JaMarcus Russell was once again solid behind center
for LSU. Completing over 60% of his passes for 210-yards with two scores,
Russell capped off a terrific senior campaign with a win over Arkansas. Likely to
enter the draft, there are many in the scouting community who now believe that
Russell will be the first quarterback selected ahead of Brady Quinn from Notre Dame.
Russell’s favorite target, Dwayne Bowe, has also made a move up draft
boards and now sits as one of the top three senior receiver prospects heading to
April's draft. The
Tigers top pass catcher, Bowe finished his college career in grand style.
Setting career marks with 60-receptions, 912-receiving yards and eleven
touchdowns, Bowe also significantly reduced the number of catchable passes he’s
dropped. Fast times prior to the draft will push him into the
top 45 selections.
Another prospect from the state of Louisiana that improved his draft grade is Tulane
quarterback Lester Ricard. Bettering his numbers in every passing category over
last season, Patrick showed solid progress in '06, reducing the number
of mistakes and poor decisions he's made from the pocket.
There is a belief amongst some that Florida receiver Andre Caldwell could break
into the first round if he enters the draft. On a tear since the middle part of
the season, Caldwell had a breakout year and has been the Gators top pass
catcher. More than half of Caldwell’s receptions came during the second part
of the year and the junior receiver has built a lot of momentum for himself.
Yet another wide out who has improved his draft grade is Nate Morton of Wake Forest. Projecting nicely as a fourth receiver at the next level, Morton has
complete game. Reliable catching the ball, he is also an asset blocking
downfield for the running game.
A fast riser up draft boards and a sleeper of sorts is Utah defensive tackle
Paul Soliai. Grading as a marginal free agent at season’s start,
Soliai has drawn high praise from scouts around the league. Soliai’s play is
getting him first day consideration.