QB Mallett, DE Griffen jump in ESPN 150

Originally Published: January 8, 2007
By Tom Luginbill | Scouts Inc.

The ESPN 150 has gotten a facelift with some dramatic changes following more in-person evaluation at last week's U.S. Army All-American Bowl.

As we have said all year long, we are not enamored with any of the quarterbacks in the 2007 class. They all still need to be developed, and there is not that big a difference between any of the top quarterbacks. However, Jimmy Clausen (Westlake Village, Claif./Oaks Christian) remains our No. 1 quarterback despite slightly dropping from No. 4 to No. 8 in the overall rankings, and some other quarterbacks experienced a drop as well.

However, one quarterback who greatly improved his stock this week is Ryan Mallett (Texarkana, Texas/Texas) who jumped from No. 54 to No. 12 with an impressive showing in both practice and in the game for the West squad. Mobility is still a concern, but his accuracy, arm strength and command under center really stood out when facing top competition. It will be interesting to see how his laid-back, comical personality jives with Lloyd Carr in Ann Arbor.

Everson Griffin #64
Alissa Hollimon for ESPN.comEverson Griffin (64) tries to sack Matt Simms (2) in Saturday's U.S. Army All-American Bowl.
Another standout performer who saw his stock rise is DE Everson Griffen (Avondale, Ariz./Agua Fria Union). For the first time since we began evaluating him, we finally saw a consistent motor. He has the ability to be dominant, and we hope that his production during the week of practice and in the game are an indication of things to come and not just a result of all-star adrenaline. Griffen jumped from No. 71 to No. 31 in the ESPN 150.

WR Terrance Toliver (Hempstead, Texas) is going to be special, his athleticism for his height (6-foot-4) in everything he does, including playing safety, is impressive. As a result, he moved into the top 10 at No. 7 from his previous spot of No. 13.

Marcus Gilchrist #1
Alissa Hollimon for ESPN.comMarcus Gilchrist (1) defends a pass intended for Ahmad Paige (88) in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl.
CB Eric Berry (Fairburn, Ga./Creekside) was a pleasant surprise at cornerback considering he has not played there full-time yet. He was bigger than we anticipated, showed great instincts and his toughness and ability to hit and tackle really stood out amongst the defensive backs, and as a result, he has moved to No. 4 overall.

While many players have shifted around, the only new entry into the ESPN 150 is CB Marcus Gilchrist (High Point, N.C./T.W. Andrews). He is clearly capable of holding his own versus the best wide receivers in the country, and we were also very impressed with him in the Shrine Bowl of the Carolinas.

Tom Luginbill is the national director of recruiting for Scouts Inc. and a college football and recruiting studio analyst for ESPNU.