2007 NFL Draft - Defensive Positional Big Boards  

Posted by Walter

Defensive Ends:
1) Gaines Adams, Clemson
2) Jamaal Anderson, Arkansas
3) Adam Carriker, Nebraska
4) Charles Johnson, Georgia
5) Tim Crowder, Texas

Comments: Easily the deepest and most talented defensive position in the entire draft. Adams may eventually project as a 3-4 OLB, but the other four in my top five are all legitimate defensive end prospects. The position is so deep that potential all pro guys like Victor Abiamiri, Jarvis Moss, and Lamar Woodley don't even make the cut.

Player Who Nobody's Talking About: Mkristo Bruce, Washington State
Bruce is undersized right now at 260 lbs., but he was an absolute wrecking ball in college (nearly 30 sacks and 45.5 tackles for a loss in 4 seasons) and has the frame (he is a legit 6'6'') to pack on pounds of muscle. He is a classic "production" player whose draft stock is falling because of poor measurables.

Defensive Tackles:
1) Amobi Okoye, Louisville
2) Alan Branch, Michigan
3) Justin Harrell, Tennessee
4) Quinn Pitcock, Ohio State
5) Ryan McBean, Oklahoma State

Comments: This is a very top heavy position, with two outstanding prospects in Okoye and Branch and virtually no depth behind them. Harrell and Pitcock are legitimate tackles, but guys like McBean and Turk McBride look more like 3-4 ends. If Tank Tyler gets things going at the combine, he could make this a three horse race.

PWNTA: David Patterson, Ohio State
Patterson was overshadowed all season by his more heralded teammate Pitcock, but quietly did an outstanding job as the Buckeye's 1 technique tackle. While a bit undersized at 6'3'' and 285 pounds, Patterson actually outperformed Pitcock and the Senior Bowl and is a maximum effort guy coaches will love.

Outside Linebackers:
1) Paul Poszlusny, Penn. State
2) Lawrence Timmons, Florida State
3) Stewart Bradley, Nebraska
4) John Beason, Miami
5) Tony Taylor, Georgia

Comments: At first glance this looks like a relatively weak draft position, however what it lacks in star power it makes up for in depth. Puz is a huge name, and Timmons will be soon enough. After that there is a substantial drop off in talent, but guys like Bradley (strong side 4-3 OLB) and Beason (weak side 4-3 OLB) will fit in nicely, and there are at least 3 other (Taylor, Everett and Alexander) potential pro bowl backers.

PWNTA: San Olajabutu, Arkansas
Very small (5'9'', 225 lbs.) but very productive in college (372 career tackles), Olajabutu may not pass the eyeball test but when he gets on the field he brings it. He reminds me a lot of former Clemson backer Keith Adams who was a capable backup and a special teams ace for many years. Good teams need players like this.

Inside Linebackers:
1) Pat Willis, Mississippi
2) David Harris, Michigan
3) HB Blades, Pittsburgh
4) Buster Davis, Florida State
5) Brandon Siler, Florida

Comments: The weakest of the defensive positions in this draft, there is only one potential superstar 3 down inside backer (Willis). Although I think very highly of both Haris and Blades, they both project as 2 down run stuffers, and would probably fare better in a 3-4 system. There isn't a ton of depth either.

PWNTA: Quinton Culberson, Mississippi State
Culberson is a stout (6'0''. 242 lbs.) run stuffing middle backer, who actually has better speed than he is given credit for. Though Mississippi State was pathetic this season, the Culberson led defense was actually very tough, even against the SEC elite.

1) Leon Hall, Michigan
2) Darrelle Revis, Pittsburgh
3) Aaron Ross, Texas
4) Daymeoin Hughes, California
5) Eric Wright, UNLV

Comments: A very strong group no matter how you look at it, but that said, it may be a tad overrated. Hall and Revis are solid prospects, but in my opinion neither is a Champ Bailey type shutdown man to man corner. In fact, the guys with the most potential are the less polished backs like Ross and Wright.

PWNTA: David Irons, Auburn
Well nobody was talking about him up until senior bowl week when his play made him a ton of money. Irons isn't a fast guy, and he won't wow you in man to man coverage. But he is a heady player who excells reading the QB in zone, and is not afraid to be physical both in press coverage and run support.

1) Laron Landry, LSU
2) Reggie Nelson, Florida
3) Mike Griffin, Texas
4) Eric Weddle, Utah
5) Brandon Merriweather, Miami

Comments: From a strictly football standpoint, Merriweather would probably be second only to Landry. Still, this is as strong a top five as you will ever see, and as a whole, may be a bit underrated. Landry, Nelson and potentially Merriweather (if he can stay out of trouble) have the potential to be special players, with Weddle and Griffin not far behind. There is even outstanding depth, featuring "upside" guys like Aaron Rouse and more polished products like Josh Gattis.

PWNTA: John Wendling, Wyoming
Wendling has just awesome triangle numbers (6'1'', 222 lbs., 4.5 speed) and will probably have everybody buzzing about him once he works out at the combine. But for now, absolutely no one is talking about him. Wendling is an intruiging prospect because of his size/speed combination, and the fact that most of his technique flaws are correctable.


You probably think too highly of Justin Vincent. After his freshman year, per coaches' decisions, he put on a good 15-20 pounds that he never adapted his game to (used to be scat-ish), until the Notre Dame game.

But I sure hope you're right.

Vincent is an interesting case. Either he really struggled with injuries, tried to be something he isn't (a bruiser) or was never as good as we thought. He's exactly the kind of guy who will benefit from a good combine, especially in a weak crop of running backs.

Although, playing well against Notre Dame doesn't exactly tell us anything.

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