'07 NFL Draft: Weekend in Review

The first full weekend of college football has already had a major impact on what may happen during the early selections of next April's NFL Draft. There's plenty of injury news, both good and bad.

Louisville running back Michael Bush, a potential top 15 choice in next April's draft, broke his right leg in the third quarter of the Cardinals' 59-28 win over Kentucky on Sunday night and will be out for the remainder of the season.

Bush totaled 124-yards and three touchdowns in the first half before breaking his right leg on the second play of the second half.  He underwent successful surgery Monday morning, having a rod inserted into his right leg.

Bush led the nation in scoring last season as a junior, averaging 14.4 points per game and scoring a school-record 23 rushing touchdowns. He considered leaving for last April's NFL Draft but decided to return for his senior year.  He does have a red-shirt year left and could return for another season in Louisville next year.

The bad luck suffered by Bush last night offers a window of opportunity for reserve Kolby Smith.  Recently given a fifth round grade by BLESTO Scouting service, one of two used by the NFL, Smith offers outstanding computer numbers for a running back (5'-11"/215 lbs/4.58).  Smith finished the night with 12-carries for 66-yards on Monday.

Another highly rated prospect from the Louisville offense, quarterback Brian Brohm, played well in his first game back from injury.  Brohm, who suffered a devastating knee injury last November, threw for 254 yards and a touchdown just nine months after tearing a ligament.  

Brohm is projected to be first round material if he decides to enter next April's draft.

A second highly rated prospect suffered a season ending injury this weekend, Clemson linebacker Anthony Waters.  

During the Tigers 54-6 blowout victory over Florida Atlantic, Waters tore an ACL and will have surgery sometime within the next three weeks. 

Entertaining thoughts of jumping to the NFL last January, Waters is a fifth year senior who must now petition the NCAA for an extra-season of eligibility.  Waters rates between a third-to-fifth round draft choice.

Proving he is the complete package and a triple threat fullback, Brian Leonard of Rutgers kept his pass catching streak alive.  Leonard, who grades out as a top 75-selection, has at least one reception in 35 consecutive games in college.

A pair of highly rated senior tight ends returning from injury had good showings over the weekend.  

Oregon State's Joe Newton, who suffered a freak leg injury just prior to the start of practice last August, totaled five receptions for 56 yards and two touchdowns during the Beavers dismantling of Eastern Washington. 

After a tremendous sophomore campaign in 2003, Nebraska's Matt Herian looked like the next great downfield pass catching threat at the tight end position.  Herian started off well in '04 until a devastating broken leg ended his season.  The injury was so bad Herian sat on the sidelines all of 2005.

Herian made a statement Saturday against Louisiana Tech catching three passes for 61-yards with one score.  His 20-yard average  made many reminisce of the skill Herian showed early in his career.  At one time considered first round material, Herian must show continual improvement and fare well during the medical exams administered at the combine to jump into the initial two rounds.

Last year Tennessee quarterback Erik Ainge was pushed and pulled in-and-out of the line-up.  Ainge, a player we recently mentioned during our Volunteer line-up, has a new outlook with a "new" coordinator.  

David Cutcliffe helped develop both of the Manning brothers, first Peyton as offensive coordinator in Tennessee then Eli as the head coach of Mississippi.  Cutcliffe returned to Knoxville this year to run the offense and seems to be working well with Ainge.  

The end result?  66% passes completed for 291-yards passing and four scores during the Volunteers domination of California on Saturday.

Texas senior starting cornerback Tarell Brown was arrested and charged on misdemeanor drug and weapons charges on Monday.  Brown was charged with carrying a loaded weapon and possessing under 2 ounces of marijuana.

A highly rated shut-down corner considered top-45 material, Brown's showdown against Ohio State's game breaking receiver Ted Ginn Jr. is now in jeopardy.

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