New Faces in the NFC East

NFC East fans have plenty of new faces to get familiar with because these players are either on your favorite team or will be knockin' helmets with them. Cruise through these quick hits describing each player in the NFC East 2007 draft class.


Round 1/6-- LaRon Landry, S, 6-0, 213, Louisiana State

The best of a fine group of safeties in the draft, Landry was the Redskins' favorite defensive player coming out of college.

Round 5/143 -- Dallas Sartz, OLB, 6-5, 235, Southern Cal
A three-year starter on the strong side, Sartz is quick enough to have led USC in sacks in 2006 but needs to improve in coverage.

Round 6/179 -- H.B. Blades, ILB, 5-11, 236, Pitt
The son and nephew of NFL players, the short but instinctive Blades will be groomed behind free-agent pickup London Fletcher, 31.

Round 6/205 -- Jordan Palmer, QB, 6-6, 231, Texas-El Paso
The younger brother of Cincinnati star quarterback Carson Palmer has a big arm but questionable decision making ability.

Round 7/216 -- Tyler Ecker, TE, 6-6, 269, Michigan
Has been bulking up to be a blocking tight end or even an offensive lineman. Uses smarts to make up for limited athleticism.


Anthony Spencer (Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Round 1/26 -- Anthony Spencer, LB, 6-3, 266, Purdue
The Cowboys would have taken him at No. 22 if they didn't make the trade with the Browns. They moved heaven and earth to get back into the first round to get Spencer.

Round 3/67 -- James Marten, OT, 6-7, 303, Boston College
He has the versatility to play guard or tackle, but will most likely start out at tackle. He finished his college career with 38 consecutive starts.

Round 4/103 -- Isaiah Stanback, QB, 6-2, 216, Washington
He will be making the move from quarterback to receiver. The Cowboys like his size and athleticism and believe he can make an immediate impact as a returner.

Round 4/122 -- Doug Free, OT, 6-7, 318, Northern Illinois
Another massive offensive lineman who will help improve the team's depth at tackle and give them some versatility on the in the line because it allows Pat McQuistan to move to guard.

Round 6/178 -- Nick Folk, PK, 6-1, 225, Arizona
Has a big leg, which the Cowboys are hoping will help with better kickoff coverage and opponents' starting field position. The Cowboys are gambling he will beat out Martin Gramatica.

Round 6/195 -- Deon Anderson, FB, 5-10, 236, Connecticut
He is the true fullback the Cowboys were looking for. He has a chance to be an opening day starter in front of incumbent Lousaka Polite.

Round 7/212 -- Courtney Brown, CB, 6-1, 205, Cal Poly
Brown has the size of a safety but the skills of a future lock down cornerback. He should make an immediate impact on special teams.

Round 7/237 Alan Ball, CB, 6-1, 176, Illinois
Ball is a speedster who has the athletic ability to make an impact on special teams and the balls skills to develop into a nickel cornerback.


Aaron Ross makes a leaping interception (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
Round 1/20 -- Aaron Ross, CB, 6-0, 195, Texas
The Giants decided they would take a cornerback in the first round, and had Ross listed as their third at the position. "They were very close," said GM Jerry Reese, referring to the other two -- Pitt's Darrelle Revis and Michigan's Leon Hall. Ross can cover zone and is a shutdown corner as well, usually assigned to the biggest receiver on the other side. "I am not coming here to sit on the bench," he said, and if his job is to beat out either Corey Webster or Sam Madison, he probably won't have to sit on the bench very long.

Round 2/51 -- Steve Smith, WR, 6-0, 197, Southern Cal
Perhaps indicating a dissatisfaction with last year's second-round WR pick, Sinorice Moss, the Giants went for Smith to provide competition for Moss as well as to "seriously compete" for the third WR spot behind Plaxico Burress and aging Amani Toomer, the starters.

Round 3/81 -- Jay Alford, DT, 6-4, 304, Penn State
The Giants needed more depth at the DT position and they came up with Alford, highly regarded as a relentless worker who started 41 of 46 games for which he was eligible. "He has had a lot of production as a pass rusher from the middle," says Reese. "We wanted another guy inside and so he was a need pick, as well as value. He's a team player who buys into the team concept."

Round 4/116 -- Zak DeOssie, ILB, 6-5, 250, Brown
Zak's father, Steve, was also a linebacker for the Giants and he plays exactly the same way -- inside, hard-working and with more effect than his numbers and grades would indicate. Zak is also a long-snapper, as was his dad, and that might spell the end for the current long snapper, Ryan Kuehl. DeOssie is going to be used as a SLB and there are those who think he'll be starting by midway through the season.

Round 5/153 -- Kevin Boss, TE, 6-7, 252, Western Oregon
Boss is a huge target who is accomplished as a receiver; now he must learn to block since the Giants' need behind starter Jeremy Shockey is mostly a blocking tight end. "It is easier to learn to block than to receive," says GM Jerry Reese. "We are confident that Boss will turn into a good blocker and, eventually, a number two tight end."

Round 6/189 -- Adam Koets, OT, 6-5, 298, Oregon State
The Giants finally addressed their need at tackle, but with a fifth-round pick listed as 39th among available tackles, not much should be expected in the way of an immediate starter -- or even anyone to provide immediate help. Koets is athletic and somewhat lean, without the broad base seen in most tackles. He maintains balance and is accomplished at sealing off defensive players. Started 37 consecutive games and allowed just four sacks over the last two seasons.

Round 7/224 -- Michael Johnson, S, 6-3, 205, Arizona
Mostly drafted for special teams work, Johnson has a chance to stick on the final roster. He has cornerback skills, meaning some speed and quickness not normally seen in safeties. Started his last four games as a senior. Second team all-Pac 10 last year. Not particularly adept at man coverage, has questionable acceleration and might be a perfect candidate for the practice squad.

Round 7/250 -- Ahmad Bradshaw, RB, 5-9, 198, Marshall
The Giants had been looking for a third-down back with some power, and reportedly that's what Bradshaw brings to the table. He doesn't have great speed, however, and has had a problem with fumbling. But he did gain over 1,523 yards last season and scored 19 TDs for the Thundering Herd. "He has talent and he's a solid kid," said Reese.


Kevin Kolb (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
Round 2/36 -- Kevin Kolb, QB, 6-3, 218, Houston
The Eagles traded out of the first round, then shocked everyone by taking Kolb four picks into the second round. The Eagles insist taking Kolb has nothing to do with the future of Donovan McNabb. They say Kolb simply was their highest rated player on the board at the time.

Round 2/57 -- Victor Abiamiri, DE, 6-4, 267, Notre Dame
Abiamiri led the Irish with 10.5 sacks last season. With Darren Howard coming off a sub-par season and Jevon Kearse returning from a torn ACL, Abiamiri could force his way into the end picture this summer.

Round 3/87 -- Stewart Bradley, LB, 6-4, 254, Nebraska
Bradley becomes the latest entrant in a crowded strongside linebacker derby. Undersized Dhani Jones has been the starter the last two seasons and the Eagles would like to replace him. Bradley also can play the MIKE position.

Round 3/90 -- Tony Hunt, RB, 6-2, 233, Penn State
Hunt was viewed as a possible second-round pick until he ran a 4.6 forty at his Pro Day workout. Rushed for 1,228 yards last year at Penn State. Gives the Eagles a much-needed power-back option to starter Brian Westbrook.

Round 5/159 -- C.J. Gaddis, CB, 5-11, 203, Clemson
Gaddis is a strong, physical defensive back who benched-pressed 225 pounds 20 times at the scouting combine. His appeal to the Eagles is that he can play both corner and safety. Should be able to contribute on special teams.

Round 5/162 -- Brent Celek, TE, 6-4, 248, Cincinnati
Celek doesn't have the kind of seam-stretching speed that Eagles starter L.J. Smith has. He's a pretty good blocker and a solid possession receiver who caught 35 passes and averaged 13.7 yards per catch last season. He should be able to make an immediate contribution on special teams.

Round 6/201 -- Rashad Barksdale, CB, 6-2, 210, Albany
Barksdale's size and speed -- he ran a 4.38 in a pre-draft workout for scouts -- prompted the Eagles to draft him. He admitted to being "shocked" that the Eagles drafted him, figuring his best shot would come as an undrafted free agent.

Round 7/236 -- Nate Ilaoa, RB, 5-9, 250, Hawaii
Shaped like a bowling ball, Ilaoa is a former wideout with decent speed who averaged 7.6 yards per carry. He is a load to tackle and could be used as both a halfback and fullback.

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