Draft flashback: 2007 was a boom-or-bust year

They say it takes three years to truly analyze an NFL draft, so the class of 2007 is now fair game. Looking back at the first round that year, the hits were big and the misses were bigger. While five players could be on their way to getting busts in Canton — Joe Thomas, Adrian Peterson, Patrick Willis, Darrelle Revis and Jon Beason — others are already busts.

RB Pierre Thomas has been the unsung hero of the Saints.
RB Pierre Thomas has been the unsung hero of the Saints.

Steals

Pierre Thomas, RB, Illinois
Saints: Undrafted

For all the attention Reggie Bush receives, it was Thomas who starred in the role of reliable all-purpose back the past two seasons and helped elevate the offense to new heights, including a Super Bowl victory. He delivered against the Colts in the big game, turning 15 touches into 85 total yards and a touchdown.

LaMarr Woodley, DE/OLB, Michigan
Steelers: Round 2, Pick 46

Rarely do such disruptive pass rushers slide this far. Credit the Steelers for realizing Woodley (6-2, 265), a college defensive end, could be a premier sack artist playing outside linebacker in their 3-4. After putting up 25 sacks over the past two seasons, he has the look of a future league defensive MVP.

Brent Celek, TE, Cincinnati
Eagles: Round 5, Pick 162

He emerged as one of the league’s premier receiving tight ends last season, racking up 76 catches for 971 yards and 8 touchdowns. With the Eagles turning quarterback over to Kevin Kolb, Celek should be even more active as a reliable safety valve for a young first-year starter.

Le’Ron McClain, FB, Alabama
Ravens: Round 4, Pick 137

Whether it’s as a punishing between-the-tackle runner or a strong lead blocker, McClain is a force in the Ravens’ rushing attack, earning himself consecutive Pro Bowl berths as the AFC’s top fullback. At a fading position, Baltimore has found the ultimate versatile hammer.

Mike Sims-Walker, WR, Central Florida
Jaguars: Round 3, Pick 79

Jacksonville finally found its go-to receiver after previous big whiffs in first-rounders Reggie Williams and Matt Jones. Sims-Walker was the 15th wideout taken in ’07 and is the fourth best behind Calvin Johnson, Sidney Rice and the Giants’ Steve Smith. Sims-Walker will remain David Garrard’s top target in ’10.

Stinkers

JaMarcus Russell, QB, LSU
Raiders: Round 1, Pick 1

Russell has redefined "big" quarterback bust and is about to be displaced for good by Jason Campbell in Oakland. He could never get his mechanics or his weight down, with both issues related to work ethic. It was a bad class for QBs overall, with Brady Quinn, John Beck, Drew Stanton and Trent Edwards to follow. It’s now on Kolb to save face for the group.

The Raiders aren't too pleased with former No. 1 overall pick JaMarcus Russell's performance.
The Raiders aren’t too pleased with former No. 1 overall pick JaMarcus Russell’s performance.

Jamaal Anderson, DE, Arkansas
Falcons: Round 1, Pick 8

In the 6-6, 283-pound Anderson, Atlanta was hoping it had its version of Julius Peppers. But with 21Ž2 sacks in 44 career starts, Anderson hasn’t been close to the pass rusher the team thought he would be.

Ted Ginn, WR, Ohio State
Dolphins: Round 1, Pick 9

The proof that this didn’t work out came fewer than two weeks ago, when Miami was happy to trade him to San Francisco for a fifth-round pick. Although Ginn proved himself as a kickoff returner, he never up lived to his promise as a fast playmaking No. 1 receiver.

Adam Carriker, DT, Nebraska
Rams: Round 1, Pick 13

Carriker has also moved on to his second NFL team, getting shipped to the Redskins more than a week ago in an exchange of late-round picks. He stood out as a rookie, then had an ineffective 2008 before injuries derailed his ’09 season. St. Louis now hopes Chris Long, the second overall pick in 2008, can avoid going down the same path.

Justin Harrell, DT, Tennessee
Packers: Round 1, Pick 16

This is another reason defensive tackle is such a hard position to evaluate. Harrell hasn’t done much for Green Bay, and now he isn¹t a good fit in its 3-4 scheme under Dom Capers, who has Ryan Pickett and B.J. Raji as his best options to play the nose.

Vinnie Iyer is a writer for Sporting News. E-mail him at viyer@sportingnews.com.

First round

1. Oakland—JaMarcus Russell, QB, LSU
2. Detroit—Calvin Johnson, WR Georgia Tech
3. Cleveland—Joe Thomas, OT, Wisconsin
4. Tampa Bay—Gaines Adams, DE, Clemson
5. Arizona—Levi Brown, OT, Penn State
6. Washington—LaRon Landry, S, LSU
7. Minnesota—Adrian Peterson, RB, Oklahoma
8. Atlanta—Jamaal Anderson, DE, Arkansas
9. Miami—Ted Ginn, WR, Ohio State
10. Houston—Amobi Okoye, Louisville
11. San Francisco—Patrick Willis, LB, Mississippi
12. Buffalo—Marshawn Lynch, RB, California
13. St. Louis—Adam Carriker, DT, Nebraska
14. N.Y. Jets—Darrelle Revis, CB, Pittsburgh
15. Pittsburgh—Lawrence Timmons, LB, Florida State
16. Green Bay—Justin Harrell, DT, Tennessee
17. Denver—Jarvis Moss, DE, Florida
18. Cincinnati—Leon Hall, CB, Michigan
19. Tennessee—Michael Griffin, S, Texas
20. N.Y. Giants—Aaron Ross, CB, Texas
21. Jacksonville—Reggie Nelson, S, Florida
22. Cleveland—Brady Quinn, QB, Notre Dame
23. Kansas City—Dwayne Bowe, WR, LSU
24. New England—Brandon Meriweather, S, Miami (Fla.)
25. Carolina—Jon Beason, LB, Miami (Fla.)
26. Dallas—Anthony Spencer, LB, Purdue
27. New Orleans—Robert Meachem, WR, Tennessee
28. San Francisco—Joe Staley, OT, Central Michigan
29. Baltimore—Ben Grubbs, G, Auburn
30. San Diego—Craig Davis, WR, LSU
31. Chicago—Greg Olsen, TE, Miami (Fla.)
32. Indianapolis—Anthony Gonzalez, WR, Ohio State

Second round

33. Arizona—Alan Branch, DT, Michigan
34. Buffalo—Paul Posluszny, LB, Penn State
35. Tampa Bay—Arron Sears, G, Tennessee
36. Philadelphia—Kevin Kolb, QB, Houston
37. San Diego—Eric Weddle, S, Utah
38. Oakland—Zach Miller, TE, Arizona State
39. Atlanta—Justin Blalock, G, Texas
40. Miami—John Beck, QB, BYU
41. Atlanta—Chris Houston, CB, Arkansas
42. Indianapolis—Tony Ugoh, OT, Arkansas
43. Detroit—Drew Stanton, QB, Michigan State
44. Minnesota—Sidney Rice, WR, South Carolina
45. Carolina—Dwayne Jarrett, WR, USC
46. Pittsburgh—LaMarr Woodley, LB, Michigan
47. N.Y. Jets—David Harris, LB, Michigan
48. Jacksonville—Justin Durant, LB, Hampton
49. Cincinnati—Kenny Irons, RB, Auburn
50. Tennessee—Chris Henry, RB, Arizona
51. N.Y. Giants—Steve Smith, WR, USC
52. St. Louis—Brian Leonard, RB, Rutgers
53. Cleveland—Eric Wright, CB, UNLV
54. Kansas City—Turk McBride, DE, Tennessee
55. Seattle—Josh Wilson, CB, Maryland
56. Denver—Tim Crowder, DE, Texas
57. Philadelphia—Victor Abiamiri, DE, Notre Dame
58. Detroit—Ikaika Alama-Francis, DE, Hawaii
59. Carolina—Ryan Kalil, C, USC
60. Miami—Samson Satele, C, Hawaii
61. Detroit—Gerald Alexander, S, Boise State
62. Chicago—Dan Bazuin, DE, Central Michigan
63. Green Bay—Brandon Jackson, RB, Nebraska
64. Tampa Bay—Sabby Piscitelli, S, Oregon State

They say it takes three years to truly analyze an NFL draft, so the class of 2007 is now fair game. Looking back at the first round that year, the hits were big and the misses were bigger. While five players could be on their way to getting busts in Canton — Joe Thomas, Adrian Peterson, Patrick Willis, Darrelle Revis and Jon Beason — others are already busts.

RB Pierre Thomas has been the unsung hero of the Saints.
RB Pierre Thomas has been the unsung hero of the Saints.

Steals

Pierre Thomas, RB, Illinois
Saints: Undrafted

For all the attention Reggie Bush receives, it was Thomas who starred in the role of reliable all-purpose back the past two seasons and helped elevate the offense to new heights, including a Super Bowl victory. He delivered against the Colts in the big game, turning 15 touches into 85 total yards and a touchdown.

LaMarr Woodley, DE/OLB, Michigan
Steelers: Round 2, Pick 46

Rarely do such disruptive pass rushers slide this far. Credit the Steelers for realizing Woodley (6-2, 265), a college defensive end, could be a premier sack artist playing outside linebacker in their 3-4. After putting up 25 sacks over the past two seasons, he has the look of a future league defensive MVP.

Brent Celek, TE, Cincinnati
Eagles: Round 5, Pick 162

He emerged as one of the league’s premier receiving tight ends last season, racking up 76 catches for 971 yards and 8 touchdowns. With the Eagles turning quarterback over to Kevin Kolb, Celek should be even more active as a reliable safety valve for a young first-year starter.

Le’Ron McClain, FB, Alabama
Ravens: Round 4, Pick 137

Whether it’s as a punishing between-the-tackle runner or a strong lead blocker, McClain is a force in the Ravens’ rushing attack, earning himself consecutive Pro Bowl berths as the AFC’s top fullback. At a fading position, Baltimore has found the ultimate versatile hammer.

Mike Sims-Walker, WR, Central Florida
Jaguars: Round 3, Pick 79

Jacksonville finally found its go-to receiver after previous big whiffs in first-rounders Reggie Williams and Matt Jones. Sims-Walker was the 15th wideout taken in ’07 and is the fourth best behind Calvin Johnson, Sidney Rice and the Giants’ Steve Smith. Sims-Walker will remain David Garrard’s top target in ’10.

Stinkers

JaMarcus Russell, QB, LSU
Raiders: Round 1, Pick 1

Russell has redefined "big" quarterback bust and is about to be displaced for good by Jason Campbell in Oakland. He could never get his mechanics or his weight down, with both issues related to work ethic. It was a bad class for QBs overall, with Brady Quinn, John Beck, Drew Stanton and Trent Edwards to follow. It’s now on Kolb to save face for the group.

The Raiders aren't too pleased with former No. 1 overall pick JaMarcus Russell's performance.
The Raiders aren’t too pleased with former No. 1 overall pick JaMarcus Russell’s performance.

Jamaal Anderson, DE, Arkansas
Falcons: Round 1, Pick 8

In the 6-6, 283-pound Anderson, Atlanta was hoping it had its version of Julius Peppers. But with 21Ž2 sacks in 44 career starts, Anderson hasn’t been close to the pass rusher the team thought he would be.

Ted Ginn, WR, Ohio State
Dolphins: Round 1, Pick 9

The proof that this didn’t work out came fewer than two weeks ago, when Miami was happy to trade him to San Francisco for a fifth-round pick. Although Ginn proved himself as a kickoff returner, he never up lived to his promise as a fast playmaking No. 1 receiver.

Adam Carriker, DT, Nebraska
Rams: Round 1, Pick 13

Carriker has also moved on to his second NFL team, getting shipped to the Redskins more than a week ago in an exchange of late-round picks. He stood out as a rookie, then had an ineffective 2008 before injuries derailed his ’09 season. St. Louis now hopes Chris Long, the second overall pick in 2008, can avoid going down the same path.

Justin Harrell, DT, Tennessee
Packers: Round 1, Pick 16

This is another reason defensive tackle is such a hard position to evaluate. Harrell hasn’t done much for Green Bay, and now he isn¹t a good fit in its 3-4 scheme under Dom Capers, who has Ryan Pickett and B.J. Raji as his best options to play the nose.

Vinnie Iyer is a writer for Sporting News. E-mail him at viyer@sportingnews.com.

First round

1. Oakland—JaMarcus Russell, QB, LSU
2. Detroit—Calvin Johnson, WR Georgia Tech
3. Cleveland—Joe Thomas, OT, Wisconsin
4. Tampa Bay—Gaines Adams, DE, Clemson
5. Arizona—Levi Brown, OT, Penn State
6. Washington—LaRon Landry, S, LSU
7. Minnesota—Adrian Peterson, RB, Oklahoma
8. Atlanta—Jamaal Anderson, DE, Arkansas
9. Miami—Ted Ginn, WR, Ohio State
10. Houston—Amobi Okoye, Louisville
11. San Francisco—Patrick Willis, LB, Mississippi
12. Buffalo—Marshawn Lynch, RB, California
13. St. Louis—Adam Carriker, DT, Nebraska
14. N.Y. Jets—Darrelle Revis, CB, Pittsburgh
15. Pittsburgh—Lawrence Timmons, LB, Florida State
16. Green Bay—Justin Harrell, DT, Tennessee
17. Denver—Jarvis Moss, DE, Florida
18. Cincinnati—Leon Hall, CB, Michigan
19. Tennessee—Michael Griffin, S, Texas
20. N.Y. Giants—Aaron Ross, CB, Texas
21. Jacksonville—Reggie Nelson, S, Florida
22. Cleveland—Brady Quinn, QB, Notre Dame
23. Kansas City—Dwayne Bowe, WR, LSU
24. New England—Brandon Meriweather, S, Miami (Fla.)
25. Carolina—Jon Beason, LB, Miami (Fla.)
26. Dallas—Anthony Spencer, LB, Purdue
27. New Orleans—Robert Meachem, WR, Tennessee
28. San Francisco—Joe Staley, OT, Central Michigan
29. Baltimore—Ben Grubbs, G, Auburn
30. San Diego—Craig Davis, WR, LSU
31. Chicago—Greg Olsen, TE, Miami (Fla.)
32. Indianapolis—Anthony Gonzalez, WR, Ohio State

Second round

33. Arizona—Alan Branch, DT, Michigan
34. Buffalo—Paul Posluszny, LB, Penn State
35. Tampa Bay—Arron Sears, G, Tennessee
36. Philadelphia—Kevin Kolb, QB, Houston
37. San Diego—Eric Weddle, S, Utah
38. Oakland—Zach Miller, TE, Arizona State
39. Atlanta—Justin Blalock, G, Texas
40. Miami—John Beck, QB, BYU
41. Atlanta—Chris Houston, CB, Arkansas
42. Indianapolis—Tony Ugoh, OT, Arkansas
43. Detroit—Drew Stanton, QB, Michigan State
44. Minnesota—Sidney Rice, WR, South Carolina
45. Carolina—Dwayne Jarrett, WR, USC
46. Pittsburgh—LaMarr Woodley, LB, Michigan
47. N.Y. Jets—David Harris, LB, Michigan
48. Jacksonville—Justin Durant, LB, Hampton
49. Cincinnati—Kenny Irons, RB, Auburn
50. Tennessee—Chris Henry, RB, Arizona
51. N.Y. Giants—Steve Smith, WR, USC
52. St. Louis—Brian Leonard, RB, Rutgers
53. Cleveland—Eric Wright, CB, UNLV
54. Kansas City—Turk McBride, DE, Tennessee
55. Seattle—Josh Wilson, CB, Maryland
56. Denver—Tim Crowder, DE, Texas
57. Philadelphia—Victor Abiamiri, DE, Notre Dame
58. Detroit—Ikaika Alama-Francis, DE, Hawaii
59. Carolina—Ryan Kalil, C, USC
60. Miami—Samson Satele, C, Hawaii
61. Detroit—Gerald Alexander, S, Boise State
62. Chicago—Dan Bazuin, DE, Central Michigan
63. Green Bay—Brandon Jackson, RB, Nebraska
64. Tampa Bay—Sabby Piscitelli, S, Oregon State

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