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Bush No. 1 No Matter What 'Experts' Say...
Here's another "expert 's" mock 1st round
Bush No. 1 No Matter What 'Experts' Say
By DAVE GOLDBERG, AP Football Writer
35 minutes ago
NEW YORK - A week ago, there were rumors out of Houston that had the Texans leaning away from taking Reggie Bush with the No. 1 pick and toward Mario Williams, the North Carolina State defensive end who is supposed to be a cross between Julius Peppers and Lawrence Taylor.
Indeed, they even began talking with Williams. Disinformation, perhaps, but standard.
More than any other, this draft has been full of that kind of thing.
On the Web. On talk radio. Everywhere. The NFL draft, which will take place Saturday and Sunday at Radio City Music Hall, has become football's most overanalyzed event, even by the people in charge. What prospective draftees did on the field last fall has been forgotten in the tempest from January through April.
Consider Vince Young's Wonderlic score. LenDale White's weight gain and hamstring injury. Jimmy Williams' supposedly lackadaisical attitude. And the endless debate over whether Jay Cutler, the Vanderbilt quarterback, belongs with Matt Leinart and Young at the top of the quarterback pool.
Remember that the draft is really a crapshoot. First-rounders often fail, second-rounders and lower succeed, as did linebacker Lofa Tatupu, who as a second-round rookie last season led a defense that helped Seattle to an NFC championship.
Remember also that everyone lies. Or says nothing.
"You know this is a time when nobody really ever really kind of tells the truth about what they plan to do," Miami coach Nick Saban said last week. "I certainly would never deceive you in anything that I told you, so rather than deceive you I would just rather not tell you certain things."
"Certain things" almost surely start with Bush, described by some as the next Gale Sayers. Or the next Barry Sanders. He's a unique talent who can turn a game on one play.
So when Paul Tagliabue calls to order his final NFL draft as commissioner, HOUSTON will use it on REGGIE BUSH, RB, Southern Cal.
2. NEW ORLEANS. After signing Drew Brees, the Saints brought in Leinart for a workout. Is that because Brees is coming off shoulder surgery? Or is it to suggest to the Titans and Jets that they have to trade up to get him? Linebacker A.J. Hawk, but more likely: D'BRICKASHAW FERGUSON, OT, Virginia.
3. TENNESSEE. Norm Chow, the offensive coordinator, had the same job at Southern Cal and tutored Leinart. The Titans might like Vince Young, but MATT LEINART, QB, Southern Cal, is the safer pick.
4. NEW YORK JETS. They have a sore shouldered Chad Pennington and the newly obtained Patrick Ramsey. Both are ifs, so they could move up to second for Leinart _ with the 29th and 35th picks as bait. If not, MARIO WILLIAMS, DE, North Carolina State.
5. GREEN BAY. One reason Brett Favre keeps putting off his decision on retirement is the sorry state of the Packers. A.J. HAWK, LB, Ohio State, won't turn them around for Favre's last season, but eventually should be an impact player.
6. SAN FRANCISCO. Another team that needs everything, and could move up using the newly acquired 22nd pick for Williams or Hawk. If not, VERNON DAVIS, TE, Maryland, seems to be a special athlete at a position that's in vogue.
7. OAKLAND. The Raiders have Aaron Brooks, who finally wore out the Saints' patience. VINCE YOUNG, QB, Texas, is an Al Davis type pick who might be something special.
8. BUFFALO. One mistake a year ago was letting Pat Williams go to the Vikings. Williams is listed at 320 pounds. Maybe 420? Whatever, BRODRICK BUNKLEY, DT, Florida State is a svelte 306 _ or so they say. He fits the purpose.
9. DETROIT. The Lions have taken Charles Rogers, Roy Williams and Mike Williams the last three years and for a variety of reasons still don't have a healthy No. 1 wide receiver. Roy is from Texas, as is MIKE HUFF, DB, Texas.
10. ARIZONA. No matter how good Larry Fitzgerald is (he's very good), the Cardinals might have been better off with Ben Roethlisberger or Philip Rivers two years ago. Kurt Warner was Eli Manning's caddie in New York, so he can do the same for JAY CUTLER, QB, Vanderbilt. Dennis Green has actually said he'll take him here if he falls; see above for untruths.
11. ST. LOUIS. The Rams replaced coach Mike Martz with Scott Linehan, another offensive guy. But they need defense, especially at tackle. HALOTI NGATA, DT, Oregon, even though the Rams have used three first-round picks at that position since 2001.
12. CLEVELAND. The Browns were aggressive during the offseason, signing LB Willie McGinest from New England to help Romeo Crennel's young charges learn the 3-4 defense. Willie can be especially useful with KAMERION WIMBLEY, DE/LB, Florida State, who Crennel hopes will stay healthier than the last two No. 1s, Kellen Winslow and Braylon Edwards.
13. BALTIMORE. Would take Young or Cutler. Instead, a bookend for Jonathan Ogden, WINSTON JUSTICE, OT, the third Southern Cal player chosen.
14. PHILADELPHIA. The Eagles like aggressive defenders, a description that fits ERNIE SIMS, LB, Florida State. The reservation is five concussions in college.
15. DENVER. Tatum Bell is a part-timer and so is Ron Dayne. The Bengals always seem to get productive running backs late, but why not the explosive DE ANGELO WILLIAMS, RB, Memphis.
16. MIAMI. Sam Madison was a salary cap casualty. JIMMY WILLIAMS, DB, Virginia Tech, has been falling for a variety of reasons. Not past this spot.
17. MINNESOTA. One of a bunch of teams that could use linebackers in a draft with a lot of good ones. CHAD GREENWAY, LB, Iowa.
18. DALLAS. Roy Williams is a ferocious hitter who caused the NFL's changed rules to keep him from using the "horse-collar" tackle. He can use a partner who can cover. JASON ALLEN, S, Tennessee.
19. SAN DIEGO. When your best receiver is 36-year-old Keenan McCardell, you need young speed. SANTONIO HOLMES, WR, Ohio State.
20. KANSAS CITY. Fresh blood for the annual defensive overhaul. TYE HILL, CB, Clemson.
21. NEW ENGLAND. Bill Belichick was a young assistant in the Meadowlands when Rob Carpenter was a Giants running back. Rob's son, BOBBY CARPENTER, LB, Ohio State.
22. SAN FRANCISCO. The 49ers got this pick in a deal with Denver and might try to package it to move up for Hawk or Williams. If not, MANNY LAWSON, DE/LB, North Carolina State, a much-needed pass rusher.
23. TAMPA BAY. Brian Kelly and Ronde Barber are 31 and 30, respectively, but old enough to start breaking in ANTONIO CROMARTIE, CB, Florida State, who can take his time recovering from a knee injury.
24. CINCINNATI. No one in Cincinnati remembers when the Bengals drafted this low. Defense is still a need. DONTE WHITNER, S, Ohio State.
25. NEW YORK GIANTS. They were set to take a linebacker. Now they have LaVar Arrington, making the need more pressing. ASHTON YOUBOUTY, CB, Ohio State although they could trade down for needed defensive tackle help or even a running back.
26. CHICAGO. Plenty of defense. Desperate for offense. CHAD JACKSON, WR, Florida.
27. CAROLINA. The Panthers played the NFC title game with third- and fourth-string running backs. LAURENCE MARONEY, RB, Minnesota.
28. JACKSONVILLE. First-round centers are rare. But ... NICK MANGOLD, C, Ohio State, the sixth guy from a team that didn't even win the Big Ten title.
29. NEW YORK JETS. This pick could be in New Orleans if the Jets make a deal. If not, MARCUS McNEILL, OT, Auburn.
30. INDIANAPOLIS. Maybe JOSEPH ADDAI, RB, LSU, is Edgerrin James.
31. SEATTLE. The Seahawks had no dominant outside pass rusher last season. MATHIAS KIWANUKA, DE, Boston College.
32. PITTSBURGH. Troy Polamalu is a stud safety from Southern Cal. How about another one: DARNELL BING, S, Southern Cal.