April 28, 2006) -- Well, the hay is in the barn, and ignoring the reality that there will be some draft-day trades, a couple of late-minute veteran signings, a trade or two and a late rumor to impact a draft pick, here's my last shot at a mock draft.
I took into consideration all of the information I could gather, the offseason moves, the philosophy of the decision-makers at each club and, just like most teams picking, a gut instinct about what teams might do.
1. Houston: Reggie Bush, RB, USC
2. New Orleans: D'Brickashaw Ferguson, OT, Virginia
3. Tennessee: Matt Leinart, QB, USC
4. N.Y. Jets: Mario Williams, DE, North Carolina State
5. Green Bay: Vernon Davis, TE, Maryland
6. San Francisco: Michael Huff, DB, Texas
7. Oakland: Vince Young, QB, Texas
8. Buffalo: Brodrick Bunkley, DT, Florida State
9. Detroit: A.J. Hawk, LB, Ohio State
10. Arizona: Jay Cutler, QB, Vanderbilt
11. St. Louis: Jimmy Williams, CB, Virginia Tech
12. Cleveland: Haloti Ngata, DT, Oregon
13. Baltimore: Winston Justice, OT, USC
14. Philadelphia: Ernie Sims, LB, Florida State
15. Denver: Santonio Holmes, WR, Ohio State
16. Miami: Manny Lawson, OLB/DE, North Carolina State
17. Minnesota: Bobby Carpenter, OLB, Ohio State
18. Dallas: Kamerion Wimbley, OLB, Florida State
19. San Diego: Antonio Cromartie, CB, Florida State
20. Kansas City: Tamba Hali, DE, Penn State
21. New England: Donte Whitner, DB, Ohio State
22. San Francisco: Chad Jackson, WR, Florida
23. Tampa Bay: Nick Mangold, C, Ohio State
24. Cincinnati: Tye Hill, CB, Clemson
25. N.Y. Giants: Laurence Maroney, RB, Minnesota
26. Chicago: Marcedes Lewis, TE, UCLA
27. Carolina: DeAngelo Williams, RB, Memphis
28. Jacksonville: Jason Allen, DB, Tennessee
29. N.Y. Jets: Chad Greenway, OLB, Iowa
30. Indianapolis: DeMeco Ryans, OLB, Alabama
31. Seattle: Kelly Jennings, CB, Miami
32. Pittsburgh: Ko Simpson, DB, South Carolina
Keep in mind, there are still a number of players who could go in the first round. Cornerback Johnathan Joseph (South Carolina), guard Davin Joseph (Oklahoma), defensive tackle John McCargo (N.C. State), running backs LenDale White (USC) and Joseph Addai (LSU) and defensive end Mathais Kiwanuka (Boston College) all have first-round grades on at least one draft board out there and it would not surprise me to hear their names called.
As for trades on draft day, keep an eye out for New Orleans, the Jets, Detroit and the Chiefs to consider moving down, with the Ravens, Vikings, Patriots and Panthers thinking about a move up. The potential for a Javon Walker trade will reconfigure the wide receivers in the first round, and a late deal with Ty Law could stir up the cornerbacks in the draft.
Finally, we have a draft with three very good quarterbacks, an elite left tackle, a franchise pass rusher, a matchup nightmare running back and tight end, a tackling machine linebacker and a safety/corner who can handle just about any situation. Saturday is going to be an NFL fan's dream.