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p. kirwans nfl.com mock draft
(April 15, 2006) -- This is my first of three mock drafts that I will create for NFL.com leading up to the draft at the end of the month. I will assume that there will be no pre-draft trades that could change the decision making along the way. I will combine the activity in free agency, the needs of the teams, and the grades of the players as draft boards start to take shape.
1. Houston: Reggie Bush, RB, USC
Bush is a once-in-a-decade player and a matchup nightmare. He had 38 touchdowns in three years at USC.
2. New Orleans: D'Brickashaw Ferguson, OT, Virginia
He could move down but a 10-year starter is too hard to resist. The Saints traded Wayne Gandy, a starter at tackle last season, to Atlanta.
3. Tennessee: Matt Leinart, QB, USC
Leinart threw for more touchdown passes in college than Vince Young and Jay Cutler combined. He also knows the Titans' offense, having played under coordinator Norm Chow at USC.
4. N.Y. Jets: Mario Williams, DE, N.C. State
Williams can replace John Abraham, who was traded this offseason. He reminds new coach Eric Mangini of the Patriots' Richard Seymour and can play in either the 3-4 or 4-3.
5. Green Bay: Haloti Ngata, DT, Oregon
Having Ngata in the middle makes Green Bay defensive ends Aaron Kampman and Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila better. Ngata stops the run and has a rare combination of size and speed.
6. San Francisco: Vernon Davis, TE, Maryland
A young quarterback like Alex Smith always needs a tight end to be effective and Davis can provide major matchup problems.
7. Oakland: Vince Young, QB, Texas
Aaron Brooks signed a two-year deal with the Raiders, but owner Al Davis likes Young's upside. Randy Moss could make a perfect partner.
8. Buffalo: Brodrick Bunkley, DT, Florida State
The best under tackle for the new 'Dungy' defense, Bunkley has a talent that is hard to find.
9. Detroit: Michael Huff, DB, Texas
The safest pick in the draft, Huff can play either cornerback or safety. He is a leader and a Matt Millen-type player.
10. Arizona: Jay Cutler, QB, Vanderbilt
Kurt Warner is old and brittle and Cutler is Brett Favre-like. He's still two years away, though.
11. St. Louis: A.J. Hawk, OLB, Ohio State
Hawk should have been gone by now but will become a cornerstone for Jim Haslett's defense.
12. Cleveland: Kamerion Wimbley, DE, Florida State
Wimbley is the perfect fit for the 3-4 defense and reminds general manager Phil Savage of Peter Boulware, who Savage helped draft in Baltimore.
13. Baltimore: Winston Justice, OT, USC
The Ravens can use Justice at right tackle until Jonathan Ogden retires.
14. Philadelphia: Chad Jackson, WR, Florida
The Eagles failed to land Eric Moulds and released Terrell Owens, so they could use Jackson right away.
15. Denver: Santonio Holmes, WR, Ohio State
The Broncos can trade Ashley Lelie right after this pick.
16. Miami: Ernie Sims, OLB, Florida State
Sims is a tackling machine and replaces Junior Seau on the Dolphins defense.
17. Minnesota: Chad Greenway, OLB, Iowa
Greenway has a high character, the type of player that new coach Brad Childress wants on the team.
18. Dallas: Manny Lawson, LB, N.C. State
Lawson is the perfect complement to DeMarcus Ware.
19. San Diego: Jimmy Williams, DB, Virginia Tech
Williams can be a corner or safety and the Chargers need to replace Sammy Davis in the secondary.
20. Kansas City: Antonio Cromartie, CB, Florida State
Cromartie is a tremendous athlete and has had excellent workouts. The Chiefs really need to focus on defense in the draft.
21. New England: DeMeco Ryans, OLB, Alabama
The Patriots replace Willie McGinest with Ryans, a highly productive linebacker.
22. Denver: DeAngelo Williams, RB, Memphis
The Broncos got the wide receiver earlier in the draft and the running back completes their first round.
23. Tampa Bay: Mathias Kiwanuka, DE, Boston College
Kiwanuka can learn for a year behing Simeon Rice. He had 34 sacks in college.
24. Cincinnati: Nick Mangold, C, Ohio State
Bengals center Rich Braham is 36 years old and in the last year of his contract.
25. N.Y. Giants: Bobby Carpenter, OLB, Ohio State
The son of former Giants running back Rob Carpenter, he is a versatile linebacker than can fill two needs.
26. Chicago: Tye Hill, CB, Clemson
This pick could change if the Bears acquire a cornerback in free agency.
27. Carolina: Laurence Maroney, RB, Minnesota
With Stephen Davis gone, the Panthers need a back to complement DeShaun Foster.
28. Jacksonville: Tamba Hali, DE, Penn State
A slow time in the 40-yard dash drops Hali, but he could be used replace Paul Spicer.
29. N.Y. Jets: Eric Winston, OT, Miami
The Jets missed out on Ferguson earlier and left tackle is a top need.
30. Indianapolis: Thomas Howard, OLB, Texas-El Paso
USC running back LenDale White is there but the Colts also lost linebacker David Thornton.
31. Seattle: Davin Joseph, G, Oklahoma: Joseph is an immediate replacement for Steve Hutchinson.
32. Pittsburgh: Rodrique Wright, DT, Texas: White looks tempting, but Wright answers a bigger need.
The second round looks as good as half of the first round and teams can really satisfy some of their pressing needs with players capable of making an early impact. Of course, some of the players selected in the first round could easily fall to the second round and a few of the following players could be taken in the first round.
33. Houston: Marcus McNeil, OT, Auburn
34. New Orleans: Johnathan Joseph, CB, South Carolina
35. N.Y. Jets: Andrew Whitworth, OT, Louisiana State
36. Green Bay: Roger McIntosh, OLB, Miami
37. San Francisco: Jason Allen, DB, Tennessee
38. Oakland: Claude Wroten, DT, Louisiana State
39. Tennessee: Abdul Hodge, ILB, Iowa
40. Detroit: Kelly Jennings, CB, Miami
41. Arizona: Darnell Bing, S, USC
42. Buffalo: Ashton Youboty, CB, Ohio State
43. Cleveland: Gabe Watson, DT, Michigan
44. Baltimore: Ko Simpson, S, South Carolina
45. Philadelphia: LenDale White, RB, USC
46. St. Louis: Marcedes Lewis, TE, UCLA
47. Atlanta: Deuce Lutui, G, USC
48. Minnesota: Anthony Fasano, TE, Notre Dame
49. Dallas: Pat Watkins, FS, Florida State
50. San Diego: Sinorice Moss, WR, Miami
51. Minnesota: Brodie Croyle, QB, Alabama
52. New England: Brian Calhoun, RB, Wisconsin
53. Washington: Ray Edwards, DE, Purdue
54. Kansas City: Donte Whitner, SS, Ohio State
55. Cincinnati: Leonard Pope, TE, Georgia
56. N.Y. Giants: Jon Scott, OT, Texas
57. Chicago: Joe Klopfenstein, TE, Colorado
58. Carolina: Max Jean-Gilles, G, Georgia
59. Tampa Bay: Daniel Bullocks, S, Nebraska
60. Jacksonville: Joseph Addai, RB, Louisiana State
61. Denver: Dominique Byrd, TE, USC
62. Indianapolis: Jerious Norwood, RB, Mississippi State
63. Seattle: Jon Alston, OLB, Stanford
64. Pittsburgh: Maurice Stoval, WR, Notre Dame
some interresting things here. he has aj hawk falling to 11th. i think that would kill the browns to be 1 pick away from drafting him. possible browns trade if this plays out?
i dont want to see dallas get m. lawson. maybe its wishful thinking, but id like to see him fall to the steelers, especially if porter or haggans will be salary cap casualties next year.
vikings still could trade their #17 pick to the falcons for m. shaub. it really depends who is still on the board for both teams to make this suprise trade.
vikings not picking greenway could give the pats their choise of demarco ryans, c. greenway or b. carpenter. im suprised he has them taking ryans. sf can go with either of the 2 remaining with the #22 pick or go cb
with giants picking up arrington, there is a strong chance b carpenter could fall to the steelers.
with the possibility of carpenter on the board, lendale white, and the projected pick of r. white, i think the steelers are in pretty good shape with the 1st pick. if lawson is in that mix, i want lawson. im torn between carpenter or white if lawson is off the board. i would be happy with roderique white if carpenter or lendale are gone. i think safety and wr can easilly be addressed in the 2nd and 3rd rounds.
with the good possibility of the steelers taking 2 wr/ return specialists and the plethora of midround projects at this position, i can see the steelers making a move up in the 2nd round if theres somebody they really want. (carpenter 1st and l. white with a high 2nd?) that would be 2 players with potentially top 20 talent with the #32 and maybe #40 pick over all. thats probably even worth throwing in a 2nd or 3rd rounder from next season to make happen. granted we wont have any comp picks next year but with the addition of these 2 we would have hardly any needs.