McFadden will enter '08 draftIts never too early to take a look at some potential prospects for the 2008 draft. In, the 2008 NFL Draft we will enjoy the luxury of having (2) 1st round draft picks. Of those two picks, one has the potential to be a top 5 at best and top 10 pick at worst. I don’t see the lowly Browns winning more than 6 games this year.

As for what position we may need to address in the draft, its early, but you would have to say CB, and WR would be atop the list of priority needs. After Newman, there’s a big drop in coverage. There’s Henry, but no one seems confident in him lately. The young CBs on the team, aren’t even at Henry’s level, so that’s an position of concern.

Then you have WR, Terrell Owens will be the man in 2008, but what about Glenn, he’s getting banged up, and if the season had already started we would be without Glenn for a few games. Glenn is a bigtime weapon for us, and will not be easily replaced. Yes, Hurd has looked pretty good, and Austin is right behind him, but there’s going to be a need for another franchise WR sometime soon.

What about running back? Right now the whole theory is that Julius will leave after this year, and the Cowboys will draft McFadden. Rumor has it McFadden will leave Arkansas after his junior year (after this season) and is going to get “paid” Sounds like a “holdout” problem for someone, not to say we wouldn’t take him. But with solid depth with Barber and Thompson, why waste the first pick on RB. Also, who’s to say that Julius wouldn’t get re-signed after a breakout year under Garrett’s new offense. What about Michael Turner, he’ll probably become available in free agency as well. He’s got the whole San Diego connection with Phillips, and he’s solid. Let’s get the best DB out there, or best WR.

Let’s look at who the pundits think are this year’s top prospects to watch.

Scott Wright of NFLDraftCountdown.com has these seniors atop their positions,

At CB:
1.Terrell Thomas USC
2.Antoine Cason Arizona
3.Dwight Lowery San Jose St.
4.Zack Bowman Nebraska
5.Tracy Porter Indiana

At WR:
1.Early Doucet L.S.U.
2.Limas Sweed Texas
3.Adarius Bowman Oklahoma St.
4.Harry Douglas Louisville
5.Keenan Burton Kentucky

At RB:
1.Tashard Choice Georgia Tech
2.Ryan Torain Arizona St.
3.Allen Patrick Oklahoma
4.Mike Hart Michigan
5.Dantrell Savage Oklahoma St.

At DT:
1.Glenn Dorsey L.S.U.
2.Frank Okam Texas
3.Sedrick Ellis USC
4.Andre Fluellen Florida St.
5.DeMario Pressley North Carolina St.

Projected 1st Round Picks:

Kenny Phillips – Safety – Miami – 6’2” 210lb (JR)
Jonathan Stewart – Running Back – Oregon – 5’11” 230lb (JR)

FootballsFuture.com has an early mock draft out as well, they have projected:

Darren McFadden – RB – Arkansas: The Cowboys look like geniuses landing this pick. They have some talent at RB, but none on McFadden’s level.

Zach Bowman – CB – Nebraska: May not start right away, but could learn a lot from the vets on the roster.

ESPN McShay has some early thoughts on the ’08 RB class as well:

The real story of the 2008 running back class will ultimately be an influx of talented early entries. If Darren McFadden of Arkansas were a senior, he would be the top prospect on the 2008 draft board, regardless of position. His combination of size, speed, athleticism and versatility is unparalleled….Steve Slaton, Jamaal Charles, Ray Rice, James Davis and Jonathan Stewart are also supremely talented underclass backs who could crash the 2008 draft party.

And Fullbacks, there’s two top guys according to McShay:

Owen Schmitt and Peyton Hillis are future NFL contributors, however. Schmitt possesses a rare blend of size, speed and hands, much like current Saints FB Mike Karney. Hillis is a bit undersized but gets the most out of his physical ability as a runner, blocker and receiver as well as on kick coverage.

On Wide Receivers, McShay gives us some prospects to look at, despite what appears to be thin talent at WR in 2008:

Early Doucet of LSU and Limas Sweed of Texas headline a deep, but unspectacular group of senior receivers this season…Sweed is bigger and more of a proven entity than Doucet, but he is not quite as explosive vertically or after the catch…there is a handful of potential first-rounders among the underclassmen including DeSean Jackson, Mario Manningham, Greg Carr, Earl Bennett, Malcolm Kelly and Mario Urrutia.

On Defensive Backs:

There are not many elite safeties in the early-entry ranks but Kenny Phillips could be the top defensive back selected overall in 2008 if he leaves school early. And keep an eye on Derek Pegues, a speedy, versatile defender who could play free safety or cornerback in the NFL.

Terrell Thomas and Zack Bowman are two of the most physically gifted cover corners in this year’s class but injuries have set both prospects back considerably. Thomas (shoulder) and Bowman (knee) are both looking to rebound from injuries suffered during spring practice.

Don’t discount DE either. This is a make or break year for Marcus Spears, and maybe even Chris Canty. McShay looks at the top senior/junior DE prospects. Howie Long’s son, leads the pack in 2008.

1. Chris Long Virginia DE 6-3 1/4 266 4.80(SR)
3. Tommy Blake TCU DE 6-2 1/2 252 4.61(SR)
1. Calais Campbell Miami (Fla.) DE 6-6 1/2 277(JR)
2. Derrick Harvey Florida DE 6-4 1/2 255(JR)
3. Vernon Gholston Ohio State DE 6-4 260(JR)

So, there it is, just a brief look at some players on both sides of the ball you may want to keep your eye on. Go Cowboys, and lose Browns!