OK, so I know it's early, but I threw this together, and was wondering what you all might think of it.... Here's my thoughts on how the 2006 draft could pan out....
1) Houston - D'Brickashaw Ferguson - OT, Virginia
OK, so in reality there is very little reason why Ferguson should go before Leinart and Bush, and I have no doubt the Texans will attempt to trade down to pick him up, but for the sake of this mock draft, I'm going to leave the draft order intact, and say that the Texans take Ferguson first overall. They likely realize that the offensive woes are caused by horrible line play, and not David Carr or Domanick Davis. So their most likely pick will be Ferguson.
2) San Francisco - Reggie Bush - RB, So. California
Having drafted their quarterback of the future in 2004, the Niners are likely to deal with the other major weakness in their offense - the running game. In all likelihood the lack of firepower on the ground has as much to do with the offensive line in San Francisco as it does the running backs, themselves, but Reggie Bush is too talented for the Niners to pass up, here. It also doesn't hurt that he's a California kid, and the Niners front office have likely spent LOTS of time watching him play in college.
3) Arizona - Matt Leinart - QB, So. California
Kurt Warner is likely going to have to call it a career after this year. His play in Arizona has been pitiful, and it's not likely that a lot of other teams will be looking to give him a shot in 2006. Josh McCown has had moments of brilliance, but his consistency is just not there. Matt Leinart is probably the best quarterback prospect available in the draft since Peyton Manning, and you can be sure that Denny Green would LOVE to get his hands on him. If you ask me, his decision to play Warner over McCown lately has more to do with his trying to nail down the number 3 draft pick than it does anything else. Yes, I said it, Denny Green and the Cards front office are tanking games to pick up Leinart.
4) New Orleans - A.J. Hawk - OLB, Ohio St.
For many years now, the Saints have had a gaping hole in the middle of their defense. Their run stopping ability is virtually nil, and the best available player in the 2006 draft to fill a hole in the middle of your defense is A.J. Hawk. This one seems pretty straightforward to me.
5) Green Bay - Mario Williams - DE, NC State
This is a tough call. The Packers need to rebuild on many levels, and with Ahman Green and Najeh Davenport possibly not returning next year, they could certainly use a running back. However, if Samkon Gado continues to play the way he has been, it's possible that the Packers may be able to turn their attention to the other side of the ball. KGB provides a decent pass rush, but the Packers could take a whole lot of pressure off of their secondary if they had someone equally talented on the other side of the field. Mario Williams has all the talent in the world, and might fill that spot nicely if the Packers decide to pass on a runningback.
6) NY Jets - DeAngelo Williams - RB, Memphis
Curtis Martin has to be winding down. There's just no two ways about it. He's been a stud for many years, but the Jets are going to have to look for a replacement sooner rather than later. DeAngelo Williams is the best all-around running back in this year's draft, in my opinion, and I think the Jets would be foolish to pass on him. They might consider going with a quarterback, as well, but I think this year's quarterback class is deep enough that they can afford to wait on a guy like Brodie Croyle in the second round.
7) Baltimore - Vince Young - QB, Texas
If Young decides to enter the draft, and he's available to the Ravens in the first round, I don't see how they could pass on him. He's got too much play-making potential for them to not take a chance on him.
8) Tennessee - Jonathan Scott - OT, Texas
The Titans could really go in a lot of different directions with this pick. But, in my opinion, they are in total rebuild mode, and there is no better place to start than the offensive line. I expect them to take a quarterback later in the draft to back-up Volek, and protection is going to be a must if that quarterback ever has to take the field. In my mind, it's a close call between Eric Winston and Jonathan Scott as to who is the 2nd best tackle in the class, but I think Winston's injury history gives the slight edge to Scott.
9) Cleveland - Mathias Kiwanuka - DE, Boston College
The Browns need to find a pass rush - plain and simple. And this kid may be the best pure pass rusher in the 2006 draft.
10) Detroit - Omar Jacobs - QB, Bowling Green
How many chances can Joey Harrington possibly have? I think he's burned up his last one. The Lions have spent too many first round picks on receivers in the past few years to continue seeing their abilities wasted by an inept passer. Next to Leinart, Omar Jacobs is the best pure passer in this year's draft class, and I think Detroit has no other option but to take him, here.
11) Minnesota - Eric Winston - OT, Miami
Next to the Texans, the Vikings will likely give up the most sacks of any NFL team in 2005. They HAVE to go with a lineman, here, and Winston will be the best one on the board.
12) Oakland - Jimmy Williams - CB, Va Tech
Somebody has to step up in the Oakland secondary besides Charles Woodson. The guy can't do it all by himself.
13) Buffalo - Haloti Ngata - DT, Oregon
What was once the best run stopping defense in football has become the worst running stopping defense in football in a little less than a year. The Bills have a great secondary, but that doesn't do them much good if they can't plug up the running lanes. Ngata is probably the best run stopping lineman in this year's draft, and the Bills will take him if he's available to them.
14) Miami - Jesse Mahelona - DT, Tennessee
The Fins will be targetting Eric Winston here, but I don't think he will drop that far. With their defense aging the way it is, though, they really should be looking to add some youth to that side of the ball. If Ngata is still on the board, he should be their pick, but if he is not, then I look for them to give serious consideration to Mahelona, who has been one of the few bright spots for the Volunteers in 2005.
15) Philadelphia - Martin Nance - WR, Miami (OH)
Best available WR, here... If that's still Nance by the end of the season, and if he's still available when Philly goes on the clock, it shouldn't take them long to issue their pick.
16) Jacksonville - Jason Allen - CB, Tennessee
Much like the situation in Oakland, the Jags need someone to put on the field opposite Rashean Mathis.
17) Tampa Bay - Max Jean-Gilles - OG, Georgia
John Gruden is going to want to open up some quality holes for Cadillac Williams in 2006. And the best guy in this year's draft to do it will be Max Jean-Gilles. The guy is a monster at 6' 4" - 340, and he should be just the type of run blocker Gruden is after.
18) Denver (from Washington) - Derek Hagan - WR, Arizona St.
Rod Smith is just about done, and Shanahan would like to use the extra first round pick to pick up a replacement to pair with Lelie, I'm sure. Darrius Watts is decent, but seems to have an affinity for dropping the big ones.
19) Chicago - Marcedes Lewis - TE, UCLA
The Bears can use all the weapons they can get their hands on, and Lewis definitely has the potential to be an all-pro tightend. With a young QB at the helm, and less than stellar wideouts, a dump off option of Lewis' caliber might be just what the doctor ordered. Especially if Cedric Benson gets the nod next year, because Benson doesn't sport the best hands in the business, and will not be a quality outlet receiver.
20) Dallas - Brady Quinn - QB, Notre Dame
Bledsoe can't have too much left in the tank, and Quinn could make an excellent replacement over the long haul. He's had success in the NFL-style offense brought to South Bend by Charlie Weiss, and I think that experience will propel him into the first round.
21) San Diego - Darnell Bing - S, So. California
Bing will be the best secondary player available in the draft, and the Chargers must address their secondary.
22) St. Louis - Ahmad Brooks - ILB, Virgina
A steal at number 22 overall, the Rams will take all of 10 seconds to post this pick, as Brooks will be just the guy they need to help them stop the run, which is their major concern coming out of the 2005 season.
23) Kansas City - Laurence Maroney - RB, Minnesota
And another steal. Laurence Maroney is far too good to fall this far, but I'm not sure any of the teams after the Jets and before Kansas City really need to address running back. The Chiefs will need a quality back-up for Larry Johnson, and Laurence Maroney will make for an unbelievable one-two punch.
24) New England - Charles Gordon - CB, Kansas
The Patriots have a knack for drafting the guys that make everyone say "WHO?" Charles Gordon may be less of an unknown than Logan Mankins was in the 2005 draft, but he should be able to come in and help with their secondary woes immediately in much the same way Mankins did on the line.
25) NY Giants - Devin Hester - CB, Miami
The Giants could use a quality corner, and while Hester is a little undersized, he should be the best available corner by the time the Giants are on the clock.
26) Denver - Claude Wroten - DT, Louisiana St.
The Broncos have had good success with the defensive line they imported from the Browns in 2005, but they could still use a good run-stuffer in the middle. Claude Wroten should be the best run stopper on the board by the time they get to pick.
27) Atlanta - Chad Greenway - OLB, Iowa
If you ask me, Greenway is a steal at number 27 overall, and he will certainly fill a need at outside linebacker for the Falcons.
28) Cincinnati - Marcus McNeill - OT, Auburn
The Bengals have made one of the most spectacular turn arounds in pro sports history over the past few seasons, and it is in no small part due to their incredible drafting. Marcus McNeill is one of the most undervalued linemen in the country, and he will make an excellent long-term member of Carson Palmer's protection team.
29) Seattle - Ernie Sims - OLB, Florida St.
This guy is very soft spoken off the field, but in general the meanest sonofabitch you ever want to come across on the field. His intensity is incredible, and the Hawks could use a guy like that in the middle of their defense.
30) Pittsburgh - Greg Eslinger - C, Minnesota
Jeff Hartings turns 34 at the start of the 2006 season. The Steelers could really use a quality replacement for him. The rest of their squad looks pretty good, and it might be a good time to address this need. Eslinger is a wonderful talent, and one of the major reasons why Laurence Maroney puts up the kind of numbers he does. The only thing that keeps him from being considered one of the best linemen in the draft is the fact that he is slightly undersized. But that's nothing that can't be fixed. If the Steelers can get him to put on about 20 pounds during the 2006 season, he could be a real stud in 2007, which should be about the same time Hartings hangs it up.
31) Carolina - Davin Joseph - OG, Oklahoma
The Panthers could still use some help on the interior of their offensive line, and Joseph would make an excellent addition to the squad. He was perhaps the best offensive lineman for the Sooner line that helped Adrian Peterson have that incredible freshman season, and one of the only ones not already playing in the NFL. That will change by the end of the first round of the 2006 draft.
32) Indianapolis - DeMeco Ryans - OLB, Alabama
Now for the shocker pick. The Crimson Tide have the best all-around defense in the NCAA in 2005, and their best defensive player is DeMeco Ryans. The kid is not only athletically gifted, but also as smart a football player as you will find, having won just about every academic award that is offered to college athletes. But more than that, he is Tony Dungy's kind of player - a very similar player in terms of build and ability to Derrick Brooks. He's a little on the smaller size for a linebacker, but he plays with great intensity, smarts, and most importantly heart. Tony Dungy likes to field a smaller, faster defense than a lot of other coaches, and it seems to work for him. Because of this, I think DeMeco Ryans will be the guy he's after coming off their Super Bowl victory.
Last edited by Plindsey88 on Tue Nov 15, 2005 4:49 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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