Draft countdown: Pick No. 7

Posted April 21, 2011 @ 8:58 a.m.
Posted By Alex Mayster

Overview: Vikings RB Adrian Peterson is no doubt the best player to be selected seventh in recent memory, but others selected in the No. 7 spot, which is held by the 49ers this year, have gone on to lead solid careers as well:

2010: Browns select Florida CB Joe Haden
Haden could become the Browns' best defensive back since the team returned to Cleveland in 1999. He excelled in deep coverage as a rookie and has the skill set to become a shutdown corner.

2009: Raiders select Maryland WR Darrius Heyward-Bey
Heyward-Bey hasn't emerged as a trustworthy target in his two seasons in Oakland. Speed is his greatest asset, but his hands have been an issue. Heyward-Bey has totaled 35 catches for 490 yards with two touchdowns in his short career and has not lived up to expectations.

2008: Saints select USC DT Sedrick Ellis
Ellis has shown a lot of promise and is coming off his first full season after missing time with injuries in each of his first two years. He has been a starter since Day One. Ellis had career highs in tackles (44) and sacks (six) in 2010.

2007: Vikings select Oklahoma RB Adrian Peterson
Peterson made an immediate impact, rushing for 1,341 yards and scoring 12 touchdowns in his rookie season. He has established himself as one of the NFL's top running backs, compiling 5,782 yards rushing in four seasons.

2006: Raiders select Texas SS Michael Huff
Huff didn't get off to a great start in the NFL, but he played out of position before settling in at his best spot, which is free safety. He doesn't relish contact, but he had a career year in 2010, setting career highs in tackles (94) and sacks (four) and could be a much-in-demand free agent whenever the FA market opens.

2005: Vikings select South Carolina WR Troy Williamson
Williamson was supposed to become the replacement for Randy Moss, but it didn't quite turn out that way. He struggled in three seasons with the Vikings and was eventually traded for a sixth-round pick. Jacksonville cut him in September and he's still a free agent.

2004: Lions select Texas WR Roy Williams
Williams is known for his amazing physical skills. He was at his best playing for Mike Martz in '06 in Detroit, when he caught 82-1,310-7. Williams was traded to the Cowboys in ’08 for first-, third- and sixth-round picks and has underwhelmed in Big 'D.'

2003: Jaguars select Marshall QB Byron Leftwich
Leftwich had a few solid seasons as the Jaguars' starter but eventually lost the job to David Garrard. He has been an adequate performer throughout his career and is now a backup with the Steelers.

2002: Vikings select Miami (Fla.) OT Bryant McKinnie
McKinnie has been a solid starter in Minnesota for the past nine seasons, but he has never become the player some scouts thought he would. McKinnie looks the part at 6-8 and 335 pounds, and he uses his extremely long arms to his advantage.

2001: 49ers select California DE Andre Carter
After racking up 32½ sacks from 2001-05 with the 49ers, Carter, who will turn 32 in May, signed with the Redskins and continues to be an effective player, although he was miscast as a 3-4 outside linebacker last season. He's a free agent this offseason and, considering he's best as a 4-3 end, could add a strong pass-rushing presence to a team that uses a "40" front.