{FSMETA} NFLDraft: Rivals.com - College Football

var CurrentYear = 2014;

May 5, 2007

NFL Draft Grades: NFC West

Rivals.com has partnered with scout and draft expert Frank Coyle of draftinsiders.com to analyze the results of the NFL Draft and hand out grades for each team. Today we look at the NFC West.

NFC West: Arizona Cardinals | St. Louis Rams | San Francisco 49ers | Seattle Seahawks

Arizona Cardinals
Draft Grade: B
The Cardinals had a strong draft class that addressed both lines early in the process. They were excited to find OT Levi Brown available at the fifth pick to protect young QB Matt Leinart. Brown was an excellent addition, and is capable of starting immediately along their porous line. In the second round, they traded up a few spots and chose DT Alan Branch to couple with last year's rookie from Michigan - Gabe Watson. Branch is another fine addition for the inside and an impossible defender to move. He has excellent run-stuffing ability when he plays with intensity. He was an excellent addition, and should improve their run defense significantly on the every down. In the third round, they jumped to select Buster Davis. He gives them a tough run defender with sure tackling ability and the speed to make plays on the edge. He was good value at this point. Steve Breaston of Michigan is one of the more versatile players in this class. He is an elusive runner after he gets his hands on the ball and should help in multiple sets. He is a fine return specialist and should win the job outright in camp. He was an excellent late round gamble. Ben Patrick of Delaware is a good athlete with a high level of development, especially as a receiver. He can surprise and be a fine addition for their two TE sets as an H-back performer. Patrick was a late steal.
Rd
Sel#
Player
Pos
School
1.
5.
Levi Brown
OT
Penn State
2.
33.
Alan Branch
DT
Michigan
3.
69.
Buster Davis
LB
Florida State
5.
142.
Steve Breaston
WR
Michigan
7.
215.
Ben Patrick
TE
Delaware

St. Louis Rams
Draft Grade: B+
The Rams addressed their defense with a few of their early picks. Adam Carriker is a big, athletic, versatile defender who gives them a strongside end and a flexible lineman to play any type of front. He carries an early starting grade, and is a major addition to a problem area. Brian Leonard gives the Rams a big, versatile back with excellent hands and the ability to play any backfield position. He is a well-developed prospect who should help in a number of roles. Jonathan Wade is a very fast cover man who improved nicely over his final season. He addresses a major need area, and could be an early performer as the nickel corner. He has the talent to start fairly early in his career. Dustin is a savvy technician who is more an overachiever than top athlete. He has graded out high over his career, and is a good fit for the Rams' blocking scheme. Clifton Ryan is a solid addition and a defender with the athletic ability to eventually start. He was good value here, and could push for time as a pass rusher early in his career and play in their tackle rotation. Ken Shackleford is a huge blocker with SEC experience. He is a high-cut athlete with the frame, arm length and agility to warrant a long look. He could be a practice squad candidate. Keith Jackson is a fireplug defender with nice quickness to be disruptive on the inside. He figures to win a roster spot or become a practice squad performer at a thin area. Derek Stanley is a fast receiver with run-after-the-catch ability. He has the talent to surprise here, and should at least make the practice squad.
Rd
Sel#
Player
Pos
School
1.
13.
Adam Carriker
DE
Nebraska
2.
52.
Brian Leonard
RB
Rutgers
3.
84.
Jonathan Wade
DB
Tennessee
5.
139.
Dustin Fry
C
Clemson
5.
154.
Clifton Ryan
DE
Michigan State
6.
190.
Ken Shackleford
OT
Georgia
7.
248.
Keith Jackson
DT
Arkansas
7.
249.
Derek Stanley
WR
Wisconsin-Whitewater

San Francisco 49ers
Draft Grade: B
The 49ers had an exceptional draft, and added talent at key areas of need. Patrick Willis will be an impact defender and leader on their young defense. He is probably one of the best defensive athletes in this class behind only Amobi Okoye, LaRon Landry and Gaines Adams. Willis has rare athleticism and can be a difference-maker here. He should start on the inside immediately. They traded up in the first round to select Joe Staley. He is a fine athlete who can play on the outside at left tackle or inside at guard. They see him as their left tackle for a long time and it was a good move to deal to select him. Jason Hill was a fine addition late in the first day. He should compete for starting time as the slot receiver. Ray McDonald is a fine defender who fits best at end in their 3-4 scheme. He can also move inside to tackle in passing situations. Jay Moore is a sound defender with good athletic ability and a fine motor. Dashon Goldson is a raw athlete with the ability to compete for a few spots in the secondary. He can play the corner in a cover 2 scheme or move to safety. He is a big athlete who should be a factor on special teams. Joe Cohen is an experienced lineman on the inside who will get a look at nose tackle. He was a major reach in the fourth round. Tarell Brown is a talented cover man with several off-the-field problems. He was a fine gamble here, and is capable of winning the nickel corner role as a rookie. He can be a major steal here if he matures and plays up to his athleticism. Thomas Clayton is a powerful tailback with some off-the-field issues. He was a good late gamble and can win a backup role in this offense.
Rd
Sel#
Player
Pos
School
1.
11.
Patrick Willis
LB
Ole Miss
2.
42.
Joe Staley
OT
Central Michigan
3.
76.
Jason Hill
WR
Washington State
3.
97.
Ray McDonald
DT
Florida
4.
104.
Jay Moore
DE
Nebraska
4.
126.
Dashon Goldson
CB
Washington
4.
135.
Joe Cohen
DT
Florida
5.
147.
Tarell Brown
CB
Texas
6.
186.
Thomas Clayton
RB
Kansas State

Seattle Seahawks
Draft Grade: C
The Seahawks did not have a No. 1 pick because they traded for wideout Deon Branch. Josh Wilson is a good cover man who should win the nickel corner job this summer. He graded out high vs. top competition. Brandon Mebane is an explosive interior defender who has good moves and should help immediately as a situational pass rusher. He could surprise and win a starting job with a big preseason. Baraka Atkins graded out nicely in the ACC and played both end and tackle. He projects to end on the strongside as a pro, and can push for time with some development. Mansfield Grotto is a fast developing prospect who carries a starting grade at guard or right tackle. He was a good addition. Will Herring is a mobile defender with experience at safety also. He is a fine cover man and can win the nickel linebacker role with a good preseason. Courtney Taylor is a physical receiver with the toughness to go over the middle and make the tough catch. He carries a starting NFL grade and can help in multiple sets early. Kent is a top athlete who is a raw receiver and needs time to develop his talent. He is an ideal practice squad performer if he fails to impress in the preseason. Steve Vallos is a tough, savvy, versatile lineman with a make-it grade. He has the makeup to surprise in time. He was an excellent late pick but needs time to define his position.
Rd
Sel#
Player
Pos
School
2.
55.
Josh Wilson
CB
Maryland
3.
85.
Brandon Mebane
DT
California
4.
120.
Baraka Atkins
DE
Miami (Fla.)
4.
124.
Mansfield Wrotto
OL
Georgia Tech
5.
161.
Will Herring
LB
Auburn
6.
197.
Courtney Taylor
WR
Seattle
6.
210.
Jordan Kent
WR
Oregon
7.
232.
Steve Vallos
OG
Wake Forest

This is special to Rivals.com from Frank Coyle. Coyle has written about the NFL Draft in his newsletter for more than 15 years and has endorsements from NFL veterans like Gil Brandt, Phil Savage and Charley Casserly. Coyle's work can also be found at draftinsiders.com or you may call him toll-free at 800-776-1949.



Rivals.com NFL Draft NEWS

[More]

Latest Headlines: