by user Sports Writer06
This weekend's NFL draft was arguably the deepest in years. Up and down the board we saw players with first round potential go in the third or fourth rounds! It was also a draft in which personal character became an issue. Certain players saw their draft stock drop throughout the weekend due to past problems with their character. This was a draft filled with big names and potential stars.
Houston Texans - 1st Pick
With the first overall selection the Houston Texans made a move that most couldn't have foreseen. With the first pick in the 2006 draft, the Texans took defensive end Mario Williams. This pick bewildered most Texan fans who assumed they would be getting USC running back Reggie Bush. Williams, out of N.C. State, is what most scouts called a freakish version of Julius Peppers- a solid defensive end. However, in my opinion, this was a waste of the number one pick. If all along Williams was their guy, why not trade down? This way, you get at least one more draft pick, and for a team who needs to rebuild, that's what they can use. There were at least 5 teams interested in trading up for the electrifying Reggie Bush. Some say that Bush wanted to much money, but still give the man what he wants, he'll put butts in the seats. Williams however, wont. Not to mention, if Bush isn't your guy all along, why not trade down and take D'Brickashaw Ferguson? This way at least your franchise quarterback isn't lying on his backside everytime he drops back to pass. This may be a good decision in about two or three years, but for now, its not.
New Orleans Saints - 2nd Pick
What was Houston's loss, was the New Orleans Saints gain. Reggie Bush went number two overall to a team that desperatly needed him. Call it a gift from the football Gods if you will. Bush will do wonders for the struggling Saints, as well as for the rebuilding New Orleans community. This is a player who at any given moment can take it to the house. He will also benefit from having Deuce McCallister in the backfield with him. Bush flourished at USC with former teamate Lendale White as his backup. Deuce can be Reggies thunder to his lightning. Also with new quarterback Drew Brees to head the offense, the Saints should be a force in the NFC south.
Tennessee Titans - 3rd Pick
We saw Vince Young become the first quarterback off the board at the 3rd overall pick to the Tennessee Titans. This is a good, but controversial pick. While no one questions Young's ability, he also has some problems. His throwing motion will need to be adjusted in order for him to be successful in the NFL. There are also some questions on his ability to read a defense. At Texas, Young ran the offense mostly from the shotgun, where in the NFL he will be running it from behind center. This could present problems if he does not adjust to it. However, if Steve McNair stays around to mentor Young, he should progress into another version of "Air McNair". If he doesn't Vince could be in some trouble. This pick also could have torn the coaching staff. While management wanted Young, it appeared that the coaching staff wanted USC quarterback Matt Leinart. This would have reunited offensive coordinater Norm Chow with his former signal caller from USC. Also with one of the biggest steals in the draft, the Titans picked up bruising halfback Lendale White out of USC. He saw his stock drop because of his potential weight problem.
New York Jets - 4th Pick
The New York Jets may have had the best draft of all 32 teams. Sure it may not have been too sexy, but they accomplished a lot of their needs. With their first pick, 4th overall, the Jets selected tackle D'Brickashaw Ferguson. This player will be a solid anchor on the Jets offensive line for the next decade. They also picked up a solid center out of Ohio St. by the name of Nick Mangold. He too will be a solid player on that Jets line for a decade. They also picked up quarterback Kellen Clemens in the 2nd round. This is a player, who in time could be better than the top 3 quarterbacks selected in the draft. He has a strong arm, and has all the intangibles needed in a good quarterback. Also with a later round selection, the Jets picked up runningback Leon Washington, a potential replacement for the aging Curtis Martin.
Green Bay Packers - 5th Pick
The Green Bay Packers were next on the clock and I think most experts agreed on this pick. With the 5th overall choice, they took linebacker A.J. Hawk out of Ohio State. This was a good fit for a Packers defense who on December 19, made Kyle Boller look like the next Elway. Hawk, 6'2" 245, will bring intensity to a defense that lacked it in the 2005 season. With the return of Brett Favre, it may have been tempting to draft TE Vernon Davis, but the 'Pack made a good decision here.
San Francisco 49ers - 6th Pick
Emotions ran high for the gentleman taken with the 6th overall pick. Tight end Vernon Davis out of Maryland went to the San Francisco 49ers. Scouts drool over this 6-3 255 pound tight end who can run a 4.34 40 time. Most receivers don't even have that speed! He will be a good fit in the 49ers' offense, and a great security blanket for last years first overall pick, QB Alex Smith. He should present mismatches all over the field next year due to his ability to line up at the flanker position, or in the slot. This was an excellent pickup for San Francisco.
Oakland Raiders - 7th Pick
With the 7th overall pick the Oakland Raiders selected defensive back Michael Huff out of Texas. This was a good decision for the Raiders who had USC QB Matt Leinart and QB Jay Cutler out of Vandy, staring right at them. Although the quarterback is a questioned position for Oakland, the defense needed to be addressed first. After losing CB Charles Woodson to free agency, they needed to find someone to fill that need. Huff played safety at Texas but he also has the athleticism to play corner if need be. He was easily the best defensive back in the draft, and will be a force for years to come.
Buffalo Bills - 8th Pick
For the Buffalo Bills, this years draft looked very questionable. With their 8th overall selection, they took defensive back Donte Whittner out of Ohio State. Whittner is a good player, but worth the 8th overall pick? I don't think so. Sources say the Bills were afraid of losing Whittner to Detroit with the 9th pick, but that was unlikely. However, for a team that got dominated on both sides of the line in '05, they should have gone with a defensive tackle. Haloti Ngate, or Brodrick Bunkley were both available here, and they passed. Like I said earlier, a draft can't truly be evaluated until 2–3 years down the line. But this selection sure doesn't look good at the time.
Detroit Lions - 9th Pick
Would the Lions go wide receiver for a 4th straight year? With GM Matt Millen's job on the line, the Lions wisely chose defense. They picked ferocious linebacker Ernie Sims out of Florida St. The more and more I think about it, this was a good pick. Sure, with quarterback Matt Leinart staring them in the face, I felt this may have been a better option for my hometown team. But after reviewing the upside of Sims, it was a good choice. With all of the questions of Leinarts arm, and ability to play at the next level, it would have been quite the risk. But with Sims explosive play, and quickness to the ball he will work out great for Detroit.
Arizona Cardinals - 10th Pick
With arguably the steal in the first round, the Arizona Cardinals were given a gift with USC QB Matt Leinart. I mean, we're talking about a guy who went 37-2 as a college starter, and is arguably the greatest quarterback in college football history. Not to mention he's a two time National Champion, and a Heisman Trophy winner. All that aside, this will be a great fit for not only the Arizona, but for Leinart himself. Sure, he cost himself millions of dollars by going back to school, but he'll get his money eventually. We all know what happened to Ben Roethlisberger, don't we? Two years later, he's a Super Bowl Champion. Could this happen to Leinart? That remains to be seen but, he could easily be the missing piece of the puzzle for an explosive offense. Think about it, with Fitzgerald and Boldin at wideout, and Edgerin James in the backfield, we're talking about an offense that could flourish in the NFC for the next five years. With this pick, the Cardinals have turned it around. I believe that this will turn them into a playoff team in 1–2 years.
Picks 11-20 coming soon...
Wed 05/03/06, 9:13 am EST