1. QB JaMarcus Russell - LSU – 6-foot-6, 260 - 4.80
The best way to describe JaMarcus Russell is that he's a hybrid of Vince Young and Ben Roethlisberger. Like Young, Russell has a powerful arm and can throw every single route on the passing tree. Where he differs from Young is that he's not nearly as athletic or elusive - there's no way Russell is going to beat you on a 25-yard quarterback draw. Like Roethlisberger, however, he's deceptively athletic for a player his size.
As a passer he can fit his throws into small windows and has beautiful touch on deep routes. He can throw out patterns with relative ease but doesn't scorch the ball when it isn't needed. Vision-wise he's adept at reading defenses and does an excellent job of seeing the entire field and finding the open man.
At times Russell can get a little too over confident in his ability and force throws that just aren't there. He seems to want to "make things happen," rather than just taking what the defense is giving him.
2. QB Brady Quinn - Notre Dame – 6-foot-4, 226 - 4.75
Here's a story of a man named Brady, and he just so happens to be pretty darn good. Anyone that can break as many passing records as he did at Notre Dame is a fairly amazing player.
Quinn is an extremely sound decision maker that quickly dissects and attacks defenses. He has full command of his offense and his dedication to film study shows up on the field. Under the tutelage of Charlie Weis in his pro style offense, Quinn has become the most NFL-ready quarterback in this year's draft.
Physically, Quinn doesn't wow you with any one attribute, but his collective talents are on par with what you want in an NFL quarterback. He has good height and build and he's actually rather built for a college quarterback.
Unlike Russell, Quinn seems to understand his limitations and he exercises a little more patience than most college quarterbacks.
3. QB Drew Stanton - Michigan State – 6-foot-3, 235 - 4.75
Drew Stanton is part tough guy and part gun slinger. He loves the big game and thrives on competition.
Stanton's arm strength, footwork, instincts and accuracy is there at an NFL level. The only reason he's not being mentioned with Quinn and Russell is due to the poor supporting cast he had at Michigan State.
4. QB Kevin Kolb - Houston – 6-foot-3, 228 - 4.80
Kevin Kolb comes from a Houston offense where they spread the field and threw the ball all over the yard. This made Kolb a relatively easy player to scout because he was dropping back on 90 percent of the plays.
As a passer, Kolb has fine vision and a good command in regards to what's happening down the field. He is proficient at staring down a defense and quickly exploiting whatever holes they might have in coverage. The offense he ran in Houston utilized a lot of multiple receiver sets, and this will help him tremendously when he enters the NFL.
5. QB John Beck - BYU – 6-foot-2, 215 - 4.75
Beck might not have eye-popping stats or all the physical tools you'd like to see in an NFL prospect, but the one thing he does have is presence. A true field general, he has the "look" of an NFL quarterback when you watch him run his offense. When he beats you he doesn't do it with his feet or his arm, but rather his wit and the clear understanding he has of his own offensive system. Teams that run the West Coast Offense would be wise to keep Beck somewhere on their radar.
1. RB Marshawn Lynch - California - 5'11" 220 - 4.46
Reminiscent of current NFL star Ladainian Tomlinson, Marshawn Lynch is the total package at running back. After studying him on tape and comparing him to the other running backs in this class, he's by far the most versatile of the bunch.
Outside of Lorenzo Booker, Lynch is the only tailback in this year's draft who can line up in the slot and truly run routes like a wide receiver. He's also the only back with a combination of speed and power comparable to Oklahoma's Adrian Peterson. Lynch separates himself from Peterson because he runs lower to the ground and has better vision.
To go one step further, Lynch also has the backfield presence of Kenny Irons and Tony Hunt. He displays total willingness to sacrifice his body for blitz pick ups and check downs.
The team that drafts Lynch will be getting a Ladainian Tomlinson, Marshall Faulk, Priest Holmes type of player.
2. RB Adrian Peterson - Oklahoma – 6-foot-2, 225 - 4.40
Adrian Peterson's college production speaks for itself and the team that drafts him will be getting a phenomenal player.
Peterson has an uncanny mix of balance, speed, and power which makes him every bit as dangerous on the perimeter as he is between the tackles. A true home-run hitter, Peterson can break through just a speck of daylight and accelerate the length of the field for touchdowns.
With his skill set Peterson would be particularly dangerous in an offense like Denver's, with an emphasis on downhill running to set up the cutback.
3. RB Kenny Irons – Auburn - 5-foot-11, 200 - 4.45
Behind Lynch, Kenny Irons is the second most versatile back in the draft and highly underrated as a ball carrier. He's extremely elusive, fluid when shifting gears and can accelerate suddenly through the smallest cracks. He also does a nice job of lowering his pads and finishing runs. Despite his size he's actually an effective inside runner.
As a receiver, Irons has adequate hands and is rather dangerous on screen passes and dump offs. You won't see him in the slot or streaking down the middle of the field like a receiver any time soon, however. That would be a little outside his element.
In pass protection he's not afraid to stick his nose in there and mix it up with safeties and linebackers. He'll get bulldozed by a defensive end from time to time, but he's still not afraid to stand there and stick his facemask in their chest.
Irons can come into the league and fit nicely with any team's offense. I think the team that drafts him will be surprised how good he is once they get him on the field.
4. RB Michael Bush - Louisville – 6-foot-2, 250 - 4.62
Rounding out this year's list of "elite" first-round talent backs is the powerful Michael Bush. Bush won't fit with every team's offense, and unless the team that drafts him is interested in a downhill "between the tackles" running game he won't be a very good fit at all.
5. RB Tony Hunt - Penn State – 6-foot-2, 230 - 4.54
Another versatile tailback that can stand in and be a true three-down back from the moment he signs his contract. Because Hunt is fairly large and his talents are so broad I could see a team trying to convert him to fullback early on.
6. FB Brian Leonard - Rutgers – 6-foot-2, 226 - 4.52
More of an H-Back than a traditional fullback, Brian Leonard will provide an NFL team with a second playmaker in their backfield when they run from two-back sets.
7. RB Antonio Pittman - Ohio State – 5-foot-11, 200 - 4.40
Although he's a tad undersized, the best part of Antonio Pittman's game is his ability to run between the tackles. His vision is pretty sound and he has a good burst to instantly accelerate though holes the instant they appear. As a pro player he'll likely start his career as a backup, but has the physical skills to possibly develop in to a starter.
8. RB Lorenzo Booker - Florida State – 5-foot-11, 195 - 4.44
Lorenzo Booker is an undersized, yet explosive runner that fits i to the classical "third-down back" mold. Quick and elusive, he's commonly compared to Philadelphia's Bryan Westbrook and does indeed share many of Westbrook's attributes.
9. RB Garrett Wolfe - Northern Illinois – 5-foot-8, 186 - 4.41
As his body matures in an NFL weight program Garrett Wolfe has the potential to develop into a productive weapon and play a prominent role for his team. An example of a similar player that has done this before is Kevin Faulk of the New England Patriots.
10. RB Chris Henry - Arizona – 5-foot-11, 230 – 4.42
Chris Henry is a Michael Turner type of player that is low to the ground, explosive and powerful. He could very well end up being one the steals of the second day.
2007 NFL Draft Value Board - QB & RB
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