.
Worst Pick: Jay Alford, DT, Penn St. 3(81)
Alford is not a bad player, but the Giants needed to take a LB or OT on Day One and he was taken with their last Day One pick.
Second Day Steal: Zak DeOssie, LB, Brown 4(116)
He has the talent and bloodlines to develop down the line.
Overall: C. Aaron Ross and Steve Smith are nice additions on Day One, but not addressing the tackle or linebacker position on Day One is questionable.
Best Pick: Victor Abiamiri, DE, Notre Dame 2(57)
You canít have enough edge rushers, and Abiamiri was a very good pick in the second.
Worst Pick: Kevin Kolb, QB, Houston 2(36)
QB was not the biggest need, and shouldnít have been taken with their first selection. That, and early second was too high for Kolb in my opinion.
Second Day Steal: Rashad Barksdale, DB, Albany 6(201)
The ultimate sleeper. Limited college experience, but has all the tools to develop.
Overall: C. Some were doubting McNabb as the long term answer at QB for the Eagles, and taking Kolb with your first selection doesnít silence those doubters, and doesnít help McNabb get the job done. Abiamiri and Tony Hunt were solid picks on Day One.
Best Pick: Brandon Mebane, DT, Cal 3(85)
Many underrated Mebane, and he is a solid pick in the third round.
Worst Pick: Josh Wilson, CB, Maryland 2(55)
Not a terrible pick, but not a great one either. He was rising because of his speed, but heís short and doesnít make many plays.
Second Day Steal: Courtney Taylor, WR, Auburn 6(197)
Heís not the flashiest guy, but Taylor can do a little bit of everything.
Overall: C-. The Seahawks did not have a 1st round pick to work with after trading it for Deion Branch last year, so you canít fault them too much. Wilson and Mebane are decent additions on Day One, but neither are real impact players.
San Francisco 49ers
Best Pick: Patrick Willis, LB, Ole Miss 1(11)
Willis is not just a playmaker, the guy is a leader. He is a player you can build your defense around.
Worst Pick: None.
Second Day Steal: Tarrell Brown, CB, Texas 5(147)
Brown had the talent to be a Day One pick but had some off the field issues that caused some questions.
Overall: A. The 49ers had an excellent draft. Willis was an excellent pick at 11, and they traded back into the first round to get Joe Staley, who slid a bit further than expected. In the third round, they added Jason Hill and Ray McDonald, two value picks that could really help the team. They also traded a fourth rounder for Darrell Jackson, which was an excellent move.
St. Louis Rams
Best Pick: Jonathan Wade, CB, Tennessee 3(84)
Wade has a lot of potential was a good pick in the third.
Worst Pick: Brian Leonard, FB, Rutgers 2(52)
Definitely not a bad player, but just not a great fit. Heís not the devastating lead blocker to help Jackson out, and his strengths are the same as Jacksonís(interior running and receiving skills).
Second Day Steal: Keith Jackson, DT, Arkansas7(248)
The Rams needed to get help stopping the run, and Jackson does just that.
Overall: C-. Adam Carriker is a decent pick at 13, though a little high for my liking. Wade was a nice pick, but I donít agree with taking Leonard so high, and there wasnít much on Day Two to be happy about.
Tampa Bay Bucs
Best Pick: Gaines Adams, DE, Clemson 1(4)
Resisting to give in for Calvin Johnson, the Bucs were smart to keep the picks and take the edge rusher.
Worst Pick: Sabby Piscitelli, S, Oregon St. 2(64)
A solid first day for the Bucs, so there isnít much to complain about but Piscitelli came off the board a little higher than he should have, though he is a talented player.
Second Day Steal: Tanard Jackson, DB, Syracuse 4(106)
Jackson probably plays free safety for the Bucs, and is a steal in the fourth.
Overall: B. A productive draft, with a lot of holes filled. The Bucs landed the edge rusher in Adams, and landed two safeties in the first four rounds. Arron Sears brings the versatility to help out at a number of spots along the line.
Best Pick: LaRon Landry, S, LSU 1(6)
Landry is a definite stud at safety.
Worst Pick: Since Landry is the only pick they had on Day One, there isnít anyone else to talk about. However, the lack of selections is a major negative for this franchise.
Second Day Steal: HB Blades, LB, Pitt 6(179)
Blades may be a little undersized, but the kid is a football player.
Overall: D. Landry is a playmaker, but thats the only player the Skins can count on from this class. Sartz and Blades are very good Day Two picks, but a fifth and sixth rounder does not make your draft.