NFL draft gives inside look at the 2007 season

Dawn Johnson

Dawn Johnson

When NFL commissioner Roger Goodell announced quarterback JaMarcus Russell as the number one pick in the 2007 NFL draft by the Oakland Raiders, not many were surprised. Russell, a quarterback from LSU was the favorite prospect coming into the draft and the possible savior for the Oakland Raiders.

The next handful of picks went as predicted, until the Miami Dolphins, with the number nine pick in the draft, started the circus by not selecting Brady Quinn, the All-American quarterback from the University of Notre Dame. Quinn was possibly saved from embarrassment by going to a private waiting room at the suggestion of Goodell. Quinn eventually put on his hometown team jersey when the Cleveland Browns traded for the rights to Quinn. The Browns also took Joe Thomas, left tackle from Wisconsin, with the third pick overall.

The draft’s biggest trade saw Randy Moss leave Oakland for New England in exchange for a fourth round draft pick.

This year’s draft was exciting with some teams faring better than others. With character issues surrounding many teams, who had off-field issues this past year, (Pac Man Jones, Chris Henry and Tank Johnson) some teams were reluctant to select players with troubled records.

So, with so much surrounding this years draft–trades, questioned selections and character issues–time will tell how well teams drafted.

The Good:

1.) Oakland Raiders – JaMarcus Russell could be the next Daunte Culpepper. Kolby Smith, running back from Louisville and Zach Miller, tight end from Arizona State, should play key roles in the Raiders’ offense next season.

2.) Cleveland Browns – Brady Quinn could thrive under Romeo Crennel especially with Joe Thomas protecting his weak side. Eric Wright brings some character issues but should be a solid corner for the Browns.

3.) Miami Dolphins – Ted Ginn Jr. was a shock at number nine but if he can do anything like he did for Ohio State, look out. John Beck was highly noted coming out of BYU, and Lorenzo Booker could be a good change of pace at running back.

4.) Denver Broncos – Although the Broncos only had four picks, they beefed up on the defensive and offensive lines with players who played at big-time schools in college. Jarvis Moss and Tim Crowder, both defensive ends, will excel in Mike Shanahan’s scheme.

5.) Pittsburgh Steelers – Two years removed from the Superbowl, the Steelers went after Lawrence Timmons, outside linebacker from Florida State, and LaMarr Woodley, defensive end from Michigan. Both Timmons and Woodley could be Pro-Bowl caliber in a few years.

The Bad:

1.) Detroit Lions – General Manager Matt Millen does not understand that drafting a wide receiver first, like he has done four of the last five years, does not necessarily produce wins. They should have gone after Joe Thomas to get a ground game in the Motor City.

2.) Green Bay Packers – If this is Brett Favre’s last year, it might be cut short with an injury, because the Packers did nothing to acquire a future quarterback. Maybe they have already given up and are building for the future.

3.) New York Giants – Besides Aaron Ross, who has mediocre speed at defensive back, the Giants did not get many players who will have an impact next year because Tom Coughlin has no clue.

4.) Philadelphia Eagles – Choosing Kevin Kolb over Drew Stanton and John Beck did not make much sense. Kolb was not tested against powerhouse football teams, while Stanton and Beck were.

5.) Washington Redskins – LaRon Landry should be good in years to come, but when your owner does not believe in the draft, you cannot really have a good one. Dan Snyder likes to trade for free agents that have been in the league for awhile, so it is no surprise that Washington had one pick in the first four rounds.

The Ugly:

Tennessee Titans- Chris Henry from the University of Arizona at running back is a questionable pick. Paul Williams with the third pick is physically gifted, but not a great wide receiver. The Titans had picks later in the draft, which will not produce results very well for the Titans in later years.