Supplemental Draft Special

Though there is always some hype for July's special draft process, the event rarely lives up to expectations in the war room or on the football field. Several physically gifted prospects hope to be chosen sometime during Thursday's seven rounder, though the expectations may not match the reality.

The following are reports on the five players available in tomorrow's draft who have the best opportunity to be selected.  In the end we feel only two players will be selected.

Full Name: Roscoe Crosby   School:  Clemson            Pos: WR

Ht: 6-1.5  Wt: 218  40:  4.48


'02-'04:  Selected in the second round of the 2001 draft by the Kansas City Royals. Suffered injury and personal loss from the onset.  Baseball career never panned out and his contract with the Royals ended in arbitration.

'01: Started four of ten games as a freshman, catching 27 passes for 465 yards and four scores.

Positives: Terrific athlete with great size/speed numbers. Looked like a star early in college and possesses solid natural receiving skills.  Adequate route-runner who gets separation from opponents.  Soft hands with the ability to pluck the pass from the air.  Effectively uses his frame to shield away opponents and protect the pass.  

Negatives: Has not played football in three years. Never considered a "physical receiver" and underachieved as a blocker, though he was only a first-year player. More of a long strider who lacks quick feet.

Analysis: A pure athlete with good upside, Crosby's time away from the field has many concerned.  Will need a lot of playing/practice to get his timing down and feel for the position.  Offers an upside but is far from a sure thing.  Could be selected late (7th round) in the proceedings. 

Full Name: Charles Ealy   School:  UNLV     Pos: CB

Ht: 5-10.5      Wt: 206   40: 4.52


'04: Played in ten games posting 31 tackles, breaking up one pass.

'03: Compton Community College.

Positives: Nicely sized, physical corner who excels in press coverage. Strong, defends the run and likes to mix it up.  Solid fundamentals and plays to his timed speed.

Negatives: Lacks quickness, instincts and ball skills for the most part.  Can only play in certain systems and struggles backed off the line of scrimmage.  May lack awareness for zone.

Analysis: A solid athlete, Ealy's experience on the the field has been limited the past few seasons.  Needs time to develop a feel for the position, yet possesses the underlying skills to be a solid back-up and special teams player at the next level.  Unlikely to be drafted, yet will be signed as a free agent.

Full Name: Vashon Pearson   School:  Mississippi       Pos: RB

Ht: 5-11.5  Wt: 205 40:  4.52


'04: Started seven of 11 games, posting 158/807/3 on the ground, leading the team in rushing. Added 7/88 as a pass receiver.

'03: Totaled 94/398/4 on the ground, adding 7/80 as a receiver.

Positives: Quick-footed back with good vision and instincts.  Patient, waits for blocks to develop then follows them, finding the open space in the defense.  Sees the running lanes and has a burst of speed.  Possesses the agility to get around tackles and the footwork to bounce around piles or defenders. Some ability to make opponents miss.

Negatives: Not a back who can run to daylight.  Does not break tackles or pick-up much yardage off initial contact.  Marginally productive as a pass catcher.

Analysis: A solid collegiate ball carrier, Pearson has the skills to be a situational runner at the next level.  That said, his lack of productivity catching the ball coupled with a mediocre 40 time will leave him undrafted.  Expect Pearson to sign on with a team as a free agent as he has a slight chance to make a roster as a fourth running back.

Full Name: Agim Shabaj   School:  Michigan State          Pos: WR

Ht: 5-10  Wt: 190  40:  4.42


'04: Posted 29/308/1 as a receiver, also averaging 8.2 yards on 18 punt returns.

'03: Led the team in receiving with 57/692/5 .

Positives: Fast wideout with home-run type speed.  Has the ability to stretch the defense and adjusts well to the errant throw at full speed.  Consistent hands and makes the tough catch during the important moments of a contest.  Finds the open spot in the seam and comes back to the ball.

Negatives: Lacks top size, not a physical receiver and loses out battling bigger opponents. Struggled as a junior last season after a terrific campaign in '03.

Analysis: A prospect who looked like an up-and-comer as a sophomore, Shabaj was very ordinary last season and a disappointment to the coaching staff.  Has the natural skill to compete as a third receiver/punt returner at the next level but must quickly pull his game together.  Free Agent.

Full Name: Manuel Wright   School:  USC     Pos: DT

Ht: 6-5  Wt: 329   40: 4.99


'04: Appeared in 11 games, posting 23 tackles, including 4 for losses with 2 sacks.  All-Pac 10 honorable mention defender.

'03: Appeared in nine games, posting eight tackles, including two for loss.

'02: Academically ineligible and spent season at Long Beach City college

Positives: Quick off the snap with a solid first step.  Excellent jolt and explosion at the point. Very strong in his lower body and gets a good deal of push up the field. Consistently doubled by opponents yet holds the point. Flashes on the scene and has a great burst of closing speed.  Gets through blocks and defends screens.  Makes a lot of athletic plays and can be dominant.

Does not always keep his pads low, use effective hand technique and at times, easily controlled by blockers.  Marginal skills moving laterally up and down line of scrimmage.  Minimal pass-rushing abilities.  Inconsistent effort.  Had major off-the-field incidents before arriving at USC.

Analysis: A defensive lineman that flashes brilliance on occasion, Wright is player who can be a dominant force when focused on the task at hand.  Collapsing the pocket, Wright is tough to stop once he gets momentum going and is an effective run stuffer who also knows enough to get his hands up and block screen passes. Not a consistent force and skates through plays.

Bottom Line: Wright plays a priority position and offers great upside for the next level.  That said, his intensity and work ethic have come under question.  This was confirmed during a recent workout when, at 329 pounds, he was only able to complete 16 repetitions on the bench press.  Several predictions have the Philadelphia Eagles selecting him early in the draft, yet we hear the exact opposite.  One Eagles source told us the team was unimpressed with his physique and conditioning.  They would be surprised if he is selected before the fourth round.  Another told us several teams removed Wright from their draft board altogether due to character issues. In the end, we feel he will be selected in the fourth- to fifth-round area.

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