Bust and bargains
Brooks, a former NFL wide receiver and cornerback, spent the last seven years as a scout for the Seahawks and Panthers.
Matt Schaub, Atlanta Falcons, QB: This former third-round pick has created quite buzz around the league as a potential starter, but when you examine his career production you wonder what all of the fuss is about. He has dazzled during the preseason, but in regular-season action he is only 52-percent passer with six touchdowns and six interceptions. Despite an impressive performance filling in for Michael Vick during the season-ending loss vs. the Eagles' back ups, he hasn't done enough to justify his lofty status on the free-agent market. Remember, Rob Johnson and A.J. Feeley were once viewed in the same light as potential starters.
Jared Allen, Kansas City, DE (RFA): This high-motor pass rusher has collected 22.5 sacks in his first three seasons. He is not a polished pass rusher, but he finds a way to get to the QB. His production cannot be ignored, but his skill set and off-field problems will make it hard for him to collect the big pay day he wants.
Leonard Davis, Arizona Cardinals, OT/OG: This is former No. 2 overall pick has never played to the level of his draft status. After being a dominant player at OT in college, Davis has struggled playing the position on the pro level. He had better success inside at OG, but his inconsistent motor and over reliance on his size/strength prevents him from consistently dominating opposing players. Despite his inconsistencies, teams will overpay for his talent and potential.
Ashley Lelie, Atlanta Falcons, WR: Another first-round pick who has failed to perform to expectations. He has excellent size, speed and athleticism, but has not developed into a solid all-around receiver. Despite flashing big-play ability, his inconsistent hands and concentration have prevented him from emerging as a solid starter. Teams will continue to be intrigued because of his speed and explosiveness, but he is a hit-or-miss prospect who may never live up to the hype.
Jamal Lewis, Baltimore Ravens, RB: This former 2,000-yard back has struggled to regain the explosiveness that he displayed in that 2003 season. Injuries and the toll of a heavy workload early in his career has worn his body down. Despite being a "big" back, he rarely shows the power and explosiveness he once displayed. He fails to break many tackles and lacks the nimbleness to create when holes are clogged. He only produced three runs of over 20 yards and lacks the big-play ability that made him a special player. He will receive some play on the open market, but teams should realize their getting a shell of the player he once was.
Jerramy Stevens, Seattle Seahawks, TE: A three-year starter with all of the physical tools to be an elite level player at the position. He is an athletic tight end with big-time ability who has failed to emerge as a difference-maker in the passing game. His inconsistent hands and untimely drops will drive some coaches crazy, but his size, athleticism and potential will make him an attractive option on the open market.
Napoleon Harris, Minnesota Vikings, MLB: An explosive, athletic linebacker with good physical ability. He has the tools to be a solid player in the right defense, but is lacking the instincts and awareness that elite players possess. His production is good, but his shortcomings are hidden in the Vikings' fundamentally sound scheme. Not a difference maker, teams will have to temper their expectations when adding Napoleon to the mix.
David Macklin, Arizona Cardinals, CB: A veteran corner who has been a solid starter throughout his career. He has solid overall ability, but lacks the instincts, awareness and cover skills to be an impact player in the secondary. He fails to make any big plays while giving up a fair share when locked up in coverage. In a thin corner marker, he will receive a big pay day, but will struggle living up to the expectation that come along with it.
Travis Fisher, St. Louis Rams, CB: A veteran corner who missed most of last season with an injury. He has shown solid cover skills, but isn't a consistent playmaker as a "cover corner". He is ideally suited to be a nickel back, but might get paid as more.
LaVar Arrington, New York Giants, OLB: This former Pro Bowler is on the downside of his career. Injuries have taken away his special physical abilities and he lacks the fundamentals to overcome those shortcomings. He still flashes disruptive ability, but he is no longer the impact player he once was. A team will take a chance on him after he recovers from his Achilles' injury, but it is a doubtful that he will return as an elite level player.
Chris Draft, Carolina Panthers, LB: Steady player who has filled in admirably for the oft-injured Dan Morgan. Despite being an undersized MLB with some athletic limitations, he finished last season as the team's leading tackler and also posted 5.5 sacks. His ability to steady the defense in Morgan's absence should make many teams take notice.
Bobby Wade, Tennessee Titans, WR: A smooth possession receiver with excellent hand who finished second on the team in receptions last season. His knack for getting open over the middle of the field and his versatility as a returner enhances his value. With his overall combination of skills, Bobby is sure find work as a No. 3 receiver.
Justin Griffith, Atlanta Falcons, FB: This versatile lead blocker has paved the way for the NFL's No. 1 rushing offense. Not just a "whammer." Justin's 22 receptions and three receiving touchdowns last season show his value in the passing game. Some will underestimate his running skills as well, but his overall ability makes him an ideal fit in a West Coast offense.
D.J. Hackett, Seattle Seahawks, WR (RFA): An intriguing young player who stepped in during Darrell Jackson's absence and provided the Seahawks with a reliable threat in the passing game. His 45 receptions were third on the team, but his penchant for big plays in the clutch shows that he is ready for a bigger role in an offense.
Tully Banta-Cain, New England, LB: A special teams demon who finally got a chance to get on the field after Junior Seau's injury. Not a finished product, Banta-Cain showed surprising pass-rushing skills as a high motor, edge rusher in the Patriots 3-4 defense. His 5.5 sacks will pique the interest of teams looking to add a young pass rusher.
Kevin Kaesviharn- Cincinnati Bengals- FS: As a versatile safety with solid overall skills, Kevin emerged as one of the team's leading playmakers in 2006. He led the team with six interceptions and his four QB sacks were indicative of his versatility. He will fly under the radar early in free agency, but look for him to land with a team looking for a dependable player later on.
Ron Dayne, Houston Texans, RB: The career of this former Heisman Trophy winner will be viewed as a disappointment by some, but his steady production at the end of the season shouldn't be ignored. He put together an impressive four-game string in December where he averaged over 100 yards on 20 carries with six touchdowns. He isn't the workhorse that teams would like him to be, but he has some value as a complementary player.
Roderick Hood, Philadelphia Eagles, CB: A former undrafted free agent who has developed into a decent corner with solid overall skills. Ideally a nickel back, he competed well when forced into the starting line up. His competitive toughness and grit will earn him a decent contract.
Jordan Black- Kansas City Chiefs, OT: An improving young player who has started at both tackle positions during his career. He flashes some athleticism on the edge, but will get worked over by highly skilled pass rushers. Despite his deficiencies, his size, athleticism and overall improvement will entice a team to take a chance on him as a starter.
Anthony Thomas, Buffalo Bills, RB: A veteran running back who showed he still has a little juice as a runner. After two non-productive seasons, Anthony was impressive filling in for Willis McGahee during a three-game stretch in the middle of the season. Not a breakaway threat, he still possesses good strength and power as a runner. He may not be able to carry the load full-time, but he can fill a role as a back up/complementary runner.