JaMarcus Russell was once again solid behind center for LSU. Completing over 60% of his passes for 210-yards with two scores, Russell capped off a terrific senior campaign with a win over Arkansas. Likely to enter the draft, there are many in the scouting community who now believe that Russell will be the first quarterback selected ahead of Brady Quinn from Notre Dame.
Russell's favorite target, Dwayne Bowe, has also made a move up draft boards and now sits as one of the top three senior receiver prospects heading to April's draft. The Tigers top pass catcher, Bowe finished his college career in grand style. Setting career marks with 60-receptions, 912-receiving yards and eleven touchdowns, Bowe also significantly reduced the number of catchable passes he's dropped. Fast times prior to the draft will push him into the top 45 selections.
Another prospect from the state of Louisiana that improved his draft grade is Tulane quarterback Lester Ricard. Bettering his numbers in every passing category over last season, Patrick showed solid progress in '06, reducing the number of mistakes and poor decisions he's made from the pocket.
There is a belief amongst some that Florida receiver Andre Caldwell could break into the first round if he enters the draft. On a tear since the middle part of the season, Caldwell had a breakout year and has been the Gators top pass catcher. More than half of Caldwell's receptions came during the second part of the year and the junior receiver has built a lot of momentum for himself.
Yet another wide out who has improved his draft grade is Nate Morton of Wake Forest. Projecting nicely as a fourth receiver at the next level, Morton has shown a complete game. Reliable catching the ball, he is also an asset blocking downfield for the running game.
A fast riser up draft boards and a sleeper of sorts is Utah defensive tackle Paul Soliai. Grading as a marginal free agent at season's start, Soliai has drawn high praise from scouts around the league. Soliai's play is getting him first day consideration.