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NY+Giants=NYG
04-24-2008, 04:37 PM
http://corner.bigblueinteractive.com/index.php?mode=2&thread=286671

LONG read, but very, very good.

What scouts actually believe (about the draft)
Jonny : 12:51 pm
I mentioned these as sort of a tangent in another thread. When it comes to the draft, my absolute favorite person in the media is Bob McGinn from the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel. Like Gosselin, he has a lot of insider connections among NFL sources. Both times when we played the Packers last year, he had anonymous NFL scouts break down the games, very insightful stuff.

There's another guy I really like too, Pete Daughtery from the GB Press Gazette, who does a similar thing. You occasionally see Ralph V and Cimini doing it. Here are a few examples:

Quote:
10. Colt Brennan, Hawaii

6-2½, 218; Round 5 through 7

Overview: No quarterback in the draft draws more polar evaluations than Brennan, who is lauded and downgraded for his character and ability. Transferred from Colorado to a junior college after an incident for which he was arrested for felony burglary, trespassing, misdemeanor sexual assault and indecent exposure. Spent seven days in jail, did 60 hours of community service and had four years probation. Transferred in 2005 to Hawaii, where he put up big numbers in former coach June Jones' NFL-averse run-and-shoot offense as a three-year starter. Completed 68 percent of his passes in 2005, 72.6 percent in 2006 and 70.4 percent last year. Threw 131 touchdown passes and 42 interceptions in those three seasons. Some scouts say he's a product of the system and doesn't have the arm or maturity to make it in the NFL. Others loved his outgoing personality and toughness. Recently had hip surgery, which will further hurt his draft status.

The talk: "Colt Brennan's dead (as a prospect), just because he's a nut," one college scouting director said. … Said another: "I'm not a big Colt Brennan fan personally, but I still think somebody will take a chance on him late. Somebody probably will see the Jeff Garcia comparisons with him, the gunslinger mentality. But he's not a very big guy and he doesn't have a lot of arm, and he's a system player. He's going to have to be retrained and reprogrammed and all that." … "He's got plenty of arm, I don't think arm is the issue," a quarterbacks coach said. "Not sure I know where that comes from. The biggest issue with him, all those quarterbacks that come out of the shotgun where they just run around and find open guys, is whether he can be disciplined enough. The ability and the skills, he's got that. Great kid, great leadership, he's a very charismatic guy, unusual in that respect. Just don't know how disciplined he can become. I think he can. But when you sit and talk to this kid, you want to adopt him. He's just a wonderful kid, great, engaging personality, wonderful smile. Players down there at the Senior Bowl, he was their favorite guy." … Said a final scout: "I wouldn't touch him, and it doesn't have anything to do with who he is. I don't think he's a good quarterback. He doesn't have a lot of pop in his arm, and at times was incredibly inaccurate. I don't know how you cure that."


Quote:
2. Vernon Gholston, Ohio State

6-2¾, 263; Round 1

Overview: Junior entry with immense physical talent but questionable football character. Started at defensive end the last two years, and last season had 14 sacks and 15 ½ tackles for a loss. Has an impressive physique and moved into a possible top-five pick with a superb workout at the scouting combine, where he ran the 40 in 4.58 seconds, had an amazing 42-inch vertical jump and did a defensive-tackle like 37 reps on the 225-pound bench press. Has the rarest of explosive talent, but some scouts are greatly concerned by his spotty effort on game videotape.

The talk: “He’s a dog. He’s embarrassing, he embarrasses himself and his coach,” said one long-time scout. “But about three times a game, he goes like no one’s gone in about five years. He’s got supernatural stuff, he really does. I don’t see anybody in the last five years that has what he has. I’d have to really think back to (Dwight) Freeney or (Julius) Peppers to have the stuff he has. But he’s absolutely a dog, and anybody that tells you different should be fired immediately from their job. If we were up there, I’d be scared to death and, at the same time, I’d feel my adrenalin rushing thinking maybe we could turn him on. I confronted him. I said, ‘You’re about the laziest SOB I’ve ever seen.’ He didn’t know how to explain it. He couldn’t come back on it. He didn’t get mad. I don’t know. He was taken by surprise, I guess. Are you going to spend a top-10 pick on a guy? I don’t know. But he’s got real, real stuff. On a scale of 1 to 10, he’s 10. He had 14 sacks. He should have had 30. He’d have set the world’s record. They shouldn’t be able to block him. He just doesn’t care.” … “I’d have to agree that there’s periods during the game when the guy will disappear,” the college scouting director for an AFC team said. “But even saying that the guy had 14 sacks, and pass rushers are at a premium and so hard to find. If you can push his buttons just a little bit, maybe that five or 10 percent of the game he plays a little harder, I think you’ve got something. Even saying that, I think he’ll come in the league and be a double-digit sack guy, he’s got that kind of ability.” … “I think the guy’s learning how to play a little bit,” a third scout countered. “You have to know what they’re being taught and what the defense is asking them to do. Because you get a lot of guys that grade tape and if a guy’s not chasing everything like crazy from the get go, they’re dogging it. Well, a lot of times they’re told to hang back in certain games against certain people because of tendencies. So you’ve got to be careful about some of that stuff.”


Way better than most of the content you can find on the internet, imo. Some links -

TE/WR, OL, QB, DL, LB, and RB. To my knowledge, that site is doing DBs tomorrow.

Anyway, back to McGinn. You can't read his content for free online anymore, but I pulled up some of it with a Lexis-Nexis account. I'll post just the WRs, DTs, and a small blurb about the LBs in the interest of space. He hasn't published the rest of his LB rankings or anything on the DBs yet. If anyone wants to see the other positions, I'll post them.

Quote:
WIDE RECEIVERS

1. DEVIN THOMAS, Michigan State (6-2, 213, 4.41, 1) - Caught six passes in '06, his first year at MSU after a junior-college season, and entered '07 as a backup with absolutely no NFL prospects. "I think he did some growing up that first year just to get the adjustment to college football," Chicago GM Jerry Angelo said. "Man, what he did the next year is pretty spectacular given the fact he went through a coaching change. Now he could take another step." Caught a school-record 79 passes for 1,260 yards (15.9-yard average) before declaring a year early. "He's got so many tools that it's impossible not to fall in love with him," Indianapolis President Bill Polian said. Exceptional ability after the catch. "He's reckless," one executive said. "He likes to jump over guys, run through guys." Compared by two scouts to Javon Walker in that he's big, fast and not a quick study. "His hands are inconsistent," one scout said.

2. JAMES HARDY, Indiana (6-5½, 214, 4.48, 1-2) - Fourth-year junior. "He scored 36 TDs in three years," one scout said. "I went back and tried to find a wide receiver who did that and I couldn't find one, especially for a team that had no QB." Started 26 of 36 games, catching 191 passes for 2,740 yards (14.4) and the 36 TDs, which ranked third in Big Ten history behind Braylon Edwards (39) and Anthony Carter (37). "I think he's got a big up side," Tampa Bay consultant Jim Gruden said. "He's come from a tremendously difficult background. On the right team he could be a real force. He's tough for corners to cover because he's a big sucker." All-time leading high school scorer in Fort Wayne, Ind. Played basketball 23 games for the Hoosiers in 2004-'05. "He's not a real tough kid," another scout said.

3. MALCOLM KELLY, Oklahoma (6-4, 225, 4.62, 1-2) - Third-year junior with 144 catches for 2,285 yards (15.9) and 21 TDs in 39 games (34 starts). "Big, athletic, body control guy," Angelo said. Underwent reconstructive knee surgery in junior high, had arthroscopic knee surgery in '06 and a thigh bruise that ruined his off-season in '08. "Big, long build-up type runner," one scout said. "Good to great hands. The only problem with big receivers, when they're not quick, they can't make it in the NFL. I don't know how quick he is." Some scouts figured he'd run 4.5 this month. Failed to break 4.6 in two workouts. "That shot him down," another scout said. "You thought he'd really be a combination of size and speed. He's still able to separate down the field using his body."

4. DeSEAN JACKSON, California (5-10, 171, 4.38, 1-2) - "Every time he touches the ball it's a potential touchdown," one scout said. "He's better than Steve Smith at the same stage. He didn't play as well this year as his sophomore year. The other guys in the draft are big catchers but they're not explosive. DeSean's explosive." Third-year junior with 162 receptions for 2,423 yards (15.0) and 22 TDs as three-year starter. "I mean, he's a great player," Polian said. "But those small guys don't prosper in the league. That's the bottom line." Returned six punts for TDs. Can cut on a dime, reverse field and go the distance. "Our people were trying to say he's Marvin Harrison because of his body structure," one scout said. "He's 169 (pounds). He's Ted Ginn all over again. He's not a real good route runner. He's a one play on, three play off guy."

5. LIMAS SWEED, Texas (6-4, 210, 4.48, 2) - Started 39 of 43 games in four years. "If you just go on pure talent he's probably the best one in the draft," said Trent Baalke, San Francisco's director of player personnel. "He can do anything you want and he's big. He's a good kid, a country kid. But I feel bad for him because he started out the year playing so well." Nagged by a wrist injury and finally was forced to shut it down after six games, then underwent surgery on the wrist. "He's got long speed and quickness," Tennessee national scout C.O. Brocato said. Finished with 124 catches for 1,915 yards (15.4) and 20 TDs. "He's not as dynamic as Roy Williams," Tennessee scouting coordinator Blake Beddingfield said. "Really nice, natural hands."

6. MARIO MANNINGHAM, Michigan (5-11½, 183, 4.42, 2-3) - Almost killed his chances with a 4.59 at the combine but bounced back in March on campus. "He really caught the ball well at the pro day," Tennessee scout Johnny Meads said. "He showed the speed, the hands and the knowledge of the game." Third-year junior with 137 catches for 2,310 yards (16.9) and 27 TDs. "He can be special," one scout said. "The guy's explosive, quick, fast, great route runner, makes spectacular catches. Just very inconsistent with his hands. A little bit is just his mental strength is not there (6 on the Wonderlic test). He should be a first-round guy if mentally he was OK and he worked." Regarded as a serious character risk by some teams. "He really doesn't excite me," another scout said. "Those Big Ten guys, I hate to say it but that league doesn't have much speed." Added a third scout: "That knock on Michigan wide receivers is not a good thing."

7. EARLY DOUCET, Louisiana State (6-0, 203, 4.59, 2-3) - Backed up Dwayne Bowe and Craig Davis for three years, finishing with 160 catches for 1,943 yards (12.1) and 20 TDs in 45 games (22 starts). "He's probably the surest one out of all of them," one scout said. "He'll end up having the best career just because he's steady, he's been steady, no problems, he's going to work." Compared by one scout to Devin Thomas, by another to Anquan Boldin. "He's a glider," another scout said. "He's not explosive."

8. JORDY NELSON, Kansas State (6-2½, 218, 4.54, 2-3) - Second in Division I-A with 122 catches in '07. "He catches everything," said Rick Reiprish, New Orleans' college scouting director. "He's a competitor. Tough kid." Farm boy from Riley, Kan., who walked on as a safety before converting to offense in '05. "He doesn't have great top-end speed but he reminds me of a Joe Jurevicius kind of guy," Gruden said. "Tough. Smart (28 on the Wonderlic)." Finished with 206 catches for 2,822 yards (13.7) and 20 TDs in 36 games (32 starts). "He's got the fewest flaws of anybody," said Eric DeCosta, Baltimore's director of college scouting. "He may not be the most elite talent but he's got the least amount of warts."

9. BUBBA CALDWELL, Florida (6-0, 205, 4.35, 3) - His brother, Reche, was San Diego's second-round pick in 2002. "Reche probably hurt his cause," Cleveland GM Phil Savage said. "Reche was somewhat overdrafted and has been a journeyman. People have kind of put this kid in the same box. He is fast. He does have some explosiveness. He can catch but his hands are kind of hard." Caught 185 passes for 2,349 yards (12.7) and 16 TDs in 53 games (35 starts). "Why aren't more people talking about him?" Gruden said. "He's big, he's fast, he's the leading receiver in the history of Florida." There's a stigma attached to Gators wideouts, but Gruden pointed out that Ike Hilliard has had a long and prosperous career.

10. EARL BENNETT, Vanderbilt (5-11½, 206, 4.48, 3) - Declared a year early after breaking the Southeastern Conference record for receptions with 236. "Probably similar value to Doucet," said Tom Modrak, Buffalo VP of college scouting. "Some could have him higher. I don't think you miss with him." Gained 2,852 yards (12.1) and scored 20 TDs in 35 games (32 starts). "He's got good hands," Arizona scout Jerry Hardaway said. "He's their go-to guy. He's working all those underneath routes. I'd say he's a product of the system. He's not a speed guy."

OTHERS: Eddie Royal, Virginia Tech; Donnie Avery, Houston; Dexter Jackson, Appalachian State; Jerome Simpson, Coastal Carolina; Josh Morgan, Virginia Tech; Arman Shields, Richmond; William Franklin, Missouri; Kenneth Moore, Wake Forest; Josh Harper, Virginia Tech; Marcus Smith, New Mexico.


Quote:
DEFENSIVE TACKLES

1. GLENN DORSEY, Louisiana State (6-1½, 297, 5.13, 1) - The most celebrated player at LSU since Billy Cannon, Dorsey won the Nagurski, Lombardi, Outland and Lott awards. "He's one of those interior linemen that has the ability to make everyone on the defense better because of his energy and ability," Baalke said. "I think Dorsey has rare explosion, hand use, strength and balance in his lower body. He can be successful however you want to play him." Started 30 of 51 games, finishing with 13 sacks and 179 tackles. "I think he will be dominant," Tennessee national scout C.O. Brocato said. "Remember Anthony McFarland? He's way better. It would be close with Curley Culp. He's short but he plays with such great leverage and great strength that it doesn't bother him. Everybody's talking about his knees and everything. All I know is one thing: The guy can play." Courageously played with a stress fracture in his tibia in '06 and a bad knee in '07. Gruden and others compared him to Warren Sapp. "At times, he's explosive like that (Sapp), but other times you don't know he's on the field," one scout said. "Injuries. Lack of production. Didn't even show up in shape for his workout. Shorter guy. Tommie Harris was quicker; this guy is more powerful." Scored 21 on the Wonderlic.

2. SEDRICK ELLIS, Southern California (6-0½, 298, 5.06, 1) - Replaced Mike Patterson at NT in 2005 and finished with 17½ sacks and 144 tackles in 48 games (36 starts). "If this draft wasn't quite as loaded as it is in the top eight picks, he could be the first pick in the draft," DeCosta said. "He could be a Russell Maryland. He plays really, really, really hard. He had a great Senior Bowl and a great workout, and his tape is outstanding." One scout said he was "built like a gymnasium." Led all defensive tackles at the combine on the bench press, lifting 225 pounds 36 times. "He and Dorsey are very similar," Gruden said. "They're more run defenders than pass rushers but they can push the pocket." Able to stack the point as well as penetrate. "He's not like Warren Sapp," another scout said. "He's not as explosive up the field as Sapp. He's strong but he doesn't use his hands real well. There's a clear difference between him and Dorsey." Had 15 on the Wonderlic.

3. KENTWAN BALMER, North Carolina (6-4½, 307, 5.25, 1) - Came out of nowhere in '07 and, with few decent prospects at the position, worked to become a probable first-rounder. "He has prototype size and strength," Baalke said. "When he plays to the level of his ability he can be a dominant player. Probably has as much up side as any of the D-linemen in the draft." Hails from tiny Weldon, N.C., and was his school's first major-college recruit in more than 20 years. "Justin Harrell has more pass rush than this guy," one scout said. "This guy at least hasn't been hurt. Maybe he'll get some pressure just pushing. But he'll be a run stopper." Compared by some to Ryan Sims, another former Tar Heels DT who busted as the No. 6 pick in 2002 by Kansas City. "He plays like Ryan Sims, on his toes," another scout said. "I don't like him. Why? He doesn't have a lot of snap. He's a one-good-play, five-bad-play guy. He's on the ground too much. Marginal pass rusher. Hey, do you want to keep going?"

4. MARCUS HARRISON, Arkansas (6-2½, 312, 5.06, 2) - Started 34 games, including 11 at DE and 23 at DT. Finest game was a nine-tackle effort in '06 opener against USC C Ryan Kalil. "That was his claim to fame and he's done very little since," one scout said. "He has talent but I wouldn't touch him." Blew out his knee in spring '07, then was arrested for possession of ecstasy and marijuana. Suspended for one game and lost his team captaincy for five games. "Basically, a good kid who made a stupid mistake," one scout said. "Won't have a learning problem." Finished with four sacks and 160 tackles in 47 games. "There's a lot to work with," Polian said. "In the end, there's only a few of those guys. You've got to sort of take a shot at them." More of a three-technique DT but can play NT. "I don't know if he'll be a great pass rusher but he runs well where he can come free on a game and a stunt," another scout said. "He can get to the quarterback and he can play the point."

5. TREVOR LAWS, Notre Dame (6-0½, 304, 5.09, 2) - Probably Notre Dame's best performer in '07 and followed it up with a superb Senior Bowl. "The light went on this year," one scout said. "A year ago I would have said fifth-, sixth-rounder. He's got natural strength and plays with great leverage. He can shed. He can hold the point vs. a double team. Not a real good pass rusher but he'll slip and slide through a guard-center block at times. Real good up side." Highly emotional player described as a "whirling dervish" by another scout. Finished with 10 sacks and 224 tackles in 49 games (37 starts). "Very effective at what he does," a third scout said. "His quickness helps him." From Apple Valley, Minn. Scored 30 on the Wonderlic.

6. PAT SIMS, Auburn (6-2, 310, 5.08, 2-3) - Classic boom-or-bust pick. "He has talent," one scout said. "But why would you take a guy that plays two plays and he can't run from here to the restroom? He has ability but he's never in shape." Quit the team in 2005 over playing time, couldn't get along with his position coach in '07 and declared as a fourth-year junior. "He's a really good football player who has shaky character," another scout said. "Just a notch below Dorsey and Ellis." Tested positive for marijuana at least twice, once as recently as last July. "He's so cocky," a third scout said. "Thinks he's going in the first round. He's a little pain in the (bleep) but he has ability." Finished with 7½ sacks and 56 tackles in 27 games (13 starts).

7. DRE MOORE, Maryland (6-4, 305, 4.91, 3) - Played only one year in high school, redshirted in '03 and went on to start 26 of 44 games. "Impressive physical specimen," Hardaway said. Fastest tackle on the board and also very strong. "You saw some flashes at the Senior Bowl one-on-one," one scout said. "You want to like him because of the stuff he does but he never makes a play." Finished with 10½ sacks and 140 tackles. "He is as lazy as lazy can get," another scout said. "He only pass rushes when he beat a guy off the initial move. If he ever gets stalemated at the line he just gives up. He's going to disappoint a lot of people."

8. LeTROY GUION, Florida State (6-3½, 307, 5.24, 3-4) - Was suspended for the bowl game and subsequently declared as a third-year junior. "He should have gone back," one scout said. "He hasn't defined himself as a pass rusher. He's very raw against the run. He's going to need to sit a year, but how many teams are going to want to take a D-tackle that struggles learning?" Started just 14 of 34 games, finishing with 1½ sacks and 66 tackles. Ended up on his back too often. "Out of shape at his workout," another scout said. "No production. And you're going to take him high? He hasn't done (bleep). Better athlete than he is player."

9. ANDRE FLUELLEN, Florida State (6-2, 294, 5.05, 4) - Started in 2005 and '06 but split time with Guion in '07. "He got hurt this year and didn't play very well because he had a wrist and a thumb," one scout said. "Has to be a three-technique penetrator. Played a lot better last year." Started 30 of 48 games, finishing with 5½ sacks and 81 tackles. "There's no way he can play head-up on people," Gruden said. "He fits a team that uses quick, slanting tackles. Then he might have a chance." Played with great energy at the Senior Bowl.

10. FRANK OKAM, Texas (6-4½, 335, 5.27, 4) - Enormous run stuffer. "He's got ability to do whatever he wants to do," one scout said. "Those guys, if they're that massive and have some quickness to them, they're hard to block." Had 10 sacks and 160 tackles in 50 games (39 starts). "I'm going to give him to you," another scout said. Plans to attend law school; scored 39 on the Wonderlic. "That's probably why he doesn't play better," a third scout said. "He probably realizes he could get hurt inside there. The guys that are dumb, they don't care."

OTHERS: Antyba Rubin, Iowa State; Red Bryant, Texas A& M; Nick Hayden, Wisconsin; DeMario Pressley, North Carolina State; Derek Lokey, Texas; Jason Shirley, ex-Fresno State; Carlton Powell Jr., Virginia Tech; Ogemdi Nwagbuo, Michigan State; David Faaeteete, Oregon; Keilen Dykes, West Virginia.


Quote:
Clearly, Rivers is rated as the only elite linebacker. He garnered 13 first-place votes (Mayo had two, Lofton had one) in a Journal Sentinel poll of 16 personnel men asking them to rank linebackers on a 1-to-5 basis, with a first-place vote worth five points, a second four and so on.

Following Rivers, who had 77 of a possible 80 points, were: Mayo, 55; Lofton, 44; Connor, 37; Tavares Gooden, 15; Jordon Dizon, five; Geno Hayes, three; Xavier Adibi, two; and Phillip Wheeler, two.


Here are some more
Jonny : 1:05 pm
from McGinn. Reminder, the GB Post Gazette ones are free.

Quote:
"I've got a problem with Flacco," a personnel director for an AFC team said. "You know why? He's 6-6. I don't know why it is but history tells you they're not going to be any good."

Although Mitchell made 71 starts in the 1990s, primarily for Detroit, it is Anderson who should give hope to Flacco. He used his big frame and big arm last year in leading Cleveland to a surprising 10-6 record.

"I think Derek Anderson really helped a guy like Flacco," Browns general manager Phil Savage said. "He's got a big arm, he's tall, he was a bit under the radar to a degree during the fall. I think people saw him more like a third- or fourth-round type project but now he's been elevated to the end of the first round. If not, the second round for sure."

The Green Bay Packers own the second-last pick in the first round and need someone to go with Aaron Rodgers.

Ted Thompson's mentor, the retired Ron Wolf, much preferred quarterbacks with size. Although Brett Favre came in at 6-2 and Mark Brunell stood 6-1, Wolf found Matt Hasselbeck (6-4) and Aaron Brooks (6-3½) in the mid- to late rounds.

Green Bay's tallest quarterback was Frank Patrick, a 10th-round pick in 1970 from Nebraska. Patrick was 6-7, or 3 inches taller than the strapping Rich Campbell a decade later, but neither accomplished a thing.

"Just because I'm 6-6, 236, doesn't mean I can't move," Flacco said at the combine in February. "I like to think I'm a pretty good athlete."

At least Flacco's in good company with his pedestrian 4.84-second clocking in the 40-yard dash. For the first time in years, not one of the top six prospects can even break 4.8.

"I'm just glad I'm not drafting one," another AFC personnel director said. "To me, the league has gotten away from these type quarterbacks. You're going to have to protect these guys."

When Indianapolis President Bill Polian refers to the class as having "one contender and the rest pretenders," it's understood that he ranks Boston College's Matt Ryan head and shoulders above the pack. Of Ryan, Polian said, " I never say 'can't miss' but Matt Ryan has really no down side."

Savage, who traded his first-round choice this year to take Notre Dame's Brady Quinn 22nd last year, remains wary.

"I'll say this: I'm glad we moved up for Brady Quinn," Savage said. "If you think Matt Ryan is going to be the answer with not much around him, I think people would be disappointed. I don't know that he has a special quality other than his personality and leadership."

In a Journal Sentinel survey, 15 personnel people were asked to rank their top five quarterbacks. A first-place vote was worth five points, a second was worth four and so forth.

Ryan, with 12 firsts, won going away with 71 points. Following, in order, were: Louisville's Brian Brohm, 53 (one first); Michigan's Chad Henne, 38 (two firsts); Flacco, 36; Southern California's John David Booty, 11; Kentucky's Andre' Woodson, 7; Tennessee's Erik Ainge and Oregon's Dennis Dixon, 4; and San Diego's Josh Johnson, 1.

"To me, they're all guys you're going to have to coach up and get them in position to manage games," said Trent Baalke, San Francisco's director of player personnel. "There's no Brett Favre coming out of this draft."

Yet one scout for a team that had a private audition with Flacco last month labeled it "arguably the most impressive quarterback workout I've ever seen."

"Really, if he goes to Michigan or Boston College, he might be the first pick in the draft," said Jerry Angelo, general manager of the Chicago Bears. "Delaware is what puts a cap on him. But three years from now, who knows?"

DRAFT PREVIEW:QUARTERBACKS

The Journal Sentinel's Bob McGinn assesses the top quarterbacks in the draft next weekend. Included are each player's height, weight, 40-yard dash time and round in which he is projected:

1. MATT RYAN, Boston College (6-4½, 225, 4.89, 1) - Started for 2½ seasons (25-7 record), breaking out as a senior. "This is a one-year aberration," one scout said. "He threw 19 interceptions. C'mon. His best game was Virginia Tech. Other than that, what's he got to hang his hat on?" Other personnel men admire his charisma, work ethic, smarts (28 on the Wonderlic intelligence test) and almost unflappable demeanor. "To me, his arm and athleticism are more like (Philip) Rivers," Chicago GM Jerry Angelo said. "(Ben) Roethlisberger was athletic and could run some. This guy is not any of that. It's not like he's special with his arm strength or accuracy, mobility or strength. It's his intangibles." Posted an NFL passer rating of 83.2. Struggles reading underneath coverages. "I think he is NFL-ready mentally," Seattle scout Charles Fisher said. "He can read the high safety. He can do that stuff. I don't see a very strong arm. He takes some chances that he shouldn't but he can read the defense."

2. BRIAN BROHM, Louisville (6-3, 232, 4.84, 1-2) - Three-year starter with passer rating of 106.4 and so-so arm. "I think he's more polished, more ready than Matt Ryan," Arizona scout Jerry Hardaway said. "Does the ball get there? The ball gets there." Completed 65.8% of his passes. "Brohm's an accurate passer," Cleveland GM Phil Savage said. "If you needed somebody to play sooner rather than later, Brohm might be the safer pick over even Flacco. People have declared Ryan as the clearcut winner in this sweepstakes but Brohm's probably going to be a little better than people are maybe saying." Pure pocket passer who has had major knee and shoulder operations. "I don't know when Brohm walks into the room if the other players will respond to him personality-wise," one scout said. "I want to like him more than I do but I don't know if he has that 'it' factor." Scored 32 on the Wonderlic.

3. JOE FLACCO, Delaware (6-6, 237, 4.84, 1-2) - Strongest passer in the draft. "He's got a tremendous, tremendous arm and he's very accurate," said Eric DeCosta, Baltimore's director of college scouting. "If you just want to talk about pure throwing ability in any weather, being able to make incredible throws accurately from many different body positions, it's Flacco. Flacco can throw it with anybody that's come out of the draft in the last 15 years, including Carson Palmer." Spent two years at Pittsburgh behind Tyler Palko, didn't like his chances of playing and had to sit a year at Delaware when Pitt refused to release him. Started two years, posting passer rating of 93.9 and leading Blue Hens to 16-10 record. "I don't want to say he has presence and poise because it's I-AA," Indianapolis President Bill Polian said. "Having said that, I realize Phil Simms was (Division I-AA), too." More of an introvert. Scored 24 on the Wonderlic. So-so under pressure. "He has a little more mobility than you would think," Fisher said. "He's not as good escaping now as Matt Hasselbeck, but maybe he could be."

4. CHAD HENNE, Michigan (6-3, 228, 4.92, 2-3) - "He probably has the most special leadership ability of all the quarterbacks," Angelo said. "That throwback kind of leader. Players really gravitate to him. Tough. Hard-nosed." Four-year starter with passer rating of 90.8 and Wonderlic score of 22. "He'd be the guy if you were playing in a cold-weather climate I would think you'd want," DeCosta said. "Kind of an intriguing guy. He'll never be great, either, but he can be solid and good and gutty." Lacks a running dimension and not much good when the pocket breaks down. "What people see in Henne I don't know," one scout said. "I'm missing something. This guy had more talent around him and never won a national championship or beat Ohio State. Please explain that to me. He throws the ball behind guys or around their knees. You root for him and everything but he ain't done nothing."

5. JOHN DAVID BOOTY (Southern California: 6-2½, 216, 4.92, 3) - "He can manage a game and he knows what's going on out there," said Tom Modrak, Buffalo's VP of college scouting. "Makes good decisions. He's an accurate guy. It's all good. Not great." Backed up Matt Leinart in 2005, then started two years. Finished with passer rating of 96.2. "He really has no down side," Polian said. "He's a winner, No. 1. No. 2, he's a pretty resourceful guy. I like his arm strength, his accuracy, his delivery." Knocked for his immobility and scored just 14 on the Wonderlic. Ready to play but will always be limited athletically. "Just a guy," one scout said. "Needs a lot of mechanical work. That's why he gets a lot of balls tipped. It cost them playing in the national championship game two years ago."

6. ANDRE' WOODSON, Kentucky (6-4, 227, 4.89, 3-4) - Helped make the long-suffering Wildcats competitive again. "He made a winning team out of a doormat," Tampa Bay consultant Jim Gruden said. "He's got good touch and throws the deep ball well. I don't think he's real mobile. His problem is he's got a long windup similar to some guys that haven't made it." Compared by one scout to Byron Leftwich, by another to Kerry Collins. Set an NCAA record of 325 pass attempts without an interception. "People don't like his release and he's buried," one scout said. "But he saved a whole bunch of people's jobs the last two years. Right or wrong?" Three-year starter with passer rating of 96.6 and Wonderlic score of 14. "He really has a rocket arm," said Blake Beddingfield, Tennessee's scouting coordinator. "Physically can stand in and take the hit. Will disappoint you at times by making bad decisions."

7. DENNIS DIXON, Oregon (6-3½, 200, 4.60, 4) - Coming off a bad '06 season, he played extremely well against Michigan and others before blowing out a knee in November. "He made Michigan and some teams look silly," Gruden said. "He can create with his feet. He can throw and run." Has made a rapid recovery from reconstructive surgery Dec. 15 but isn't expected to factor in '08. "He was the only guy in this group who was an athlete," one scout said. "I would have bet first round." Smart (29 on the Wonderlic). Finished with passer rating of 91.7 operating a spread offense. Very thin legs. "He probably will end up going to Canada and be a star and come back," another scout said. "He's better than Jeff Garcia was at the same stage. Better athlete."

8. JOSH JOHNSON, San Diego (6-2½, 213, 4.53, 4-5) - Played three years under coach Jim Harbaugh, finishing with astonishing 126.2 passer rating in Division I-AA ranks. "He reminds me of Joe Gilliam, the guy who beat out (Terry) Bradshaw in Pittsburgh," one scout said. "He's got that whip arm. He's got great feet. He has a very good chance because he's so mobile." Three-year starter also ran for 19 TDs. Scored 15 on the Wonderlic. Really hurt himself with wobbly long balls at the combine. "Throws the ball with velocity but he can't throw a spiral," another scout said. "People have fallen off him a little bit since the combine and watching him work out." Was 30-4 as a starter. "He can run around and do those things," Tennessee national scout C.O. Brocato said. "Got to learn how to be a quarterback."

9. ERIK AINGE, Tennessee (6-5½, 225, 5.02, 5) - Started 35 games over four years after being benched in '05. Passer rating of 90.3. "He's well-schooled," Modrak said. "He finds receivers. He's been under the bright lights and handled it fine. He's not going to throw the big ball but he has touch and accuracy and presence." Maybe "too intelligent," according to one scout. Compared by another scout to Brodie Croyle. "He's another loser; can't win the big ones," a third scout said. "He's good on air. But when you get a little pressure on him . . . done." His uncle, Danny, is GM of the Boston Celtics.

10. MATT FLYNN, Louisiana State (6-2, 229, 4.79, 5) - Sat behind Marcus Randall and JaMarcus Russell for four years before getting a chance to start in '07, leading Tigers to national championship. "He is the one that could (start) in the right situation," Polian said. "He's a battler and he's won a title." Scored 26 on the Wonderlic and had a passer rating of 88.8. "You could do a lot worse than him as a backup," one scout said. "He's smart, got good athleticism and his arm is stronger than you think. Great kid."

OTHERS: Kevin O'Connell, San Diego State; Bernard Morris, Marshall; Colt Brennan, Hawaii; Alex Brink, Washington State; Nick Hill, Southern Illinois; Kyle Wright, Miami; Paul Smith, Tulsa; Anthony Morelli, Penn State; T.C. Ostrander, Stanford; Xavier Lee, Florida State; Luke Drone, Illinois State.

UNSUNG HERO

Alex Brink, Washington State - Did his best as a 3½-year starter for a program in decline. Smart (27 on the Wonderlic) dink and dunker with adequate athletic ability. Should get drafted late and might be hard to run off.

SCOUTS' NIGHTMARE

Colt Brennan, Hawaii - Completed 70.4% of his passes and had a passer rating of 114.6, production impossible to ignore. Nevertheless, he was dreadful in the Sugar Bowl, gained a bunch of weight in the off-season and is to undergo hip surgery before the draft.

PACKERS' PICK TO REMEMBER

Stan Heath, Nevada - First-round pick (No. 5 overall) in 1949. . . . One of the most awful choices in club history. . . . In only season, he completed 24.5% of 106 passes for one TD and 14 interceptions. . . . Departed for Canadian Football League in '50.

QUOTE TO NOTE

AFC scout: "People are so worried about delivery. Sid Gillman used to put an A on the board and a B, then he drew a line. He said, 'I don't care how a guy throws, just tell me if they consistently put it from Point A to Point B.' The key thing is, is a guy accurate?"


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Twenty scouts were asked if they'd take Peterson as the prospect they knew in April 2007 or McFadden of April 2008.

Peterson got 15 votes compared to five for McFadden.

"I think it would be Peterson slightly over McFadden," said Phil Savage, general manager of the Cleveland Browns. "I think Adrian has a little bit more, it's a cliche, the eye of the tiger. I think he's a meaner, tougher kid.

"But don't get me wrong. Hey, we'd take McFadden in a second if we were up there."

About the only knock on Peterson was his durability, particularly a broken collarbone that he suffered in October 2006. Some scouts were worried about his inexperience in the passing game. Others wondered if his upright style of running might lead to undue punishment.

Peterson's character was beyond reproach.

There is no doubt McFadden is a more skilled receiver than Peterson. There also is no doubt some teams at the top of the draft have major concerns about how he has handled himself off the field as a college student, let alone someone with $20 million in guaranteed money.

McFadden, possibly the youngest player in the draft with a birth date of Aug. 27, 1987, grew up poor in Little Rock, Ark., the 10th of 12 children. One of his brothers has been in prison. He has been involved in a pair of bar fights in Little Rock, one as recently as four months ago.

"His interview with us was a disaster," said one executive for a team with a high pick. "I'd be scared to death every time he left the facility. Like he's got no clue. He just doesn't know it's not OK to go hang out in bars. The place he was arrested at had been hit by the cops 100 times in a year or something. Let's just say you question his judgment."

One scout said he has a relationship with McFadden, has looked in his eyes and is confident "he's no Pacman (Jones)."

Another executive said, "You draft this kid, you've got a lot of problems coming. A lot of his family is in trouble, and he really sides with his family. It's not good."

If the Indianapolis Colts had a high pick, they wouldn't shy away from McFadden.

"There are issues there, and there's always going to be issues with certain players," Colts president Bill Polian said. "But my sense is that it's manageable. You have to recognize it and manage it."

Polian prefers McFadden to Peterson because, as he put it, "his fifth gear. He pulls away from you in a heartbeat. He's quick-twitch, tough and elusive. He can throw the ball. He can catch it. Bo Jackson is what you think about with this guy."

Others give Peterson a substantial edge over McFadden in the ability to avoid tacklers.

"He's kind of a thin-legged, narrow-based guy who goes roaring up in there and tries to run over people," one scout said. "Now I think he has feet to make people miss. But I don't know if he's smart enough to figure that out."

McFadden was named the top back in the draft by 16 of 17 scouts in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel poll asking them to rate their favorites on a 1-to-5 basis, with a first-place vote worth five points and so on. He totaled 84 points.

Following, in order, were Oregon's Jonathan Stewart (one first) and Illinois' Rashard Mendenhall, 56; Arkansas' Felix Jones, 31; Texas' Jamaal Charles, 17; Rutgers' Ray Rice, 7; Central Florida's Kevin Smith, 2; and East Carolina's Chris Johnson and South Carolina's Cory Boyd, 1.

When the 17 scouts were asked which of the top 10 backs had the best chance to bust, the votes were: Johnson, 4; McFadden and Stewart, 2{; Rice and Charles, 2; and Tulane's Matt Forte, Jones, Mendenhall and Smith, 1.


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RUNNING BACKS

1. DARREN McFADDEN, Arkansas (6-1, 215, 4.33, 1) - First player in successive years since 1949 to finish second in voting for the Heisman Trophy. "He's better than Adrian Peterson," said Blake Beddingfield, Tennessee's scouting coordinator. "Whether it's playing quarterback or catching the ball out of the backfield or returning kickoffs or whatever, he is phenomenal. Plus, he's an instinctive football player." Third in Southeastern Conference annals in rushing yards per game behind Herschel Walker and Emmitt Smith. "He's not like Bo Jackson, Steven Jackson or Larry Johnson," Tampa Bay consultant Jim Gruden said. "Those guys are like 230 and he's only 215. He's a slasher who sees it and hits it real fast. He's not really a guy to make you miss, either, for 215, the way I see it." Has thin legs and questionable character. "You give him a seam, he's going to get you six," Tennessee national scout C.O. Brocato said. "If he doesn't have a seam, he's just going to run straight up their backs." Third-year junior.


2. JONATHAN STEWART, Oregon (5-10, 235, 4.46, 1) - Third-year junior with 2,891 yards, 5.6-yard average and 27 touchdowns. "I think he's more of a fluid runner than a (young) Jamal Lewis," Cleveland GM Phil Savage said. "In some ways Stewart is a little more instinctive runner than Jamal. He will have to adjust from a spread offense to a traditional NFL offense, and that might take him a few months. But he's 240, he's athletic and he can catch." Might slip a few notches after undergoing toe surgery in March. "You will be thrilled to get him," Indianapolis president Bill Polian said. "A workhorse. Hard-nosed. Fast. Punishing." Compared by one scout to Natrone Means. "He scares me because he's not a real tough kid," another scout said. "He's got some run skills and size, but he just kind of gives up at times. For a big kid he just kind of drops." Scored 20 on the Wonderlic intelligence test.

3. RASHARD MENDENHALL, Illinois (5-10, 225, 4.42, 1) - Third-year junior didn't start until '07, when he gained 1,681 yards and was Big Ten offensive player of the year. "He's going to be a really, really good back," Buffalo VP of college scouting Tom Modrak said. "He's big, you don't catch him, he makes people miss." Straight-line style somewhat reminiscent of Herschel Walker. "He can't break down, cut and change direction," one scout said. "I was surprised how stiff he was. He takes a beating because he can't avoid people." Graduated from Niles West in Skokie, Ill., and scored 23 on the Wonderlic. "I think when adversity strikes he may fold tent," another scout said. "I don't see grinder mentality with him. I see analytical." Said a third scout: "I just don't know how he's wired. I don't know how competitive he is. I don't know how much he wants to take the beatin' he's going to take."

4. FELIX JONES, Arkansas (5-10, 210, 4.45, 1-2) - Played behind McFadden for three years, getting 386 carries to McFadden's 785. "If Felix Jones played for West Virginia," said Polian, "you'd be talking about him in the same breath as Mendenhall and Stewart. He only suffers by comparison to the guy he's playing with." Averaged 7.7 yards per carry, second in NCAA history behind Army's Glenn Davis (8.3) from 1943-'46. Averaged 8.7 in '07, gaining 1,162 yards. "There's some similarities to Reggie (Bush)," said Rick Reiprish, New Orleans' director of college scouting. "Reggie is so quick but Jones might be a little faster." Happy-go-lucky personality. Excels on kickoff returns. "You can put him at wideout, the slot, running back," Brocato said. "He's tough. He runs inside. I think he can (carry the load)." Others see him as a change-of-pace back. "A very competitive runner who doesn't like to go down," said Eric DeCosta, Baltimore's director of college scouting. "He fights for yards all the time. If he was there in the second round he'd be excellent value." Wonderlic score of 22.

5. JAMAAL CHARLES, Texas (5-11, 199, 4.40, 1-2) - Faster than Jones but not as rugged. "I might be the only one standing on a ledge with Jamaal Charles," Seattle scout Charles Fisher said. "I like him because he's a home-run hitter and he doesn't shy. He runs hard inside." Third-year junior with 3,328 yards, a 6.2 average and 36 TDs. Didn't start until '07. Fumbled 11 times in '06 and is not a quick study. "Fumbles and mental mistakes are the quickest way to the doghouse," said DeCosta. "But he's very dynamic with excellent speed and quickness." Some teams question his toughness but certainly not his receiving ability. "He suffers from Texas running back syndrome," Polian said. "How many of them have made it big? Ricky Williams didn't make it big."

6. RAY RICE, Rutgers (5-8, 199, 4.47, 2) - Yet another third-year junior. "He doesn't play small," Chicago GM Jerry Angelo said. "He's very, very strong. Probably one of the best jump cutters I've ever seen. He's a very, very tough guy." Compared by scouts to Joe Morris, Emmitt Smith and Maurice Jones-Drew. "Of all the backs taken after the top couple guys he's got the best chance to be a special player," DeCosta said. "He's in the scrum and all of a sudden here he comes out of the scrum. He believes you're not going to tackle him." Two-year starter with 4,926 yards, a 5.4 average and 49 TDs. "But he can only be an asset in the running game," one scout said. "Not a blocker and he ain't got good hands. He's not going to be a full-time starter."

7. CHRIS JOHNSON, East Carolina (5-11, 197, 4.26, 2-3) - Four-year starter with 2,982 yards (4.8) rushing, 125 receptions (10.4) and 42 TDs. "If it's open he can go because he's got that kind of speed," Arizona scout Jerry Hardaway said. "But he's not going to get down there and show you wiggle and magic. He's a see-it, hit-it guy." Recorded one of the swiftest 40's in combine history. "His No. 1, No. 2 and No. 3 assets are speed," one scout said. "But I think in this league you've either got to make people miss or break tackles because them other guys are pretty good, too." Scored just 10 on the Wonderlic and had a cervical neck fusion in '06 that worries some clubs. "He is very much like Willie Parker," another scout said. "He's more of a straight-line speed guy."

8. KEVIN SMITH, Central Florida (6-1, 216, 4.50, 2-3) - Set an NCAA record for carries in '07 with 450 and gained 2,567 yards (5.7), second behind Barry Sanders' total of 2,628. "That's a lot for a junior," Beddingfield said. "He's got a lot of wear and tear on his body already. Long strider, very similar to what we've had here with Chris Brown. He's got pretty decent speed, not great." Played safety as a high school senior in Miami and fell under the recruiting radar. "He kind of reminds me just in personality of Shaun Alexander," Hardaway said. "He has fast-twitch feet and body mobility to press the line of scrimmage and grab ground." Said one scout: "He played in Conference USA, where the defenses stink. SMU is about as bad as I saw. Those guys in Conference USA can't tackle. He isn't anything great."

9. TASHARD CHOICE, Georgia Tech (5-10 1/2, 212, 4.48, 3) - Transferred from Oklahoma after sitting behind Adrian Peterson in 2003-'04. "He shows vision and run instincts between the tackles," Hardaway said. "He'll bounce it out to the second level, but he's not a home-run hitter. He earned every yard he got at Georgia Tech running behind a bad offensive line." Rushed for 3,365 yards (5.0) and 28 TDs. History of knee problems remains a concern. "Chan Gailey said he reminded him of Emmitt Smith, who Chan had at Dallas," one scout said. "Strong runner, catches the ball well and ran faster than I thought at the combine." Had 21 on the Wonderlic.

10. MIKE HART, Michigan (5-9, 209, 4.75, 3) - The Wolverines' all-time leader in attempts (1,015) and yards (5,040). "Everybody has kicked Mike Hart to the curb because he can't run," one scout said. "Priest Holmes couldn't run, either. Mike is special, he really is. He almost killed the linebacker (Dan Connor) at Penn State." Solid receiver, team leader and four-year starter. "I just don't know how he makes it," another scout said. "He's not big, powerful, fast or elusive. He knows how to run but he just doesn't get on defenses fast enough. If you use him in the passing game he can't outrun any linebackers."

OTHERS: Steve Slaton, West Virginia; Chauncey Washington, Southern California; Cory Boyd, South Carolina; Ryan Torain, Arizona State; Thomas Brown, Georgia; Tim Hightower, Richmond; Allen Patrick, Oklahoma; Justin Forsett, California; Chad Simpson, Morgan State; Ben Green-Ellis, Mississippi.

FULLBACKS

1. MATT FORTE, Tulane (6-1, 221, 4.44, 2-3) - Featured back for Green Wave (4,145 yards, 5.1, 38 TDs) but could play fullback in a pinch, as Dorsey Levens did until his third year in Green Bay. "He's going to be a lot like Dorsey Levens," Savage said. "He probably comes with more of a pedigree than Ryan Grant did. Matt Forte could be a real sleeper in this draft. Eddie George probably is a pretty decent comparison." Runs a little high. Caught 100 passes. Wonderlic score of 16. "If you like Marion Barber, you're going to love Forte," Polian said. "But he doesn't have the speed, the acceleration and the explosion of the top guys."

2. JACOB HESTER, Louisiana State (5-11, 225, 4.60, 3-4) - "Kind of a one back-fullback type," Angelo said. "Everybody likes Hester." Played fullback until '07, when he was the Tigers' top back with 1,103 yards (4.9) and 12 TDs. "I'd take him in a minute," Brocato said. "He reminds me of Hokie Gajan. Hokie ran 4.65. . . at best. But when Hokie put the uniform on he was just a football player. That's the way Hester is." Married, scored 23 on the Wonderlic and a classic overachiever. "He's Jimmy Taylor," another scout said. "He probably isn't a lead blocker, but he'd try. He'll do whatever you have for him and do it well. Over Choice. Over Forte. Over Smith. He'll still be playing 10 years from now."

3. PEYTON HILLIS, Arkansas (6-1, 237, 4.61, 4) - Compared by scouts to Larry Centers and Frank Wycheck. "He's not the William Henderson type," Modrak said. "When you've got to go run in there and blow up a linebacker that's stepping up to meet you, not many can do it and that's not his game. His game is more on the second level, turning people out and walling them off." Three-year starter with 959 yards rushing and 118 receptions, including 49 in '07 as the Razorbacks' leading receiver. "Very, very talented," Angelo said. "You can use him in so many different ways. He'll give adequate effort as a blocker. He's not the toughest guy."

4. JEROME FELTON, Furman (6-0, 240, 4.77, 5) - Started for 3 1/2 years, rushing for 2,652 yards (4.6) and 63 TDs. "He has a chance to be something," Hardaway said. "Tough, competitive, plays with passion and understands his role as a blocker." Outstanding strength and scored 28 on the Wonderlic. "You talk about bright and intelligent," one executive said.

5. OWEN SCHMITT, West Virginia: 6-2, 253, 4.77, 5-6 - Starred at UW-River Falls as a freshman in '03 before transferring. Three-year starter for Mountaineers, rushing for 1,003 yards (6.3) and 13 TDs. "He's a big sucker and can run," Gruden said. "I've never seen a film of him where he really will go in there and be a lead-dog blocker type guy. If he could do that he could be a heck of a fullback, because he can catch and he's big and he's talented when you hand him the ball. Maybe like a Mike Alstott kind of guy." A native of Gilman, Wis., he scored 15 on the Wonderlic.

OTHERS: Lex Hilliard, Montana; Jehuu Caulrick, Michigan State; Kregg Lumpkin, Georgia; Carl Stewart, Auburn; Rolly Lumbala, Idaho.


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A Journal Sentinel survey of 18 personnel people asking them to rank the wide receivers on a 1-to-5 basis (five points for a first-place vote, etc.) revealed little or no consensus.

No fewer than five players received a first-place vote, led by Thomas with 10, Hardy and Kelly with three and Jackson and Texas' Limas Sweed with one.

Thomas led in total points with 72, but 12 others received mention. Following, in order, were: Kelly, 46; Hardy, 39; Jackson, 34; Sweed, 31; Manningham, 17; Early Doucet, eight; Donnie Avery, seven; Jordy Nelson, six; Eddie Royal, four; Earl Bennett, three; Bubba Caldwell, two; and Josh Morgan, one.

"The senior class is not a great group and, really, the juniors aren't that great, either," said Blake Beddingfield, scouting coordinator for the Tennessee Titans. "It's kind of scary, especially with receiver not being a position that produces early."

Sweed is regarded as a solid enough kid. However, scouts say that Doucet, Nelson and Royal will be pushed up because their strong character is in such contrast to the higher-rated players.

"But you've got to pick somebody," said Tom Modrak, Buffalo's vice president of college scouting. "It is a flamboyant bunch. I don't know what causes it."

When the season started, Oklahoma State's Adarius Bowman was rated as highly as any senior other than Sweed even though he had been kicked out of North Carolina in 2004 following his arrest for marijuana possession. But then last month he might have booted himself out of the draft after being picked up and pleading guilty on another marijuana charge.

As scouts finalize their boards, some will remember the names in the last decade of other troubled wide receivers with flawed character who ultimately failed in the NFL.

That list would include R.J. Soward (29th pick, 2000), Koren Robinson (nine, 2001), Antonio Bryant (63, 2002), Charles Rogers (two, 2003), Mike Williams (10, 2005) and Chris Henry (83, 2005). The 45th pick last year, Dwayne Jarrett, had a lousy rookie season in Carolina after a checkered career at Southern California.

Here are some of the talking points regarding character on five wide receivers:

Hardy: In 2006, he pleaded not guilty to domestic battery charges when he allegedly attacked his girlfriend and infant child. The case was settled in a pre-trial agreement . . . He was suspended for two games in 2006 . . . Hails from Fort Wayne, Ind., where his agents, Eugene Parker and Roosevelt Barnes, are based. "He had a bad background and was running with a real bad crowd," an AFC personnel director said. "Eugene and Roosevelt were kind of his guardians. He kind of had no direction." . . . Scored 14 on the Wonderlic intelligence test.

Manningham: Showed up at the combine out of shape and ran poorly, but even worse was the fact he lied to teams during interviews about using marijuana. Later, he hired agent Don Yee, who convinced his client to mail a letter of apology to every team . . . Previously, he had been arrested on a drug charge and suspended for a game . . . Scored 6 on the Wonderlic

Thomas: Poor student in high school in Ann Arbor, Mich., and had to attend junior college for two years . . . Played sparingly for Spartans coach John L. Smith in 2006 before being suspended for two games after being caught with a girlfriend in his hotel room the night before a game . . . "A year ago, they hated him at MSU," an AFC executive said. "He was lazy . . . They wanted to get rid of him." . . . Played great in `07 but still an AFC personnel director said, "JC background, one-year production and a junior. You go off of that, there's a high probability this guy could be a bust."

Kelly: Was overweight at the combine, nursing a thigh injury and elected not to run. When he did run April 9, he ran poorly and promptly blamed the surface and the university . . . "He hurt himself by not losing 5 to 7 pounds and running faster," an AFC personnel director said. "When you go to an interview, you don't wear a wrinkled suit. Like, get ready. Then he popped off." . . . Has spent time on academic probation.

Jackson: Third-year junior who turns off some scouts with an arrogant, me-first approach . . . "He came in there as a prep All-American and they spoiled him at Cal," an AFC personnel director said. "They let him do what he felt like doing. You know how these little guys have chips on their shoulders? That's what he's got. He's never been in any trouble but he kind of does his own thing." . . . Described as "mischievous" by one scout and "cocksure and self-satisfied" by another.

Meanwhile, the Journal Sentinel poll at tight end asking 17 scouts to rank their favorites on a 1-to-3 basis wasn't definitive, either. Not only isn't there a sure-fire No. 1 prospect, but top-10 players such as Martellus Bennett, Fred Davis, Jermichael Finley and Kellen Davis also were identified as character risks by scouts.

"It's like pick your poison," Fisher said. "It just depends on what you do and what you like."

Fred Davis led the poll with 27 points (seven firsts), followed by Dustin Keller, 18{ (three firsts); Bennett, 17{ (four firsts); John Carlson, 17 (three firsts); Brad Cottam, 12; Finley, four; Martin Rucker, four; and Kellen Davis, two.

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Jonny : 1:06 pm
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Although a Journal Sentinel survey this month of 18 personnel people revealed clear-cut support for Long as the best prospect, half a dozen scouts seriously doubt whether he has the movement skills to succeed at left tackle.

"I don't think he's Orlando Pace or Jon Ogden," said Jim Gruden, personnel consultant for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. "He's not that athletic. But I don't see how he can really screw it up. I see him (being) whatever he wants to be."

Long finished with 81 points based on the vote of scouts who were asked to rank the five best linemen on a 1 to 5 basis, with five points awarded for a first-place vote and so on. Long captured 13 first-place votes compared with two apiece for Clady and Otah and one for Albert.

Second in points was Clady with 60, followed by Albert (39), Williams (36), Otah (35), Cherilus (11), Baker (3), Arizona State center Mike Pollak (3) and Southern California guard Chilo Rachal (2).

When 20 scouts were asked which of their top 10 linemen had the best chance to bust, the votes went like this: Otah, 5; Clady, 3{; Nicks, 3; Albert, Baker and Long, 2 apiece; Texas-El Paso's Oniel Cousins and Williams, 1 each; and Rachal, one-half.


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1. JAKE LONG, Michigan (6-7, 315, 5.25, 1) - When healthy, started at RT in 2004 and '05 and at LT in 2006 and '07. "I just think he'll be a 12- or 14-year starter," Tampa Bay consultant Jim Gruden said. "He's a bright guy (26 on the Wonderlic intelligence test). He's from a good family. He's a tough guy. Played in a good program. I like the way he finishes blocks.

He's going to lose some battles but he's a pretty good player, the kind you want on your team." Shot 62.3% as the center on the basketball team at Lapeer (Mich.) East and was a standout first baseman. "Long is probably a more physical run blocker than Joe Thomas," one scout said. "Joe has better lateral quickness. I'd take Joe Thomas. Long is going to have a little quickness issue." Big Ten offensive lineman of the year two straight years. Some scouts regard him as an RT only. Compared by one to Cincinnati RT Willie Anderson. "Guys run over him, guys run around him, he's on the ground," another scout said. "Against Wisconsin he struggled. (Vernon) Gholston got him. Derrick Harvey ran him over. He won't be a bust but you media guys, once you start something, it keeps going. But he can't play left tackle. He'll play OK at a right tackle."

2. RYAN CLADY, Boise State (6-6, 311, 5.17, 1) - Fourth-year junior who started at RT in '05 when Daryn Colledge was the senior LT, before shifting to the left side. Will he be the next superstar LT? "Possibly," Indianapolis President Bill Polian said. "I have Clady ahead of Long but I'm not going to argue that one. He's got good feet, he's a big man and he's got nice wingspan (36¾-inch arms)." Boise State has never had a first-round pick. "Just seeing his body type, the lack of physicalness, he's got to get stronger," Cleveland GM Phil Savage said. Scored just 13 on the Wonderlic. "Athletically, he's got it all," one scout said. "I'm not really sure how tough he is. Level of competition. Came out early. The seniors are physically more imposing than him. His (Wonderlic) test score wasn't that great."

3. CHRIS WILLIAMS, Vanderbilt (6-6, 320, 5.13, 1) - "He's a pure left tackle and he's excellent at it," Buffalo VP of college scouting Tom Modrak said. "If you want to knock him you could say he's not a grinder but not many pure left tackles are. He'll finish plays but he doesn't always. He's not your thug, brute, but he's got great feet and hand use and movement and the mental part (31 on the Wonderlic)." Started at LG in '05, LT in 2006 and '07. A few teams, however, doubt he has the athleticism for LT. "He's got short arms (33½), which isn't really ideal if you're going to draft a kid to be a left tackle," one scout said. "And I question his physicality, quite honestly. I just question his mentality a little bit, and his finish." Recently married. "He the epitome of a left tackle," countered another scout. "Go block the space guy, go block (Dwight) Freeney. He's got the second best feet behind Clady. I don't know how tough he is. I don't think he's untough."

4. BRANDEN ALBERT, Virginia (6-5½, 316, 5.18, 1) - Fourth-year junior. Started 35 games at LG and two at LT, but with his athleticism most teams see him at LT. "He's better than D'Brickashaw Ferguson," said one scout, referring to the Jets' LT and Albert's former teammate at Virginia. ""He's more athletic and got more mass. If he played left tackle for his three years he'd be the No. 1 tackle. If you leave him at guard he's going to be an all-pro. He'll be as good as has come out in a long time. You may not be happy with him at tackle (immediately) but two or three years from now you'll have something special." More of a basketball player until late in high school days in Glen Burnie, Md., and isn't considered overly rugged by scouts. Scored about average (19) on the Wonderlic but has a learning disability. "We had a long sitdown with him at the combine and he struggled significantly on the board," another scout said. "He even admitted he made three or four busts a game. This is a junior who played in the same system for three years. You kind of see that in his play. He's a little late off the ball at times."

5. JEFF OTAH, Pittsburgh (6-6, 323, 5.28, 1) - "He is athletic, he can bend, he can move his feet, he's got real good body control and he's a giant," Chicago GM Jerry Angelo said. "His workout was a red flag but he benched 27, which is good. And his tape is real good." Born in Nigeria, moving to United States at 7. Didn't play high school football until his senior year in New Castle, Del., and then for only three games. "I just think he's a mauler and he has less-than-great feet," Polian said. "That bothers you. Now it might not bother some other people." After two junior-college seasons, he started two years at LT for Pitt. "You can have Otah," one scout said. "He's a fat guy. Remember the fat guy from Wisconsin that failed? And Aaron Gibson was way more talented than Otah. Whoever gets him is going to have a big heartache. I don't know what everybody sees in Otah."

6. GOSDER CHERILUS, Boston College (6-6½, 317, 5.09, 1-2) - Effective RT for three years but really struggled at LT in '07. "He has a chance to be a pretty good right tackle," said Eric DeCosta, Baltimore's director of college scouting. "But if you were to grade the tape this year you'd be very disappointed." Had the largest hands of any player at the combine (11¾ inches) and some of the longest arms (36¼). "Good athlete who will have to get a little tougher," said Rick Reiprish, New Orleans' director of college scouting. "If he does get a little more physical he could be outstanding." Too erratic. Whiffs in protection and doesn't redirect well. "He's the next in a long line of outstanding Boston College offensive linemen," Polian said. "He's a big mauler. Knock your jock off." Added Arizona scout Jerry Hardaway: "Goes by 'Goose.' He does not dominate. He's not technically sound. But he's a big man and that's what the league likes."

7. SAM BAKER, Southern California (6-4½, 308, 5.49, 1-2) - Four-year starter at LT and just the third three-time first-team All-American selection at USC, joining Richard Wood and Matt Leinart. "He probably goes in the second (round) but he's the kind that usually goes in the first," Angelo said. "He's kind of like the (Jeff) Backus type." His dad, David, is commissioner of the Arena Football League. One scout labeled him "one of the most overrated players in the whole draft." Said another: "Thing that worries me about him, I don't know how bad he really wants to play. He's got short arms but he can set up and block with you and be great. The next time he might just turn around and walk off the field. That's the kind of attitude I see watching him play." Projected to guard because of height and arm length but some teams doubt he has the power to survive inside.

8. CARL NICKS, Nebraska (6-5, 341, 5.22, 2-5) - Described by Polian as "more of a road-grader type," Nicks has been to three schools and started at LT for one season only at Nebraska. "Whatever you can get, that's what he's got," one scout said. "He's lazy. Malcontent. Resistant to authority. Criminality. Divorced with kids. He transferred. Anything you would not want a guy to have, he has it all. Talented, but a mess." The best tackle at the Senior Bowl. "If he were Williams personality-wise or Long, he might be the best of them all other than Long," another scout said. Scored 18 on the Wonderlic. "He is talented, dude, but we're not going to touch him," a third scout said. "He's too smart for his own britches. He's not a professional. He'll always be on the edge."

9. ANTHONY COLLINS, Kansas (6-5, 310, 5.38, 3) - Fourth-year junior. "He's got left tackle feet," one scout said. "No strength. On the ground way too much." Started at RT in '06, LT in '07. "First game I saw I thought he was fabulous . . . a great talent," another scout said. "He played hurt in some other games and didn't look quite the same. Then he didn't really light it up in his workouts, which kind of surprised me." Added a third scout: "Very good athlete. Little bit of a waist-bender. Left tackle."

10. KING DUNLAP, Auburn (6-8, 311, 5.27, 3-4) - Started 13 games at LT in '06, six in '07. "Can he pass-block? Yeah," one scout said. "Does he do it? No. For a guy that's as tall as he is, he's always going to have leverage problems. But he can bend his knees. He can pull, and he's a tie-up guy at the point." Despite being the Tigers' only senior offensive lineman, he lost his job to a freshman. "He's got so much athletic ability and he gets beat out by a freshman his senior year," another scout said. "He doesn't like football. You can tell. He doesn't work." Scored 32 on the Wonderlic.

OTHERS: Geoff Schwartz, Oregon; Tony Hills, Texas; Barry Richardson, Clemson; Breno Giacomini, Louisville; Tyler Polumbus, Colorado; Demetrius Bell, Northwestern State (La.); Mike Gibson, California; Corey Clark, Texas A&M; Chad Rinehart, Northern Iowa; David Hale, Weber State.

GUARDS

1. CHILO RACHAL, Southern California (6-5, 306, 5.16, 2) - Fourth-year junior with 21 starts at RG. "He's a power guard," said Trent Baalke, San Francisco's director of player personnel. "He can move people. Extremely powerful. Good football player in a short area. He can pass (protect) in quick sets. He's going to have a little trouble when guys get his edges." Slugs it out as a blocker and on double teams. But, says Tennessee national scout C.O. Brocato, "Trying to block somebody on the second level, I ain't seen him get to one of them yet. Not much movement, but once he gets his hands on you, damn, you ain't going nowhere." One scout said he was a more rugged guard than Albert.

2. DUANE BROWN, Virginia Tech (6-4, 309, 5.06, 2) - Backup TE in '04, starting RT in 2005 and '06 and starting LT in '07. "I'd move him to guard," Hardaway said. "He has raw tools and talents." Scored 29 on the Wonderlic and led guards in vertical jump at 32½ inches. "His glass is half full," Modrak said. "There's a lot to work with. He came on as the year went on. He's a non-finished guy who has as much talent as any of them." Might be too short for tackle. "He's going to go high," Angelo said. "He's tough. Had a nice combine. Passes the eye test. Nothing not to like."

3. ONIEL COUSINS, Texas-El Paso (6-3½, 302, 5.14, 2-3) - Bounced back and forth from defense to offense a few times before settling in at LT in 2006 and RT in '07. "Moves well, runs well," said Blake Beddingfield, Tennessee's scouting coordinator. "Got a lot of physical gifts. Probably going to play guard. He's going to need to sit a year to learn how to play." Scored just 11 on the Wonderlic but the UTEP coaches told scouts he learned fine. "He's high-cut, a little narrow, kind of linear," one scout said. "I don't know how instinctive he is." Born in Jamaica and lived there until his teens. "What am I missing?" another scout said. "He's not tall for a tackle. He's not a real knee-bending, athletic guy to move inside. He's going to have trouble."

4. MIKE McGLYNN, Pittsburgh (6-4½, 311, 5.38, 3-4) - "He's (expletive) tough," one scout said. "Nasty guy. I loved him from that standpoint." RT starter from 2004-'06, struggled early at RG in '07 before moving back outside. "He's not too unlike the kid from Louisville that the Packers have," said Angelo, referring to Jason Spitz. Some teams are thinking of him at center. "He's overrated," another scout said. "I don't think he's got short-area explosion. I think he tries to engulf guys with his size. He doesn't have the strength. He's not my kind of guy."

5. JOHN GRECO, Toledo (6-4½, 305, 5.24, 3-4) - Patterned his game after Nick Kaczur, New England's third-round pick in '05 from Toledo who has generally started for three years at tackle. "There's some people in our room that like Greco better than Kaczur," Savage said. "Interesting guy. He's played some tackle, which is always a good thing." Started at RT in '04 and at LT from 2005-'07, but short arms suggest move inside. "He moves well enough and he's a tough guy, too," Modrak said. "Little bit of stiffness to him. He might move into being a starter in time."

6. ROY SCHUENING, Oregon State (6-3½, 313, 5.29, 4-5) - An institution in Corvallis, he started 46 games at RG and four at RT. "He's fiery," one scout said. "He gets by with his tenacity." Smart (28 on the Wonderlic) and strong. "Tough, kind of like Chilo (Rachal)," Baalke said. "You want to keep him working square to the line and chipping up to linebackers." Much less desirable for a team that asks guards to pull and screen. "I did like him until he went up against (USC's) Sedrick Ellis," another scout said. "He's still trying to block Ellis. He got exposed. He's a tough, hard-nosed guy with no feet."

7. DONALD THOMAS, Connecticut (6-3½, 307, 5.06, 4-5) - Walk-on who didn't become a full-fledged starter until '07. "You can see the initial quickness, technique, strength," Seattle scout Charles Fisher said. "He's one of those guys with all the tools and hasn't put it all together. Maybe his speed helps him get drafted." Suspended for two games in '06 for assaulting a restaurant worker. "I think his football knowledge is substandard but that's what coaches are for," Savage said. "He's not played a lot of football but I think he'll probably become a player."

8. DREW RADOVICH, Southern California (6-4½, 312, 5.33, 5) - Started at LG in 2006 and at RT in '07. "I like the way he plays," Gruden said. "Tough, blue-collar guy." Lacks starter ability but versatility is in his favor. "He's tough and nasty," Brocato said. "They say he don't have good work habits and all that stuff. If his work habits are bad, then he plays lots harder than he's working out."

9. MACKENZY BERNADEAU, Bentley (6-4, 306, 5.25, 5) - Started 25 games at LT and 12 games at LG during four years at Division II college located just north of Boston in Waltham, Mass. "He would be pretty athletic for a Division I kid," Fisher said. "He'll be a developmental guy. Understand what you're getting and you'll be fine." Does have quick feet. "He's going to get drafted, believe it or not, out of Bentley," Angelo said.

10. ROBERT FELTON, Arkansas (6-3½, 322, 5.38, 5-6) - Started for 3½ years at LT, RT and RG. "He's a really good technician," one scout said. "He's got a really bad body. Very efficient for being not real fast. He just seemed to get things done." Already working toward a master's degree. "He's got some athletic ability but he don't play with any intentness," Brocato said. "He won't finish blocks. Finesse guy."

OTHERS: Brandon Keith, Northern Iowa; Kirk Barton, Ohio State; James Blair, Western Michigan; Shawn Murphy, Utah State; Eric Young, Tennessee; Devin Clark, New Mexico; Chris McDuffie, Clemson; Andrew Crummey, Maryland; Kerry Brown, Appalachian State; Charles Manu, Nevada.

CENTERS

1. MIKE POLLAK, Arizona State (6-3½, 300, 4.99, 2-3) - Started 36 games over four years. "He's the guy that I think will play longer than any of them, except maybe Jake Long," Savage said. "He's as sure a thing as there is in this whole draft. He's maybe a notch below Nick Mangold. Not quite as athletic. You just plug him in and he's going to play and you're never even going to notice." Another scout said he was as good as Mangold, the Ohio State center who went 29th to the Jets in '06. "There's not a lot of up side to him," one scout said. "You know what you're getting. He's got all the intangibles." Scrapped hard against Ellis in '07. "He's quick and good enough strength," another scout said. "He's not a mauler but he's a pretty good athlete and he's smart (24 on the Wonderlic) and he's tough."

2. JEREMY ZUTTAH, Rutgers (6-3½, 308, 5.01, 3-4) - Made 40 starts over four years, including 27 at RT, 12 at LG and one at LT. "We got him at center," Gruden said. "Tough guy. It depends how fast he can acclimate to center. He's smart (26 on the Wonderlic). Real competitive kid." Put up 225 pounds 35 times on the bench press, second to Long among offensive linemen at the combine. "Good player, just light," Angelo said. "He's better in a zone scheme. Tough kid. Gets after it. He's just not a big guy."

3. JOHN SULLIVAN, Notre Dame (6-3½, 304, 5.35, 4) - Four-year starter. "He's got a little bit of a wrestling background and a mean streak," one scout said. "He finishes. He plays on his feet. He's got good hands. I just like the guy." Scored 35 on the Wonderlic. Made all the line calls. "Try-hard guy," another scout said. "Not a good athlete. Plays a little high. But guys like that find a way on a roster."

4. STEVE JUSTICE, Wake Forest (6-3½, 290, 5.25, 4-5) - A little better athlete than Pollak but not as big or strong. "If Scott Wells is playing for Green Bay, I think Justice probably has a chance," one scout said. "He'll be, like, a fifth lineman of five starters. In other words, he'll always be your weakest link." Three-year starter. "No real special trait," another scout said. "The intangibles make up a big part of the position. Vanilla game overall, but OK."

5. KORY LICHTENSTEIGER, Bowling Green (6-2, 298, 5.25, 4-5) - Started first two years at LG, last two years at C. "He'll be a starter at some point in his career," Beddingfield said. "He's strong. Extra effort kind of player. In that offense he made the shotgun snap and pass blocked pretty much every down." Plagued by short arms. Strictly a center. "He could probably start," Fisher said.

OTHERS: Cody Wallace, Texas A&M; Jamey Richard, Buffalo; Fernando Velasco, Georgia; Eric Scott, Kentucky; Marcus Coleman, Wisconsin.


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Defensive end Vernon Gholston will hear his name called Saturday not long after the National Football League draft commences. However, a shocking number of personnel people have no idea why.

In their opinion, Gholston is the most overrated top player in the draft.

"He's Mike Mamula," a personnel director for an NFC team said last week. "Let's say there's 44 plays. On 42 of them he's doing nothing."

Them's fighting words, sort of like labeling a player in Green Bay as the next Jamal Reynolds.

Mamula tested out like a demon at the combine in 1995 and catapulted all the way to the Philadelphia Eagles' seventh selection. An undersized pass rusher with a 38-inch vertical jump, he ran 40 yards in 4.61 seconds, broad-jumped 10 feet 5 inches and bench-pressed 225 pounds 26 times.

In the hours and weeks that followed, some scouts compared Mamula to Richard Dent, others to Charles Haley, Dexter Manley and Chris Doleman. But when Mamula's pedestrian career with the Eagles came to a close six years later, those who derisively dismissed him as a "workout wonder" had been proved right.

Gholston has a lot more going for him coming out of Ohio State than Mamula did out of Boston College. He had 14 sacks as a fourth-year junior for the nation's top-rated defense, and 8{ the year before that.

Obviously, there are football people who hold the 6-foot-3, 263-pound Gholston in the highest regard.

"I love Gholston," said Bill Polian, president of the Indianapolis Colts. "Size, speed, flexibility, bore, natural pass rush, tough as nails. He's an aggressive, kill-you football player. He and Chris Long are just so overwhelming, just such perfect players."

The momentum for Gholston also gained steam at the combine in February. He went from room to room backstage at the RCA Dome, doing 15-minute interviews dressed in a three-piece suit the cut of which isn't often seen on football players.

"Very impressive," an AFC personnel director recalled. "He was all business. Very classy person."

Gholston, a graduate of Cass Tech in Detroit, is smart, too, evidenced by his score of 21 on the Wonderlic intelligence test.

A day later, Gholston benched 37 times and had jumps of 35{ inches (vertical) and 10-5 (broad). Two weeks later, he improved his vertical to an astronomical 42. His 40 time was 4.6 flat.

On tape, there was a lot to like. One personnel man for an AFC team who is notorious for being hard to please voted for him as the best player in the draft and compared him to the Colts' Dwight Freeney.

"He's got the same first step as Freeney and he's bigger and stronger," the scout said. "He doesn't play the run well now and he doesn't play hard all the time, but he can do whatever he wants to do."

Yet, in a survey of 17 personnel men by the Journal Sentinel, Gholston came out as the third-best end behind Long and Derrick Harvey. Long had 14 first-places votes compared with just three for Gholston.

"He'll lock up on blocks and the ball will run right by him," an NFC scout said. "He doesn't play hard. Long and Harvey, they work moves, spin, dip in and out, use their hands. Gholston just runs. I mean, in a straight line. All the workout numbers are there but he just doesn't play instinctively."

What about the four sacks against Wisconsin? What about the three sacks against Michigan, including the only one allowed by Jake Long in `07 and another in which Polian recalled Gholston "picking him a poor kid (Stephen Schillinger, the Wolverines' right tackle) and throwing him at the passer."

"If you're a highlight (tape) team and you want to put a highlight tape together, you can sell him," an NFC personnel director said. "But if you go by the body of work, you can't get real excited. I don't think he's a tough guy at all, which holds him back from being a consistent player."

That one sack against Jake Long almost has taken on a life of its own.

"It's the only thing some guys want to talk about," another NFC scout said. "If he didn't have that sack things would be a lot different for him right now. And he beat up a bad tackle against Wisconsin. He didn't dominate and he gets overwhelmed with size."

Among other things, scouts called Gholston a "test freak" and "highly overrated."

"Looks like a Greek god," an AFC personnel director said. "But he is so tight. I've seen where people say he's going to go second, third, fourth, fifth. I don't think he'll just bomb out but not that."

Chris Long finished with 82 points in the poll (five points for a first-place vote, four for a second, etc.) compared with 53 for Harvey and 50 for Gholston. After that, it was Phillip Merling, 29; Lawrence Jackson, 19; Quentin Groves, 16; Calais Campbell, five; and Jason Jones, one.

A total of 19 scouts predicted who among the highest-rated 10 or 12 defensive linemen had the best shot to bust. Pat Sims led with 5{ votes but Gholston finished second with four. Kentwan Balmer had three.

The survey at defensive tackle showed Glenn Dorsey leading with 81 points (13 firsts) and Sedrick Ellis a close second with 70 (four firsts). Following, in order, were: Balmer, 42; Marcus Harrison, 19; Trevor Laws, 18; Sims, 16; Dre Moore, five; Letroy Guion, two; and Andre Fluellen and Frank Okam, one each.

At least nine defensive linemen are expected to go in the first round, prompting an AFC scout to warn, "There's a lot of potential for bust in this group."


Quote:
DEFENSIVE END

1. CHRIS LONG, Virginia (6-3, 269, 4.81, 1) - Son of Howie Long, Raiders Hall of Fame DT who was a second-round pick from Villanova in 1981. According to best estimates, Howie measured 6-4, played most of his career at 265 and clocked 4.9-4.95. "I was (working) for BLESTO and I looked at film then of Howie," said Rick Reiprish, New Orleans' director of college scouting. "He was nowhere near the athlete Chris is. Howie would beat the (expletive) out of the blocker. The ball would run right by him and he was still beating the hell out of the blocker. But he really turned out to be a great player."

Playing LE in a 3-4, Long had 21 sacks and 187 tackles in 43 games (37 starts). "I can see (Aaron) Kampman, a relentless going to the ball," Buffalo VP of college scouting Tom Modrak said. "I think to get maximum production out of Long you need to move him around." One scout envisioned him playing in a 3-4 like New England's Mike Vrabel. "He might be a double-digit sack guy his first year as a three-technique in our system," Indianapolis President Bill Polian said. "I said to Tony (Dungy): 'What a shame. This is the guy we've been waiting for.' " Labeled a "practiced" athlete in a negative sense by one scout. "He may not reach the heights of some of these other people," Cleveland GM Phil Savage said. "But at that part of the draft I would always try to hit the double off the wall and not swing for the fence because the money is so high." Scored 34 on the Wonderlic intelligence test.

2. VERNON GHOLSTON, Ohio State (6-3, 263, 4.60, 1) - Often compared to Will Smith, the weak-side DE whom he replaced in the Buckeyes' lineup. "Simeon Rice was tall, long-armed, rangy," Tampa Bay consultant Jim Gruden said. "This guy is more like Will Smith." Fourth-year junior with 22½ sacks and 87 tackles in 34 games (25 starts). "I honestly think his best position may be 3-4 outside linebacker," said Trent Baalke, San Francisco's director of player personnel. Ten of his 14 sacks in '07 came against Wisconsin, Michigan and Northwestern. "The (sophomore) tackle at LSU, Ciron Black, totally stymied him," one scout said. "I asked him what happened. He said, 'Oh, they did a lot of three-step drops.' Gary Crowton (LSU offensive coordinator) doesn't do three-step drops in that offense. We'll see. In the drills at the combine he really showed some stiffness. He's a straight-line guy. People are trying to compare him to Dwight Freeney. He's got the same take-off Freeney had but Freeney really played hard every play. This guy is very average against the run and he takes a lot of time off."

3. DERRICK HARVEY, Florida (6-4½, 269, 4.84, 1) - Fourth-year junior. "His 4.8 is not what you want but his initial quickness is good and he's pretty good with his hands," Modrak said. "He has the ability to get skinny and slip blocks. He will hold up fine at the point and will get better as time goes. He's not a stiff guy." Started 18 of 36 games, finishing with 20½ sacks and 90 tackles. "Derrick can bend his knees and play with leverage," one scout said. "Derrick doesn't know how to rush the passer even though he has sacks. He's a speed rusher outside. I don't think he could stand up (for a 3-4 team)."

4. PHILLIP MERLING, Clemson (6-4, 276, 4.83, 1) - Third-year junior with a hernia problem that prevented him from working out this spring. "I like the way Merling plays on tape better than Harvey but the fact he isn't going to be able to run a 40 scares me a little bit," Baltimore director of college scouting Eric DeCosta said. For 4-3 teams, he's an LE who kicks inside on pass downs. "This kid can get to 290, 295 and play that 3-4 end," one scout said. "That's where he will be his best. He can play physical and not have to worry about being some kind of edge phenom. That's not him. But if he can engage and play physical, which is him, then he'll be much happier and productive." Had 12 sacks and 146 tackles in 38 games (26 starts). "But there's something missing with him," another scout said. "When we talked to him at the combine it was just a complete blank. There ain't a whole lot there. Clemson guys are scary. But he's going to be a big, big person and he's a very good athlete." Scored 13 on the Wonderlic.

5. LAWRENCE JACKSON, Southern California (6-4, 269, 4.84, 1-2) - Four-year starter. "Hard-nosed guy with range and pass-rush ability," Polian said. "Physical guy." Finished with 30½ sacks, seven forced fumbles and 181 tackles in 52 games (51 starts). "He's better than (Kenechi) Udeze was there," one scout said. "Udeze was more effort. Not that Jackson isn't an effort guy but he has more to offer." Played LE on base downs and DT on passing downs. Scored 25 on the Wonderlic. "One of those guys that knows everything," another scout said. "He'll know everything in your scheme. I can see a coach liking him. Maybe he's over-analytical about things."

6. QUENTIN GROVES, Auburn (6-3, 257, 4.53, 1-2) - Played DE for Tigers but might have enough athleticism to play OLB in a 3-4. "He reminds me of Osi Umenyiora," one scout said. "He really can roll his hips and push a guy backwards. He's got unbelievable quickness and pass rush." Showed better as a junior but played half of '07 with three dislocated toes. "He and Gholston are terrific athletes," another scout said. "He is the fastest D-end that has been in the draft for a while. Married, but he's immature. He's not smart enough or instinctive enough to be a linebacker." Underwent heart surgery March 27 to alleviate an abnormality in his heart. Some teams say that shouldn't hurt his chances, but his attitude might. "He's a goofy personality," a third scout said. "For being such a good athlete and produced the way he has, the all-time sack guy at Auburn, they don't like him very much." Finished with 26 sacks and 120 tackles in 51 games (23 starts).

7. CALAIS CAMPBELL, Miami (6-8, 285, 5.01, 2) - Fourth-year junior who's coming off a bad year and some bad workouts. "Tall, not real physical, not real fast," Polian said. "Kind of a plodder." Had 10½ sacks in '06 and was named Hurricanes' MVP, but then posted just six in '07. In all, he had 19 sacks and 129 tackles in 36 games (25 starts). "He kind of reminds me of Mario Williams," Arizona scout Jerry Hardaway said. "You get enamored with his size. Got it all but maybe it will take him a year." Obtained sociology degree in 3½ years. "He will be able to reach around the blocker and grab a hold of the quarterback," one scout said. "He kind of defeats the prototype; 6-7 is pretty tall to be a defensive end but he plays with great knee bend so he plays like a 6-5 guy."

8. JASON JONES, Eastern Michigan (6-5, 275, 4.78, 2-3) - Came out of almost complete obscurity as a senior. Wasn't even on the National Scouting combine list. "He's not ready to be really a full-time guy but he's got lots of length and he's very athletic and very quick," DeCosta said. "He can pass rush from the interior." Played DT for the downtrodden Eagles but probably is too long-legged for inside and figures more as a 4-3 DE. Had the longest arms (36 3/8 inches) of any defensive lineman at the combine. "He's not a bend-the-corner speed rusher," said Blake Beddingfield, Tennessee's college scouting director. "He will be a power rusher with long arms and change of direction." Played TE until '05. Finished with 14 sacks and 174 tackles in 34 games (33 starts) on defense. Scored 24 on the Wonderlic.

9. JEREMY THOMPSON, Wake Forest (6-4½, 267, 4.76, 3) - Underwent reconstructive knee surgery in '05. "He's just now starting to round into form," Beddingfield said. "His best football is ahead of him. His workout was great. Looks the part of a D-end in the NFL." Registered 8½ sacks and 110 tackles in 46 games (32 starts). "Hard worker, sculpted, no fat," Gruden said. "He's not a real athletic guy but he is a hard player. He'll start at left end. Probably like Kampman, that kind of guy." Older brother Orrin is backup tackle for Green Bay.

10. CHRIS ELLIS, Virginia Tech (6-4, 262, 4.75, 3-4) - Three-year starter. "He moves well but just hasn't made a lot of plays," one scout said. "Their linebackers are the playmakers in that defense and Chris isn't put in position to do a lot of that. He has balance and body control. He plays with leverage. He's good vs. the run." Finished with 22 sacks and 165 tackles in 52 games (35 starts). Had shoulder surgery in '06. Was suspended for a game in '06 after being charged with obstruction of justice.

OTHERS: Bryan Smith, McNeese State; Kenny Iwebema, Iowa; Kendall Langford, Hampton; Shawn Crable, Michigan; Darrell Robertson, Georgia Tech; Chris Harrington, Texas A&M; Alex Hall, St. Augustine's (N.C.); Marcus Dixon, Hampton; Tommy Blake, Texas Christian; Louis Holmes, Arizona.

DEFENSIVE TACKLES

1. GLENN DORSEY, Louisiana State (6-1½, 297, 5.13, 1) - The most celebrated player at LSU since Billy Cannon, Dorsey won the Nagurski, Lombardi, Outland and Lott awards. "He's one of those interior linemen that has the ability to make everyone on the defense better because of his energy and ability," Baalke said. "I think Dorsey has rare explosion, hand use, strength and balance in his lower body. He can be successful however you want to play him." Started 30 of 51 games, finishing with 13 sacks and 179 tackles. "I think he will be dominant," Tennessee national scout C.O. Brocato said. "Remember Anthony McFarland? He's way better. It would be close with Curley Culp. He's short but he plays with such great leverage and great strength that it doesn't bother him. Everybody's talking about his knees and everything. All I know is one thing: The guy can play." Courageously played with a stress fracture in his tibia in '06 and a bad knee in '07. Gruden and others compared him to Warren Sapp. "At times, he's explosive like that (Sapp), but other times you don't know he's on the field," one scout said. "Injuries. Lack of production. Didn't even show up in shape for his workout. Shorter guy. Tommie Harris was quicker; this guy is more powerful." Scored 21 on the Wonderlic.

2. SEDRICK ELLIS, Southern California (6-0½, 298, 5.06, 1) - Replaced Mike Patterson at NT in 2005 and finished with 17½ sacks and 144 tackles in 48 games (36 starts). "If this draft wasn't quite as loaded as it is in the top eight picks, he could be the first pick in the draft," DeCosta said. "He could be a Russell Maryland. He plays really, really, really hard. He had a great Senior Bowl and a great workout, and his tape is outstanding." One scout said he was "built like a gymnasium." Led all defensive tackles at the combine on the bench press, lifting 225 pounds 36 times. "He and Dorsey are very similar," Gruden said. "They're more run defenders than pass rushers but they can push the pocket." Able to stack the point as well as penetrate. "He's not like Warren Sapp," another scout said. "He's not as explosive up the field as Sapp. He's strong but he doesn't use his hands real well. There's a clear difference between him and Dorsey." Had 15 on the Wonderlic.

3. KENTWAN BALMER, North Carolina (6-4½, 307, 5.25, 1) - Came out of nowhere in '07 and, with few decent prospects at the position, worked to become a probable first-rounder. "He has prototype size and strength," Baalke said. "When he plays to the level of his ability he can be a dominant player. Probably has as much up side as any of the D-linemen in the draft." Hails from tiny Weldon, N.C., and was his school's first major-college recruit in more than 20 years. "Justin Harrell has more pass rush than this guy," one scout said. "This guy at least hasn't been hurt. Maybe he'll get some pressure just pushing. But he'll be a run stopper." Compared by some to Ryan Sims, another former Tar Heels DT who busted as the No. 6 pick in 2002 by Kansas City. "He plays like Ryan Sims, on his toes," another scout said. "I don't like him. Why? He doesn't have a lot of snap. He's a one-good-play, five-bad-play guy. He's on the ground too much. Marginal pass rusher. Hey, do you want to keep going?"

4. MARCUS HARRISON, Arkansas (6-2½, 312, 5.06, 2) - Started 34 games, including 11 at DE and 23 at DT. Finest game was a nine-tackle effort in '06 opener against USC C Ryan Kalil. "That was his claim to fame and he's done very little since," one scout said. "He has talent but I wouldn't touch him." Blew out his knee in spring '07, then was arrested for possession of ecstasy and marijuana. Suspended for one game and lost his team captaincy for five games. "Basically, a good kid who made a stupid mistake," one scout said. "Won't have a learning problem." Finished with four sacks and 160 tackles in 47 games. "There's a lot to work with," Polian said. "In the end, there's only a few of those guys. You've got to sort of take a shot at them." More of a three-technique DT but can play NT. "I don't know if he'll be a great pass rusher but he runs well where he can come free on a game and a stunt," another scout said. "He can get to the quarterback and he can play the point."

5. TREVOR LAWS, Notre Dame (6-0½, 304, 5.09, 2) - Probably Notre Dame's best performer in '07 and followed it up with a superb Senior Bowl. "The light went on this year," one scout said. "A year ago I would have said fifth-, sixth-rounder. He's got natural strength and plays with great leverage. He can shed. He can hold the point vs. a double team. Not a real good pass rusher but he'll slip and slide through a guard-center block at times. Real good up side." Highly emotional player described as a "whirling dervish" by another scout. Finished with 10 sacks and 224 tackles in 49 games (37 starts). "Very effective at what he does," a third scout said. "His quickness helps him." From Apple Valley, Minn. Scored 30 on the Wonderlic.

6. PAT SIMS, Auburn (6-2, 310, 5.08, 2-3) - Classic boom-or-bust pick. "He has talent," one scout said. "But why would you take a guy that plays two plays and he can't run from here to the restroom? He has ability but he's never in shape." Quit the team in 2005 over playing time, couldn't get along with his position coach in '07 and declared as a fourth-year junior. "He's a really good football player who has shaky character," another scout said. "Just a notch below Dorsey and Ellis." Tested positive for marijuana at least twice, once as recently as last July. "He's so cocky," a third scout said. "Thinks he's going in the first round. He's a little pain in the (bleep) but he has ability." Finished with 7½ sacks and 56 tackles in 27 games (13 starts).

7. DRE MOORE, Maryland (6-4, 305, 4.91, 3) - Played only one year in high school, redshirted in '03 and went on to start 26 of 44 games. "Impressive physical specimen," Hardaway said. Fastest tackle on the board and also very strong. "You saw some flashes at the Senior Bowl one-on-one," one scout said. "You want to like him because of the stuff he does but he never makes a play." Finished with 10½ sacks and 140 tackles. "He is as lazy as lazy can get," another scout said. "He only pass rushes when he beat a guy off the initial move. If he ever gets stalemated at the line he just gives up. He's going to disappoint a lot of people."

8. LeTROY GUION, Florida State (6-3½, 307, 5.24, 3-4) - Was suspended for the bowl game and subsequently declared as a third-year junior. "He should have gone back," one scout said. "He hasn't defined himself as a pass rusher. He's very raw against the run. He's going to need to sit a year, but how many teams are going to want to take a D-tackle that struggles learning?" Started just 14 of 34 games, finishing with 1½ sacks and 66 tackles. Ended up on his back too often. "Out of shape at his workout," another scout said. "No production. And you're going to take him high? He hasn't done (bleep). Better athlete than he is player."

9. ANDRE FLUELLEN, Florida State (6-2, 294, 5.05, 4) - Started in 2005 and '06 but split time with Guion in '07. "He got hurt this year and didn't play very well because he had a wrist and a thumb," one scout said. "Has to be a three-technique penetrator. Played a lot better last year." Started 30 of 48 games, finishing with 5½ sacks and 81 tackles. "There's no way he can play head-up on people," Gruden said. "He fits a team that uses quick, slanting tackles. Then he might have a chance." Played with great energy at the Senior Bowl.

10. FRANK OKAM, Texas (6-4½, 335, 5.27, 4) - Enormous run stuffer. "He's got ability to do whatever he wants to do," one scout said. "Those guys, if they're that massive and have some quickness to them, they're hard to block." Had 10 sacks and 160 tackles in 50 games (39 starts). "I'm going to give him to you," another scout said. Plans to attend law school; scored 39 on the Wonderlic. "That's probably why he doesn't play better," a third scout said. "He probably realizes he could get hurt inside there. The guys that are dumb, they don't care."

OTHERS: Antyba Rubin, Iowa State; Red Bryant, Texas A&M; Nick Hayden, Wisconsin; DeMario Pressley, North Carolina State; Derek Lokey, Texas; Jason Shirley, ex-Fresno State; Carlton Powell Jr., Virginia Tech; Ogemdi Nwagbuo, Michigan State; David Faaeteete, Oregon; Keilen Dykes, West Virginia.

THE SKINNY

UNSUNG HERO

Bryan Smith, DE, McNeese State - Undersized pass rusher with 31 sacks and nine forced fumbles in three seasons. He's extremely quick off the ball and plays hard.

SCOUTS' NIGHTMARE

Tommy Blake, DE, Texas Christian - Pass-rushing end projected as a first-round pick entering '07. Left the team twice, put on 30 pounds and played horribly in seven games. Being treated for depression and social anxiety disorder. Off some draft boards.

PACKERS' PICK TO REMEMBER

Lester Archambeau, DE, Stanford - Seventh-round pick in 1990. . . . Played 36 games (no starts) from 1990-'92 (5½ sacks) before being traded to Atlanta for WR James Milling in June 1993. . . . Started for Falcons for next seven seasons, retiring in 2001 with 36½ sacks. . . . Works as a player agent for Superstars in New York.

QUOTE TO NOTE

AFC scout: "There will be a run on tackles, defensive linemen, cornerbacks and running backs. There won't be a run on quarterbacks There won't be a run on quarterbacks, tight ends, wide receivers, linebackers and safeties. And when the defensive linemen go, they're going to go. People panic."



woops
Jonny : 1:32 pm
forgot to post the TEs before

Quote:
TIGHT ENDS

1. FRED DAVIS, Southern California (6-3, 254, 4.67, 1-2) - Enrolled as a WR out of Toledo, Ohio, before growing into a TE in '05. "His height doesn't bother me," Polian said. "I don't know if he's as good as Dallas Clark but he's damn good. In my view, he's a first-round player." Finished with 117 receptions for 1,408 yards (12.0) and 13 TDs in 48 games (26 starts). "He could be the best receiver," Modrak said. "He catches well and runs well. He can line up at tight end and do OK at the point of attack." Turned in a miserable performance catching the ball at the combine but was smooth as silk at pro day. "There's a lot of hype around this guy but he's a poor, poor blocker," one scout said.

2. MARTELLUS BENNETT, Texas A&M (6-6, 259, 4.72, 1-2) - Third-year junior from Alief, Texas, who almost bypassed a football career to declare for the NBA draft in 2005. Earned two letters for Aggies' basketball team. "He still plays like a basketball player," Brocato said. "If he had come back for another year and learned like he did this last year he probably could have been a heck of a tight end." Caught 105 passes for 1,246 yards (11.9) and 10 TDs in 36 games (23 starts). "He has the ability to be a complete tight end," Baalke said. "He can block. Excellent red-zone target. He runs well enough to stretch the field. And he uses his body as well as any tight end I've seen in a long time in terms of getting open. He needs to mature." Also seems to have an inflated opinion of himself.

3. DUSTIN KELLER, Purdue (6-2, 238, 4.54, 1-2) - "He's athletic and has the 'wow' factor but he's smaller," Seattle scout Charles Fisher said. "If you want a speed guy that's athletic, you take him." Turned in a dynamic combine workout that put other TEs to shame. "He's a great receiving tight end," Reiprish said. "Motion him. Match him up on linebackers or safeties. I think anybody can develop into a blocker if they want to." At this time, scouts say he's an awful blocker. "If Purdue can't make him (block) I don't know if anybody else will have luck," one scout said. Finished with 142 catches for 1,882 yards (13.3) and 16 TDs in 46 games (36 starts). "Almost a specialty item," Modrak said. "He's not anywhere near being a true hand-on-the-ground tight end. You have to have a plan for him."

4. BRAD COTTAM, Tennessee (6-7½, 269, 4.69, 2) - Played sparingly in 2004 and '05, started six games in '06 but his final season ended in Week 5 with a broken wrist. "He's as complete as any of these guys but he has that injury problem," Gruden said. "He can run, he catches the ball well and he'll block." Finished with a mere 21 catches for 341 yards (16.2) and one TD in 38 games (seven starts) before faring well at the Senior Bowl and then running a surprisingly speedy 40 at the combine.

5. JOHN CARLSON, Notre Dame (6-5, 252, 4.72, 2-3) - Hails from the central Minnesota city of Litchfield (6,562 pop.), where he was a great basketball player under his father's tutelage. "He's not lumbering," Polian said. "He's got a good feel for getting open." Started 31 of 47 games, finishing with 100 receptions for 1,093 yards (10.9) and eight TDs. "He's a little bit of a blocker, a little bit of a receiver," DeCosta said. "Great kid. Highly intelligent (40 on the Wonderlic). He runs OK." More athletic than Bubba Franks, according to Angelo.

6. CRAIG STEVENS, California (6-3½, 255, 4.64, 3) - Almost a unanimous choice as the best blocking TE. "Probably the best blocking tight end I've seen since (Jim) Kleinsasser came out (in 1999)," DeCosta said. "Very, very physical guy. Teams are looking for that guy and they can't find them; they don't exist. He's not a great receiving threat. He's got good speed. His hands are a little bit inconsistent." Finished with 51 catches for 669 yards (13.1) and seven TDs in 50 games (33 starts).

7. JERMICHAEL FINLEY, Texas (6-4½, 240, 4.62, 3) - Third-year sophomore who played just 26 games, starting 17. "Intriguing guy," DeCosta said. "A work in progress. He's got a lot of natural ability but he's raw and immature." Compared by two scouts to Dallas Clark. Finished with 76 catches for 947 yards (12.5) and five TDs. "He's got some talent," Modrak said. "You worry about him being a junior, how fast he's going to pick things up, when you can get him on the field." Some teams worry about his off-field habits. Not eager to block. "Had a horrible combine, looked bad in the 40," one scout said.

8. KELLEN DAVIS, Michigan State (6-6½, 259, 4.61, 3-4) - Started 22 of 43 games, catching 60 passes for 789 yards (13.2) and nine TDs. "Oh God, no," one scout said. "I wouldn't trust him as far as I could spit. He's a teaser. He looks like Jason Taylor but he don't play good all the time. He's a really good athlete who is a feast-or-famine guy." Suspended in '06 for four games after an aggravated assault charge led to 18 months probation. Also played as a pass rusher at times in '07, registering two sacks. "He came with a label of being an underachiever before this year and that's always kind of hard to get over," another scout said. "But he's not bad. He runs pretty damn well, he made a lot of big plays and he actually tried to block better than I was led to believe he would."

9. MARTIN RUCKER, Missouri (6-5, 249, 4.71, 4) - Played in a spread-option offense and almost never lined up next to the tackle. "If a team's just going to put him on the end of the line and put his hand on the ground and make him a true tight end, you're going to be disappointed," Savage said. "But if you'll move him around and play him in the slot and let him get some mismatches, he could be a pretty good player. One thing about him: You have to guard him." Finished with school-record 203 receptions for 2,175 yards (10.7) and 18 TDs in 50 games, all starts. His brother, Mike, has been starting DE for Carolina since '01.

10. JACOB TAMME, Kentucky (6-3½, 238, 4.59, 4) - Married, in graduate school and scored 34 on the Wonderlic. "He's going to make it," one scout said. "H-back. Motion. Flex. Confident in his ability. He really isn't there from a strength standpoint but he's working hard on that." Finished with 133 catches for 1,417 yards (10.7) and 11 TDs in 48 games (37 starts). "He's a finesse guy," Hardaway said.

OTHERS: Gary Barnidge, Louisville; Derek Fine, Kansas; Joe Jon Finley, Oklahoma; Mike Santi, Virginia; Andrew Atchison, William & Mary; Joseph Haynos, Maryland; Jonathan Stupar, Virginia; Kolo Kapanui, West Texas A&M; Chris Brown, Tennessee; Marcus Stone, North Carolina State.

UNSUNG HERO

Kenneth Moore, WR, Wake Forest - Described by Arizona scout Jerry Hardaway "as a poor man's Anquan Boldin, a Gary Clark throwback." Broke Torry Holt's Atlantic Coast Conference record for receptions in a season with 98 in '07. Lacks top speed but tremendously tough and fundamentally sharp.

SCOUTS' NIGHTMARE

Paul Hubbard, WR, Wisconsin - He's smart, he can run, he's big, he's athletic and he played well in 2006. Those aren't boards for hands, either. But he has never been able to catch the ball consistently and maybe never will.

PACKERS' PICK TO REMEMBER

Ray Pelfrey, E, Eastern Kentucky - 17th-round pick in 1951. . . . Made impact as a rookie, finishing second to Bob Mann in receiving with 38 catches for 462 yards and five TDs. Played just one game in '52 for Green Bay before concluding career in '53 with the Giants. . . . Went on to operate the nation's foremost camp for kickers in Sparks, Nev.

QUOTE TO NOTE

AFC special-teams coach: "I've been around a lot of little guys. They've got to have something to play this (expletive) game. Most of them have a chip on their shoulders. If they don't, they don't survive. You can't be a mama's boy and play in this league. DeSean Jackson ain't a bad guy. He's just little."

JagHombre22
04-24-2008, 04:57 PM
interesting read....great post!

NY+Giants=NYG
04-24-2008, 05:01 PM
Interesting to see what fans think compared to what guys in the game think. Also factor in personality, smarts, family life, and other aspects, no wonder they call it a cr.. shoot. I also love how each scout can have a different opinion on 1 guy. Factor in 5-10 scouts and one GM, no wonder there are so many hits and misses. I just love the process of this all.

neko4
04-24-2008, 05:09 PM
i'll read the rest later
but definitly some mixed feelings about colt. i really dont know where the lack of arm strength is coming from anymore. against washington he dropped back and threw a ball that was in the air for about 50yards (if you include the endzone) and hit Rivers with a small window. i know its just one example but i still feel his arm is better than some thing. also notice how the QB coach likes him

SFbear
04-24-2008, 05:25 PM
Absolutely amazing read. Had a lot of great quotes from GMs that I haven't seen anywhere but here. Thanks for the post.

Meta4
04-24-2008, 05:27 PM
Excellent post

Ravens1991
04-24-2008, 05:32 PM
interesting what DeCosta said about Ellis, I wonder if the Ravens will look at him at 8.

djp
04-24-2008, 05:35 PM
Good post, but I am surprised Polian, Angelo, and guys like that allowed themselves to be quoted like that. You'd think they would want to stay anonymous or even keep that stuff private.

Another GM could read this and get a read off another GM..

Flyboy
04-24-2008, 05:36 PM
Great f'n read. Wow. Plus rep for sure.

SFbear
04-24-2008, 05:40 PM
On Chris Long:

"He might be a double-digit sack guy his first year as a three-technique in our system," Indianapolis President Bill Polian said. "I said to Tony (Dungy): 'What a shame. This is the guy we've been waiting for.'

This really surprised me. Did anyone envision Chris Long as a 3-technique?

Geo
04-24-2008, 06:25 PM
Long could play LDE, RDE, and 3 tech (in an aggressive defense) in a 4-3 line imo, I'm not surprised Polian feels that way. And I agree with him in his estimation there.

keylime_5
04-24-2008, 06:34 PM
Phil Savage comments are gold if you wanna hear the draft evaluations. He's not as hard headed or as frank as a lowly scout, and he certainly knows the draft.

NY+Giants=NYG
04-24-2008, 06:52 PM
Glad everyone liked it. Stuff like this is what I love to hear. Funny how us fans have certain ideas of what guys fit and get it from sites like this, but good to hear what these guys think. To take it a step further, I wish I could be a fly on the wall and hear what some coaches say about these players to the scouts in privacy. I talked to Russ Lande and he told me if you're tight with a certain program, as a scout, that's where they tell you some of this stuff. Like so and so is a lazy SOB who is full himself. He told me that's the difference between one scout getting good info VS another getting much, much thorough info.

Or Moyal
04-24-2008, 09:32 PM
Terrific stuff, man. Thanks for sharing.

ChiFan24
04-24-2008, 09:43 PM
On Chris Long:

"He might be a double-digit sack guy his first year as a three-technique in our system," Indianapolis President Bill Polian said. "I said to Tony (Dungy): 'What a shame. This is the guy we've been waiting for.'

This really surprised me. Did anyone envision Chris Long as a 3-technique?

In Indy's system, sure. They've got Raheem Brock there now, and he's, what, 270?

Brent
04-24-2008, 09:47 PM
about Martellus: "Also seems to have an inflated opinion of himself."

This made me laugh, not because I think it's false, though.

RagingColt
04-24-2008, 10:09 PM
Super great read. Gives alot of good insight into some of the best GM in the NFL like Savage and Polian.

neko4
04-24-2008, 10:35 PM
Glad everyone liked it. Stuff like this is what I love to hear. Funny how us fans have certain ideas of what guys fit and get it from sites like this, but good to hear what these guys think. To take it a step further, I wish I could be a fly on the wall and hear what some coaches say about these players to the scouts in privacy. I talked to Russ Lande and he told me if you're tight with a certain program, as a scout, that's where they tell you some of this stuff. Like so and so is a lazy SOB who is full himself. He told me that's the difference between one scout getting good info VS another getting much, much thorough info.


I watched Russ Lande in that draftguys thing. he looks like a smart guy, knew what he was talking about. This stuff is great to hear and informing.

Nitschke-Hawk
04-24-2008, 10:37 PM
Just awesome stuff.

Outside of the obvious, here's an observation:

Funny how scouts talk so tough about these players that 'have attitude or don't get it'. Seems like scouts have a grudge cause they weren't good enough to play or something. Like, get over it, let them live.

themaninblack
04-24-2008, 10:41 PM
I love the piece about Gholston and how the guy straight up told him he was the "laziest SOB he's ever seen." and how gholston didn't say much of anything. As a football player, If someone said something like that to me I would probably explode. Idk if this is true or not but thats very surprising.

Komp
04-24-2008, 10:46 PM
Excellent read! Many +reps for you my friend!

Geo
04-24-2008, 10:57 PM
In Indy's system, sure. They've got Raheem Brock there now, and he's, what, 270?
Brock is 270, maybe/probably even less.

Super great read. Gives alot of good insight into some of the best GM in the NFL like Savage and Polian.
True, although boo to Polian for taking McFadden over Peterson. No.

At least he got it right with the J-Stew love.

I love the piece about Gholston and how the guy straight up told him he was the "laziest SOB he's ever seen." and how gholston didn't say much of anything. As a football player, If someone said something like that to me I would probably explode. Idk if this is true or not but thats very surprising.
I think I might give Gholston the benefit of doubt that such an outrageous statement caught him completely off guard, and he didn't respond. Plus what's he supposed to do, get in some obnoxiously opinionated old man's face and potentially hurt his stock with all 32 teams or something? Maybe he shrugged to himself, you'll be watching the laziest SOB to ever play in a Pro Bowl, dumbass.

Paranoidmoonduck
04-24-2008, 10:59 PM
I think that some interesting points were made about Gholston, but I don't count his reaction to the scout necessarily a negative.

proshoota25
04-24-2008, 11:01 PM
nice dudeeee

themaninblack
04-24-2008, 11:32 PM
I think I might give Gholston the benefit of doubt that such an outrageous statement caught him completely off guard, and he didn't respond. Plus what's he supposed to do, get in some obnoxiously opinionated old man's face and potentially hurt his stock with all 32 teams or something? Maybe he shrugged to himself, you'll be watching the laziest SOB to ever play in a Pro Bowl, dumbass.

I can agree with that but I think if you're a player with that type of ability and someone questions your effort and you don't at least stand up for yourself, it says something. Is he still a top 5 pick? yes. Can he be amazing? yes. But that kind of attitude(not just when confronted, but in general) is a very sad thing to see. I've played with tons of players like that(to a much lesser degree of course), hopefully the light will click on for him.

HEISMANHERSCHEL
04-24-2008, 11:46 PM
Nice read. I enjoyed it.

The Great Jonathan Vilma
04-25-2008, 12:47 AM
now that is the stuff i like to read. Worth every minute. Some very interesting and 'real life' stuff that you don't always hear about, but still factor into a teams decision.

Thanks for the post

SenorGato
04-25-2008, 12:49 AM
Very good read, but can't help but notice how many negatives they stuck in there. Scouts can sound like straight haters...

themaninblack
04-25-2008, 01:26 AM
it seemed to me like there were 2 perspectives on most players which was nice to see. There were negatives but also many positives for most of the players.

Sniper
04-25-2008, 08:47 AM
Great read.

10. MIKE HART, Michigan (5-9, 209, 4.75, 3) - The Wolverines' all-time leader in attempts (1,015) and yards (5,040). "Everybody has kicked Mike Hart to the curb because he can't run," one scout said. "Priest Holmes couldn't run, either. Mike is special, he really is. He almost killed the linebacker (Dan Connor) at Penn State." Solid receiver, team leader and four-year starter. "I just don't know how he makes it," another scout said. "He's not big, powerful, fast or elusive. He knows how to run but he just doesn't get on defenses fast enough. If you use him in the passing game he can't outrun any linebackers."

Love it.

Wasn't crazy about Jake Long's description "He can't play LT" but I'm obviously biased. Oh well. Every Michigan player this year has some serious question marks.

Jonny
04-25-2008, 09:08 AM
Hey, that's my thread!

Actually, you should have posted the links to the GB Press-Gazette articles. They're similar to these, but different. Everyone should read those.

http://www.packersnews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080419/PKR01/804190462/1989/frontpage
http://www.packersnews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080421/PKR01/804210544& SearchID=73315425590000
http://www.packersnews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080422/PKR01/804220549& SearchID=73315425590000
http://www.greenbaypressgazette.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080423/PKR01/804230693/1058
http://www.greenbaypressgazette.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2008804240586
http://www.greenbaypressgazette.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2008804200657
http://www.greenbaypressgazette.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2008804250617

Unfortunately, I'm not sure whether this thread is permitted according to the rules of this forum. The McGinn articles I quoted were published in a local newspaper, but they are only available online as premium content. I copied the articles from Lexis-Nexis, an internet archival service usually only available in libraries.

GermanSaint
04-25-2008, 09:21 AM
am i blind ?

i just was waiting for the cornerbacks and the explanation of the strange LB-scores .... couldn´t find it

NY+Giants=NYG
04-25-2008, 09:28 AM
I watched Russ Lande in that draftguys thing. he looks like a smart guy, knew what he was talking about. This stuff is great to hear and informing.

I talked to him alot couple years ago on our talent and what he thought of Jacobs, and our picks. I remember asking him about Jerry Reese, before he was our GM, and he said he was a very smart scout, and would improve our drafting. Great guy, humble, and knows alot about everything. I would take him over Mel Kiper any day of the week.

NY+Giants=NYG
04-25-2008, 09:36 AM
Just awesome stuff.

Outside of the obvious, here's an observation:

Funny how scouts talk so tough about these players that 'have attitude or don't get it'. Seems like scouts have a grudge cause they weren't good enough to play or something. Like, get over it, let them live.

From what I know, alot of scouts were former players, not NFL, but college, and some were coaches. So alot of them know what they want in a player, and so that's why you hear stuff like that. They know what works and what type of player is needed. Also, factor in each scout has certain relations with a certain college. So if you and I are scouts, and we are trying to scout, Gholston, Tressel may give me the PC answer, of he is a great player, great attitude and so on. But because you may be closer to the coach, and have closer ties to OSU, he will tell you something else. The more honest answer, like stay the hell away from him. The guy is a lazy SOB, who takes plays off.

So who knows, some of these scouts may be saying or repeating what they were told, except they are obviously not going to hang their source out to dry.




Jonny- Hey man good info. I didn't know your on here otherwise I would have told you to post it here. I just copied and pasted it from BBI since I post here and there. Good info!

bigbluedefense
04-25-2008, 09:48 AM
that was a great read. really surprised from some of the commentary.

sounds like a lot of scouts hate Vernon Gholston.

NY+Giants=NYG
04-25-2008, 11:42 AM
that was a great read. really surprised from some of the commentary.

sounds like a lot of scouts hate Vernon Gholston.

Yup.. And others were saying that it sounds like scouts are hating, but as a football coach I can tell you, that you'd be suprised about the stuff we say behind closed doors with the other coaches. Chances are if the scouts are saying it, the coaches have talked about it as well. But.. it's like family you can say stuff about them, but if "outside" people come and ask you say good things. That's football.

I can say countless stories of players that have issues and stuff and coaches talk about in the coaches meeting.

I would bet alot of these scouts heard the stuff they are saying from the coaches themselves. So and so takes 5 plays off to every 1 good play. But I will only tell you that and go into detail about a player if you have an established relationship with the program and with myself.

Race for the Heisman
04-25-2008, 03:45 PM
On Chris Long:

"He might be a double-digit sack guy his first year as a three-technique in our system," Indianapolis President Bill Polian said. "I said to Tony (Dungy): 'What a shame. This is the guy we've been waiting for.'

This really surprised me. Did anyone envision Chris Long as a 3-technique?

I did; I thought it would be his best position, moreso than linebacker at any rate.

I actually think he might be better as a 4-3 defensive tackle. He plays the run extremely well from the interior positions and is great at slipping guys and getting through to the quarterback.

BamaFalcon59
04-25-2008, 04:39 PM
Chilo Rachal has been one of my favorite players in the draft for a while, and this just reenforces that.

JBCX
08-04-2011, 01:36 PM
2. VERNON GHOLSTON, Ohio State (6-3, 263, 4.60, 1) - Often compared to Will Smith, the weak-side DE whom he replaced in the Buckeyes' lineup. "Simeon Rice was tall, long-armed, rangy," Tampa Bay consultant Jim Gruden said. "This guy is more like Will Smith." Fourth-year junior with 22½ sacks and 87 tackles in 34 games (25 starts). "I honestly think his best position may be 3-4 outside linebacker," said Trent Baalke, San Francisco's director of player personnel. Ten of his 14 sacks in '07 came against Wisconsin, Michigan and Northwestern. "The (sophomore) tackle at LSU, Ciron Black, totally stymied him," one scout said. "I asked him what happened. He said, 'Oh, they did a lot of three-step drops.' Gary Crowton (LSU offensive coordinator) doesn't do three-step drops in that offense. We'll see. In the drills at the combine he really showed some stiffness. He's a straight-line guy. People are trying to compare him to Dwight Freeney. He's got the same take-off Freeney had but Freeney really played hard every play. This guy is very average against the run and he takes a lot of time off."

3. DERRICK HARVEY, Florida (6-4½, 269, 4.84, 1) - Fourth-year junior. "His 4.8 is not what you want but his initial quickness is good and he's pretty good with his hands," Modrak said. "He has the ability to get skinny and slip blocks. He will hold up fine at the point and will get better as time goes. He's not a stiff guy." Started 18 of 36 games, finishing with 20½ sacks and 90 tackles. "Derrick can bend his knees and play with leverage," one scout said. "Derrick doesn't know how to rush the passer even though he has sacks. He's a speed rusher outside. I don't think he could stand up (for a 3-4 team)."

4. PHILLIP MERLING, Clemson (6-4, 276, 4.83, 1) - Third-year junior with a hernia problem that prevented him from working out this spring. "I like the way Merling plays on tape better than Harvey but the fact he isn't going to be able to run a 40 scares me a little bit," Baltimore director of college scouting Eric DeCosta said. For 4-3 teams, he's an LE who kicks inside on pass downs. "This kid can get to 290, 295 and play that 3-4 end," one scout said. "That's where he will be his best. He can play physical and not have to worry about being some kind of edge phenom. That's not him. But if he can engage and play physical, which is him, then he'll be much happier and productive." Had 12 sacks and 146 tackles in 38 games (26 starts). "But there's something missing with him," another scout said. "When we talked to him at the combine it was just a complete blank. There ain't a whole lot there. Clemson guys are scary. But he's going to be a big, big person and he's a very good athlete." Scored 13 on the Wonderlic.



Bump because this was awesome to look back on 3 years later.

It's amazing that all of the red flags were so clearly there for these guys that all turned into mammoth busts.

When you select defensive linemen in the draft, the #1 CRUCIAL thing you have to look at is whether they play hard or not. If they take plays off, and don't try hard, it doesn't matter how much "talent" they have or athletic ability - in the NFL, you need to work hard and play hard to be an effective defensive lineman.

K Train
08-04-2011, 01:42 PM
wooooooowwwwww awesome read.

sweed lol "nice, natural hands"

DoughBoy
08-04-2011, 01:57 PM
Chris Johnson and Jason Jones made me want to quit watching football when we picked them......Now it seems their the only reason why I'm a Titans fan.

K Train
08-04-2011, 02:17 PM
btw is merling that terrible? havent really heard anything about him good or bad

M.O.T.H.
08-04-2011, 02:26 PM
I remember getting in so many Andre Woodson arguments. Before his slide, so many people had him pegged as a top 2 QB. Some Falcons fans even wanted him over Ryan. noooooooooo.

Raiderz4Life
08-04-2011, 02:33 PM
What did happen to Andre Woodson....everything seemed to be going well...I thought he was going to be a 1st rounder and be pretty solid at least. Then all the sudden...everything nose dived...and went south fast.

M.O.T.H.
08-04-2011, 02:38 PM
He always looked like a poor man's Jason Campbell to me. And I never liked Campbell, either. He had a long delivery, slow release, bad footwork, and piss poor mechanics. I still never imagined he would fall as far as he did. But I never thought he was anything special.

Raiderz4Life
08-04-2011, 02:39 PM
I got suckered into all the hype. Its true what they say...never trust an athlete who has an apostrophe in their name lol