'07 NFL Draft: Breaking down the second 25

A quick breakdown on prospects ranked from numbers 26 to 50. The list includes talented players from both sides of the ball and many who'll have an opportunity to move up draft boards with big seasons in 2006.

26) Adam Carriker/DE/Nebraska: Disruptive pass rusher who causes a lot of havoc off the edge.  Needs to improve his play against the run yet has first-round potential.

27) Paul Posluszny/OLB/Penn State:  Efficient, intelligent linebacker that can be used in multiple systems.  Posluszny's hype is greater than his potential, yet he's a defender with starting potential in the NFL.

28) Baraka Atkins/DT/Miami-Fl: Athletic two-gap lineman with potential at defensive end or tackle.  Lacks classic size but has a lot of physical skills, quickness and football smarts.

29) Brian Leonard/FB/Rutgers: Blue-collar fullback and a true throwback at the position.  Possible fit for a West Coast offense as a triple-threat player producing as a blocker, ball carrier and pass catcher.

30) Sam Baker*/T/USC : Outstanding pass blocker who protected Matt Leinart's blind side the past two seasons.  Not as tall as one wants in a weak-side tackle but a very productive lineman.

31) Brandon Mebane/DT/California: Quick thumper on the inside with a good degree of ability.  A lot like former first-round pick Tommie Harris; undersized yet explosive and disruptive.

32) Kenny Irons/RB/Auburn: Former South Carolina transfer who immediately filled the void at Auburn after Carnell Williams and Ronnie Brown departed for the NFL.  Could make a big jump up draft boards with a dominant senior campaign.

33) Rufus Alexander/OLB/Oklahoma: Terrific weak-side linebacker that stands out in coverage. Makes up for a lack of size with outstanding athleticism.

34) Levi Brown/T/Penn State: Productive weak-side tackle on the college level who may eventually move to right tackle or even inside at guard. 

35) Lorenzo Booker/RB/Florida State: Explosive ball carrier with home-run hitting speed.  Moves into the feature role this season and stands to significantly improve his draft ranking. 

36) Jake Long/T/Michigan : Considered one of the best tackle prospects in Wolverine history.  Coming off an injury-plagued '05 campaign and could make a big move up boards with a big season. 

37) Kyle Young/C/Fresno State: King-sized center that opens tremendous holes in the middle of the field.  With more centers being selected in round one, Young has a chance to be a top-32 choice next April.

38) Tarell Brown/CB/Texas: Underrated cornerback who shuts down opponents.  Played as good, if not better, than teammate Cedric Griffin last season. Griffin was drafted by the Vikings in round two last April.

39) Zach Miller*/TE/Arizona St: Tremendous pass-catching target that also displays plenty of toughness when asked to block.  In the end, could be a better prospect than former Sun Devil Todd Heap.

40) Daymeion Hughes/CB/California: Solid cover corner who shuts down opponents.  Really came on last season and offers a terrific upside. 

41) Michael Griffin/S/Texas: Athletic centerfielder who makes plays sideline-to-sideline.  Possesses excellent size and speed yet needs to pull together a complete game.   

42) Marcus McCauley/CB/Fresno State:  Shut-down cornerback who has opposing quarterbacks looking away from him.  Offers as much ability as former teammate Richard Marshall, selected in round two last April by the Carolina Panthers. 

43) Tom Zbikowski/S/Notre Dame : Professional fighter who brings his aggressive style from the boxing ring to the football field.  Hard-hitting run defender who likes to mix things up.   

44) Arron Sears/T/Tennessee: Versatile offensive lineman that can be used at several blocking positions up front.  Terrific pass-protector yet does not have the height most NFL-teams want in a left tackle. 

45) Patrick Willis/ILB/Mississippi: Explosive run-defending linebacker who can be used in the middle or on the inside. 

46) Mark Fenton/C/Colorado: Ferocious blocker on the pivot who attacks assignments.  Needs to bulk up but offers a variety of skill. 

47) Jarrett Hicks/WR/Texas Tech: Nice sized, game controlling receiver who fits the mold of possession wide out. 

48) Paul Williams/WR/Fresno St: Flashy wideout possessing an excellent combination of size and speed.  Coming off a breakout campaign when he averaged 17 yards on 43 receptions in '05.

49) Chris Long*/DE/Virginia: A chip off the old block as Chris plays with the same intensity as his father Howie did.  Shows a complete game as a pass rusher or run defender and will only get better as he physically matures.

50) Courtney Taylor/WR/Auburn: Consistent wideout with a reliable game.  Projects as a nice second receiver at the next level.

 


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