No Regrets?

By Adam Caparell - April 28, 2008


The NFL Draft is now behind us and for 252 players this past weekend, a dream came true. For others, the weekend wasn't nearly as momentous. Here's a look at some of the more notable names who did not get drafted, despite, in many cases, predictions to the contrary. And thrown in for the hell of it is a little analysis, broken down by position.

Quarterbacks
Xavier Lee, Florida State: What was he thinking? Despite his beliefs, he wasn't going to latch onto an NFL team as a QB - the league views him as a WR. Should have stayed in school.

Kyle Wright, Miami: Once the top high school QB in the country, it was a rough four years at Miami.

Anthony Morelli, Penn State: Wasn't expected to be drafted and certainly didn't play like he was worthy in 2007.

Name Called: Dennis Dixon, Colt Brennan and Matt Flynn were all drafted Sunday, in the fifth, sixth and seventh rounds, respectively. Dixon is the one to watch. Pittsburgh took him meaning that if he can get back to the form that was carrying him toward the Heisman Trophy last season, before he tore his ACL, he won't be quarterbacking the Steelers unless Ben Roethlisberger is injured.

Biggest Surprise: Andre' Woodson fell all the way to the sixth round where the Giants - a team that has a surplus of QBs - snatched him up. It's been a mind-boggling fall for Woodson who was considered the top senior QB prospect last October and a Heisman candidate, only to struggle down the stretch and perform poorly at his off-season workouts and camps. His awkward delivery is another reason teams stayed away from him. Joe Flacco's first round selection came as a shock to many. He was graded as a second round choice, but his big arm - and surprising athleticism - swayed Baltimore to move up.

Running Backs
Anthony Alridge, Houston: Productive back with the Cougars went undrafted, but the league views him more as a WR. His size is what really hurt him - he's listed at 5-foot-9 and 177 pounds.

Danny Woodhead, Chadron State: The guy's as small as a mouse, but the NCAA's all-time leading rusher did latch on with the Jets via free agency. He's got enough speed to return kicks. Can he take the pounding?

Name Called: Allen Patrick went late, in the seventh round. Justin Forsett was taken in the seventh as well. Mike Hart went in the sixth round.

Biggest Surprise: Everyone loved Chris Johnson's speed leading up to the draft - he ran a blistering 4.24 40 at the NFL Combine - but the prevailing thinking was that he would go somewhere in the second round. Johnson was picked only one selection after Rashard Mendenhall who was believed to be highly sought after and coveted by many leading up to the weekend. That wasn't the case as Mendenhall slipped to No. 23. Meanwhile, Jonathan Stewart was taken No. 13. Few, if any, thought he would go before Mendenhall considering there was one team that reportedly thought more highly of Mendenhall than they did Darren McFadden. If Stewart's healthy, he could be a real steal. Jacob Hester was thought to be a later round pick Sunday, but wound up going in the third. Good selection by San Diego. He's a winning player and he'll help an already stacked Chargers team.

Wide Receivers
Adarius Bowman, Oklahoma State: Very talented, but slightly speed challenged. Also not the biggest guy at 6-foot.

Ryan Grice-Mullen, Hawaii: Can't blame him for leaving early with his coach and quarterback both gone, but not getting drafted makes you think twice.

Name Called: Marcus Monk, Mario Urrutia and Adrian Arrington all went in the seventh round. Those guys all have size - all are over 6-foot-3 - and it's the reason they had their name called.

Biggest Surprise: Devin Thomas was widely thought to be the first wide out taken in the first round. Turns out he wasn't the first wide out taken. That honor went to Houston's Donnie Avery in a bit of a surprise. Maclolm Kelly, Mario Manningham and Thomas - the three wide outs who had all had first round grades - lasted a lot longer than many figured. Manningham didn't go until the third round. And despite his home run ability, I wouldn't expect great things from him. Can't see him lasting very long in the league with that small size. Same goes for DeSean Jackson as a receiver - he's listed at 5-foot-9 and 170 pounds. His kick returning prowess, however, will keep him in the league. Keenan Burton, a fourth round selection, will do some good things in the NFL.

Defensive Ends/Defensive Tackles
Wallace Gillberry, Alabama: For the first time since 1970, no Alabama player was taken in the draft.

Tommy Blake, TCU: Leading up to the 2007 season, Blake was expected to be among the nation's leaders in sacks. Personal problems and injuries ruined his senior season and quite possibly his NFL career.

Eric Foster, Rutgers: Productive for the Scarlet Knights, but undersized - at 277 pounds - for the NFL and not enough strength.

Name Called: Frank Okam went in the fifth. Carlton Powell went in the fifth as well. Ervin Baldwin landed in the seventh.

Biggest Surprise: Not a ton of them. Things pretty much went according to plan, although Andre Fluellen ended up in the third round, a significant jump up from the sixth/seventh round grade many had given him. Philip Merling was thought to be a first round pick. He slipped to the second. Calais Campbell went in the second round, a far cry from where the Miami standout figured to be taken before the season began.

Linebackers
Ben Moffitt, South Florida: Some had him going in the sixth round. Lack of speed and quickness hurt.

Vince Hall, Virginia Tech: Size and tackling concerns.

Erin Henderson, Maryland: Wonder if he'd like to be back at Maryland right now after declaring early for the draft? Lot potential, but didn't grade out all that well.

Ali Highsmith, LSU: Six Tigers were drafted, five on Sunday, but Highsmith wasn't one of the fortunate ones. Overall size and strength aren't ideal.

Wesley Woodyard, Kentucky: SEC's leading tackler last year did not hear his name. Realtively small size - 6-foot-1, 227 pounds - hurt his chances.

J. Leman, Illinois: Size issues for one of the Big Ten's best tacklers the past few seasons.

Name Called: Shawn Crable went in the third round. Geno Hayes - who probably should have stayed - was taken in the sixth.

Biggest Surprise: Out of the names that didn't get called, Moffitt and Woodyard have to be the two most surprising with Woodyard's snub even more so than Moffitt's. Woodyard's got speed and graded out as a fourth or fifth round selection.

Defensive Backs
Simeon Castille, Alabama: Thought to be fourth round material, Castille's speed hurt him (4.57 40). Just doesn't have the ability to stick with the game's best.

D.J. Wolfe, Oklahoma: Graded out as a draft pick, but strength issues may have dogged him along with speed questions.

Jamie Silva, Boston College: Pretty good size, but not great speed. Someone should have taken him considering his nose for the ball.

Name Called: Trae Williams went in the fifth round. Jack Ikegwuonu was off the board in the fourth.

Biggest Surprise: Mike Jenkins lasted until pick No. 25. Many had him rated higher than Leodis McKelvin who was the first defensive back taken at No. 11. My prediction is that Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie - the corner from Tennessee State who was taken at pick No. 16 - turns out to be the best of the bunch. He's too athletic not to, plus he has pretty good size and great speed.

Specialists
Art Carmody, Louisville: NCAA's kick scoring record holder with 433 points couldn't find a team to draft him despite his reputation for consistency.

Jeremy Ito, Rutgers: Inconsistency of 2007 looks to have really hurt his bid. Big leg, but didn't back up a great 2006.

Alexis Serna, Oregon State: Pros like his accuracy, but don't like his leg strength.

Name Called: Durant Brooks was taken in sixth round. Brandon Coutu was tabbed in the seventh. That pretty much held true to form.

Biggest Surprise: Brooks and Coutu being selected were far from surprises. The NFL lists Appalachian State's Dexter Jackson as a kick returner, but he's a capable wide receiver with speed to burn.

Special thanks to NFLDraftScout.com and the people at NFL Draft Bible for all the information throughout the draft process.

Posted by Adam Caparell at 11:20 AM on April 28, 2008
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