Carucci: 2006 Mock Draft
1. Houston: Reggie Bush, RB, USC
I do not buy any of the talk that the Texans are seriously considering passing on Bush in favor of North Carolina State defensive end Mario Williams. There is a lot to like about Williams, but there isn't another player in this draft on a par with Bush. I also don't think the Texans are going to trade the choice. Bush is an incredibly rare talent who is capable of changing a game whenever he touches the ball as a runner or a receiver. The Texans might never get a chance to acquire a player of that caliber again, even if they own next year's top overall pick.
2. New Orleans: D'Brickashaw Ferguson, OT, Virginia
The Saints would love to deal this pick to a team, most likely the Oakland Raiders, that wants to land a quarterback, most likely Vince Young of Texas, and use a hefty bounty of extra picks to address multiple needs and perhaps make other deals. But if they stay put, the Saints' draft board figures to make Ferguson the logical choice. They don't need help on their defensive line, which eliminates Williams, but they could shore up an offensive line that lost center LeCharles Bentley and guard Kendyl Jacox. Ferguson would make any line instantly better, and is headed for a long and distinguished NFL career.
3. Tennessee: Matt Leinart, QB, USC
Speculation abounds that the Titans' decision-makers don't have a consensus on any of the quarterbacks of this draft, and that their offensive coordinator, Norm Chow, who formerly held the same post at USC, is the lone voice in the organization touting Leinart. If they don't go with Leinart or Young, Williams could end up being the perfect compromise pick and be a nice pass-rushing complement to Kyle Vanden Bosch. But the Titans need a franchise quarterback, and coming from the highly advanced Trojans passing game, Leinart is the best prepared to step in sooner and have long-term success. One could legitimately describe him as a left-handed Tom Brady -- a little limited when it comes to arm strength and mobility, but a smart and savvy player who knows how to win.
4. N.Y. Jets: Mario Williams, DE, N.C. State
With questions surrounding the health of Chad Pennington and the talent of Patrick Ramsey, the Jets need a quarterback. The one they would take in a heartbeat is Leinart, especially if new coach Eric Mangini, the former Patriots defensive coordinator, sees those Brady-like characteristics that many others do. If Leinart isn't available, Williams makes perfect sense as a perfect fit in Mangini's new 3-4 scheme. He is a pass-rushing terror who also is stout enough to stop the run.
5. Green Bay: Vernon Davis, TE, Maryland
With Brett Favre planning to return for another season, the Packers need to give him the best pass-catching playmaker in the draft. Davis has an extraordinary combination of size, speed and power. True, the Packers already have a decent tight end in Bubba Franks, but he misses a lot of time with injuries.
6. San Francisco: Haloti Ngata, DT, Oregon
Niners coach Mike Nolan needs that massive anchor in the middle of his defense, and 5-foot-11, 297-pound Anthony Adams is not the answer. The 6-4, 338-pound Ngata, with his remarkable strength, is.
7. Oakland: Vince Young, QB, Texas
The Raiders could very well trade up to get Young, but that might not be necessary. Young is a dynamic force and he would have time to watch and learn the finer points of quarterbacking mechanics before being inserted in the starting job. He is an enormously talented player, and if he consistently performs in the NFL the way he did in the Rose Bowl, this choice, if made this far down, will long be remembered as one of the great steals in league history.
8. Buffalo: A.J. Hawk, LB, Ohio State
Knowing that one player won't fix the many holes they have on both sides of the ball, the Bills would love to trade down for additional picks. Barring that, they would be thrilled if, in staying put, they had a chance to select an enormously talented athlete who has a phenomenal work ethic and who would be a perfect weakside starter in **** Jauron's new 4-3 defense. Many other projections have them selecting Brodrick Bunkley, a defensive tackle from Florida State, but this spot seems a little too high for him. Safety-cornerback Michael Huff, from Texas, is another consideration.
9. Detroit: Michael Huff, DB, Texas
With the skills to be a top-flight cornerback, his original college position, or safety, Huff offers the kind of versatility that makes defensive-minded coaches such as Rod Marinelli drool. Huff seems like he is a little better suited to safety, especially given his physical and aggressive style of play, but he also could hold his own in any sort of coverage.
10. Arizona: Jay Cutler, QB, Vanderbilt
There is plenty of talk the Cardinals are targeting USC offensive tackle Winston Justice, who did plenty to help his draft stock with highly impressive pre-draft workouts. However, the Cardinals must have someone in place to eventually take over for Kurt Warner, and Cutler's big-time arm provides a foundation for development.
11. St. Louis: Jimmy Williams, CB, Virginia Tech
Like Huff, Williams also can play corner or safety. His poor pre-draft workouts and attitude have raised some questions, but he still has plenty to offer athletically and new defensive coordinator Jim Haslett should find a way to make him productive.
12. Cleveland: Manny Lawson, OLB, N.C. State
In Romeo Crennel's continuing efforts to fortify his 3-4 defense, Lawson provides exceptional speed and strength. A defensive end in college, he is a highly effective pass rusher but athletic enough to drop into coverage, which is another skill the Browns' scheme craves from outside linebackers.
13. Baltimore: Winston Justice, OT, USC
The Ravens have had one of the NFL's all-time best tackles, Jonathan Ogden, on the left side of their line. The time has come to begin grooming his replacement, and Justice looks as if he would be the right man for the role.
14. Philadelphia: Nick Mangold, C, Ohio State
The Eagles easily could go with a wide receiver here, and no doubt will give strong consideration to Chad Jackson of Florida or Santonio Holmes of Ohio State. Another possibility is outside linebacker. But they thought they were going to be able to upgrade at center by signing LeCharles Bentley in free agency, and ended up losing out to Cleveland. Jamaal Jackson performed well in place of injured Hank Fraley last season, but in Mangold the Eagles have a chance to get one of the better centers to emerge from the college ranks in recent years.
15. Denver: Chad Jackson, WR, Florida
The Broncos are rumored to be pursuing a trade for Javon Walker, but if they are still seeking a receiver at the time of their first-round choice, Jackson should be there. He offers a good combination of size and speed, and after the success he had catching passes in Urban Meyer's spread offense at Florida, he should thrive in Mike Shanahan's scheme.
Re: Carucci: 2006 Mock Draft
16. Miami: Tye Hill, CB, Clemson
Hill's prowess in man-to-man and bump-and-run coverage is exactly what Nick Saban needs to be as aggressive as he wants to be in rushing the passer.
17. Minnesota: Ernie Sims, OLB, Florida State
The Vikings want a young quarterback in the wings to eventually replace Brad Johnson, and if Cutler falls this far, which is possible, they probably wouldn't hesitate to grab him. Otherwise, Sims gives them the speed and tackling ability to be a productive weakside linebacker in their 4-3 defense.
18. Dallas: Kamerion Wimbley, OLB, Florida State
History tells us Bill Parcells likes to methodically put his pass-rushing bookends in place. Last year it was DeMarcus Ware; this year it is Wimbley. When Parcells guided the Giants, it was Lawrence Taylor followed a year later by Carl Banks.
19. San Diego: Antonio Cromartie, CB, Florida State
The Chargers need immediate help in their secondary, and Cromartie looks to have enough talent and smarts to at least make a first-year contribution as a nickel back.
20. Kansas City: Johnathan Joseph, CB, South Carolina
Joseph is a playmaker who will force the action, exactly the profile of the type of defenders Herman Edwards wants in his defense.
21. New England: Bobby Carpenter, OLB, Ohio State
Two good outside linebackers should be available at this point -- Carpenter and Chad Greenway of Iowa. They are similar in that they both have outstanding playmaking skills, considerable intelligence, and a true passion for the game. Carpenter, who has recovered from the broken leg he suffered in November, is about 16 pounds heavier than Greenway, and that figures to give him the edge with Bill Belichick.
22. San Francisco: Chad Greenway, OLB, Iowa
The 49ers are desperate for help at outside linebacker. Although Greenway wasn't overly impressive in pre-draft workouts, he still shows enough speed, toughness and hustle to satisfy Mike Nolan's requirements for an outside linebacker in his 3-4 scheme.
23. Tampa Bay: Santonio Holmes, WR, Ohio State
Some projections have the Buccaneers going defense with this pick, but Jon Gruden's priority is to find playmakers for Chris Simms, and Holmes is extremely dangerous after the catch. This would be a bit of a slip for Holmes, but if the Eagles or Broncos don't select him at Nos. 14 or 15, he could be here for the taking.
24. Cincinnati: DeMeco Ryans, OLB, Alabama
Marvin Lewis can't rest until he gets his defense performing at the dominant level he achieved when he was a defensive coordinator in Baltimore. It's hard to believe there would still be another productive outside linebacker left with so many coming off the board by this point, but Ryans can help the Bengals with his quickness, instincts and relentlessness when rushing the quarterback. Thomas Howard, of Texas-El Paso, is another outside linebacker likely to be here.
25. N.Y. Giants: Eric Winston, OT, Miami
After picking up LaVar Arrington, the Giants are able to shift away from targeting an outside linebacker with this choice and, instead, can use it on a pretty good offensive tackle.
26. Chicago: Ashton Youboty, CB, Ohio State
At nearly 6-0 and 189 pounds, Youboty figures to have the size the Bears want from a cornerback in their Cover 2 scheme. He also has enough speed and athleticism to carve out an outstanding NFL career.
27. Carolina: DeAngelo Williams, RB, Memphis
There's a gigantic gap between Bush and the next-best running back in the draft, but this is where the No. 2 man at the position, Williams, should go. The Panthers have all sorts of health issues in their offensive backfield, and Williams could help solve them.
28. Jacksonville: Jason Allen, S, Tennessee
The Jaguars secondary needs an infusion of youth, and Allen, fully recovered from a hip injury that caused him to miss most of last season, would be a welcome addition here.
29. N.Y. Jets: Laurence Maroney, RB, Minnesota
The Jets need to find a replacement for aging Curtis Martin, and Maroney has the speed, size and toughness to fill those massive cleats well.
30. Indianapolis: Davin Joseph, OG, Oklahoma
The Colts could go with an outside linebacker here, and it's possible that Ryans could fall all the way to this spot. Howard would be another consideration. They also might consider USC's LenDale White, whose offseason has been a train wreck, to fill the running back hole created by Edgerrin James' departure. But the Colts also have a crying need for an offensive guard, and Joseph is the best in the draft at the position.
31. Seattle: Donte Whitner, S, Ohio State
The Seahawks fill a need with a solid player who does a nice job in zone coverage and can hold his own in man-to-man in nickel and dime schemes.
32. Pittsburgh: Ko Simpson, S, South Carolina
White could be here, and perhaps the Steelers would make him the power back replacement for Jerome Bettis. But Simpson, who offers an impressive combination of size (6-1 and 203 pounds) and playmaking ability, also would address a need and perhaps with less risk.
Re: Carucci: 2006 Mock Draft
Reggie Bush had better run for at least 1500 yards in his debut season or he will be something of a disappointment!
I dont think I can ever remember a player in previous drafts getting so much good press.
I find it interesting that with all the needs that the Packers have Carucci has them going TE - this I really cannot see - Hawk or Huff would be a much more logical pick.
Would that also be the highest a TE has ever been drafted? I know Kellen Winslow was high but was he top 5?
I agree that Arizon are going QB - Denny Green has so little faith in other options that Kurt Warner has the starters position in the bag, even while operating at such a mediocre level.
I like the Patriots pick - Carpenter has 'Pats type player' written all over him (which means he would be a nice fit in Steelerville also).
Im surprised that the Steelers havent been linked more strongly with an early LB pick - its the most important position in the 3-4 (it is in NE anyway) - and its also where the quality-in-depth of this draft class lies.
For those who care, I think that Baltimore should be looking at skills positions - especially on offense - whoever their QB is this year needs more help than the past QB's have had in recent years - RB/WR is a must I think.
Bengals should be looking for players who are going to stop the run - they already have enough players who are capable of pursuing the QB - maybe they will trade down and grab an ILB.
Re: Carucci: 2006 Mock Draft
I'll buy this until 5. No way does GB take Davis.
A) They have depth at TE (I think they have 5 on their roster, and one in Europe)
B) They are obviously concerned with defense, which is why they signed Charles Woodson
C) If they go offense, their biggest need is interior lineman
Re: Carucci: 2006 Mock Draft
"Also visiting Steelers' headquarters were a few outside linebackers such as Jon Alston of Stanford and John Busing of Miami (Ohio), and offensive tackles Daryn Colledge of Boise State and Willie Colon of Hofstra,"
huh? i bet this alone puts these players on about 10 other teams radar. i think they know if carpenter, greenway, or, lawson fall to them, they take them. with or with out a visit. with or without even whispering their name to this point.
Re: Carucci: 2006 Mock Draft
im not real sure about the talk for a lb for the steelers in the first round...we just signed harrison to a 4 year deal and we have man beast kriwaldt to back up at the middle spots...if anything on defense i would def say saftey for this new guy cause he's not prooven....and with the baltimore pick, they are stacked at rb this year with bringing in mike anderson from the broncos and resigning jamal lewis..
interesting i find is what the packers are going to do, it really doesnt seem that walker will be in a packer uniform this year so there goes the number one reciever threat...so why not vernon davis...favre is back and u know he's gonna bitch about not having anyone and plus they just signed charles woodson to a 7 year deal to help out on defense
Re: Carucci: 2006 Mock Draft
At least my mock is better than Carucci's so far...
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