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Draft: Campbell, Harvey, Phillips, Manningham?

[editor's note, by Skin Patrol] It's been a while since I've promoted a diary, and this is a worthy candidate. Enjoy mmford10's draft analysis on Campbell, Harvey, Phillips, and Manningham. Also a big fan of the discussion started by JustinU804's diary. I'm busy the rest of the day so you guys are very much on your own, cheers. I think these may be our top 4 targets for our pick next month (obviously unless a top 10 guy slides out to us).

I'm gonna exploit my ESPN insider for you guys and also supplement it with what knowledge I have. Here goes.

Calais Campbell, a DE from the U, is a guy who's absolutely massive -- over 6'7.5 inches tall and 279 pounds. That's a pretty huge size for a lineman (Andre Carter is 6'4 and 250). He is viewed as an extremely good athlete and a versatile lineman. A post on this website had a scout said he had the skill set of Daniels and the athleticism of Andre Carter. I'm pretty well sold on that!

Scouts Inc. says, "he lacks the top-end speed to develop into an elite edge rusher at the NFL level but he is one of the more complete defensive ends in this year's class. He has the burst, athletic ability and size to effectively defend the run and get to the quarterback when he's fresh and playing with sound technique. Campbell projects as a first-round pick as a result."

I think he's a pretty good choice, and to be honest, a guy that's 6'7 and runs a 4.79 sounds like a pretty fast and strong dude to me. I think with Blache's coaching this young guy -- he'll be 22 when the season begins) would be a great investment. He might be my top choice.

Derrick Harvey is a guy who just declared himself eligible about a week ago. He's another DE and went to Florida. He's also a junior. He's a little smaller than Campbell but not small by any means -- he has the body of Andre Carte (6'5, 250). He is a bit faster than Campbell, as his best time was a 4.67 and his lowest time was 4.79. He is a bit more of a pure passrusher than Campbell is. At Florida he was a sack master -- in their championship season in 06, Harvey had 11 sacks (but also was across from Jarvis Moss who was a first rounder himself). Last year he only had 4.5.

I think he would fit in better on a team that has a more complete defensive line. Scouts says, "Harvey is going to have problems holding his own when NFL offensive tackles get their hands on him so he isn't a good fit for a team that asks its defensive linemen to occupy two gaps. However, he has the burst and athletic ability to eventually excel in a one-gap scheme and he should make an immediate impact rushing the passer. Harvey projects as a first round pick consequently."

I'm still sold on Campbell, although Harvey is more highly rated by most.

Kenny Phillips is another story. He is by far the best safety in this draft and also went to Miami. His appeal has dropped a lot in the last few months, as he went from projected top 10 pick to some even wondering if he would get picked in the first 25 picks. Without Gregg Williams, it seems like this pick won't happen. But it's a possibility that we would want to shore up a position that's looking suddenly alarmingly thin... Landry is an obvious stud, Doughty is a competent starter, but Prileaou (that guy needs a new last name) may bolt for Jacksonville and he had problems last year anyway. Unless we sign another CB and Springs moves over to safety I think we have to address this position in the offseason in some capacity, and I think our management probably agrees. I don't think it's by making Phillips our #1, but I'm sure he's being evaluated anyway.

He has a reputation for being a good coverage safety, and doesn't have the stats of a Landry or Taylor (runs a 4.45 which is fast but not superhuman). He can force turnovers (2 int's and 3 FF's last year, and he had one season with 5 int's), but has a problem staying healthy... he missed part of the 2006 season and part of last season.

I think he's going to be a competent safety but will not be the juggernaut that Taylor was and Landry is. Scouts: "Phillips is slightly undersized and he needs to get stouter against the run but he's willing in run support and he's tall enough to add weight without sacrificing speed. More importantly, he covers a lot of ground in zone coverage and can match up in man coverage making him the most complete safety in this year's class and more than likely a first-round pick."

Meh. If we were worried about Landry, I may say pick him, but we need help rushing the passer more than anything. If we can trade up and get him at the end of the first, that's the one case I would consider because we wouldn't have to give up too much for that (ie, maybe a second and 6th rounder... not too bad).

The last situation I have is that we pick a WR. Our options obviously depend on who's available. DeSean Jackson and Malcolm Kelly appear to have launched into the top 20 picks, so I'll let Cerrato and Zorn do their research on them. Limas Sweed from Texas has a lot of injury problems (I think he missed the Senior Bowl right?) and I think if we're picking a WR that high we want a known quantity.

That brings us to Mario Manningham. I gotta say, if this guy (and Chad Henne and probably Mike Hart) had left before last year, these guys would have all been high first round picks. Manningham was viewed as one of the top WR's in the country and then as Michigan faltered so did his stock. Maybe I'm still stuck in last year, but I think this guy is a great WR. He ran a fairly average 40 for a top-flight WR (4.45) but he really is fast and if anyone watched him at UM he is a real playmaker. He is the best deep-ball WR in the draft and that makes him invaluable.

He's 6'0, which doesn't help our WR situation that much, but it doesn't hurt it either. He is also skinny (188) for that size, but I'm sure he'll bulk up in the pros. But what impresses me personally about Manningham is the adjustment ability. There were some poorly thrown deep balls which Manningham was able to suddenly adjust like Santana Moss does and break open as a result for just a quick half a second. I think he has the tools to be a great WR and a steady one for years. He has good hands and is a great route-runner.

Scouts is concerned about his off-the-field issues, which I must admit I know little about. Again, I'll leave that one up to Vinny and Jimmy. Their wrapup: "So long as he remains motivated and stays out of trouble off the field, Manningham has the tools to emerge as a Tory Holt type weapon for the team that drafts him in the mid-to-late portion of the first round."

Torry Holt? Yum. I'll take the most consistent WR in the NFC for the last 8 years any time. Is that gamble (and it is a gamble) worth passing up a top flight DE?

These are tough questions. Let's hear what you have to say! Add anything you wish.

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