When it comes to picking All-American teams, sports writers would love to have a crystal ball that would tell them how things will eventually pan out for their selections.
That's because it's very difficult to determine exactly who the best players are out of 1.1 million athletes who play high school football each year. A strong college career and an NFL career add validity to an All-American team, even if it is viewed in retrospection.
With the 2012 NFL draft set to take place this week, we can use it as a reverse crystal ball, if you will, to determine just how valid our MaxPreps All-American Team was for the 2007 season. MaxPreps 2007 Offensive All-Americans / MaxPreps 2007 Defensive All-Americans
Of course some of the seniors from the class of 2007-08 went into the NFL via the 2011 NFL draft, so we will also use it to help "make over" our 2007 All-American team.
For clarification's sake, we will select players based on how high they are projected to go in the draft or, as is the case for the 2011 draft, how high they went in the draft. If one of the players from the 2007 All-American team we selected is a worthy choice, we will keep him as our 2012 pick. If not, we will choose another player based on their college career and NFL worthiness.
The 2007 MaxPreps All-American Team with a 2012 Makeover
WR - A.J. Green, Summerville (S.C.)Analysis
: One of the best picks on the team. Green was the fourth overall choice in the 2011 draft and made the Pro Bowl.
: A.J. Green WR - Julio Jones, Foley (Ala.)Analysis
: The 2007 season was a great one for receivers, considering that Michael Floyd, one of the top wide receivers available in this year's group, was a second team pick. The Atlanta Falcons coveted Jones so much they traded multiple picks to move up in the draft and get him. While he has been criticized for dropping passes, Jones looks to be a star in the making.
Julio Jones (Video
)TE - Kyle Rudolph, Elder (Cincinnati)Analysis:
Not a bad choice here since Rudolph went to Notre Dame and was the 43rd overall pick in the 2011 draft. 2012 Pick:
Coby Fleener, Joliet Catholic Academy (Ill.). Fleener is regarded as the top tight end prospect in the draft after a standout career at Stanford and he will likely go much higher than Rudolph did.OL - Mike Adams, Dublin Coffman (Dublin, Ohio)Analysis:
Not a bad choice here since Adams is ranked as the No. 4 tackle prospect in this year's draft after a standout career at Ohio State.
Mike Adams (Video
)OL - Michael Brewster, Edgewater (Orlando, Fla.)Analysis:
Another Ohio State product, Brewster is ranked as the No. 4 center prospect in the draft. However, the two other senior centers ahead of him (Baylor's Philip Blake and Georgia's Ben Jones), are projected to go in the third to fourth rounds, which is about where Brewster is projected.
Michael Brewster (Video
)OL - Josh Jenkins, Parkersburg (W.Va.)Analysis
: Jenkins got off to a solid start in college, but he has been plagued by a pair of knee injuries. He is expected to conclude his career next year at West Virginia.
: Jonathan Martin
, Harvard-Westlake (North Hollywood, Calif.). While he earned All-Mission League honors for the Wolverines, Martin was a middle-tier tackle among recruits at his position. But in college, he twice earned all-conference honors with Stanford. OL - Matt Patchan, Armwood (Seffner, Fla.)Analysis:
Injuries have sidelined Patchan, causing him to play next year as a redshirt junior.
: Tyron Smith
, Rancho Verde (Moreno Valley, Calif.). Smith was ranked as one of the top six tackles in the country by one service and No. 1 overall by another, but he didn't make our first or second team. He proved his worth at USC and was drafted No. 9 overall by the Dallas Cowboys in 2011.OL - Trevor Robinson, Elkhorn (Neb.)Analysis
: Robinson has had a solid career at Notre Dame and is ranked No. 27 overall among guard prospects for the 2012 draft.
: Cordy Glenn
, Riverdale (Ga.). Glenn made all-state honorable mention during his high school career in Georgia and he was ranked among the top 15 tackles in the country as a senior. He's emerged as a potential first round draft pick after his career with Georgia.QB - Terrelle Pryor, Jeannette (Pa.)Analysis
: Pryor was the MaxPreps Male National Athlete of the Year
and for good reason. He was easily the most prized recruit in the country, but troubles at Ohio State resulted in him entering the supplemental draft in 2011, where he was chosen in the third round by the Oakland Raiders.
2012 Pick: Andrew Luck
, Stratford (Texas). Luck would be the No. 1 overall pick in the draft regardless if Pryor was around or not because he is easily the more professional-ready player. Luck didn't have quite the hype coming out of Stratford in 2007-08, however, as he did not even make first or second team All-Greater Houston. But he sure made up for it at Stanford. (Video
RB - Ryan Bass, Centennial (Corona, Calif.)Analysis
: After originally heading to Arizona State, Bass has since transferred to Idaho and will play his senior year for the Vandals in 2012-13.
: Mark Ingram
, Flint Southwestern Academy (Mich.). The 2009 Heisman Trophy winner for Alabama was a four-star running back prospect in high school while rushing 2,546 yards over his final two seasons combined. He emerged as a star during his sophomore season and was drafted as the 28th overall pick by the New Orleans Saints.RB - Darrell Scott, St. Bonaventure (Ventura. Calif.)Analysis:
Scott had his best year as a junior when he ran for more than 3,000 yards at Moorpark. He received All-American honors as a senior and headed to Colorado. However, he failed to live up to his potential and attempted to transfer to the University of South Florida. He entered the draft in 2011 and went undrafted. He is currently out of football.
: Doug Martin
, St. Mary's (Stockton, Calif.). Martin has emerged as one of the top running back picks from this year's senior class despite having a rather unheralded high school career. He had an outstanding junior year in high school with 1,950 yards, but the Boise State signee gained only 1,234 yards as a senior and was honorable mention all-area by the Stockton Record.K - Quinn Sharp, Mansfield Summit (Arlington, Texas)Analysis
: Sharp will play his senior year at Oklahoma State in 2012 and he is expected to be an All-American candidate.
: Quinn Sharp.DL - Da'Quan Bowers, Bamberg-Ehrhardt (Bamberg, S.C.)Analysis:
Although he slipped into the second round of the 2011 draft, going at the 51st pick, Bowers was considered one of the top line prospects in the 2011 draft. Doubts about Bowers' ability to stay injury free may have contributed to his drop.
Daquan Bowers. (Video
)DL - Jurrell Casey, Long Beach Poly (Calif.)Analysis
: Casey had strong credentials coming out of high school and he backed them up with a strong career at USC. He was the 77th overall pick in the 2011 draft.
2012 Pick: Robert Quinn
, Fort Dorcester (North Charleston, S.C.). Quinn might have been a first-team All-American if not for an operation for a benign brain tumor that cut short his senior season. At the time, he was ranked as one of the better defensive ends in the country. After playing for North Carolina, he went to the St. Louis Rams with the No. 14 overall pick in the 2011 draft.DL - Marcus Forston, Northwestern (Miami)Analysis:
Forston is projected as the No. 17 defensive tackle prospect for the 2012 draft.
2012 Pick: Nick Fairley
, Williamson (Mobile, Ala.). An all-state player at the 5A level in Alabama as a senior, Fairley was ranked more on the offensive side of the ball in high school, coming in as a top 30 offensive tackle by most ranking services. He stayed close to home and played at Alabama.DL - Nick Perry, King (Detroit)Analysis
: Perry was the MaxPreps Defensive Player of the Year and he went on to a solid career with the USC Trojans. He is expected to go somewhere in the first round.
: Nick Perry.LB - Arthur Brown, East (Wichita, Kan.)Analysis:
After starting his college career in Miami, Brown has moved back to his home state and will finish his senior season in 2012-13.
: Akeem Ayers
, Verbum Dei (Los Angeles). A small-school standout at Verbum Dei, Ayers earned small schools all-state honors. He went on to All-Pac 10 honors and All-American honors at UCLA and was taken 39th overall by the Tennessee Titans in 2011.LB - Nigel Bradham, Wakulla (Crawfordville, Fla.)Analysis
: Not a bad choice here as Bradham is considered the No. 6 overall OLB in the 2012 draft.
: Justin Houston, Statesboro (Ga.). A four-star recruit in high school, Houston went on to be the No. 70 overall pick in the 2011 draft by the Kansas City Chiefs after playing at Georgia.LB - Etienne Sabino, Dr. Krop (Orlando, Fla.)Analysis:
Sabino is the No. 15 ranked OLB for the 2013 draft.
2012 Pick: Courtney Upshaw
, Eufaula (Ala.). Winner of the Class 5A Lineman of the Year award in Alabama, Upshaw was ranked anywhere from No. 12 to No. 18 as a defensive end/outside linebacker by the ranking services playing for Alabama..DB - Nolan Brewster, Mullen (Denver)Analysis:
Concussions have plagued Brewster, who got off to a promising start in college at Texas. His career ended due to post-traumatic migraines. 2012 Pick
: Brandon Harris
, Booker T. Washington (Miami). The Gatorade State Player of the Year as a senior, Harris had a strong career for the Miami Hurricanes and was the No. 60 overall pick by the Houston Texans in the 2011 draft.DB - T.J. Bryant, Lincoln (Tallahassee, Fla.)Analysis:
The USC defensive back is ranked as the No. 15 cornerback for the 2013 draft.
: Rahim Moore
, Dorsey (Los Angeles). A second-team pick by MaxPreps, Moore probably should have been first team. He went to the Denver Broncos with the No. 45 overall pick in the 2011 draft after playing at UCLA.DB - Will Hill, St. Peter's Prep (Jersey City, N.J.)Analysis:
Not much has gone right for Hill, who left Florida early for the 2011 draft and then went undrafted. He is currently playing in the Arena Football League with the Arizona Rattlers.
: Mark Barron
, St. Paul's Episcopal (Mobile, Ala.). Considered the most NFL-ready safety in the draft, Barron was a Class 5A all-state player in high school and ranked as one of the top 20 players in the state before moving on to Alabama and being taken No. 7 overall in the 2012 Draft.DB - Patrick (Johnson) Peterson, Blanche Ely (Pompano Beach, Calif.)Analysis
: Good pick here. Peterson, who was known as Patrick Johnson in high school, was the No. 5 overall pick in the 2011 draft and earned a spot in the Pro Bowl.
Patrick (Johnson) Peterson.P - Jeff Locke, Mountain Ridge (Glendale, Ariz.)Analysis:
Locke is ranked as the No. 6 punter in the draft, but is expected to go in about the same round as most of the other prospects.