NFL.com's Gil Brandt gives his early Top 36 players
Brandt's early first-round projections
By Gil Brandt
NFL.com Senior Analyst
(March 2, 2007) -- You will see mock drafts starting to pop up everywhere now that the NFL Draft is less than two months away. That's all well and good, but just keep in mind that there is still an awful lot that needs to happen before teams can lock in on a potential first-round target.
For starters, the free agency period has just begun, and teams can certainly fill major needs by signing a veteran player. Then there is the schedule of pro day workouts that have kicked off. Especially when it comes to college prospects who did not work out at the Scouting Combine, there is still plenty to be evaluated. Finally, there are still decisions that teams need to make about their own players.
The bottom line: Matching teams with the top college players is still a tricky puzzle. So before we figure out where they fit, let's just start out by identifying the pieces. With that in mind, here is a breakdown of the top players available in the draft.
I've broken them down in tiers; 1-10, 11-20, 21 and up. For now, players are listed in alphabetic order within their tiers. This list will be updated as the draft gets closer.
First tier -- 1 through 10
1. Gaines Adams, DL, Clemson: Gaines (6-4¾, 250) did not lift, but ran 4.64 in the 40, had a 35-inch vertical jump, a 9-foot-11 long jump and clocked 4.36 in the short shuttle. He also worked out as a linebacker (3-4).
2. Jamaal Anderson, DL, Arkansas: Anderson (6-5 3/8, 288) was a medical exclusion and did not work out. He looks thin at this weight.
3. Alan Branch, DL, Michigan: Branch (6-5¾, 324) ran 5.07 in the 40, had a 27½-inch vertical jump, and 8-foot-11 long jump and did 33 reps. He did not run the shuttles.
4. Leon Hall, DB, Michigan: Hall (5-11¼, 193) clocked 4.38 in the 40, 4.07 in the short shuttle and 6.48 in the three cone drills. He had a 37½-inch vertical jump, a 10-foot-5 long jump, and also did 15 lifts.
5. Calvin Johnson, WR, Georgia Tech: Johnson (6-5, 239) ran only at the combine and will do everything at Georgia Tech's pro day on March 15 and 16. He ran 4.35 in the 40 and 1.52 in the 10.
6. LaRon Landry, DB, LSU: Landry (6-½, 213) ran 4.35 in the 40, had a 37½-inch vertical jump and a 10-foot-3 long jump. He did not lift or run shuttles.
7. Adrian Peterson, RB, Oklahoma: Peterson (6-1½, 217) ran the 40 in 4.40 seconds, and had jumps of 38½ inches in the vertical and a 10-foot-3 long. He has very strong hands.
8. Brady Quinn, QB, Notre Dame: Quinn (6-3¾, 232) will work out at Notre Dame pro day on March 4. He had 24 lifts.
9. JaMarcus Russell, QB, LSU: Russell (6-5½, 265) did not work out at the combine. He will do so at LSU's Pro Day on March 14.
10. Joe Thomas, OL, Wisconsin: Thomas (6-6 5/8, 311) ran 4.90 in the 40, had a 33-inch vertical jump, a 9-foot-2 long jump and did 28 lifts. His thin hips should be easy for him to gain weight.
Second tier -- 11 through 20
11. Dwayne Bowe, WR, LSU: Bowe (6-2¼, 221) ran 4.51 in the 40, had a 33-inch vertical jump, a 10-foot-5 long jump. He also had times of 4.35 in the short shuttle and 6.81 in the three cone.
12. Levi Brown, OL, Penn State: Brown (6-5½, 323) was clocked at 5.40 in the 40, had a 25½-inch vertical jump, an 8-foot-1 long jump and did 31 lifts.
13. Adam Carriker, DL, Nebraska: Carriker (6-6, 296) ran a 4.89, jumped 31½ inches in the vertical and 9-foot-3 in the long and did 33 reps.
14. Ted Ginn, WR, Ohio State: Ginn (5-11¼, 178) did not work out at the Combine due to a lingering foot injury from the national championship game. He will work out at Ohio State on March 10.
15. Chris Houston, CB, Arkansas: Houston (5-9 7/8, 185) ran 4.33 in the 40, had a 36-inch vertical jump, a 10-foot-2 long jump, a 4.12 short shuttle and 27 lifts.
16. Marshawn Lynch, RB, California: Lynch (5-11 1/8, 215) is considered a very good receiver. He ran 4.46 in the 40, 4.55 in the short shuttle and 7.05 in the three-cone drill. He also had a 35½-inch vertical jump and a 10-foot-5 long jump.
17. Robert Meachem, WR, Tennessee: Meachem (6-2, 214) ran 4.38 in the 40, 4.31 in the short shuttle and 6.96 in the cone drill. He had a 37½-inch vertical jump and a 10-foot-2 long jump.
18. Jarvis Moss, DE, Florida: Moss (6-6½, 250) ran the 40 in 4.70. He also had a 30½-inch vertical jump, a 10-foot long jump and 16 lifts. Moss worked out as a 3-4 linebacker. Note: Jevon Kearse at the 1999 Combine was 6-4 7/8, 262 pounds and ran 4.6 at Florida Pro Day.
19. Paul Posluszny, LB, Penn State: Posluszny (6-1 5/8, 238) was timed at 4.70 in the 40. He had a 37-inch vertical jump, a 9-foot-8 long jump, 6.94 three cone and did 22 lifts. He's very smooth and ran better than expected. He played the 2006 season with a brace on leg.
20. Amobi Okoye, DT, Louisville: Okoye (6-2, 302) ran the 40 once in 5.07. He had a 30-inch vertical jump, a 9-foot-4 long jump and did 29 lifts. He will be the youngest player ever drafted and will turn 20 on June 10.
Third tier -- 21 and up
21. Jon Beason, LB, Miami (Fla.): Beason (6-¼, 237) ran the 40 in 4.72, had a 9-foot-3 long jump and did 19 reps.
22. Justin Blalock, OL, Texas: Blalock (6-3¼, 320) ran 5.10 in the 40. He had a 28 ½-inch vertical jump, an 8-foot-5 long jump and did 40 lifts. He worked out very well.
23. Michael Griffin, DB, Texas: Griffin (5-11¾, 202) was timed at 4.45 in the 40. He also had a 38-inch vertical jump, a 10-foot long jump, ran 4.10 in the short shuttle, 6.60 in the cone drill and had 16 lifts.
24. Ben Grubbs, OL, Auburn: Grubbs (6-2¾, 311) ran 5.18 in the 40, had a 26½-inch vertical jump, an 8-foot long jump and did 29 lifts.
25. Charles Johnson, DL, Georgia: Charles (6-2¼, 270), who also worked out as a linebacker, ran 4.84 in the 40, had a 34-inch vertical, a 9-foot-10 long jump and did 33 lifts.
26. Ryan Kalil, OL, Southern Cal: Kalil (6-2¾, 299) is a lot like Denver's Tom Nalen. He clocked 4.96 in the 40, had a 26-inch vertical jump, an 8-foot-8 long jump and had 34 reps.
27. Marcus McCauley, DB, Fresno State: McCauley (6-¾, 203) ran the 40 in 4.39, had a 36-inch vertical jump, a 10-foot-9 long jump, 6.61 three cone and 4.17 short shuttle. He also had 17 lifts, has 32¼-inch arms and 10¼-inch hands.
28. Reggie Nelson, DB, Florida: Nelson (5-11 3/8, 198) did not lift or run shuttles. He ran 4.48 in the 40 and had a 34½-inch vertical jump. Has 33¼-inch arms.
29. Greg Olsen, TE, Miami (Fla.): Olsen (6-5 7/8, 254) ran 4.51 in the 40, had a 35½-inch vertical jump, a 9-foot-6 long jump and did 23 lifts.
30. Aaron Ross, DB, Texas: Ross (6-½, 193) ran 4.44 in the 40, had a 34-inch vertical jump and a 9-foot-10 long jump.
31. Aaron Sears, OL, Tennessee: Sears (6-3¼, 319) did not work out due to a right knee injury. He had 21 lifts and arms measure 34½ inches.
32. Anthony Spencer, DE, Purdue: Spencer (6-2 7/8, 261) also worked out as a linebacker. He ran 4.70 in the 40, had a 32½-inch vertical jump, a 9-foot-4 long jump and did 30 reps.
33. Joe Staley, OL, Central Michigan: Staley (6-5 7/8, 306) was injured and did not work out. He did 27 lifts and arms measure 34¼ inches.
34. Lawrence Timmons, LB, Florida: Timmons (6-7/8, 234) had a time of 4.65 in the 40, a 35-inch vertical jump, a 10-foot-3 long jump, a 6.85 cone, 4.30 short shuttle and had 25 lifts.
35. DeMarcus "Tank" Tyler, DT, N.C. State: Tyler (6-2¼, 306) pulled his hamstring on his first run and could not complete workout. He ran 5.30 in the 40, had a 28½-inch vertical jump and did 42 lifts.
36. Patrick Willis, LB, Mississippi: Willis (6-1 1/8, 242) ran 4.51 in the 40, had a 35-inch vertical jump, a 9-foot-11 long jump and did 22 reps.
Dwayne Jarrett, WR, Souther Cal: Jarrett (6-4, 219), with a good time could rate in the 11-20 group.
Darrelle Revis, DB, Pittsburgh: Revis (5-11½, 205), with a good time could rate in the 21-35 group. He had 21 lifts.
Marcus Thomas, DL, Florida: Thomas (6-2¾, 314) did not work out, but had 26 lifts. He's a good player with off-field problems.
Trent Edwards (6-4 1/8, 231) Stanford: He did not jump due to an injury. He ran 4.76 in the 40.
Drew Stanton (6-3¼, 226) Michigan State: He ran 4.75 in the 40, had a 30 ½-inch vertical jump and a 9-foot long jump.
Note: the measurables that I am including here are numbers that I obtained at the scouting combine. Different teams may have different times, as they all go by their own scouts who were on the scene.