Dave's Sports Views

Analysis, humor and opinion on the sports world

Location: Dallas, Texas, United States

Monday, May 01, 2006

Draft recap

After being out of town for a few days, here are some thoughts on the draft. I'll try not to repeat too much that's already been said in the reams of postmortems.

Good drafts

New York Jets -- They got two of the very best offensive linemen in the first round in D'Brickashaw Ferguson and Nick Mangold and could have corraled a sleeper quarterback in Kellen Clemens in the second round.

San Francisco -- Vernon Davis and Manny Lawson made a great tandem in the first round. Brandon Williams is a versatile player and it will be interesting to see what they do with Michael Robinson.

Denver -- Jay Cutler has to be thrilled to partner with Mike Shanahan. A great move to trade up since it seemed like Denver was a quarterback away from the Super Bowl last year. The Broncos got Javon Walker in a trade and picked up two potential steals late in Elvis Dumervil and Greg Eslinger.

Philadelphia -- Andy Reid loves drafting linemen early, and he picked up Brodrick Bunkley in the first round and Winston Justice (a probable first-round pick if not for off-the-field problems) in the second.

Green Bay/Cleveland -- The Packers and Browns need warm bodies and they pulled off trades to end up with 12 and 10 picks, respectively. And they scored at the top with A.J. Hawk and Kamerion Wimbley.

Bad drafts

Buffalo -- Two first-round picks that were real reaches at their spot, in Donte Whitner and John McCargo.

Washington -- Maybe the Redskins should just sit out the draft every year. Daniel Snyder only seems to be happy if he's throwing around millions at free agents. The 'Skins had one pick before the fifth round.

Miami -- The trend continues for the Dolphins who move picks as if they have bird flu. They got decent talent in Jason Allen and Derek Hagan on the first day, but had only six picks -- half of them in the final round.

New York Giants -- They waited too long to add defensive backs, a big need. They drafted one in the fifth round and one in the seventh.

San Diego -- Antonio Cromartie was a gamble, but probably one worth taking. I don't really get the Charlie Whitehurst pick in the third round as it sends mixed signals to Philip Rivers.

  • Based on my analysis last week of the draft positions that had produced the most talent, things look good for Haloti Ngata, Wimbley, Allen, Cromartie, Davin Joseph and Joseph Addai. The underachieving positions means things don't bode as well for Lawson, Santonio Holmes and Mangold. Not the way I would predict it, as I think Lawson, Holmes and Mangold were all solid picks. The players I'd be most worried about being busts in the first round are Bobby Carpenter, Cromartie, Laurence Maroney, McCargo, and Mathias Kiwanuka.
  • Pick that everyone's lauding that I don't like -- Maroney. If anyone can keep him straight, it's Bill Belichick, but, while he didn't have any real problems at Minnesota, he often seemed disinterested. Also, he wasn't an every-down back at any point in his career there.
  • Pick that everyone's questions but I like -- Tamba Hali to Kansas City. I always have a bias toward players that make plays in big games. Hali was a fierce player last year and he has the personal history that leads me to believe he's never going to take the game for granted. Maybe another Neil Smith in the making in K.C.
  • The quarterback situation: Vince Young to Tennessee was a bit of surprise, especially with Steve McNair on the outs. Young could use a veteran who also likes to run as a mentor for a year or two, but Norm Chow should be able to devise an offense that plays to Young's strengths. Matt Leinart walks into a wonderful situation in Arizona, with no pressure to take the helm this year, three terrific offensive weapons around him and a good offensive mind in Denny Green. Cutler, as discussed earlier, has to be pinching himself. He probably couldn't walk into a better situation, and could have the same fate as Ben Roethlisberger, the 11th pick two years ago.
  • As for the top pick, I was stunned when I woke up Saturday and heard that the Texans had reached a deal to draft Mario Williams. Even though they have more needs than another running back, Bush is hard to pass up and, as Tom Jackson nailed on draft day, Williams' career will always be viewed side-by-side with Bush's to determine if Houston made the right pick. This is one of the gutsiest moves I've seen a team make at the top of the draft; whether it was the smartest remains to be seen. For Bush, it could be something that motivates him even more toward greatness. No. 1 overall running backs in the past 30 years have had injury-plagued careers, while Tony Dorsett, Eric Dickerson and Marshall Faulk were all drafted No. 2. (So was Blair Thomas.) My bet is that Bush becomes an instant star, and he sounds genuinely excited to play a role off the field in New Orleans, too.



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