|11-21-2005, 11:45 PM||#1|
Draft Defense Early&Often
Join Date: Oct 2004
2006 Mock draft
Is this too early??
I really hope Denver can get the S from Texas, Huff. He has good size and he is very fast. He has playmaker written all over him.
SoCals link; http://www.nfldraftcountdown.com/sub/mockdraft.html
Updated November 16, 2006
1. HOUSTON TEXANS
D'BRICKASHAW FERGUSON OT | Virginia | Scouting Report
This was supposed to be the year that Houston took a big step forward, but once again it was the same old story with the offensive line holding the team and franchise back. From the point when they took a chance on Tony Boselli in the expansion draft to the signing of Victor Riley this past offseason, the Texans have been in search of a top left tackle literally since their inception but have been unable to find anyone who can hold down the position. Because of this it is nearly impossible to get a read on the true progress of former #1 overall pick David Carr since he is getting sacked at a rate that is setting NFL records. The selection of D'Brickashaw Ferguson would put an end to this problem once and for all though and finally give the team the elite left tackle they, and Carr, have been dreaming of. A tremendous athlete for his size, Ferguson has everything you look for from the position and his name deserves to be mentioned in the same breath as recent elite tackle prospects such as Walter Jones, Jonathan Ogden and Orlando Pace. As long as Ferguson is available when they pick there really is no need to look at other options because it is crystal clear as to what the franchise needs to do. The only other potential consideration would be to possibly trade down if Matt Leinart is available while collecting a king's ransom for the pick and still landing Ferguson a bit later.
2. TENNESSEE TITANS
MATT LEINART QB | Southern Cal | Scouting Report
This would be what you'd call a dilemma. Most assume that Steve McNair will retire following this season but even if that is the case they still have Billy Volek, who has played well when given the opportunity and was just signed to a new contract. Still, the lure of possibly adding a player you can build a team around is too enticing to pass up so they reunite Leinart with his old offensive coordinator at Southern Cal Norm Chow, who now holds the same position with the Titans. By now everyone knows all about Leinart and how after winning the National Championship and the Heisman Trophy he passed up being the #1 pick in the 2005 NFL Draft to go back to school for his senior year. While he doesn't have amazing physical tools Leinart is simply a winner with intangibles that are off the charts, a la Tom Brady. If a team that doesn't need a quarterback does indeed end up choosing #1 look for a bidding war to ensue for this guy with the starting price likely to begin at what the Chargers got for Eli Manning in 2004 and perhaps much, much more if both Vince Young and Brady Quinn opt to return to school. Offensive tackle is also going to be a big need since Brad Hopkins will be moving along soon so D'Brickashaw Ferguson would be an excellent fit here as well. However, the golden rule of the NFL Draft is that unless you already have one you never pass on a elite signal caller. Period.
3. NEW YORK JETS
REGGIE BUSH RB | Southern Cal | Scouting Report
Every year a team's once promising season is derailed by injuries and there is little doubt as to who suffered that fate in 2005. With Chad Pennington going down for the second consecutive season with a serious shoulder injury the team is going to have some very tough decisions to make regarding his long-term future. If Pennington is jettisoned this choice will likely be used to grab a stud quarterback like Matt Leinart or Vince Young, but if they decide to hold onto Chad it will be a different story. After signing Pennington to a huge new contract not that long ago it just wouldn't be financially feasible to draft a signal caller here and devote so much money and cap space to one position and two players, so they look elsewhere. Curtis Martin has been very reliable and one of the best in the business for a long time now, but he isn't getting any younger and has a lot of mileage on his tires. Reggie Bush is simply the most exciting, dynamic football player in the college game and a guy who scouts describe as "special", which is a term that isn't thrown around lightly. He will not only upgrade the running game but also provide a major boost as a receiver out of the backfield and as a return man as well. Adding an impact player like Bush will relieve the pressure off of the Jets quarterback, whoever that may be.
4. ARIZONA CARDINALS
VINCE YOUNG QB | Texas | Scouting Report
After being the popular pick by many analysts to take a big leap this season the Cards are back to their old tricks and are among the leagues worst teams. This is a franchise that has been looking for a quarterback to build around for a long time with little or no success and while Josh McCown has shown flashes he will be a free agent and doesn't seem to have much support from Dennis Green. Vince Young is as exciting of a prospect to come along at the quarterback position in some time and even though he will likely need a lot of development and possibly have to sit and learn for a year or two at the pro level his upside and potential are just too enticing to pass up. With Kurt Warner still in the fold Arizona can afford to wait for Young to develop, which is a situation similar to what Green had in Minnesota in 1999 when he chose Daunte Culpepper early in the draft and sat him early on in his career. Running back is still a possibility as well but they do have last years 2nd round pick J.J. Arrington, who Green likes, and most of the teams troubles in the running game can be blamed on the lackluster play of the offensive line. Also don't rule out a stud linebacker or defensive tackle to upgrade a porous run defense, but if a top quarterback is available that will be the pick.
5. SAN FRANCICSO 49'ERS
JIMMY WILLIAMS CB | Virginia Tech | Scouting Report
In the first year of a massive rebuilding project Mike Nolan's defense has fared pretty well, but one position that still needs to be upgraded is cornerback. Ahmad Plummer can't seem to stay healthy and while Shawntae Spencer is a good young player there is little else beyond him in terms of depth. Williams is a former safety who still plays with that same physical mentality, but he also has the speed and athleticism of a corner. In other words he is exactly what teams look for in that he is both big and fast. San Francisco also still has a lack of playmakers on the offensive side of the ball so if by some chance they could get a shot at Reggie Bush and reunite him with his old high school teammate Alex Smith it would be an ideal situation. Wide receiver is also a glaring weakness but unlike past years there doesn't seem to be an elite playerat that position like Andre Johnson, Larry Fitzgerald or Braylon Edwards who is worthy of this high of a pick, although they could reach for Santonio Holmes. When it comes to value and need Jimmy Williams is the obvious fit as he would be a tremendous upgrade in the secondary and give the team the lockdown coverman they have been searching for since the days of Deion Sanders.
6. BALTIMORE RAVENS
MARIO WILLIAMS DE | North Carolina St. | Scouting Report
Seeing both Matt Leinart and Vince Young off the board here will likely break the hearts of both the Ravens front office as well as their fans, but that's the way it goes sometimes. There is no denying their need for an elite quarterback but there is a reason those types of players are so valuable and go so high in the draft, which is that they are hard to come by. Unless both Young and Brady Quinn opt to come out early the Ravens would be out of luck choosing this low and if both return to school for their senior seasons Baltimore would likely have no shot at getting a top signal caller in this draft, barring a trade. After being known for running a classic 3-4 defense the Ravens are getting away from that a little these days which will require a new breed of defender, especially along the defensive line. Terrell Suggs will easily be able to man one defensive end spot but Anthony Weaver, while a very good 3-4 end, would be average at best in that same capacity with a 4-3. Mario Williams has everything you look for physically in a premier pass rusher and could be the best defensive end prospect to come along since Julius Peppers, making him a rare prospect. Even though they miss out on the quarterback they want and need (oh well, there's always next year) they do still land a premier talent.
7. NEW ORLEANS SAINTS
A.J. HAWK OLB | Ohio St. | Scouting Report
Every year the Saints go into the season with such high expectations only to lay an egg. This time around you can't place all the blame on their shoulders and there is no denying they were dealt a tough hand, but with the talent the team has it is hard to excuse year after year of underachieving. One area that has continually been lacking is linebacker, where despite investing numerous draft picks on the likes of Sedrick Hodge, James Allen, Courtney Watson and Alfred Fincher they still are unable to put together a serviceable group. Hawk is as productive of a linebacker as you will find with tremendous instincts, a nose for the ball and much better athleticism and physical tools than he is given credit for. Simply put, this guy is all over the field and will instantly become the leader and captain of whatever team is lucky enough to bring him into the fold. New Orleans would probably love to add a top quarterback but unless they end up in the Top 3 overall they will likely be out of the Leinart / Young sweepstakes. Here's a little something for the conspiracy theorists to chew on: With all the talk about the franchise potentially moving to Los Angeles in the future it sure wouldn't hurt to have a local star like Matt Leinart to build around and he probably wouldn't mind staying home where he is worshiped either.
8. GREEN BAY PACKERS
LAURENCE MARONEY RB | Minnesota | Scouting Report
It has been a season to forget for the Cheeseheads and there will be plenty of intrigue this upcoming offseason, not the least of which centers around whether or not Brett Favre will retire. It seems most failed to see this sudden decline on the horizon for the Packers, but in hindsight the signs were all there. From losing two Pro Bowl offensive lineman to not upgrading a porous defense to failing to add much immediate help via the draft, the franchise almost set itself up to fail. That's in the past now though and all they can do is try to get things back on track, with this high draft choice likely being the centerpiece of that plan. It would be very easy to make a case for the team to select a premier linebacker or defensive lineman with this pick but running back is a viable option as well. Ahman Green will be an unrestricted free agent and the past two seasons have seen injuries and a decline in production from him so it might be time to bring in some fresh blood, whether it's behind Favre or Aaron Rodgers. Maroney is an extremely productive and explosive runner who is a threat to take it the distance every time he touches the ball and his addition will bring a big play dynamic back to this offense.
9. MIAMI DOLPHINS
ERIC WINSTON OT | Miami (FL) | Scouting Report
To say that the Miami Dolphins offensive line has struggled the past couple of years would be an understatement and the most glaring weakness is at left tackle, where many players have been plugged in but all have failed. Eric Winston is a former tight end who is still learning the position but has all the tools to possibly be a top left tackle at the next level and, at worst, a right tackle. In fact, had it not been for a serious knee injury Winston may have entered the draft last year and been the first offensive lineman chosen. He struggled early this year while still working his way back to 100% but came on late in the season and began to look like his old self. It usually takes a couple of years to come back from the type of injury he suffered so if teams base his draft grade on the way he played in 2005 someone could end up getting a major steal when he is fully recovered. The Fins also need a top young quarterback to groom as a long-term starter so if a guy like Vince Young somehow fell into their laps he'd be hard to pass up. With Nick Saban at the helm and calling the shots never discount this pick being used for defensive help either.