I know, I know. It’s waaaay to early to begin anointing the NFL’s Class of ’07 as the league’s best ever. Heck, they’ll have a hard time beating the Class of ’06, which featured at least three future Pro Bowl QBs (Vince Young, Matt Leinart and Jay Cutler), four running backs who started this season ( Reggie Bush, Joseph Addai and Laurence Maroney). That wasn’t all, as the draft produced Maurice Jones-Drew ) and numerous players who make key contributions and various positions (i.e. Cedric Griffin , Devin Hester and Mathias Kiwanuka)
But many of those players were relative unknowns to anyone not named Mel Kiper, Jr. . But The Draft of ’07 is making me drool. Today was the last day underclassmen could declare for paychecks, and the biggest player who added himself to the fray was Oklahoma RB Adrian Peterson, the man-child who carried the Sooners since the day he walked on campus as a freshman three years ago. He joined LSU’s Culpepper-like JaMarcus Russell, Georgia Tech WR Calvin Johnson, Ohio State WRs Ted Ginn, Jr. and Anthony Gonzales, Cal’s Marshawn Lynch, Michigan WR Allen Branch, Arkansas DE, Jamaal Anderson and USC game-burner Dwayne Jarrett and…stop me before I salivate.
College football has had a couple of magical seasons, yeays in which major stars have performed well and made names for themselves that transcend the draftniks. (The NBA used to enjoy this cheap marketing as well, but with more and more of the game’s to players going to the league either straight from high school or, with the new age limits, soon thereafter, fewer players enter the league with high Q ratings). The means just about every team will get someone of note. And whether they root for the respective teams or not, college football fans will follow their own teams’ former stars.
Let’s meet in 10 years. But right now, I’m saying 2007 will beat 2006 and every other year. Convince me otherwise.
Check it out: The Kiper’s ’07 Mock Draft