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Gil Brandt's Pre-Combine Rankings: Offense


Starting the evening of Feb. 20, dozens of players (327 to be exact) from 105 schools will arrive in Indianapolis to take part in the 2007 National Invitational Camp (otherwise known as the NFL Scouting Combine).

The players will be given a medical examination, attend an NFLPA meeting, be interviewed by the teams and meet with owners (the Cowboys' Jerry Jones, for instance, is always present), general managers, head coaches and other personnel men from all 32 teams before finishing four days after their arrival with a workout in the RCA Dome (home of the world champion Colts).

Below, we will present a breakdown by position of the key offensive players who will be present at the combine. We will attempt to list the top players at each position and the players you might not know a lot about.

Each player is listed with a number he will wear at the workout, so you can follow them during the live coverage on NFL Network. During the four days of the combine, players will be in the dome running their 40s and doing their field drills.

The combine is one of those rare win-win situations for the players who work out. The teams go and check out every player at the invite-only workout, which amounts to one-stop shopping for the draft under ideal conditions. But for the players who work out, it's even more valuable because they can show off what they can do in workouts for all the main decision-makers (head coaches, general managers, personnel directors and owners) from all 32 teams.

It's the biggest job fair any college prospect could ever imagine having, and every player could "move up" the draft boards thanks to their workouts.

For example, Mario Williams, A.J. Hawk and Donte Whitner ran and did the field drills in Indianapolis last year, and they ended up being the first, fifth and eighth overall selections in the 2006 NFL Draft. All three ended up starting for Houston, Green Bay and Buffalo, respectively. Matt Jones (Jacksonville), Fabian Washington (Oakland), Terence Newman (Dallas) and Marcus Trufant (Seattle) are all examples of players in previous years who enhanced their draft status with great workouts at the combine.

NOTE: The combine track (FieldTurf) is very fast -- great for running outstanding times. After all, this is the surface the Colts, and more specifically, two of their players -- Marvin Harrison and Dwight Freeney -- have told combine organizers that they consider very fast.

The NFL's 32 teams aren't the only ones that want to know the scouting invitees better. You do as well, and the media hears your pleas. Newspapers, magazines, television stations and radio stations (Sirius Satellite) will be in town to cover the event. Radio and TV will broadcast live with interviews from players and club personnel. Last year, we had 300 credentialed media. This year, Steve Alic, who is in charge of media requests for the NFL, has received 450 requests, representing a record 26 states, as well as Canada. will file daily reports also.

Jeff Foster and his staff are responsible for organizing this whole extravaganza, and he does an unbelievably great job.



First players likely to be picked (listed alphabetically):

  1. John Beck, BYU (No. 1)
  1. Trent Edwards, Stanford (No. 2)
  1. Kevin Kolb, Houston (No. 5)
  1. Jordan Palmer, UTEP (No. 9)
  1. Brady Quinn, Notre Dame (No. 11)
  1. Jeff Rowe, Nevada
  1. JaMarcus Russell, LSU (No. 13)
  1. Troy Smith, Ohio St. (No. 14)
  1. Drew Stanton, Michigan St. (No. 16)
  1. Jared Zabransky, Boise St. (No. 21)

Wild cards:

Chris Leak, Florida (No. 7). Leak quarterbacked his team to the BCS title.

Isaiah Stanback, Washington (No. 15). Stanback is talented but was injured most of the 2006 season.

Quick Hits:

In 2006, 25 QBs were invited to the combine and 11 were drafted.

Jordan Palmer's brother, Carson, was the No. 1 overall pick in the 2003 NFL Draft and was named the player of the game in the 2007 Pro Bowl.

Matt Gutierrez never lost a game in three years as the starter for De La Salle High in California.

Brady Quinn's sister is married to Green Bay linebacker A.J. Hawk, who was picked fifth overall in the 2006 draft.



*(28 halfbacks, 4 fullbacks)

First players likely to be picked (listed alphabetically):*

  1. Lorenzo Booker, Florida State (No. 3)
  1. Michael Bush, Louisville (No. 6)
  1. Kenneth Darby, Alabama (No. 10)
  1. Tony Hunt, Penn State (No. 12)
  1. Kenny Irons, Auburn (No. 14)
  1. Brandon Jackson, Nebraska (No. 15)
  1. Brian Leonard, Rutgers (No. 16)
  1. Marshawn Lynch, California (No. 17)
  1. Adrian Peterson, Oklahoma (No. 21)
  1. Antonio Pittman, Ohio State (No. 22)
  1. Darius Walker, Notre Dame (No. 27)

Wild card:

Nate Iiaoa, Hawaii (No. 13). He is 5-foot-8 5/8 and 245 pounds, and he scored 18 touchdowns last season.

More names to know:

Kolby Smith, Louisville (No. 24)

Ahmad Bradshaw, Marshall (No. 4)

Le'Ron McClain, Alabama (No. 18)

Tyrone Moss, Miami (Fla.) (No. 20)

Quick Hits:

In 2006, 31 running backs were invited to the combine; 18 of those were drafted. In addition, one non-invitee was drafted.

Adrian Peterson tied NCAA freshman records set by Emmitt Smith (1987) and Marshall Faulk (1991) for being the quickest to 1,000 yards (seven games).

Brian Leonard holds the all-time prep scoring record in New York State with 696 points. He also had nine consecutive games with at least 200 rushing yards in high school.



First players likely to be picked (listed alphabetically):

  1. Aundrae Allison, East Carolina (No. 1)
  1. Dwayne Bowe, LSU (No. 4)
  1. Craig Davis, LSU (No. 11)
  1. Ted Ginn, Ohio State (No. 15)
  1. Anthony Gonzalez, Ohio State (No. 16)
  1. Dwayne Jarrett, USC (No. 22)
  1. Calvin Johnson, Georgia Tech (No. 23)
  1. Robert Meachem, Tennessee (No. 31)
  1. Sidney Rice, South Carolina (No. 36)
  1. Chansi Stuckey, Clemson (No. 42)
  1. Paul Williams, Fresno State (No. 48)

More names to know:

David Ball, New Hampshire (No. 3)

David Clowney, Virginia Tech (No. 8)

Joel Filani, Texas Tech (No. 14)

Jason Hill, Washington State (No. 19)

Laurent Robinson, Illinois State (No. 37)

Courtney Taylor, Auburn (No. 44)

Wild cards:

Jordan Kent, Oregon (No. 27). He came to Eugene to play basketball and run track, and wound up seeing limited action on the football team for two seasons.

Legedu Naanee, Boise State (No. 33). He came to school as a quarterback and wound up playing wide receiver in 2005 and 2006.

Quick Hits:

In 2006, 40 wide receivers were invited to the combine; 27 of those were drafted. In addition, four non-invitees were drafted.

Jordan Kent's father Ernie is the head basketball coach at the University of Oregon.

Since 1965, only two wide receivers have been selected No. 1 overall -- Irving Fryar (New England, 1984) and Keyshawn Johnson (Jets, 1996). Both passed the 800-catch milestone. Fryar played 17 seasons; Johnson is still playing.

In NFL draft history, six wide receivers were selected with the top pick. Not one is in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.



First players likely to be picked (listed alphabetically):

  1. Scott Chandler, Iowa (No. 3)
  1. Jonny Harline, BYU (No. 5)
  1. Clark Harris, Rutgers (No. 6)
  1. Zach Miller, Arizona St. (No. 7)
  1. Martrez Miller, Georgia (No. 8)
  1. Joe Newton, Oregon St. (No. 9)
  1. Greg Olsen, Miami, Fla. (No. 10)
  1. Ben Patrick, Delaware (No. 11)
  1. Matt Spaeth, Minnesota (No. 16)

More names to know:

Daniel Coatsh, BYU (No. 4)

Anthony Pudewell, Nevada (No. 12)

Quick Hits:

In 2006, 23 tight ends were invited to the combine and 15 were drafted.

No tight end has been picked No. 1 overall. The highest picks were Ron Kramer (No. 4 to Green Bay) in 1957 and Mike Ditka (No. 5 to Chicago) in 1961.

Matt Spaeth's father, Ken, played tight end at Nebraska and was a fifth-round pick of Buffalo in 1978.

Michael Allan is the first player from Whitworth to attend the combine. Whitworth has had only two players to ever play uin the NFL -- Doug Long (Seattle, 1977-78) and Paul Ward (Detroit, 1961-62). Neither was drafted.



*(26 tackles, 15 guards, 13 centers)

First players likely to be picked (listed alphabetically):*

  1. Josh Beekman, Boston College (No. 3)
  1. Justin Blalock, Texas (No. 6)
  1. Levi Brown, Penn State (No. 7)
  1. Ben Grubbs, Auburn (No. 17)
  1. Ryan Harris, Notre Dame (No. 20)
  1. Ryan Kalil, USC (No. 26)
  1. Aaron Sears, Tennessee (No. 38)
  1. Joe Staley, Central Michigan (No. 40)
  1. Joe Thomas, Wisconsin (No. 45)
  1. Tony Ugoh, Arkansas (No. 46)
  1. Marshal Yanda, Iowa (No. 51)

Wild cards:

Samson Satele, Hawaii (No. 37). Teams don't draft centers very high and 2006 was his first year at center. He does not have very long arms.

Gabe Hall, Texas Tech (No. 18). Hall's a former tight end with athletic ability and speed.

More names to know:

Tim Duckworth, Auburn (No. 11)

Doug Free, Northern Illinois (No. 14)

Brandon Frye, Virginia Tech (No. 16)

Leroy Harris, N.C. State (No. 19)

James Marten, Boston College (No. 30)

Dan Santucci, Notre Dame (No. 36)

Quick Hits:

In 2006, 50 offensive linemen were invited to the combine and 40 were drafted. Ten others got drafted that weren't invited to Indy.

Marcus McNeill of the Chargers was the 50th player picked in last year's draft. He started every game at left tackle and was selected to the Pro Bowl as a rookie.

The Packers has three offensive linemen drafted in 2006 start a combined 38 games -- Daryn Colledge (15 starts), Jason Spitz (13) and Tony Moll (10).

Jahri Evans of the New Orleans Saints, a fourth-round pick in 2006 from Division II Bloomsburg State, started all 16 games for the No. 1-ranked offense in the NFL.



*(6 kickers, 8 punters, 2 deep snappers)

First players likely to be picked (listed alphabetically):*

  1. Mason Crosby, Colorado (No. 5)
  1. Adam Poolesh, Maryland (No. 11)
  1. Daniel Sepulveda, Baylor (No. 14)

Quick Hits:

In 2006, four rookie kickers made NFL teams (three punters and one placekicker). All four played in this year's playoffs.


For years, I've been part of the NFL combine, and I can tell you it's an interesting time because this is the first chance to see the rookie class of 2007. Fans will be able to check out the workouts for themselves via NFL Network's live coverage. It will be your chance to see the next Antoine Bethea (Colts DB) and Marques Colston (Saints WR) establish themselves before they ever play an NFL game.

Starting at 2 p.m. ET on Thursday, Feb. 22, and Friday, Feb. 23, you will be able to watch press conferences live that take place those two days for two hours -- in total, five hours will be broadcast from the combine these two days. From Feb. 24-27 starting at 11 a.m. ET, you will be able to daily coverage of live workouts -- the 40-yard dash and position drills.

In addition, NFL Total Access will be on the scene with news, analysis and interviews, featuring host Rich Eisen and other NFL former coaches and players. If you are a fantasy football player, this is a must-watch event. I think you will really enjoy this special program.

Live Coverage:

Feb. 24 -- Offensive linemen, tight ends

Feb. 25 -- Quarterbacks, wide receivers, running backs

Feb. 26 -- Linebackers, defensive linemen

Feb. 27 -- Defensive backs

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